Loaded Enchilada Soup
Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.
3 Dried Ancho Chili Peppers
4 cups Water
2- 28oz Can of Whole-Peeled Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup White Onion (Diced)
2 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
1 cup Frozen Yellow Corn
1-15oz Can Black Beans (Rinsed and Drained)
1 1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt to Taste
2 cups Baby Spinach
4 Small Corn Tortillas (Sliced into 1/2)
For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cup Tomatillos (Chopped)
2/3 cups Avocado (Mashed)
1/3 cup Fresh Cilantro (Loosely Packed)
2 teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 teaspoon Garlic Salt (or to taste)
1 Lime (Sliced into wedges)
1 Small Corn Tortilla (Sliced into 1/4)
Fill a small pot with the water and heat it to a boil, on your stove. Add the dried Ancho chili peppers to the water and cook until soft.
Save 1/3 cup of the reconstituting water and place it into a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic in, and saute until the onions are clear.
Puree the ancho peppers, whole-peeled tomatoes, and tomato paste together, in a blender until completely smooth.
Add the corn and black beans to the sauteed onions, and cook until the corn is no longer frozen. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cayenne and salt. Then fold in the spinach. Cook the soup until the spinach has become limp and has reduced in size.
Add the tortilla strips to the soup approx. 10 minutes before serving.
For the sauce, puree the tomatillos, avocado, cilantro, lime juice and garlic salt together until very smooth. You can either place a dollop of it on top of each bowl of soup, or put it in a squirt bottle for design making.
Toast the tortilla strips in an oven or toaster oven until crispy and slightly golden. I broke them in half and put a couple of pieces on each bowl, along with a few leaves of cilantro and a lime wedge.