I used a pound of dried black beans for this. I rinsed them and put them in the crockpot, filled it with water, and left them to cook on low for 11 hours (overnight). I drained them, and rinsed them, and then put them in the fridge until it was time to maker dinner.
For the broth, I defrosted 2 cups of homemade chicken stock. I pureed the black beans and stock together in my blender - it took about 3 batches to puree all of them. In to the last batch, I added 1/2 cup of salsa fresca and 2 chopped roma tomatoes. I used a lot less salsa than DarcyLee's recipe called for because Sabrina and Niko are both very picky about spicy food. I also only used 1 tsp of cumin (and could still smell it very heavily), and also added in 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of onion powder. The soup seemed very thick at this point, probably because I didn't add as much salsa, so I poured in half a can of fat-fee reduced-sodium chicken broth. I brought this to a simmer and let it cook until the hubby got home from work... probably about 30 minutes.
For toppings, I served lime wedges, shredded cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar jack), chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, sour cream, and tortilla strips. To make the tortilla strips, I took a stack of 4 corn tortillas, cut them in half, and then cut each half into half-inch thick slices. Fry them up until golden brown, and drain on a paper towel. This gave it a nice bit of crunch and chewiness like in a tortilla soup.
Everyone really enjoyed it, saying that it tasted like a bean burrito in a bowl. My hubby told me to include it in our binder of family recipes, but to make a note to double the recipe next time. Everyone wanted seconds, and there just wasn't enough!
Thanks for the great idea, DarcyLee. We love trying out new recipes.