Thanks to Rancho Gordo I have been discovering many new kinds of beans this year. There haven’t been any I haven’t liked, but some really stand out from the crowd. The Ayocote Negro is one of those. This week, faced with rainy weather and homemade chicken stock I had in my freezer, I decided to make a soup using the Ayocote beans. And I am so glad I did! This soup is light, but hearty enough to fill you up and give you energy. The jalapeños and the cumin give it a great level of heat and flavor that complements the simple, delicious vegetables and the large toothsome beans.
Ayocote Negro & Vegetable Soup
1 lb ayacote negro beans (or any bean of your choice)
1 bay leaf
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1-2 jalapeños, minced
3-4 teaspoons ground cumin
5 celery stalks, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch cooking greens, chopped (red kale, lacinato, swiss chard, green cabbage, etc.)
Optional: sour cream, cilantro, diced avocado
If using dried beans, cover generously with cold water and soak overnight in a bowl. The next day, drain, rinse, and add the beans to a large pot. Cover generously with water, add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately one hour, or until the beans are just tender.
Drain the beans and set aside.
Rinse out your large pot and return to medium heat. When warm, add the olive and allow to warm. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeños, cumin, celery, and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring frequently for about 10-15 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
Add the tomatoes and their liquid, the beans, and the stock. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, then add the greens and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the all vegetables are tender.
If desired, garnish with sour cream, fresh cilantro, and/or diced avocado.