Sopa de Frijol (Black Bean Soup)
- ½ cup (118mL) canola oil
- ½ lb (113g) dried black beans, soaked overnight
- ½ tsp (2.5g) dried oregano
- ½ tsp (2.5g) dried cumin
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 medium onions, cut in half
- 5 cups (1185mL) water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored
- 4 cups (945mL) chicken stock
- ¼ cup (60mL) crema or sour cream
- ½ lb (113g) queso fresco or Monterey Jack, cut into ¼-in. (0.6cm) cubes, for garnish
- Fried tortilla strips, for garnish
1. Heat ¼ cup (60mL) oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beans, oregano, cumin, 3 cloves garlic, 2 onion halves, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about two hours. Remove from heat and puree in blender until smooth, at least two minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set beans aside.
2. Arrange an oven rack 4 inches (10cm) from broiler and heat broiler. Place remaining garlic clove and 1 onion half along with tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about eight minutes for garlic and tomatoes, about 16 minutes for onion. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth, at least two minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.
3. Heat remaining ¼ cup (60mL) oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Finely chop remaining onion half, add to pan, and cook, stirring, until soft, about eight minutes.
4. Add tomato puree and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly reduced, about three 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.
5. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth, at least two minutes. Stir in crema and season with salt and pepper.
6. To serve, divide soup among bowls and sprinkle with cheese and tortilla strips.