This Pinto Bean Soup (Sopa Tarasca) has a reward-to-effort ratio that's off the charts. By keeping just a few key ingredients on hand you'll always have the option of turning this popular soup into a whoa-what-is-this meal.
Not pictured in the above photo is the whisper of heat added from a chipotle in adobo. No need to add too much spice to this dish as it seems to work best when the chipotle is quietly announcing its presence.
But first things first, get those tomatoes roasting in the oven at 400F. In 15-20 minutes they'll look like this:
Add them to a blender along with 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, and a small chipotle with the seeds scraped out (or half of a larger chipotle).
Combine well and saute this tomato mixture in a dollop of oil over medium heat.
As this reduces down for a few minutes, combine 2 cups of pinto beans with 2 cups of stock in a blender. If you're using canned beans be sure to drain and rinse them first.
Add the bean puree from the blender to the tomato mixture and combine well. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano. The Mexican oregano seems to work really well in this dish, but it won't make or break it if you don't have any around.
Let this simmer for 5-10 minutes and take a final taste for salt. I added another generous pinch to this batch.
You've got lots of options for garnish, but at the very least consider adding a dash of acidity in the form of hot sauce or lime juice. Both work really well in this hearty soup.
And of course, you can't go wrong by adding some Crema, finely diced cilantro stems, and another crack of black pepper.
This is one of the simplest Mexican soups to make and yet it has such a rewarding flavor. I'm a big fan of the reward-to-effort ratio!
I dip a piping hot cheese quesadilla into the soup and that usually puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Simply add shredded cheese to half of a flour tortilla, fold onto itself, and cook each side in a dry skillet over medium heat until it starts to turn golden brown. You can also get creative with the quesadilla and make them heartier if you want to.
Okay, you've officially added Sopa Tarasca to your repertoire! I'll put the recipe box below.
Let's take a look at another Mexican classic...Chicken Tortilla Soup. Click 'Next Recipe' down below to continue.
Pinto Bean Soup -- Sopa Tarasca
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small chipotle in adobo
- 2 cups pinto beans
- 2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Crema (or heavy cream, or sour cream)
- finely diced cilantro stems (optional)
- lime juice (or hot sauce)
- Roast 3 plum tomatoes in the oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes
- Add the roasted tomatoes to a blender along with 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 small chipotle in adobo with the seeds scraped out. Combine well.
- Saute tomato mixture in a dollop of oil over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a blender add 2 cups of pinto beans along with 2 cups of stock and combine well. (When using canned beans I usually drain and rinse them first.)
- Add bean puree to the tomato mixture along with 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano. Combine well and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Take a final taste for seasoning. (I added another pinch of salt to this batch.)
- Serve immediately and garnish with your choice of Crema, lime juice, hot sauce, finely diced cilantro stems, and freshly cracked black pepper.