This is one of the only meatless soups that I love. To make it totally vegetarian, just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth. We use two types of whole dried chiles in this one. The ancho chiles contribute a nice mild heat, along with sweetness, and smokiness. The pasilla chiles are sometimes confused with anchos as they look similar and also have some smokiness. Their heat range can be from mild to medium.
This started out from someone else’s recipe for an ancho chile tortilla soup that was just a fine puree that had tortillas added to it at the end. I thought it was much too plain in both taste and texture, and lacked any heft, or anything to keep your interest while eating it, so I started grabbing things from the pantry, and here we have it.
Chile & Tortilla Soup with Anchos, Pasillas, Beans & Corn
- 1 Blender
- 2 medium-to-large ancho chilies stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
- 2 medium-to-large pasilla chiles stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 tbsp grape seed oil
- 1 lb ripe tomatoes (roughly 4 baseball size tomatoes), cored
- 1 medium white onion root end intact, cut into 4 wedges
- 4 medium garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 1½ tsp agave syrup
- 1 qt chicken broth
- 1 tbsp kosher salt or more to taste
- 1 tsp MSG optional for you, but not for me
- 1 tbsp garlic salt
- 1 16 oz can pinto beans strained and rinsed
- 1 15.5 oz can white hominy strained and rinsed
- 1 16 oz can garbanzo beans strained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn frozen
- 3 cups tortilla chips coarsely crumbled
- sour cream for serving
- chives diced, for serving
- In a Dutch oven over medium, toast the chilies, pressing with a wide spatula and flipping once or twice, until fragrant and a shade darker in color, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a small bowl and add the boiling water. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes.
- While the chilies soak, in the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high until shimmering.
- Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, then cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until charred all over, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer the tomatoes, onion and garlic to a blender and add the agave and 1 teaspoon salt. Drain the chilies, discarding the water, and add to the blender. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
- In the same the pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium until shimmering. Add the puree and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened in color and thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the broth, salt, black pepper, MSG, garlic salt, pinto beans, white hominy, garbanzo beans, and corn, and bring to a simmer.
- Add some crumbled tortilla chips to the bottom of serving bowls, then add soup, and top with more crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream and chopped chives.