Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

black bean tortilla soup

From December 15, 2005:  This is a recipe I revamped and prepared last night.  It was yummy.  I didn’t bother to strain the black beans, but will probably do that next time to remove the skins.  Next time, I will also add some cumin.  I roasted a serrano chile along with the onion and garlic.  It added a nice little heat to the soup.  I think a fresh pico de gallo (with tomato, onion, chile, cilantro, and lime juice) would make an excellent topping for this soup.  Avocado slices would be good too.  Feel free to add more vegetable stock if you like a thinner soup.

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

1 1/4 cups ( 1/2 pound) rinsed dried black beans (not soaked)
Salt
1 sprig epazote, optional
3 garlic cloves
1 onion, peeled and halved
4 cups vegetable stock
6 corn tortillas
Oil for frying
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
12 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (monterey jack or pepper jack works fine too)

1. Put the beans in a large pot and add 2 quarts water and the epazote, if using. Bring to a boil, cover almost completely and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.  Season to taste with salt.

2. In batches, purée the beans with cooking liquid in a blender. Strain back into the large pot; discard the bean skins.

3. Roast the garlic and onion in a hot (cast iron) skillet until spotted with brown. Purée the garlic and onion in a blender with 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock.  Add to the bean purée.

4. Add the remaining vegetable stock to the strained black bean purée. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt.

5. Cut the tortillas in half and cut each half into thin strips. Heat one-half inch oil in a small skillet, add the tortilla pieces a few at a time and fry, turning at least once, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls.  Top with tortilla strips, cilantro and cheese.

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