I’m coming up for air. I’ve spent the past couple of days working on the redesign of Fatfree Vegan Recipes, the website that spawned this blog. Although the really tricky stuff like coding and css and, for all I know, nuclear particle acceleration was done by a very talented web designer at E. Webscapes, I’ve had the incredibly mind numbing (and eye straining and finger cramping) job of copying and pasting all of the old recipes into the new format.
I’ve had my daughter helping me, and so far we’re only up to number 76 of 1300, a realization that makes me want to run screaming into the street. I don’t trust myself to do any more right now (letters are starting to slide around on the screen), so I thought I’d take a break from all that and post you a recipe.
Unfortunately, posting a recipe requires looking at a screen, and the letters are starting to slide around here too (a few are even break dancing). So excuse me if I’m too brief or misspell or suddenly start swearing like Gordon Ramsay. This soup was delicious, and it deserves better treatment than I can give it right now, but thems the breaks.
The short story behind it is that I saw it, or the one it’s based on, in Eating Well magazine, and couldn’t resist making it, with a few changes:
- Instead of tofu I used pinto beans.
- Then I doubled the amount of pinto beans because I wanted it main-dishier (see, I’m making up words; swearing can’t be far behind).
- I used Mexican oregano instead of epizote because I like Mexican oregano and don’t have any epizote.
- I added chipotle powder because I wanted it to be spicier (without it, it’s deeply chile-flavored but not spicy at all).
- I divided it into 6 servings instead of 8 because my family and I eat like pigs (only messier) and because I wanted it to be main-dishier (see #2).
I hope you’ll enjoy it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go take a walk before I get back to swearing at my computer screen.
Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans
- 3 large dried New Mexico chiles (or pasilla or ancho chiles, see note below)
- 1 15-ounce can 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 cooked pinto beans (or canned, drained)
- salt to taste
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 large lime cut into 6 wedges
- 4 cups chopped spinach chard, or kale leaves (packed)
- 1 ripe large avocado cut into 1/4-inch cubes (optional, but very good)
- 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. (See Notes below for using chile powder instead.)
- 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. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon if it starts to stick. 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.
Nutritional info is approximate.
Pinable image below:
Neha shahSeptember 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm
This was lovely; thank you. I mixed pinto and black, left out the water, added more chili powder and a lot of cilantro. Next time I will also add corn.
AnnieOctober 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm
I, for one, can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate all you do to make my whole foods plant based no refined oils lifestyle easy and wonderful. If I could help you with copying and pasting, I’d do it. Hugs to you and Happy Halloween.
Susan SimonOctober 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm
This was unbelievably delicious and I will make it again. I added too much heat with the chili peppers so I cooked a cup of brown rice and added it in. I used kale instead of spinach and threw in some mild canned chili peppers that I wanted to use up. This is so rich tasting, so flavorful, and the best part is, I ate it for lunch and have a huge pot left at home. Thank you so much – it is wonderful!!!
العاب ماريوAugust 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm
thank you for sharing this lovely meal it s really delicios meal i like it so much i will try it defintlly it look so profissionel i dont knw if i can make it exacly but i ll try thank you for posting waiting for more exiting things
AlisonFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm
I love your site and everything I’ve made from it…except for this. It is inediblely spicy and has a bitterness too. I’m going to try refrigerate it tonight and try to fix it tomorrow. Any advice? I followed the recipe to the letter.
Susan VoisinFebruary 2, 2015 at 8:52 pm
Sorry about that, Alison. I guess chiles vary in spiciness because when I make this, it isn’t very spicy (to my taste). You could try adding more beans and maybe some corn to dilute the flavor. A pinch of sweetener might help with the bitterness. Or maybe some chopped sweet potato.
CarolDecember 11, 2015 at 11:46 am
I would like to thank you for all the delicious recipes that you have provided on your blog. My husband and I have eaten many of them.
I have also passed your site on to many of my family and friends.
Your hard work is very much appreciated and I wanted to tell you that.
MollyDecember 11, 2015 at 10:46 pm
This looks great!
Ay yi yi, there has got to be a better way than copy and paste. Are the old site’s recipes stored in any kind of database? If so, surely a smart computer sciencey kid can come up with a way of exporting and importing the tables for you.
gamesbarqMarch 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm
This sounds great. I have some black beans (with extras for later) on and I may substitute them for the pintos just because I’ll have them ready.
hereJuly 22, 2016 at 10:44 am
I’m not vegan, but I am always interested in tasty, lowfat recipes. This is a good one — with the addition of a bit more chili powder and cumin. I am a lover of spicy food.
MarkJanuary 4, 2017 at 7:01 pm
Thyis is a bit confusing to me Susan. Do you add the onion & garlic to teh blender where you blended the tomato and chiles, then blend them all again and sieve into a puree?
Susan VoisinJanuary 4, 2017 at 8:10 pm
Yes, except for the sieving part. I put the chilies and tomatoes into the blender, add the cooked onion and garlic, purée it all, and pour it back into the pan you cooked the onions in.
MarkJanuary 7, 2017 at 5:18 pm
I guess the guajillo and anchos aren’t so bad, but I use Arbols in a lot of the things I make and if you don’t sieve them you get these little pieces of pepper skin taht seem like plastic confetti in the dish.
I’m trying to make a batch of Jeff Novick’s burgers spiced Mexican Then I’m going to put them into this base to make my al-bean-digas soup.
BarbApril 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm
I made this for lunch today. I did not vary from your expert guidance. I used guajillo chile, and it was light & mild. Tender kale from the garden was in good company in this soup.
BarbApril 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm
Oops. Yes – we loved it and will make again. 5 Stars!!!!!
Mary From MichiganFebruary 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm
Loved this post….u r too funny, and love how down-to-earth you are!
Susan VoisinFebruary 19, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Awww, thanks! ☺️
maqalaJuly 25, 2022 at 9:04 am
then blend them all again and sieve into a puree?