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Chochoyotes and Black Bean Soup

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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.

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Chochoyotes and Black Bean Soup

Serves 2 as a main course

Make the Black Beans:

1 ½ pounds black beans, washed and picked though

½ onion

2 stalks celery

2 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

1 handful of cilantro, stems, leaves and all

2 teaspoons sea salt

Water

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.

Garnishes:

Queso fresco

Chopped cilantro

Sour cream

Lime wedges

Assemble the Soup:

Ladle soup into warmed bowls and place chochoyotes into soup. Garnish and serve immediately.

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