Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pintos and Ham

Pinto soup with tortilla chips and cilantro
I'm running 4 miles with a friend later this morning so I prepared a pinto bean and ham soup when I woke up to have ready for lunch.  I like having a hearty soup waiting on a back burner of my stove.  This is another soup recipe that I no longer measure ingredients as it doesn't really matter. 

Rinse and soak 2-3 cups of pinto beans over night.  The following morning, at your leisure, after you've had your morning caffeine, drain and rinse the beans and place in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover.

Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.  Let the pressure cooker naturally release.  I use a Lorna Sass pressure cooker and my times tend to be 10 minutes more than her book.  Use my 45 minutes as a guide.  I live at about 800 feet above sea level.  You might need 10 minutes more or less.

Pintos after cooking for 45 minutes
When you've finished your second cup of coffee and the kids are settled down, find the rest of the ingredients and proceed to the next step.  What you include is really up to you. At this point, you have cooked pintos, the rest is flavoring choice.

Onion, cumin powder, pepper, salt, cumin seed, garlic, jalapeno, smoked paprika
Mince onion and pepper into a fine dice.  Over medium high heat, fry onions and peppers until soft in oil.  Add cumin seeds, paprika, cumin powder, salt, and pepper. 

Cook until nice and soft. 

Add beans and liquid to your medium sauce pan.  Let simmer to reduce some of the liquid and to let the flavors mingle. 

I also added minced ham, and while I was in the fridge looking for ham, I found a container with shredded carrots that I added to the mix. 

Up to this point, this preparation took about 2 casual hours of low intensity attention.  At 11:00, I put a lid on the soup and moved it off the heat.  When I got back home from my run, I put the soup back on a burner to reheat (which took just a minutes) and served with cilantro and tortilla chips.  The color in the photo looks a bit blah, I think it's the steam from the soup that masks some of the color.

I like a few splashes for hot sauce in mine for a bit of a kick.


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