Tortilla Soup - Dry Beans
I always cook my chicken tortilla soup with black beans. It's getting a little boring. What do you think would be a nice alternative? Pigeon peas? Small red beans? I like to use dried beans because I'm cheap.
I really don't think that changing the type of Bean you use will change your dish much at all other than appearance.
I have never seen Beans in a Tortilla Soup either
I've never seen beans in it either, but google tells me there are many recipes out there....
I would change up more than the bean to make it less "boring"- either kidney beans, pintos, or canellini beans. What about using chipotle in adobo for a smokey flavor, and then use tomatillos as a topping. You could make baked tortilla chips with corn tortillas and flavor with some cumin and lime juice, and in the soup use hominey instead of regular corn kernals....
I suppose most tortilla soups I've had didn't have beans but there's no rule against it. It's not Texas-style chili, just soup with tortillas in it. That covers a broad range.
How about blending the beans? Mexican chorizo goes really well in that kind of soup, also chipotle. Sopa Tarasca means a couple of things. One style involves pureed beans and fried tortillas, so you might look for recipes there.
Have you ever cooked your black beans with epazote? If not that will add a dimension of flavor.
Also try Yucatecan sopa de lima if you haven't already, a wonderful type of tortilla soup. (Now that one never has beans AFAIK.)
To clarify there's nothing non-traditional about beans in tortilla soup. It's just that sopa de tortilla -- to the extent that that means soup with tortilla in it -- covers a broad spectrum. How many soups in general have beans in them? Quite a number, but not the majority.
Here's a recipe for the style of sopa Tarasca I mentioned, in which the beans are pureed:
Like c oliver says, hominy is going in the direction of pozole so you might look to pozole recipes for ideas. It's typically accompanied by tostadas intended to be broken up into it by the diner, so you can kinda sorta consider pozole a tortilla soup.
In other words Mexican tradition validates your instincts. Have fun!
Chowchau, if you are getting tired of the chicken tortilla soup, you might like to try the Taco Soup I came up with a few years ago. Here it is.
My Taco Soup
1 1/2 lb. ground beef (or 2 pounds if you like)
1 large onion, chopped
2 16-oz cans diced tomatoes with green pepper & onion (DelMonte)
1 10-oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes & chilis
1 16-oz can hominy
1 16-oz can pinto beans (Bush's)
1 16-oz can black beans (Bush's or Progresso)
1 4-oz can diced green chilis
1 package taco seasoning mix (McCormick's)
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
Cook beef and onions until meat is browned, drain. Drain all cans except for tomatoes and Ro-Tel. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook for 2 - 2.5 hours or until hot. Can also be slowcooked on the stove for 1 hour.
Serving Ideas : Wonderful with cornbread or tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream.
Can freeze leftovers - for one serving size, freeze in small one-serving containers.
NOTES: This is the yummiest soup - just great. I normally let this cook in the crockpot all day long - the aroma is mouth watering. The brand names after the ingredients are the brand I like to use. Sooooo, be careful because this is addictive. When you have some, you'll think about it all day.