A hearty, smokey Peruvian bean soup. This South American soup will warm you from the inside, perfectly seasoned with roasted onion, bell pepper and chipotle in adobo sauce. Easy, simple and tasty.
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I’m a sucker for any new-to-me ingredient I find at the market. I have an assortment of exotic spices, pasta and beans because of it.
Sometimes my eye falls on a certain something every time I open the pantry door. For the past few weeks it was the Mayocoba beans that I brought home awhile ago, begging me to cook them. It’s been cold here lately, threatening to snow every other day. I’ve been hiding under a blanket on the couch parked right in front of my space heater. I wish I could warm up from the inside.
Soup! That’s what the beans were trying to tell me, it’s soup time.
These beans are perfect for soup, mild tasting, almost buttery, great for mashing. I wanted to stay true to this South American bean so I invented a smokey, hearty soup with South American-ish ingredients. I got the smokiness by broiling the onion and bell pepper until they charred a little bit. I also used a chipotle pepper in adobo which has a beautiful rich, smokey flavor, full of umami, the ‘fifth’ taste. And then I added smoked ham, which was perfect! I chose traditional garnishes, cilantro, avocado and Mexican Crema, which is a first for me. I LOVE this stuff! It’s a Mexican sour cream, that is thick like heavy cream, soured, salty and tangy. I also tried this in my scrambled eggs instead of milk or cream, YUMM!! My eggs didn’t need any salt and it fluffed up so nice and incredibly moist too. If you have any additional uses for Mexican cream, leave a comment. I wanna know. It might be a new staple in my tiny fridge, competition is getting fierce in there.
Note on the beans. They are also known as Canary beans or Peruano beans.
If you are new to Latin American cooking, diced green chiles are a handy ingredient to have. They have a medium heat and have a robust, peppery flavor to them. I have used them in burritos, sauces, marinades and now soup. Sometimes they offer mild and hot. I always use the mild. I like to layer my heat so that I don’t make a dish too spicy.
Chipotle chilis are smoked jalapeños. You can find them canned in adobo sauce which can be a great addition to marinades, sauces and soups. Since I only used half of a large chipotle, I packaged the rest in plastic wrap and placed them in a freezer zipper bag and tossed them in the freezer. Now I have individually wrapped peppers for future use.
By charring the bell peppers and onions, you can add smokey flavor to any dish. I broiled these on a baking sheet in my electric oven. It turned out great.
Assembling the remaining ingredients after the vegetables are roasted is easy. Just heat, blend with a stick blender, food processor or regular blender, add the ham and you are done.
Enjoy this hearty, smokey soup with ham and stay warm this Winter! Buen Provecho.
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