Cold weather calls for savory, hearty, warming soup. Today, we are taking the time to make chochoyotes- tiny masa dough balls with an indentaion in the center to catch the garnishes for an extra tasty bite. And, since it is cold and rainy, we are making a thick and substantial soup complete with fresh garnishes to brighten it all up. Let’s get cooking.
Chochoyotes and Black Bean Soup
Serves 2 as a main course
Make the Black Beans:
1 ½ pounds black beans, washed and picked though
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 handful of cilantro, stems, leaves and all
2 teaspoons sea salt
Place all ingredients except water in a slow cooker. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by at least double. More water is better than less. Set your slow cooker for 6 hours. When the beans are done, remove the onion, celery, garlic, cilantro and bay leaf and discard. *This can be done 1-2 days in advance.
Make the Black Bean Soup:
3 cups cooked black beans
1 cup cooking liquid from beans
Puree 2 cups whole beans and liquid together in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Place in a small pot with the reserved 1 cup whole beans and heat gently to warm.
Make the Chochoyotes:
2 cups maseca
1 tablespoon lard
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup all purpose flour
Combine lard and all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add the water and mix by hand or with a firm spatula just until all ingredients are combined into a cohesive dough. Do not over work the dough.
Ball the dough into approximately 1 ½“ portions and roll between your palms to get them round. Press a hole in the middle and set aside. Continue until all dough is formed.
Boil in lightly salted water for 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Set aside.
Assemble the Soup:
Ladle soup into warmed bowls and place chochoyotes into soup. Garnish and serve immediately.