Sopa de Frijol
This recipe is a little bit time consuming but for me well worth it. Very tasteful appetizer. All the flavors that come together…all that happens in your mouth with just one tablespoon, is what I call, MARVELOUUUS!
Here’s the thing though, we humans we have this thing about strong exotic spices. Some we love and some no matter how appetizing a dish looks the fact of knowing that particular dish has THAT spice you’re not fond of, may automatically turn you off!
For me that spice is CURRY! Curry folks just isn’t my thing! No offense to my fellow curry lovers out there! Come on, I’m allowed to have my opinion here! Listen, I’ve tried it in several dishes and as fabulous and enticing the dish looks, I JUST CAN’T DO IT! The smell, the taste, is overpowering for me, even in small amounts! But that’s just me! You may be the same as I am with curry or some other spice.
For some it’s this spice, CUMIN, the one in this recipe!
So let’s talk about cumin. CUMIN, is strong!! A little goes a long way! So if you’re not sure whether you like this spice, tone it down in any recipe that you try. Find out how you feel about it! Use it sparingly…For a lot of people, initially, they just don’t like it or it may be an acquired taste…one day they will like it! For others, NO WAY EVER!
Any soup that has a lot of inviting flavors to the palette, is okay in my book. That being said, this mexican black bean soup is truly enjoyable. Black bean soup just doesn’t disappoint. With a depth of flavor that forms as the beans cook. Not to mention, the ham hocks as they fall apart before your eyes as it’s doing it’s magic. Yes MAGIC! Comfort food, it is!
So what else does this black bean soup do for you….WANT MORE! What’s best is once it’s done and you’re ready to ladle into your bowls, you can be truly creative. Add some chopped onion, scallions, bell pepper, avocado chunks, salsa, sour cream, etc…
For my version of MEXICAN BLACK BEAN SOUP, I add, crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro and ready, ready?? Sliced serrano peppers! A little heat is just wicked in this soup!
Although serrano peppers, rate 8,000 to 22,000 Scoville Units; about 5 times higher than the jalapeño, in this dish, thinly sliced and tossed raw on top of your soup….they gently provide heat. Okay maybe for me! Remember, I enjoy some heat but again that being said, with other rich flavors around it. Try it! THINLY SLICED!!
Oh how sweet it is, how SWEET it is….hot, hot, hot!! It’s not so bad, so don’t shy away from it! Some hot sauce lovers, would just laugh at us right now!! It’s nothing but a thinng…but a thinnng!
So let’s get this on! I can’t wait to hear your opinion and comments about my MEXICAN BEAN SOUP! Promise this recipe will not disappoint!
Besides, the weather calls for a nice warm appetizer!
Ready, set, GO!
NOTE: You can also add some of this wondrous concoction on top of white, yellow rice with dinner as well!! Ohhh, soo yummy!!
Mexican Black Bean Soup
- 1lb dry black beans (pick through the beans and discard any debris, then soak overnight)
- 2 Pieces smoked ham hocks
- 1 large green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 4 Cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
- 3-4 serrano peppers (thinly sliced)
- 1 Package (12oz) mexican queso fresco (white mexican cheese) (crumbled)
- salt (to taste)
|Empty beans into bowl. Pick through and discard any debris. Rinse beans and soak overnight with enough water to cover beans. Following day, rinse beans and set aside. Chop your vegetables and garlic.|
|In a large pot add about 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add ham hocks, cumin, oregano, vinegar, chicken stock and finally the beans. Add salt to taste. Cook for about 2 to 3 hours over medium heat (keep an eye on them and add water as needed if beans start to thicken up too much.)|
|Once beans are done, remove bay leaves (discard) and ham hocks (do not discard). In a blender, puree your beans ( will have to do in batches) may have to add additional water. Bring bean puree back to pot, add additional water a little at a time until you get the consistency you are looking for. Everyone is different. Some like it thicker, some like it thinner. Heat through on low to medium heat for a few minutes. Optional: cut ham meat off bone, into pieces and fold back into soup.|
|Chop cilantro and slice serrano peppers. Crumble cheese with hands. Bowl your soup and top each bowl with a little bit of all three ingredients. Serve immediately.|