Mmm… is there anything that satisfies and satiates like a bowl of hot, filling soup on a February night? This black bean soup will become one of your kitchen staples: it's easy to make and easy to love. Black beans, whole and mashed, are seasoned, thickened with tortilla (it works, trust us) and cooked down to perfection. Topped with avocado, cilantro, and crispy tortilla strips, this will make your cold nights warm as we head into spring.
Halve and peel onion. Cut halves into ¼" dice. Mince cilantro stems and leaves. Halve tortillas and cut halves into 1/8" strips. Quarter lime. Drain and rinse black beans. Transfer half the beans to a medium mixing bowl and mash into a coarse paste.
Make the Crispy Tortillas Strips
Line a plate with a paper towel. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add tortilla strips to hot pan and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crispy, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to towel-lined plate and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Start the Soup
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and corn to hot pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized, 4-5 minutes. Add mashed black beans, whole black beans, seasoning blend, vegetable base, and 5 cups cold water. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly reduced, 10 minutes.
Finish the Soup
Stir in half the crispy tortillas strips and half the cilantro (reserve remaining of both for garnish) to soup. Simmer until soup thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15-18 minutes. Consistency should be similar to a tomato soup. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. While soup simmers, prepare avocado.
Prepare the Avocado
Halve avocado and remove pit by carefully tapping pit with the blade of your knife so it sticks. Gently twist knife to release pit. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Cut avocado flesh into ½" dice.
Plate the Dish
Serve soup in a bowl along with diced avocado. Top with remaining crispy tortilla strips and remaining cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on side.