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The Simplest and Best Soup I Know and the Trick to Make It Magnificent

If you love beans, you want beans. You don't want a lot of other things getting in the way. But if you're making soup, you do need to do something. My answer is to fry stale tortilla strips. I know for most of us, frying isn't something we do everyday. It can be messy and if you don't use the oil again, it's seems wasteful. I have a very small cast iron skillet and it's perfect for a small bit of frying. I also have peanut oil in an old wine bottle that I keep in the fridge between uses. I tend to use the same oil three or four times over the course of a month. Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Soup It's a slight hassle but something magical happens when you fry corn in the form of tortillas. And if you add it to the soup as a crouton, it has a wonderful texture and taste. The rest of the soup is so simple, fried tortilla strips don't seem like much of an indulgence. Fried tortilla strips for Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Soup Recipe: Sopa de Moro 1/2 yellow onion, chopped medium 2 cloves minced garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 pound Rancho Gordo Moro beans, cleaned and rinsed Sea salt 3 corn tortillas, preferably a little stale, cut into very thin strips Oil for frying 1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio Limes for garnish In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil on medium heat until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the beans and cover with about 2 inches of water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a full, rapid boil for 15 minutes. Turn the heat to low and allow the beans to gently simmer. Make sure the beans are always covered by about 2 inches of liquid, adding new water as needed. Cold water can seize the beans and slow down the cooking process, so it’s best to have a tea kettle or a pan with warm water on hand to add as needed. After about an hour, the beans should begin to soften. Add a tablespoon of sea salt and allow the beans to continue cooking until done. Total time will be between an hour and a half and 3 hours. If it’s taking too long, turn up the heat. While the beans are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet and fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil until crispy. Allow them to drain on paper towels and salt generously. When the beans are soft, correct the seasoning and add the teaspoon of Oregano Indio. Ladle into bowls and top with the tortilla strips. Serve with limes. N.B. I used Moro beans because I love them and I had them in my pantry. You could do this with most any bean. The ones with the best bean broth would be the wise choices. A slightly different version of this appeared in our newsletter using Rebosero beans.

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