Lobio with Onions

As promised, another variation of lobio!  This one is called lobio with onions, and is completely different from the first bean recipe I posted.  

You will need:
  • 1 lb (500 g) dry pinto beans
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of saffron
  • cilantro (I forgot to measure it, but it was a medium handful - 1 ounce/30 g?)
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Soak the beans overnight and cook according to package directions.  I actually had made a large batch of beans earlier in the week, so I was using up leftovers.  This is perfectly acceptable, or in a pinch, you can use canned pinto beans.  I recommend the texture and taste (and price!) of dry beans, though.

Coarsely chop the onion and garlic (if using).  It doesn't have to be perfect.  You'll see why in a minute.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven.  When it begins to shimmer, add the onion.  If you are adding garlic, add this in when the onion is already soft and saute just until it becomes fragrant.

When the onion is tender and lightly caramelized, add the beans and a small amount of the cooking liquid.

Stir the beans and onions together and cook for about 10 minutes.  Then add the cinnamon, cloves and saffron.  Salt and pepper the beans to taste.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then comes the fun part.  Ready?

Using an immersion blender (or potato masher, if you don't have a blender), puree the beans.  Be careful not to splash the hot liquid on yourself!  Blend or smash them to an even consistency.  They should be a thicker than a soup, but runnier than, say, refried beans.  Somewhere in the middle.  So if they are too thick, add a little more cooking liquid from the beans.  If they are too runny (like mine were) reduce them a bit by simmering uncovered on the stove for another 10 minutes.  The lobio will thicken somewhat as it cools, so don't be too concerned about getting the perfect consistency right away.

Just before serving, stir in the cilantro (finely chopped).

Sprinkle a little extra cilantro on the top as a garnish and dig in!
We served it with mchadi, salad and pickles.  But it would be equally good with crusty bread of any kind and salad.  I would probably eat it by itself too.  But that's just me...

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