It sure doesn't feel like Summer here in Michigan. There have only been a few days where the temperature has reached over 80 degrees. Some days the weather has been damp and chilly, almost like its the Fall. I am not complaining because I happen to love the chiller weather. I find myself caving soups in this unseasonably cooler Summer weather. Ancho Black Bean Tortilla Soup has become definitely a favorite soup to make. It is easy and comes together quickly.
Remember the easy homemade Mexican Vegetable Broth that I shared earlier last week? Today we are using the broth in this simple and delicious Ancho Black Bean Tortilla Soup. The ancho chiles give this soup a deep, rich layer of flavor. Ancho chiles have fruity undertones and are on the mild side. When buying the chiles at the store, look for soft and pliable chiles. If you chiles are hard and brittle, they have been sitting on the shelf to long. Older chiles will not provide much flavor at all and we don't want that for our soup.
Using dried chiles might seem like it is time consuming, but it really isn't. Simply add the chiles to a pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat and let the chiles soften. Then simply add the chiles and water to a high-speed blender and puree. It really adds so much flavor to the soup that chile powder just can't give you.
Because I am trying to eat a little healthier these days, I baked my oven corn tortilla strips in the oven with just a little drizzle of olive oil. When the corn tortillas bake in the oven, they become crunchy and hold up surprisingly well. Of course, you can use store-bought corn tortilla chips for the soup.
My favorite way to top the soup is with some the baked tortilla strips, diced avocado pieces, cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of lime juice. By sure to use your favorite tortilla soup toppings!
This is a great make-ahead meal too. Perfect for your weekday lunches. If you make the Ancho and Black Bean Tortilla Soup, be sure to tag us in your photo at #thymeandlove. We would love to see your photos!
For the Baked Tortilla Strips:
- 8 Corn Tortillas
- ½-1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
For the Soup:
- 2 Large Ancho Chiles, seeds and stems removed
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 Large White Onion, chopped
- 1-2 Jalapeños, diced small
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- Small pinch cinnamon, about ¼ Tsp
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- 2- 14.5 ounce cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 2- 15 ounce cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ Cups Corn
- 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Agave, or to taste
- Juice of ½ large Lime
- Tortilla Strips
- Diced Avocado
- Lime Wedges
- Chopped Cilantro
For the tortilla strips:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the corn tortillas into strips, about ½ inch thick. Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the strips. Toss the strips with your hands, making sure each tortilla has some of the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then flip the strips and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the strips are hard and crunchy.
- Remove from the oven and add salt to taste. Set aside until serving the soup.
For the soup:
- While the tortilla strips cook, start the soup.
- In a saucepan add the ancho chiles and 2 cups water. Bring the water to boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the chiles are soft.
- Once the chiles have soften, add them along with the cooking water to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside until needed.
- In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and jalapeño. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste; stir to coat. Pour in the reserved ancho chile puree and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the drained black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, and corn. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Carefully pour in the vegetable broth and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
- After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the agave nectar and taste for seasonings. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Once the soup is done, turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice.
- Serve as is or with the suggested toppings.