Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegan Back Bean Taco Soup (Taco Soup for Taco Thursday!)

So, it's not Tuesday, and this blog post is not about tacos. Using that criteria, my 'Taco Tuesday' theme for this Vegan Month of Food is a fail...but stay with me.

Maybe I watch too much Top Chef. Maybe I just want to use my shiny, new Vitamix for every possible meal to justify it's very existence in my tiny kitchen. Maybe, because we'll be out of town this weekend I want to use what I have left in the refrigerator in a way that will freeze well and make for an easy start to the week once we return. Maybe all of the above. Yeah, definitely all of the above.

I totally went to bed last night, planning today's post, smiling to myself at how fun it would be, how clever to do 'Deconstructed Black Bean Tacos' for Taco Thursday. Maybe that's not clever at all and I'm just lazy.

Black Bean Taco Soup!
  Either way, I give you Deconstructed Black Bean Tacos. All of the elements, textures and flavors you want on taco night without having to pick all of the various parts that have fallen out up off your plate. Just think of them as tacos you can eat....with a spoon!

Or just call them...

Vegan Black Bean (Taco!) Soup
makes 4 large or 6 small bowls of soup
adapted from the Vitamix website recipe

for garnish:
1 c. green cabbage, sliced very thin
1/4 c. green onions, sliced very thin
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tsp lime juice

for soup:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, half reserved
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I remove and discard skins), half reserved
3 c. vegetable stock (I dissolve 1 1/2 veggie bullion in 3 c water)
1/2 c. onion, chopped and sauteed
3 garlic cloves, chopped and sauteed
2 T lime juice*
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder (I used Tony Chachere's Creole Original Seasoning)
1/4 c. red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 c green onion, chopped
salt, to taste
vegan bacon, crumbled (optional)

Prep garnish:
In a medium bowl, toss sliced cabbage (the thinner, the better) and green onion with lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.

Saute onions and garlic:
Heat skillet on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, pinch of salt, and enough water to allow them to simmer and become translucent but not burn (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Make soup in blender:
Place veggie stock, black beans, chickpeas, onion and garlic, lime juice (if using, see *note), jalapeno,  tomato paste, oregano, Worcestershire, and chili powder in blender. Blend until smooth. If using a Vitamix, turn Variable Speed Dial to 1. Turn on blender and slowly increase variable speed to 10 then switch to High. Allow to blend on high for 6-7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from vented lid. Turn variable speed dial to 4 and remove plug from lid. Add bell peppers and reserved black beans and chickpeas and blend for 10 more seconds. Taste for salt. Add as needed and blend on low for 2 seconds to season, if needed. Serve immediately in bowls and stir in crumbled vegan bacon, if using. Top with cabbage slaw and corn chips (I used crumbled leftover taco shells, heated in the toaster oven).

Crunchy, smoky, full of beans and flavor and topped with slaw, this soup hits all the notes I want in my tacos. Any toppings that you just have to have in your tacos would be great additions, chopped tomato or avocado, handful of corn kernels or a drizzle of cashew or tofu sour cream would all be wonderful things to throw in or on this soup. It can be frozen for a few months then thawed and topped with fresh slaw for a healthy, quick meal on any given Taco!
Black Bean Taco Soup!

*Personally, I'm all about the citrus. The Cap'n loved this soup but not the lime. While he was on board with the lime in the slaw providing a little lime kick, he'd prefer that it were not also in the soup. If you worry the lime will be too much in both parts, leave it out of the blender and add only if, upon tasting the finished soup, you think you want that extra lime goodness.  

1 comment:

Veg-In-Training said...

I need to visit your blog more often! This is genius. I can't wait to give this a whirl in my Vitamix!