Shambar Bean Soup

Shambar is a Peruvian bean soup from Trujillo that combines beans, grains, meats, and peppers into a hearty, delicious meal, served on Mondays.

North of Lima lies the town of Trujillo. It is the capital of the La Libertad region. Twice, it was named the capital of the country or Peru and was the birthplace of the judiciary system in Peru. It’s independence from Spain was declared on December 29, 1820. Trujillo is well known for a variety of things: the marinera dance, the totora fishing boats made entirely of reed, and ruins like Chan Chan and Luna y Sol. But one thing that will always stand out in my mind is the Shambar, a bean soup that is prepared and served only on Mondays.

Because Trujillo is situated along the coast, the foods made famous are typically things that include fish and shellfish. But, they also are known for special alfajores, other bean dishes, as well as delicious stews. The Shambar Bean Soup is the only one of their dishes that has it’s very own day though.

The Shambar Bean Soup is a mixture of several types of beans and meats along with Peruvian peppers to give it a deep smoked flavor. I absolutely understand that the traditional dish includes chicken, beef, and pig parts but because I am not one to typically cook with pig ears and tails, I have tended to make this a bit more simply by limiting the meat solely to cubed pork. Also, some cooks tend to make it more red due to more pepper paste and some more green due to a larger amount of split peas.

Have you ever tasted Shambar Bean Soup? Now you can make it at home!

Please be warned, the wheat berries soak up any and all extra liquid when this is stored overnight. I would recommend that you add a couple tablespoons of water before reheating, enough that you can stir the soup easily.

Ingredients

  1. 1 red onion, finely diced
  2. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  3. 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1/4 cup aji panca paste
  7. 2 tablespoons aji mirasol paste
  8. 2 pounds pork, cubed
  9. 1/2 cup dry wheat berries, soaked overnight then drained
  10. 1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans, soaked overnight then drained
  11. 1/2 cup dry canary beans, soaked overnight then drained
  12. 1/2 cup dry pigeon peas, soaked overnight then drained
  13. 1/2 cup dry split peas
  14. 6-8 cups water or broth
  15. 1/2 cup dried fava beans, soaked overnight then drained & peeled
  16. Fresh cilantro, minced

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion in a small amount of water. Stir in garlic, cumin, salt, and black pepper and cook for another minute. Stir in the pepper pastes. Add cubed pork and allow meat to stew in the mixture for several minutes or until cooked on all sides; stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in wheat berries, garbanzo beans, canary beans, pigeon peas, and split peas. Pour in water or broth, using less if you prefer more of a stew texture and more if you prefer more of a soup texture. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer 20 minutes, then add the fava beans.
  4. Continue to simmer another 10 minutes, or until the beans are softened.
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro and canchita.

Notes

  1. I combine all the beans and wheat berries into one bowl to soak them. There is no need to soak separately. Just remember, things expand quite a bit so be sure the bowl is big enough and you have sufficient water.
  2. You could certainly make a vegetarian version of this by omitting the pork and using vegetable broth.

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