“Mexican” Bean Soup

Adapted from 30-minute meals (California Culinary Academy series).  San Francisco, CA: Chevron Chemical Company, 1986. This thin paperback cookbook was a great resource for me when I was first married. It provided all the steps to produce an interesting meal in 30 minutes, complete with sides.

In those days we ate meat every day for dinner, except during lent! So this soup was always made with chicken. Now, I consider the chicken to be optional.

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion (red or yellow), diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 15-oz. can, rinsed
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 chicken breast, diced (or cooked chicken)
1 green chili or Italian frying pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
dash of cinnamon
minced cilantro

Optional toppings:
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped avocado
diced tomato
shredded radish
sour cream

In a large pot, saute the onions, carrots and peppers until tender.

Add the raw chicken and spices (except the cilantro) and saute until just cooked through. If using cooked chicken just cook the spices a minute, until fragrant and add the chicken with the beans & broth.

Mash the beans a little. Add the beans and broth. Simmer 10 minutes.

I like to stir in about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream before serving.

Serve with toppings on the side.

Add a nice salad and some warmed tortillas.