Gringo Tomato Bean Soup

So, the other day, Jocelyne and I were at the gym working out and we had the television on a food channel. Pati Jinich was making a tomato bean soup aka: ( Tarascan Soup ) and it made my mouth water. I thought, hmmmm..I’m going to have to try this recipe. Thank you for the inspiration,Pati!

I’m calling it gringo because my version is by no means authentic Mexican cuisine. It is also not TexMex either. The thing you need to understand is that, in Canada, you can’t always find the proper ingredients to make authentic stuff. And if you can find the proper ingredients, it’s likely to be expensive.

For instance, fresh tomatoes at this time of year are running at around $4.50 a pound. In Charlottetown, pinto beans are almost impossible to find. So, one has to make due with what one can find. It would cost a small fortune to make this soup authentic.

So, here is what I did:

  • One 796ml can of diced tomatoes – no salt added
  • 3 cups of chicken stock – I just happened to have some homemade stuff in the freezer.
  • One ancho chili – de-stemmed and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic – smashed but left whole
  • One small onion – rough chop
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • One 540ml can of white kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of salsa – Optional; I just happened to have some leftover fresh tomato salsa from earlier that day.
  • One tsp of ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • One tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • Half a cup of 10% mf cream – also called half and half
  • 1/2 and avocado – diced
  • Handful of tortilla chips – crunched up
  • Another ancho chili for a topping – de-seeded and stem removed

Directions:

The first thing I did was put the chicken stock into a pot and started to heat it up on medium. Then I added the ancho chili and the garlic to the pot. Once it came to a boil, I turned down the heat then I covered the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Even though the ancho chili had softened, I found the skin to be quite tough and leathery. So, I scraped the ancho chili meat from the skin with a spoon and tossed the skin out.

Next, I added the olive oil to another bigger pot and heated it up. Then I took the second ancho chili which I cut into ribbons and tossed it in the oil for about two seconds and placed them on a piece of paper towel.

In a blender ( I actually used a Nutri-bullet) I put half the can of diced tomatoes, half the onion, and a bit of the chicken stock/chili/garlic mixture and gave it a good whiz. Then I poured this directly into the pot with the hot oil I used to fry the ancho chili. I then repeated whizzing the other half of the tomatoes, onions, and stock and added that to the pot. I brought this mixture to a boil, then turned down the heat and let it simmer.

While the tomato mixture was simmering, I put half the can of beans in the blender along with half the amount of salsa, and half the amount of chicken stock. I gave this a good whiz and added it to the tomato mixture. Then I repeated whizzing the rest of the beans, salsa, and remaining chicken stock and added that to the mix.

Once everything was simmering nicely, I gave it a taste and thought it needed something. So, I added the salt, pepper, chilli powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Once I was satisfied with the flavour I went to the next step of creating toppings.

For the cream part of the toppings, I just took some sour cream and mixed it with a light cream. That’s it.

I already fried the ancho chili and just happened to have a bag of leftover tortilla chips that weren’t really chips anymore ( you know how you get to the bottom of the bag and it’s mostly crumbs) so that turned out to be perfect for this application. And don’t forget the avocado- it works well in this dish.

Ladle soup into bowls then add the cream ( make it decorative for curb appeal). Next add the chips, then the avocado, then the fried anchos.

Enjoy with a nice cold beer 🍺

Remember to cook with love in your heart – the food will taste better ❤️

If you try this recipe and want to share please put your comments in the section below. Thanks!

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