The chilly holiday weather calls for a warm and cozy meal cuddled up next to a fireplace. Bring on the classic tortilla soup! This hearty stew never fails to please during the holiday season, and today we would like to provide you with a delicious recipe to make tortilla soup with pinto beans at home.
Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans
Adding pinto beans makes this more of a main dish soup, but it could be even heartier with more greens and vegetables added.
- 3 large dried New Mexico chiles (or pasilla or ancho chiles)
- 1 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or to taste)
- 4 cups vegetable broth or no-chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups pinto beans, cooked
- salt to taste
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges
- 1 ripe large avocado, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 4 cups chopped spinach, chard, or kale leaves (packed)
- Toast the chiles. If you have a gas stove, you can hold them with tongs over the flame one at a time for a few seconds until fragrant. But if like me you use an electric stove, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat and press them flat for a few seconds on each side.
- When the chilies are cool enough to handle, stem and seed them, tear them into pieces, and put them in a blender along with tomatoes and their juice.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Spray lightly with olive oil (optional) and add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour it all into the blender along with the chipotle powder and process until smooth.
- Return the pot to medium heat. When hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. (Careful–watch for hot, bubbling “eruptions”!) Add broth, water, oregano (if using), and drained pinto beans. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the tortillas. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut each tortilla in half (can be done in a stack if you have a sharp knife). Then cut each half into 1/4-inch wide strips. Place the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool uncovered until soup is ready.
- Add spinach (or chard or kale) to the soup and season with salt to taste, depending on the saltiness of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes for spinach, longer for chard or kale.
- Ladle the soup into 6 soup bowls. Divide avocado and tortilla chips among the bowls. Serve warm, with lime wedges.