One of the best presents I ever received was the cookbook that my sister made for me when I graduated college. I had started to show an interest in cooking/healthy food during my college years, despite my night time diet of bourbon gingers and Coors Light. During this time, one of my best friends and I started cooking meals together and having dinner date nights, much to the dismay of our seven other roommates. I’m not really sure why our other roommates were never invited, so I’m sorry guys! That was awfully rude of us! It was during these years that my sister noticed my interest in cooking and made me a basic food survival guide to the real world because a girl without a job can’t afford to eat Panera every day.
One of the best recipes in the book is her chicken tortilla soup. This was a sneaky way to get vegetables in her husband and kids and I instantly loved it! For this version, I switched it up to be vegan friendly and added a bit more spice. I can’t help it, I like things spicy. This even gets my zucchini hating husband to eat zucchini (I know, don’t even get me started)!
A few notes I want to add is that this can easily be made into a slow cooker recipe and that is actually how I usually cook it. If you haven’t invested in a nice slow cooker with multiple settings, you simply have to put it in your budget. I love my All Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker with Cast Aluminum Insert, 7 Qt because the insert can go from stove top to slow cooker, creating less mess. It also has high, low, and warm settings and a timer built in so you don’t have to worry about over cooking. I really don’t know how I survived without this. If you don’t need a 7 Qt. slow cooker, there is an All Clad Deluxe 4 Qt version as well.
Another item I wanted to address is the Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth. I found this maybe a year ago? I always had trouble finding the perfect vegetable stock because some of them have too much of a bitter taste. When I was trying to eat just vegetarian/vegan this ruined a few of my meals because it just didn’t have the taste I was looking for (AKA chicken broth/stock). Finally, I found this brand and it has transformed my vegan/vegetarian meals. I have found it just in my regular grocery store in the organic section, although they just moved it to the regular stock/broth section. If you should have trouble finding it, check out a local health food store like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Fresh Market.
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 1 can born drained and rinsed
- 1 4 oz can green chiles chopped
- 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup Old El Paso medium chunky salsa
- 1 lime squeezed
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- crushed tortilla chips
- shredded Monterrey Jack/Cheddar cheese optional
- salt to taste
- 32-48 oz Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth
- 1 can crushed tomatoes 28oz
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- pinch cayenne
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until softened. Add carrots, red bell pepper, and zucchini. Cook until slightly softened. Stir in spices, crushed tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil.
Stir in chiles, beans, and salsa. Squeeze lime juice. Stir together and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover, and let it cook for about 1 hour.
Serve with cilantro, cheese (optional), avocado, and crushed tortilla chips.