Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
Serves 7 (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Sofrito. It's a method, really. It falls somewhere between sweating and sautéing. Take ingredients such as onion, garlic, bell pepper, and chile, and apply heat sufficient to soften. At that point, you can tweak the fire, add dry spice, and brown it to your liking. Play with it. Build things on top of it.

How to Make It

Step 1

Make the crema. Combine the sour cream, the milk, and the habanero in a small bowl. Cover and chill until about 15 minutes before serving--it's best not to put super-cold crema into your hot soup.

Step 2

Fire up a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat.

Step 3

Add the olive oil and swirl.

Step 4

Add the onion, bell pepper, green chile, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and garlic. Stir and cook for 4 minutes, until the vegetables have softened slightly.

Step 5

Add the stock and beans, bring to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes.

Step 6

Add the salt and stir.

Step 7

Ready a tabletop blender. Fill the blender pitcher halfway with the soup. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend the first batch until super-smooth. Pour into a large bowl.

Step 8

Blend the next batch a bit coarsely. If there's any remaining, don't blend it. Some textural variation is welcome here. (That said, if you like it silken, then blend it all.) Pour the super-smooth batch and the coarse batch back into the saucepan.

Step 9

Stir and return to a simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.

Step 10

Serve the soup in shallow bowls, drizzled with the crema.

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