Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, mix the masa, salt, and baking powder together. Stir in the water and melted lard. Once firm, mix by hand until the mixture is very smooth.
Separate the dough into 16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil (or extra lard) to coat the bottom of the pan 1/4 inch deep.
As the oil is heating, use a tortilla press or rolling pin to flatten the balls into disks, approximately 1/3-1/2 inch thick.
Once the oil is hot, place 5-7 Sopes in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Then flip the Sopes and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Move the cooked Sopes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Immediately use the edge of a tablespoon to press a circular indention around the edges of each Sope, so it has a rim. Place the sheet in the oven to keep warm.
Add more oil to the skillet if needed. Repeat with the remaining Sopes in 1-2 more batches. Make sure to press the indentions into the Sopes while they are still hot.
Once all the Sopes are cooked, and all the rims are created. Prepare the toppings.
Top each Sope with a dollop of refried beans, a tablespoon of cooked chorizo, a drizzle of thick chili sauce, a spoonful of pico de gallo, and a sliver of avocado. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe is naturally Gluten Free as long as the brand of chorizo and beans you buy are also gluten-free. If needed, double-check the package ingredients.
Vegan Sopes? Yes, you can make a vegan version. Use shortening instead of lard, make sure to buy vegetarian refried beans, and skip the chorizo.
More Sope Toppings: If you want to mix things up consider adding: Shredded lettuce, chopped cilantro, sour cream, carnitas, queso fresco, grilled chicken, taco meat, salsa verde, guacamole, or black beans.