The hacienda that hosts much of the activities of our Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project was bustling with guests and meals during our last visit. For now, I have my photos, and this recipe for a very simple soup that seems much more indulgent than it actually is. It’s delicious and easy and for me, nostalgic. Please don’t try this with commodity beans. It won’t work. A simple dish like this needs the best ingredients, like Rancho Gordo heirloom beans.
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped medium
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound Rancho Gordo Rebosero, San Franciscano, or Lila 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.