Cuban-Spiced Heirloom Bean Soup with Mint Crema
1. Bring 6 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add beans; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving 3 cups of the cooking liquid.
2. Heat oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or saucepot on medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and chorizo; cook and stir 7 minutes or until vegetables soften. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add oregano, cumin, garlic powder and bay leaves; cook and stir 1 minute or until fragrant.
3. Stir in chicken stock, drained beans and reserved 3 cups cooking liquid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, 3 hours or until beans are tender and soup has thickened, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. (If mixture gets too thick and beans are not covered by liquid, add water to cover.) Stir in vinegar. Season with salt, if desired.
4. For the Mint Crema, mix Mexican crema and mint in small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve soup, ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with avocado, red onion and a drizzle of Mint Crema.
To prepare with Canned Beans: Omit Step 1 and prepare recipe as directed in Step 2. Add 3 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed, 2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups Kitchen Basics® Original Chicken Stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until soup has thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar. Continue as directed above in Step 4.