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New Mexican Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup is a staple of numerous Mexican, Caribbean, Central American and South American regions. This recipe is not only influenced by those regions, but also the variety of soups I had in north Texas and southern New Mexico near Las Cruces. 

While conducting research and development for Garden Fresh Gourmet, I was working with chile growers throughout the area in and around Hatch Valley. 

One of the area’s gems is at New Mexico State University, the Chile Pepper Institute founded by Dr. Paul Bosland.  It is the hub of New Mexico chile culture and a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to dive deeper into the world of chiles.

They have a store where you can purchase chile seeds, chile books and cookbooks, along with other useful and informative products. 

For a chile immersion, I recommend The Complete Chile Pepper Book co-authored by Dr. Bosland and Dave “The Pope of Peppers” DeWitt. 

The teaching gardens are a must-visit for late summer/early fall. 

This recipe for black bean soup is a simple version with powdered chile spices. More adventurous cooks can toast and grind whole chiles for an authentic and extra rich flavor.  An Instant Pot cooker is what I recommend, but the recipe is adaptable for crock-pots and slow cooking on a stovetop.

Quality of ingredients can make a difference for any recipe–the outcome can go from good to fantastic. New Mexico chiles are worth the extra effort, but also consider the beans. 

Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo searches the world for heirloom bean varieties.  His beans not only have provenance, but the varieties are cherished for their delicious results. This recipe uses Chiapas Black Beans, a rare, rich and dense bean locally farmed in Mexico.

New Mexican Black Bean Soup

Serves 8, approximately 3 quarts volume

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup red onion, finely diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 ¼ cup carrots, peeled and diced

1 ¼ cup Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

½ cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup yams, diced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed

¼ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed

¼ orange peel

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 ¼ tablespoons guajillo chile powder

2 tablespoons mild red NUMEX 6-4 New Mexico chile powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon allspice powder

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon panella raw sugar

1 teaspoon mexican oregano

3 cups fresh-cooked black beans or two 12oz cans

4 cups black bean stock or water

½ cup Only Plant Based! Chipotle Mayo

In a 6 quart Instant Pot on saute, add oil, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, red pepper and yams.  Saute for 3 minutes then add remaining ingredients.  Change the program to bean/chili and cook at high pressure for 12 minutes.  Place the lid on Instant Pot with the pressure seal closed. Allow to go through the cycle and let the steam pressure out after.  

Open the lid and use a masher to break down the cooked beans and vegetables by 50%.

½ cup Only Plant Based Chipotle Mayo

Stir in Only Plant Based Chipotle Mayo.  Serve hot in bowls, preferably with fresh hot corn tortillas.  

Garnish: 

½ cup Cilantro leaves, freshly chopped

½ cup Only Plant Based! Sour Cream

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cilantro on each bowl and then drizzle with OPB sour cream.

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