From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When the weather outside is frightful, I'd like to suggest a cupful of this hearty Mexican soup. While brandy would be delightful, this bean soup is infinitely better for your liver and it will cure baldness and improve your general well-being as well. I was told that by a snake oil salesman, who swore lightning would strike him dead if I did not like his soup. I wasn't looking for a miracle, mind you, so he escaped annihilation, and in the realm of good cheap food, this soup is not at all bad. It is inexpensive to make, really easy to prepare and chances are you already have the ingredients needed to make it in your pantry. I'm not, generally, a huge fan Mexican bean soups because I find their flavors to be muddy and their appearance singularly unattractive. The orange juice and zest that are used in this recipe really brighten the flavor of the soup. When I make this for the Silver Fox, I use a tablespoon or two of orange liqueur rather than the fresh orange that is called for in the original recipe, which, by the way, came from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The sour cream and cilantro garnish add flavor and more importantly, help improve the appearance of the soup. If you are looking for a cold weather soup, and your family enjoys Mexican food, you can't go wrong with this one. Here is how the soup is made.
Mexican White Bean Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens magazine
1-1/4 cups dried navy beans (8 ounces)
6 cups water
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (Pimenton)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (14.5-oz.) can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 orange or 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1 cup salsa verde
1 tablespoon vinegar
Light dairy sour cream (optional)
1) Rinse beans. In a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven combine beans and 6 cups water. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
2) Add oil, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to Dutch oven and cook until tender. Stir in cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add broth and 2 cups water. Bring to boiling,then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
3) Using a handheld immersion blender, blend mixture slightly. (Or let soup cool slightly. Transfer mixture, one-third at a time, to a blender. Cover and blend slightly.) Return to Dutch oven. Finely shred 1 teaspoon orange peel and add to soup. Juice orange directly into pot, add salsa verde, vinegar and stir to combine. Heat through. Top with sour cream if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and cayenne pepper. Yield: 6 servings.
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