2 ancho chiles, soaked in hot water until soft
2 cups canned tomatoes, drained
2 corn tortillas
4 garlic cloves
1 slice of onion
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups cooked brothy pinto beans
2 tablespoons corn oil
5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
3 ancho chiles, seeded, stemmed and cut into strips
1/2 cup queso cotija
1/2 cup crema mexicana
4 tablespoons minced cilantro
Remove stems from the ancho chiles, pull open, remove and discard the seeds, then blend chiles with the tomatoes, tortillas, garlic, onion and enough chicken broth just to a smooth puree. Heat the olive oil in large heavy pot. Add the puree and cook for about 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining chicken broth, the oregano, cumin and pinto beans. Simmer for another 20 minutes to blend flavors.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the garnishes.
Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the tortilla strips in it until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Use the same skillet to fry the chile strips. Fry for about 2 minutes, until crunchy and crisp but not burned.
Crumble the queso cotija until it is in very small curds.
To serve, ladle the soup into wide bowls and scatter a generous handful of crisp tortilla strips over the top, sprinkle on some toasted chile bits, then a couple teaspoons of crema, about a tablespoon of cotija and cilantro. Serves 6