Betsy and I made it back safely from Peru very late on Saturday night to discover that we completely skipped fall here in Colorado. When we left it was 80 degrees and sunny and when we returned it was snowing in Denver.
Yesterday I went and stocked up on squashes and yummy fall ingredients anyway and wore nothing but slippers and sweatpants all day.
For me, a big bowl of soup is about as fall/winter as it gets so I thought I’d give you all a recipe for a delicious spicy black bean soup. The soup is good, but what really makes this dish fun is the crunchy tortilla sticks I made. You have to try these guys!
For the Tortilla Sticks:
1) Add a small drizzle of vegetable oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add corn tortilla and cook for about 10 seconds per side until it is warm and flexible.
2) Remove the tortilla from the pan and let it cool slightly. Then roll it tightly into a stick and skewer it with a wooden skewer.
3) Repeat with as many corn tortillas as you like. I recommend 2-3 per serving of soup.
4) Once all your sticks are on a skewer, bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees and flip halfway through. Then let the sticks cool and finally slide them off the skewers.
For the soup:
1) Dice onions and peppers to the same size. Dice garlic and chipotle peppers very fine.
2) Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Then add onions and peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until veggies start to soften, about 5-6 minutes.
3) Add cumin, chipotle, and garlic and cook for another minute or two.
4) Add in tomatoes, black beans, and water and bring soup to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5) Using a stick blender (or transfer carefully in batches to a normal blender) blend soup until chunky, but mostly smooth.
6) Season soup with lime juice and more salt and pepper.
7) Serve soup with sour cream, grated cheese, cilantro, and tortilla sticks (or tortilla chips).
Could you just serve this soup with tortilla chips? Of course.
But these sticks are thick and really crunchy and perfect for dipping. Also, they aren’t very hard to make.
My only tip is to make more than I did. I wasn’t sure how they would turn out so I only made four of them. Betsy and I both devoured our two each and wanted at least a few more!
To start the sticks, just add a small drizzle of oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add a corn tortilla and let it heat in the oil for about 10 seconds per side. You just want it to get warm and flexible.
Then let the tortilla cool and roll it into a tight stick.
Use a wooden skewer to keep them in place as you make them. Once you get the hang of it you can make these pretty quickly.
Bake the sticks at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
Once they are done baking, let them cool. They will get really crispy as they cool. Then you can just slide them off the stick.
This is a really basic soup. While you can use dried beans for it, I used canned on this occasion because I was in a hurry.
Assuming you are also in a hurry, you’ll need this stuff.
If you’re going to be blending the soup like I did, there’s no reason to be super-careful when chopping. Just get onions and peppers roughly the same size.
Mince the garlic and chipotle a bit finer.
For the peppers, don’t chop the stems, but go ahead and use the seeds and everything.
Start cooking the soup by adding a drizzle of oil to a medium pan. Then add the onions and peppers and cook them over medium-high heat until they start to soften, about 5-6 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the garlic, cumin, and chipotles and cook for another minute or so.
Then go ahead and add in the tomatoes, drained beans, and water. Bring this all to a simmer and simmer it for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors mingle.
While you could serve this chunky, I really think it’s better if you can blend it.
The best tool for this is an immersion blender so you can just blend it in the same pot.
If you don’t have one though, you can use a normal blender. Just be careful and do it in batches. It’s always dangerous to blend hot stuff so it’s probably a good idea to let it cool for a few minutes before blending also.
Once your soup is mostly smooth, season it with lime juice and more salt and pepper and keep it warm until you’re ready to serve it!
I like to serve mine with some grated cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and some of those crunchy tortilla sticks!
This soup is not for the faint of heart. The chipotles give it a serious kick and you’ll need all the toppings and tortillas to beat the heat.
It’s a great way to ward off those first chills of fall though.