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: 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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Summary: You’ll be in heaven from the first time you take a bite of this rich, hearty dish! It’s surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part is opening the cans! Of course, you can boil the beans from scratch in three separate pans, but ...

You’ll be in heaven from the first time you take a bite of this rich, hearty dish! It’s surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part is opening the cans! Of course, you can boil the beans from scratch in three separate pans, but this will be more difficult and labor-intensive in the long run. Just make sure your canned beans are organic and don’t contain any nasty preservatives or flavorings. Check those labels! You are going to love this tamale pie more than you ever dreamed possible.

INGREDIENTS (for the base)
1 diced red onion
1 red bell pepper
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 cup frozen, thawed corn
1 tablespoon cumin (more if you like it spicy)
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR TOP CRUST
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour (we recommend Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour)
2 tablespoons baking powder (check label, make sure there’s no aluminum added)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ cups plant-based milk (we love almond, but soy is great if you’re not allergic)
1/3 cup olive oil
2-3 chopped scallions

INSTRUCTIONS

Fry chopped onion, garlic, and read pepper on stovetop in a bit of olive oil. When mixture is lightly browned (about 5 minutes), add the tomatoes, beans, corn, cumin, ancho chile powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer mixture for 15 minutes, until bubbly. Make sure you use a large frying pan, cast iron if possible. You can pop the pan right into the oven when your preparations are complete. Otherwise, prepare mixture in wok and transfer to baking pan when done.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cornmeal topping by combining all crust ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Texture should be slightly thick, but not lumpy or runny. Ladle over the surface of your bean mixture, spreading evenly. Place pan into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until surface is lightly browned and slightly cracked.

tamale pie

Serve with cilantro garnish and/or salsa if desired. We love a mixture of Aardvark hot sauce and pico de gallo, but feel free to experiment. A side salad is a great accompaniment. Serves 6 hungry people. Your friends will rave about this tamale pie. If you do end up with leftovers, the dish is easily reheated and tastes just as delicious as it did when it first came out of the oven. Enjoy!

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