1 large fresh pasilla chile
1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes (in juice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup of cubed butternut squash
1 15-ounce can of Great Northern beans
1 15-ounce can of white navy beans
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (If you’re sensitive to spice, add 1/8 teaspoon)
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
2 tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 limes, cut into wedges
1. Turn your gas range to medium heat and toast the pasilla chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for about a minute, until it’s completely charred on both sides. (If you lack a gas range, you can transfer the chile to a dry pan and place it over medium heat. Press the chile against the pan for a few seconds, rotate it, and cook until the pepper is charred.)
2. Moving quickly, transfer the chile to glass or stainless steel bowl. Pierce it a few times with a knife, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. This will create steam, making the pepper’s skin fall off easily. Allow it to stand for 1-2 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap, and using a knife, scrape off the charred bits and discard. Cut the pepper up into chunks, discarding the membrane and seeds.
3. Transfer the chile to the jar of a blender, along with half of the can of tomatoes. Pulse until completely smooth. Set aside.
4. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and diced red bell pepper and cook until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Next, add the garlic atop the onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. To the pot, add the rest of tomatoes, the pasilla/tomato mixture, cubed butternut squash, the vegetable broth, great northern white beans, navy beans, apple cider vinegar and spices: cumin, paprika and ancho chile powder. Mix the entire chili together and bring the mixture to a boil. Immediately bring the heat down to medium-low, cooking it at a simmer for about 45 minutes, adding more broth along the way, if needed.
5. While the soup is simmering, pour about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet. When oil is hot, add the tortilla strips and fry until crispy. Transfer them to a paper towel to drain. Top with a sprinkling of salt and set them aside.
6. At the 40 minute mark, salt the chili to taste. (I added about 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt.) If you like, add more ancho chile powder to taste in 1/8 teaspoon increments. Stir in the corn and allow to cook for 5 more minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips. Serve with lime wedges.