This Tarascan soup is primarily made with home-cooked beans with the addition of some chiles and tomatoes for flavor. I have included this soup recipe because it’s easy to make, it’s made with traditional ingredients, and it’s a crowd-pleaser. Although very simple, it is one of the most delicious soups from the region of Michoacán. In Pátzcuaro you can find several versions of this soup, and every cook seems to believe they have the “original” version. After investigating, I’m not certain who made the authoritative version, but I can assure you that the indigenous Purépecha people have had some sort of bean soup as a staple in their cooking repertoire for ages. What I do know for sure is that this soup will warm up your supper table on any given night.
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 guajillo chile, deseeded, leave in one piece
2 pasilla chiles, deveined and deseeded, cut into rings
½ white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 roasted tomatoes
1 cup cooked beans*
1 cup bean broth from your cooked beans
5 cups chicken stock
¼ teaspoon marjoram
2 to 4 fresh epazote sprigs
Garnish with crema Mexicana, queso fresco, or quesillo; fried tortilla strips; fried pasilla chiles; and avocado
*Bayo or Rosamorada beans work best; use pinto if you can’t find those better options. For best results, always use home-cooked beans.
In a large pot, heat up the oil, add the guajillo chile and pasilla chile rings, and fry until the chiles darken. Pull them out and set aside. Set aside half of the fried pasilla rings for garnish.
In the same pot, with the remaining oil, sauté the onion and garlic until golden brown. Add the tomatoes. Sauté the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, smashing the tomatoes as you cook them. Then add the fried guajillo, half of the fried pasilla, beans, bean broth, chicken stock, marjoram, and epazote. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Next, puree the soup with an immersion blender, food processor, or blender. Add the soup back to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes over low heat, until it reaches a creamy consistency. Serve warm with garnish.
Notes: This soup should be creamy and light. If it is too thick, add more chicken stock or a bit of water. It is best made with home-cooked beans. If you want to use canned beans instead, rinse them well and discard the broth they came with as it will make the soup too salty. Substitute 1 cup of water for this discarded broth.