Sopa de frijoles (latin american bean soup)

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
500 grams Pinto beans; or mixed dried
; beans
110 grams Pancetta; bacon or lardons,
; diced
2 Onions; chopped
2 larges Carrots; diced
2 Celery sticks; diced
4 Garlic cloves; chopped
3 tablespoons Sunflower or vegetable oil
1 Heaped tbsp cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Dried oregano
2 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons Dry sherry
Juice 1 lime
Salt and pepper
3 Sprigs parsley
2 Sprigs thyme
2 Bay leaves
1 small Spri rosemary; (optional)
150 millilitres Soured cream or creme fraiche
1 Avocado; peeled, stoned and
; diced at the last
; minute
6 Spring onions; thinly sliced
2 Red chillies; deseeded and very
; finely chopped
A small bunch of coriander; roughly chopped
2 Limes; cut into wedges

FOR THE BOUQUET GARNI

TO SERVE

1 Tie the herbs for the bouquet garni together with a length of string.

Soak the beans for four hours and drain thoroughly.

2 Sweat the pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bouquet garni in the oil over a low heat for 10-15 minutes.

3 Add the beans and enough water to cover by about 7.5cm/3in. Boil hard for 10 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1-2 hours while covered, until the beans are very tender.

4 Add the cumin, oregano, tomatoes, sherry, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and crushing the beans against the side of the pan, until you have a thick soup, studded with whole beans. 5 Remove the bouquet garni. Taste and adjust the seasoning (starchy beans appreciate plenty of salt).

6 Reheat the soup thoroughly when ready to serve, adding a splash of water if it seems overly thick. Put all the serving bits and bobs into small bowls and arrange in the centre of the table.

7 Ladle the hot soup into bowls and pass around, while the garnishes can be served from another set of bowls.

Converted by MC_Buster.

Recipe by: Sophie Grigson's Herbs Converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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