Nov 01, 2013
Tortilla Pinto Bean Soup
I was feeling rather deprived because I’d never had tortilla soup! So I searched around the web for authentic tortilla soup recipes to see what they were made of and all of the soups that I saw looked kind of watery, with a tomato base. There weren’t that many ingredients in them and they looked very easy to make. So I finally made this scrumptious soup and I added beans—not authentic, I know. But you know how I love my beans! And they added a wonderful richness to a (probably) otherwise watery soup base.
I decided to use Guajillo (pronounced gwah-HEE-yoh) chile peppers in this, but you can use any dried chile peppers you like. Guajillos add a bit of heat and have a deep, rich flavor but are not overwhelmingly hot. The Guajillo pepper rates between 2,500 and 4,000 Scoville units on the heat index, slightly below the Jalapeño.
- 5 dried chile peppers, soaked
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 26 oz. carton crushed tomatoes (I use Pomi brand)
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans
- 3 TBS vegan chicken soup base (or any low sodium veggie base)
- 2 cups water
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 sweet bell peppers, chopped (I used green but red or orange would be great)
- 2 medjool dates, pits removed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1-2 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce
- 1 TBS smoked paprika
- 6 corn tortillas
- 2 avocados, sliced
- Soak the chiles for about 30 minutes to one hour, until they are tender. Set aside.
- Sauté the onion in a bit of water until tender.
- Drain off the soak water for the chiles and rinse them well.
- Add the chiles and remaining ingredients, except the dates, paprika and tortillas, to the pot, cover and simmer until the veggies are soft (about 20 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place the dates and a small amount of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the rest of the soup and blend again until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot but don’t heat it anymore.
- Cut the tortillas into strips and bake them on a cookie sheet until they are crunchy (about 10 minutes).
- Add the smoked paprika to the soup and stir to combine. You want to add the paprika last because cooking it will decrease its wonderful smoky flavor.
- Garnish each bowl of soup with tortilla strips and some sliced avocado.
Serves 4-5. Enjoy!