Saturday, March 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

2 small yellow onions
2 to 4 garlic cloves
3 ancho chili peppers, rehydrated
1 large can tomato sauce
1-2 tablespoons soup base
tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
black pepper 

1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 small can green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes 

½ bunch cilantro leaves
2 limes
grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese to taste
corn tortilla chips

Roughly chop onions, garlic, and chili peppers and place in blender. Add tomato sauce, soup base, and all the dry spices then blend until smooth. Pour this mixture directly into the slow cooker and add the diced bell pepper, corn, soaked beans, canned green chilies, and diced tomatoes. Add water if it looks too thick for your taste. Cook on low for about 10 hours.*

When the beans are fully cooked, cut tortillas into strips, toss with olive oil and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy. Turn off the slow cooker and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve soup in bowls topped with grated cheese, tortillas, and more fresh cilantro. 

*The fresher your dried beans are, the better they cook in a slow cooker. But if you are using beans you've had on the shelf for a couple months, just be aware that they might take longer to cook. You'll just have to experiment a bit to find the right cooking times for your particular slow cooker and beans. 

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