Summary: We love making soups in the winter. They’re warm, hearty, and help us feel better on a cold evening, especially at the end of a long day. If you’re under the weather, a good soup can nourish you like nothing else on the planet. We recently discovered this black bean tortilla soup at a friend’s holiday party and were so wowed that we begged her for the recipe. She was delighted to share it, and so are we. The concoction only takes about 45 minutes to prepare, so it’s a great dish if you’re on the run.

tortilla soup

We love making soups in the winter. They’re warm, hearty, and help us feel better on a cold evening, especially at the end of a long day. If you’re under the weather, a good soup can nourish you like nothing else on the planet. We recently discovered this black bean tortilla soup at a friend’s holiday party and were so wowed that we begged her for the recipe. She was delighted to share it, and so are we. The concoction only takes about 45 minutes to prepare, so it’s a great dish if you’re on the run.

SOUP INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 28-ounce can, stewed tomatoes (check label, make sure no chemicals are added).
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt (not iodized!)
2 cans black beans (or 3 cups boiled black beans, if you have time)
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

GARNISHES
3 small corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large pan and add chopped onions and garlic. Fry on medium heat until onions and garlic are slightly brown. Your kitchen will smell terrific, and you’re just getting started! Add vegetable broth, stewed tomatoes, both chili powders, salt, and cumin. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through.

Add black beans and corn and continue simmering for 10 minutes until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Meanwhile, cut tortillas into thin strips. Place strips in olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan (cast iron is great!) Fry strips on both sides until brown and crispy, then remove from pan. Place them on paper towel to absorb excess olive oil.

Serve soup in festive bowls with avocado slices, a squeeze or two of lime juice, a liberal dash of cilantro, and as many tortilla strips as your heart desires. We love tortilla strips and find that it’s hard to put too many into this soup. But eat fast, because they do get soggy.

Serves 4-6 hungry guests. This soup is especially good with vegan, gluten-free cornbread and/or beer. If you do end up with leftovers, you can freeze them, or devour them in the next couple of days. You will be utterly delighted by this simple, inexpensive, and satisfying meal. Stay warm and enjoy!

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Summary: This colorful dish is so filling and flavorful, you won’t believe it’s both vegan and gluten-free! We last ate spaghetti squash a long time ago, so we’d forgotten how magically pasta-like it is. Topped with a hearty, amazing slaw made from red cabbage and black beans, then crowned with homemade salsa verde, this meal is truly a winner.

It’s both easy to make, and colorful! Just the zest we need for these chilly, late-autumn evenings.

INGREDIENTS FOR SLAW
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons and then cut into 1-2-inch strips
½ can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon olive oil
Pinches of salt and pepper

SALSA VERDE INGREDIENTS
¾ cup fresh salsa (hot or mild to taste)
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Slice medium-sized spaghetti squash in half (lengthwise) and coat inside with thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place squash halves upside down in medium-sized pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees until pulp is soft. You should be able to insert a fork into it without difficulty.

Meanwhile, prepare the slaw in a large mixing bowl. You’ll be wowed by its beauty. After you have squeezed in the lime juice, set mixture aside to marinate.

Place avocado, salsa, garlic, cilantro and lime juice into blender or food processor and combine until your mixture is smooth and slightly frothy. Scoop the slaw into squash halves and fill to overflowing, then spoon a liberal dollop of salsa verde over the top. Finally, garnish your masterpiece with extra cilantro, salsa, toasted pepitas, or any other topping of your choice. Feel free to get creative!

This amazing creation serves 2-3 people, but feel free to double the recipe if you have more guests. Serve by itself (it’s filling!) or with wine, beer, cider and/or a side of gluten-free garlic bread. Of course, any leftovers will keep just fine in the refrigerator for several days. But they definitely won’t last that long.

Your friends will be begging you for the recipe, and you’ll want to make this meal again and again. With its vibrant, red and green hues, the dish is a great, festive lead-up to the holiday season.
Try it, we’re certain you’ll agree. Bon Appetit, and happy, stress-free holidays!

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Summary: November puts us in a festive mood, and few foods are more synonymous with autumnal feasting than sweet potatoes. Often, when Thanksgiving rolls around, we just put a few sweet potatoes in the oven, roast them, and devour them as a side dish. ...

burgers
November puts us in a festive mood, and few foods are more synonymous with autumnal feasting than sweet potatoes. Often, when Thanksgiving rolls around, we just put a few sweet potatoes in the oven, roast them, and devour them as a side dish. Though sweet potatoes are undeniably delicious on their own, they can be combined with other ingredients to make an even tastier meal. This recipe combines sweet potatoes with millet, ground oatmeal, and black beans to make a scrumptious patty that can be devoured as a burger or used as a main course with a salad and/or a side dish of vegetables. We love this hearty entree, and feel confident you will, as well.

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (fresh, not canned!)
1/3 cup uncooked millet
1 cup oats (make sure they’re gluten-free)
1 can black beans (rinse and drain), or 2 cups boiled
½ red onion, chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and place on cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes until pulp is soft. Remove from oven and scoop pulp away from skin. Mash sweet potatoes in medium-sized bowl. Discard or compost the skin.

Meanwhile, boil 1 cup water in medium saucepan. Add millet, turn down heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes. Millet will soften yet retain a slight crunchiness. Drain excess water and pour millet into large mixing bowl. Add mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, salt and spices. Mix should be moist but not runny.

Grind oatmeal in blender until it is slightly coarser than flour. This should take no more than a minute. Add oatmeal to your mixture and stir with large spoon until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Now your concoction will be drier, but it should still be moist enough to form into patties. Make sure they’re smooth and not too thick. Fry patties on stovetop in oil (olive is best) until lightly browned on both sides.

Serve as a sandwich on gluten-free bun with lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, hot mustard, ketchup, etc. You can also enjoy your patty as a main course. They are dense and filling! Serves 6-8 hungry people, so invite all your friends for dinner. If you have leftovers, they keep well in the refrigerator and can be re-heated the next day. Happy autumn!

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