- 2 to 4 guajillo chili peppers*
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ cup (4 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) hominy, rinsed and drained
- 32 ounces (4 cups) vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided
- 1 lime, halved
- Recommended garnishes: sliced avocado, shredded green cabbage, chopped radish, onion and/or jalapeño
- Cut off the stem ends of the chilis and shake/flick the chilis to remove as many seeds as possible (it’s ok if some remain). Rinse them and pat them dry.
- Heat an empty Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat until a few drops of water evaporate quickly from the pan. Toast the chilis in the dry pan, pressing them flat with a spatula for a few seconds until fragrant, then flip them over and press them again for a few seconds. Remove the toasted chilis and set them aside for now.
- In the same pot (still over medium heat), warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant while stirring, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, while stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the toasted chili peppers, bay leaf, hominy, beans, vegetable broth and water to the pot. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove the chili peppers and bay leaf from the soup and discard them. Stir the cilantro and juice of ½ lime into the soup. Taste, and add more salt (I usually add at least ¼ teaspoon more) and/or lime juice if necessary. For extra richness, add a little splash of olive oil and stir it in.
- Cut the remaining lime into small wedges. Divide the soup into bowls and garnish with lime wedges and other garnishes of your choice.