HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Tell us about it

Tortilla Soup - Dry Beans

chowchau Oct 31, 2013 03:45 PM

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.


  1. PotatoHouse Nov 1, 2013 03:45 PM

    Black beans are common in a lot of Tortilla Soup recipes (including mine), but there are as many recipes as there are Abuelitas in the southwest.

    Funny finding this thread. I made Tortilla soup last week because I was hungry for it and my wife had never tried it.

    1. Wtg2Retire Nov 1, 2013 01:48 PM

      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.

      1. Soul Vole Oct 31, 2013 06:12 PM

        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.)

        5 Replies
        1. re: Soul Vole
          chowchau Nov 1, 2013 12:44 PM

          Thanks for all the tips! I didn't know beans were non-traditional. I like adding them because I try to eat veggies with every meal. I love the idea of adding hominy. What about giant white corn kernels? I'm fascinated by that ingredient but could never figure out how to use it.

          1. re: chowchau
            c oliver Nov 1, 2013 12:48 PM

            "Giant white corn kernels" is probably hominy. And I think that would be great in the soup. Pozole is one of my fave meals.

            1. re: chowchau
              boogiebaby Nov 1, 2013 01:01 PM

              Black beans are not a veggie. They are a legume - part of the meat and grains part on the food pyramid.

              I would just leave the beans out, or substitute kidney beans if you like beans in your soup.

              1. re: chowchau
                Soul Vole Nov 1, 2013 05:16 PM

                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!

                1. re: chowchau
                  Ttrockwood Nov 1, 2013 07:59 PM

                  I usually buy the goya brand, be sure to rinse the liquid off, its not tasty. Here's a decent image, there are many other brands as well:

              2. t
                Ttrockwood Oct 31, 2013 06:08 PM

                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....

                1. chefj Oct 31, 2013 05:41 PM

                  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

                  1. c oliver Oct 31, 2013 04:06 PM

                    I've never had beans in tortilla soup but if you want them how about pintos?

                    Show Hidden Posts