April 6, 2010

Goodness, Spring has come on fast. It’s crazy hot here, suddenly (90°!) and every bulb in my yard is open at the same time. It’s so abundant.
I’m swamped with landscape work, barely cooking and when I am cooking, I’m relying on the old standbys like Vegetable Pie and Roast Chicken. Laundry is piling up. Messages on the voicemail, stacks of unopened mail, unanswered emails… this is what Spring brings.
My Kitchenaid stand mixer died. Here’s my new baby. Isn’t she pretty?
The first thing I did was make these gorgeous macarons.
Then I made some raviolis (I don’t have the ravioli attachment, but I do have the pasta roller, which makes ravioli a snap.)
But really, the best thing I made lately was Mexican Bean Soup. When we were in Mexico in February, we fell in love with the bean soup served at 100% Restaurant in Playa del Carmen. I’m not sure this was anything like that soup – after all it’s been a few weeks – but it was so delicious, I made it again two days later.

For this particular batch, I used Rancho Gordo’s Sangre de Toro red beans, smaller than pinto beans, and a little firmer. Pintos would also work perfectly. I took a hint from the Borrachos I love so much from LastNightsDinner, adding beer and Mexican oregano to the soup.
It’s easy, filling, and oh so tasty. Since the beans are already cooked, this whole dish comes together in about 40 minutes. Some warm corn tortillas make a nice addition for a simple meal.
I’ll be back in a few days. I’ve got two classes coming up, a few landscape designs to finish, and my own yard to tend, but before long, it’s going to be time to make rhubarb strawberry jam. CanORama! Start looking around for local, farm market rhubarb and little local strawberries. You’ll need 2-1/2 lbs. of each. And six 1/2-pint jars, lids and rings.

Playa del Carmen Bean Soup

3 c cooked red or pinto beans
1 onions
1 garlic cloves
1 lime – zest and juice
1 ancho chili
1 chili arbol
2 t dried Mexican oregano
1 dark beer (I used Guinness, but Negra Modelo would be better)
2 T tomato paste
4 c chicken broth, preferably homemade

Garnishes: avocado, creme fraiche, toasted poblano strips, squeeze of lime, scallions, sriracha, pickled jalapeno

For this recipe, your beans should be already cooked. I’ve written about my method here.
Toast the poblano and arbol chilis very quickly. Do not burn, just slightly warm and soften.
Remove seeds and stem and rough chop both peppers. Set aside a few strips of the poblano.
Add everything into the soup pot and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
Puree in batches in the blender. Reheat and serve.
Garnish as you see fit.

4 Responses to “Mexican Bean Soup”

  1. Anonymous

    Yummmm. And, I do love your new Artisan. (How old was the old girl that went to Kitchen-Aid heaven?)


  2. MrsWheelbarrow

    The old KA was 22 years old (a gift for my 30th from my mother!) I hated to say goodbye, but I stripped all the parts that I might need with the new one. It's kind of sweet to have two bowls, I have to admit.

  3. vincent


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  4. Lizthechef

    Your garden is absolutely lovely! As soon as it cools a bit here in San Diego, maybe Monday, I want to try that soup…


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