Think of this soup as a great way to use up all the leftovers from taco night- corn tortillas (of course), rice (Spanish or otherwise), grated cheese, even some pico de gallo, sour cream, or guacamole if you have it. Inspired by The Homesick Texan, but with the heat level turned down a bit, because even my crew (who eats South Indian food most nights) found the original too spicy. Also, I maximize tortilla strips (baked, instead of fried) for direct consumption and thicken the soup with cornmeal instead. The tortilla strips and tomato/chile blend can be prepared ahead of time (refrigerate the latter until needed). Serves 6 to 8.
1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 dried pasilla chile, stem and seeds removed
6-8 corn tortillas
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 t chipotle powder, optional
2 t ground cumin
2 t dried oregano
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 T cornmeal
1/2 t anchovy paste or Worcestershire sauce
1 t paprika
2 T lime juice
salt to taste
1 cup cooked rice, optional
cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, or guacamole for garnish (optional).
Cook soaked beans in 6 cups water in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours.
Place the chile in a heat proof bowl or jar and rehydrate in boiling water for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400. Brush tortillas with vegetable oil, then cut into strips. Arrange on cookie sheets lined with foil and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Reserve.
In a skillet, saute onion in oil until tender; add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Put onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, cloves, cilantro, and cornmeal in blender; blend until smooth, adding 1/2 cup bean liquid if necessary. Cook tomato mixture in skillet for five minutes, then stir into beans. Cook on high for 30 minutes. Stir in anchovy paste, paprika, lime juice, salt, and rice just prior to serving. Garnish as desired.