Pinto Bean Soup With Salsa Fresca

Course : Beans
Serves: 6
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---salsa fresca---
3 medium plum tomatoes -- cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 small red onion -- finely diced
1 bunch cilantro -- leaves only, chopped
1 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
---bean soup---
1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
7 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions -- diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic -- minced
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock -- see * note (or 6 cups water)
1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche -- for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

* Note: See the "Brown Chicken Stock", "White Chicken Stock", and "Vegetable Stock" recipes which are included in this collection. To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a glass bowl. Add salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste and reserve, covered, in the refrigerator. Place the beans and water in a soup pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the beans are soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the onions, salt and pepper together, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes longer. Add the beans and their liquid, and the Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree in batches until smooth. Keep warm in a pot over low heat, stirring frequently, until ready to serve. Serve in warm soup bowls with a spoonful of the Salsa Fresca and a dollop of sour cream.

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