Black Bean Soup with Crispy Tortillas
vegetable oil, for frying tortillas
4 (6 inch) corn tortillas
dash or two of salt
1 onion, chopped about 1/4 inch
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans (NOT drained!)
2-4 tbsp (to taste) fresh cilantro, chopped
black pepper (to taste)
lime juice (to taste)
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 medium tomato, chopped
In a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over moderately high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Add the tortillas and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp and lightly golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. (Or you could do the easy thing, like me, and pull out your deep fryer!) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortillas to paper towels to drain; season with salt. In a medium soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil used to fry the tortillas. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and their liquid and 1 1/2 cups of water. **Optional Step: You can blend one can of the soup, with its liquid, for a creamier, thicker soup. I like it this way, but you can just dump in both cans if you'd like.** Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a tortillas, cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro. Squeeze a little lime juice over the soup and serve.
Makes 4 servings.