Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup with Cashew Queso
Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.
6-8 corn tortillas
3 tbls olive oil
1.5 tsp fine sea salt (+ more to taste)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 chipotle chile or 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or favorite chile powder)
1 -14 oz can of tomatoes
5 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups cooked black beans (or 1 x 400 g tin, drained and rinsed)
2 handfuls spinach leaves or other leafy greens
Plenty of ground black pepper
To serve: fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, thinly sliced avocado, lime wedges and cashew queso.
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours (** See note)
1/2 cup water
1.5 tbls lemon juice
3 tsp nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
1/2 tsp salt (+ more to taste)
Paprika to garnish, if desired
For the soup: Set your oven to 350F/180C. Cut your tortillas in half and then into thin matchsticks. Toss them on a baking tray with 2 tbls of olive oil and a good pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, cook the onion and garlic with the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat till softened (4-5 min). Add the chile and spices, and fry for a minute till fragrant before adding the tomatoes and cooking till slightly thickened (5 min). Add half the stock and use a stick blender or traditional blender to puree the soup till smooth. Return to stove, add remaining stock, salt and black beans and bring to a simmer to cook for a further 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Just before serving add the spinach and cook till wilted (1 min).
Serve hot with a handful of tortilla strips, fresh coriander, avocado, a lime wedge and a spoonful of cashew queso.
The soup base will keep airtight and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for a lot longer. Toppings are best made fresh.
For the queso: Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor till completely smooth. Taste and add more salt if desired. Store in the fridge till needed. Will keep airtight refrigerated for up to 5 days.