This spicy black bean and vegetable soup is a remake of one particular can of soup I used to eat frequently. It's a substantial soup with black beans and corn and tastes sort of like chili, but it's a little brothier. And though this recipe says "spicy", it really isn't the burn-your-face variety of heat - more like a pleasant fire in the background, like a soft-lit fireplace emanating from a picturesque house on a winter's eve. Of course, adjust the heat to your liking - if you're into crazy action movie explosion heat, then go for it.
It isn't a perfect replica of the canned soup, which in some ways is awesome because the entire can (2 skimpy servings) is about 1,000mg of sodium, but it's still really, really tasty. It's a nice alternative to chili when you don't want something quite so thick and hearty, but still want a soup that can stand alone as a meal.
Spicy Black Bean and Vegetable Soup
Makes 6 large servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or hot pepper, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)
4 cups cooked black beans (or two cans, rinsed and drained)
4 cups vegetable broth (I used 1 bouillon cube)
1 19-oz can small-cut tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt, to taste
Vegan sour cream, for serving (optional)
1. In a large soup pan, heat the olive oil on medium-low. Add the onion and saute about five minutes, until it softens. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Then add the red bell pepper, zucchini, black beans, vegetable broth, tomatoes, sugar, onion powder, cumin and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables soften.
2. Add the frozen corn to the pot. Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from the soup and place it into a small bowl, along with the cornstarch and tomato paste. Stir until smooth and fully combined, and then add it back to the simmering soup mixture, stirring well. The broth will thicken a little. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice, as well as any salt if necessary.
Stir a small spoonful of vegan sour cream into each serving if you so desire - I think that little addition tasted excellent.
Serve with grilled sandwiches, a nice and crisp green salad, or on its own with a hearty piece of bread.
In other news, Dawn of Vegan Fazool has passed on the super-cute Liebster blog award to moi:
This is something that's given to cool bloggers with less than 200 followers to show some appreciation during vegan MoFo - thanks again, Dawn!
So the rules are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!
And I'm passing this award on to...
1. Kristen from Different Shades of Green, who takes amazing, drool-worthy photos.
2. Jess from Cupcakes and Kale, with a gorgeous site and great taste in food!
3. Jesse from the Happy Go Lucky Vegan, who's awesome and almost at 200 followers - you should help her hit that mark!
4. The gal behind Food Feud, with the best blog name and profile picture ever.
5. Esther of A,B,C, Vegan, who's one of the nicest people I was lucky enough to meet at the Vida Vegan Con, and just started a blog for MoFo!
Most of these blogs were ones I discovered this month during MoFo, and I'm super happy I did! So thanks for being wonderful, and keep doing what you're doing. :)