Wash beans and pick over. Place in large soup pot. Cover with water about 1 in. above beans. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 18-24 hours, covered. Drain well. Add 2 qts. water. Cover, add bay leaf and epazote and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep covered, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until the beans are tender but not mushy. Remove 2 C. of beans, puree them in food processor or blender, and return to soup. Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 min. or until onion is tender. Add to beans with herbs, peppers, and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream on top. Sprinkle generously with cilantro. Serves 8-10.
Gary R. Beck, San Francisco, CA., USA