Corn tortillas have always been a go-to for outdoor adventures. You can slather them up with peanut butter and jelly at lunch, and you can make a quesadilla at dinner. But to really up your outdoor cooking game, consider frying them in strips; it’s basically like having fresh tortilla chips in the backcountry.
You could just eat fried tortillas on their own, but let’s be honest: that’s not going to fill you up. Paired with a bowl of black bean soup however, you have a meal that’s quick and easy to prepare and is going to be a little more exciting than a package of ramen.
There are two ways to go about this recipe depending on what kind of trip you’re planning on. If you’re on a shorter trip or one where weight isn’t an issue, you can opt for refried black beans as the base of the soup. Using refried black beans gives it a nice, creamy consistency.
If, however, every bit of extra weight counts, dehydrated black bean flakes will do the trick. These aren’t always the easiest to find at grocery stores, but they’re easy to order online, like from Packit Gourmet. Dehydrated flakes are great for a variety of meals – if soup isn’t up your alley, just make up some beans and put in the tortillas for some easy tacos – and they are convenient for trips as they only take a few minutes to rehydrate.
Since the quantity of water to beans might vary depending on which type you are buying, I have made this recipe based off of the quantity and consistency of beans that have already been soaked and rehydrated, so be sure to note the ratio of flakes to water that yours need to be made.
When you make this recipe, you can add or decrease the amount of water depending on what consistency of soup you want.
Black Bean Soup with Fried Tortilla Strips
Makes: about 2 portions
2 to 3 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper
1 large carrot
1 1/2 cups (about 15 ounces/440 grams) black beans in the consistency of refried beans, either from 1 can of refried black beans or reconstituted from dehydrated black bean flakes
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water
Salt and black pepper to taste
Grated/chopped cheese for topping
Cut your tortillas in half and then into small strips. Set them aside while you prepare the soup.
In a pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, chopped garlic, onion and cumin powder. Stir together and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrots and the chopped jalapeño pepper and sauté until the onion and carrots are tender.
Add in the black beans along with the water, using more or less depending on what consistency you want the soup to be. If you are using dehydrated flakes, make sure to add the amount of water indicated on the package for rehydrating them as well. Regularly stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom, bring the soup to a simmer then remove from the stove and cover.
Place a frying pan on the stove and add a little olive oil. Add the tortilla strips. Stir and flip a few times until the strips have turned a golden brown.
If you have a stash of hard cheese with you, now is the time to break off a hunk and cut it into small pieces. Serve the soup in bowls and top with the cheese and fried tortilla strips.