Pinto Bean Soup with Queso Fresco Masa Dumplings - Dripping Springs, TX

Arrived and grounded with my darling aunt and uncle. The chance to slowly cook beans in a full kitchen with stocked fridge. A low simmer on a sunny afternoon. A wonderful change of bean pace. 

These beans are based off a recipe in Rancho Gordo Bean Club News (Q1 2022), itself inspired by Treasures of the Mexican Table. Even simplified, this would be a challenge to make in a van in an Instant Pot (there'd be masa caked up in the van forever!). 

Here goes:

Cook until done by the method of your choice, reserving the broth:
  • 1 lb (2 Cups) Pinto Beans
Meanwhile, make masa ball dumplings by kneading together until it feels like dry play-doh:
  • 1 Cup masa flour/harina
  • 3/4 Cup water
Mix with and form into 1" balls and set aside:
  • 2 Tbsp canola or safflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled queso fresco
Back at the stove, sauté in a large pot until golden (~6 minutes):
  • 2 Tbsp canola or safflower oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
Add in and sauté until fragrant (~1 minute):
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Add in and sauté until thick (~5 minutes):
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Stir in and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer:
  • Cooked and drained Pinto Beans
  • 1 Cup of bean broth
  • 4 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, then bring to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until dumplings are cooked through:
  • 4 more Cups broth
  • Masa balls
Serve in bowl topped with:
  • Crumbled queso fresca
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped mint
  • Sliced scallions
  • Seeded and chopped jalapeno
  • Crushed red pepper