For dinner last night I made tortilla soup for the first time. I used a recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester to start and made some of my own changes and additions.
vegetable oil (my addition)
1 medium-size yellow onion, minced
2-3 tsp minced garlic
1 box of Pomo Chopped Tomatoes (instead of crushed tomatoes)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can of El Ebro black beans, rinsed (my addition)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (instead of the suggested water)
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (increased from the original recipe)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (my addition)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c tequila (optional, I included it though because why would you ever skip tequila?)
(original calls for 1 tsp of agave nectar or maple syrup but I skipped this)
1 package of West Soy Chicken-Style Seitan (1 lbs 2oz)
fried corn tortilla strips (my addition)
handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped (original recipe says to add 2 tbsp fresh cilantro in the slow cooker but I only used it for garnish)
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and minced garlic until translucent.
2. In the slow cooker, combine the onion and garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, vegetable stock, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and tequila. Cook on low for 6 hours. The original recipe says to puree the soup with a hand blender after six hours. I didn’t do this because there were no giant chunks in this soup and it’s not the kind of thing that will become creamy (like a potato soup) so I thought it would be better left whole.
3. About half an hour before you’re ready to eat, brown the seitan in vegetable oil. Add the browned seitan to the slow cooker and turn it up to high.
4. While the seitan is warming, fry corn tortillas in olive oil. Cut the fried tortillas into strips to use as a garnish.
5. Slice the avocado into pretty wedges and wash and mince the fresh cilantro.
6. Serve the soup into bowls and top with avocado wedges, fried tortilla strips, and cilantro.
Verdict: This soup is soooo good! Robbie and I have only ever had tortilla soup at Mellow Mushroom because it seems to have chicken in it everywhere else. Their vegetarian version is pretty awesome but Robbie said he liked mine better 🙂 I will definitely make it again – probably soon before my second container of seitan expires. If you decide to make it I strongly suggest going all out with the garnishes. It takes some time but the fried tortilla strips and avocado wedges are what make this soup so special.