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Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans

3 large dried New Mexico chiles (or pasilla or ancho chiles)tortilla-soup1

1 15-ounce can diced organic tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular oregano will do)

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or to taste)

4 cups organic vegetable broth

4 cups water

3 cups organic pinto beans, cooked and drained

4 cups chopped organic kale leaves (packed)

salt to taste

6 organic corn tortillas

1 large organic lime, cut into 6 wedges

1 ripe large avocado, cut into 1/4-inch cubes


Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat pressing them flat for a few seconds on each side until they are browned. When the chilies are cool enough to handle, stem and seed them, tear them into pieces, and put them in a blender or food processor along with tomatoes and their juice.

Spray a large non-stick soup pot and heat to medium; sauté onion and garlic until onions are tender; put in food processor with peppers and tomatoes; add oregano and chipotle powder; process until smooth. Return puree to pot and cook over medium heat stirring nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 10 minutes; add broth, water and pinto beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. 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 crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool uncovered until soup is ready.

Add 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 5 minutes.

Place avocado and tortilla strips in the bottom of serving bowls; ladle soup on top and serve with lime wedges.