This past week I’ve been trying to take a step back from the, what I used to call, “weird vegan ingredients” that I was scared to use before I became comfortable with vegan cooking. So this dish has no faux meats, textured vegetable protein, soy, or nutritional yeast. Just whole plant foods! Nothing scary, and great for the veg-curious crowd, or people trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. This is a great one-pot dish and is comforting and warm without being too heavy. Make a big batch for leftovers or use it as an appetizer course for a taco night! I also found this great farm market today and got a bunch of produce that I was really excited to put to use… which also accounts for the long ingredient list, sorry! I promise it’s worth it 🙂
Keep in mind, this is by no means a traditional recipe. In fact, I’m not even sure what is a traditional tortilla soup. I feel like every single restaurant that I’ve eaten tortilla soup in has had a different take on this dish. Clear broth, creamy, completely pureed, or even everything sauteed in a pan served with broth to pour over it. The only truly consistent thing has been tortilla chips or strips and a distinct southwestern flavour. Chili, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and bay give this bowl a warm heat that will brighten up your day but not break you into a sweat (adjust the amount of heat by using more or less cayenne). If you’re feeling a bit lazy also feel free to sub some of the ingredients, like the spices and tomatoes, for a small jar of salsa! It’s what I used to do in university all the time. I just prefer using the whole ingredients now so I know exactly what’s in my bowl.
I topped my tortilla soup off with fresh cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips. Oh and avocado slices. Because everything is better with avocado, am I right? Maybe not everything, but.. just about. Other great toppings could be toffutti sour cream or vegan shredded cheese!
And I put it in a big mug to cozy up on the couch while I watched HGTV for waaaay longer than I’d like to admit. I’m convinced that I should be a house flipper after all this. Who wants to go in on a fixer-upper with me? You do the demo while I pick out the tile and yell at people.
Serves 4-8. 40 minutes.
- 2 ears worth of fresh corn, or 1 can drained
- 2 tomatoes skinned and pureed, or 1 small can tomato paste
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 L low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup brown or wild rice
- 3 T chili powder
- 2 T ground cumin
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 2 t cayenne
- 2 t bay leaves
- 2 t fresh ground black pepper
- 1 t salt
- avocado slices (garnish)
- fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- tortilla chips, crushed (for garnish)
- In a large pot or dutch oven, sautee zucchini, corn, bell pepper, and 2 cloves of garlic in vegetable until it begins to brown. Reserve on the side.
- Fill the pot with vegetable stock, onions, carrots, celery, remaining garlic and rice. Bring to a boil and cook until rice is nearly tender.
- Add in your spices, tomato sauce/paste, light coconut milk, and the reserved veggies. Heat through until rice is cooked.
- Using an immersion blender, blitz through your pot several times until it’s partly creamy but still has some nice texture to it. Or, blend half the soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.
- Add in the beans and let it sit on simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve in bowls with avocado, cilantro, and chips.