Pinto Bean Soup with Salsa Fresca
A restaurant secret to elevating simple soups to finer cuisine is to place an attractive garnish right in the middle of the portion just before serving. In this case, we use a refreshing Salsa Fresca to brighten this Mexican soup.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6
- 1½ cups dried pinto beans
- 7 cups water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 cup Salsa Fresca
- Tofu Sour Cream
Rinse the beans well and place in a saucepan with the water, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until very tender, about 1½ hours.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the onions, salt, and pepper; cook until the onions brown slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme; cook 2 minutes more.
Add the beans, along with their cooking liquid and the stock or water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans start to break apart, about 30 minutes.
Purée the beans in a blender until smooth (work carefully in small batches, so as not to splash hot liquid — a blender works best for this). Adjust seasoning.
Ladle the soup into warmed shallow soup plates, topping each with a spoonful of salsa and, if desired, a dollop of Tofu Sour Cream.