notes from the mexican kitchen
Mexican Weekend/

A Delightful Soup to Welcome Spring

Around here, it’s always soup weather.

With the arrival of spring temperatures, this Banana Pepper-Leek Soup with White Beans and Crispy Chorizo, hits all the right notes.

Light-green banana peppers (versions in Mexico are called chile güero or xcatic) brighten things up, while the aromatic creaminess of slowly cooked leeks and beans provide enough substance  to beat whatever chill is left in the air.

And crispy chorizo never hurt anyone.

Crema de Chile Güero y Poros con Alubias y Chorizo
Servings: 6cups, serving 4 as a light meal
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Ingredients

  • 6ounces (about 3/4 cup) Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed
  • 1 1/2pounds (about 6 medium) leeks, roots cut off, cut in half lengthwise, thoroughly washed through all the layers, each half sliced crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1pound (about 6) fresh güero chiles (aka hot or mild banana peppers), stemmed, seeded and sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick
  • 215-ounce cans white beans, drained OR 3 ½ cups home-cooked white beans, drained (divided use)
  • 1quart chicken broth
  • Salt
  • A handful of cilantro or flat leaf parsley leaves, for serving OR a few tablespoons grated Mexican queso añejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan, for serving OR a few tablespoons Mexican crema, sour cream, crème fraiche or Greek-style yogurt, for serving

Instructions

In a large (5- to 6-quart) soup pot, cook the chorizo over medium heat, stirring to break up any clumps, until it’s crispy, about 10 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, scoop the chorizo onto a paper towel to drain, leaving behind as much fat as possible.

Scoop the leeks and chiles into the pot, cover and return to medium heat.  Let cook, uncovering to stir from time to time, until the leeks and chiles are very soft, about 10 minutes.  Uncover and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks and chiles look thoroughly melted and are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes more.  Scrape the leek mixture into a blender jar, add 1 can (or 1 ¾ cup) of the beans and the chicken broth.  Blend until smooth and return to the pan.

Add the remaining can of beans to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Taste and season with salt, usually a scant teaspoon depending on the saltiness of your broth and beans.  Let simmer for a few more minutes to blend the flavors, then ladle into warm soup bowls, sprinkle with the crispy chorizo and garnish with the herb leaves, cheese or crema—whatever you have.  Soup’s on.

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