This long-simmered soup matches spiced black beans with a roasted tomato purée. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Patricia Quintana's article Soup Country.
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil
- 8 oz. black beans, soaked overnight
- 1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 medium white onions, each cut in half
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄4 cup crema or sour cream
- 8 oz. queso fresco, cut into 1/4″ cubes
- Fried tortilla strips, to garnish
Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beans, oregano, cumin, 3 cloves garlic, 2 onion halves, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Remove from heat, and puree in a blender until smooth, at least 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, and set beans aside.
Arrange an oven rack 4″ from broiler, and heat broiler to high. Place remaining garlic and 1 onion half along with tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 8 minutes for garlic and tomatoes, about 16 minutes for onion. Transfer to a food processor, and puree until smooth, at least 2 minutes; pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, and set tomato puree aside.
Heat remaining oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Finely chop remaining onion half, add to pan, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomato puree, and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add beans and stock, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 45 minutes. Puree soup in blender until very smooth, at least 2 minutes; stir in crema, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, divide soup among serving bowls, and sprinkle with cheese and tortilla strips.