When it comes to canned ingredients that can instantaneously add heaps of flavor to a weeknight meal, it's hard to beat chipotles in adobo. The chiles provide a warm glow of heat, while also infusing a bit of smokiness to each bite. On the other hand, the adobo sauce adds a vinegar tang that can cut through heavier dishes.
If you need a perfect example, this simple soup from The Other Side of the Tortilla should do it.
The chiles and adobo sauce are added to a blender along with chicken stock and black beans. Everything is pureed, before other seasonings are added. Then the soup is cooked for about 10 minutes. That's it. Of course, I couldn't help but add a little bacon to the recipe, because pork fat and black beans are dear friends. But it's the chipotles that really steal the show.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- Two 15-ounce cans of black beans, with liquid
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 white onion, chopped, divided
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from can
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- salt and pepper
- crema or sour cream
- 2 limes, quartered
Add the chopped bacon to a large pot set over medium-low heat. Cook until bacon pieces are crisp. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon, leaving as much bacon fat behind as possible. Turn off heat and drain bacon pieces on paper towels.
While bacon cooks, add the black beans, their liquid, chicken stock, one chipotole chile, and the adobo sauce to a blender. Process until smooth. Add the the garlic, half of the onion, cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Puree again until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Turn the heat of the pot to medium and pour in the pureed bean mixture. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the soup thickens and darkens, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the beans don't stick to the bottom. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped onion, sliced chipotle, crema, and fresh lime juice.