Southwestern Pork and Bean Soup

Southwestern Pork and Bean Soup

Why this recipe works: pork – based soups often use tough cuts of meat from the shoulder or hind area of the hog. While flavorful, these cuts require hours of simmering before they becomes tender. In this dish, we use pork tenderloin, which only requires about five minutes of cooking and plenty of aromatic ingredients to give our soup a robust taste. Building the flavor profile of the broth is key: after browning the pork and creating fond, we soften corn, scallion whites, and an Anaheim chile in the Dutch oven. With our foundation in place, we add heft with beans and chunky salsa. A topping of fried corn tortilla strips and crunch to this spicy soup.

Ingredients: serve 4
¼ cup vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, halved and cut into ¼ inch strips salt and pepper
1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), cut into ¾ inch chunks
1 cup corn kernels
1 Anaheim chile, seeded and chopped
6 scallions, sliced thin
1 (16 – ounce ) can black, pinto, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup chunky salsa
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups low – sodium chicken broth

  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium – high heat until shimmering. Fry tortilla strips, stirring often, until crisp and deep golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to paper towel – lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add pork to oil in pot and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer pork to bowl and set aside. Add corn, chile, and scallion whites to pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans, salsa, ½ cup cilantro, and broth and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer over medium heat until soup is slightly thickened and flavors meld, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in browned pork, along with any accumulated juices, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Top soup with scallion greens, remaining cilantro, and tortilla strips. Serve

Smart shopping salsa
If you don’t want to bother pulling out the food processor, or if you can’t find acceptable tomatoes, the fresh salsa in your supermarket’s refrigerated case can be nearly as good as homemade. But if you’re really looking for convenience and need a salsa with a longer shelf life, our two top salsas – medium and hot – are a descent option. Old el paso thick and chunky medium salsa, praised for its “bright, spicy flavors,” is our favorite medium variety. If you’re looking for heat, try pace chunky hot salsa, which tasters described as both “full – flavored” and “fairly spicy”.

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