Vegan Sopa Azteca (Mexican tortilla soup) with black beans

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Ancho and poblano peppers bring a gentle heat to this bubbling tortilla soup from Incredibly vegan Recipe book. While we love ours loaded with all the trimmings, customize them to your liking.

What do you need:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or grapeseed, divided
6 corn tortillas (6 inches), halved and cut into short ¼ inch strips, divided
Fine pink Himalayan salt for sprinkling
2 dried ancho peppers
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 poblano pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chilli powder
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained, if canned)
¼ tsp salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For garnish:
¼ cup thinly sliced ​​epazote
½ cup diced avocado
¼ cup shredded vegan cheese
¼ cup vegan sour cream
1 lime, cut into wedges

What are you doing:

  1. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 cup oil to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towel. Fry half the tortilla strips until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the ancho peppers with boiling water. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, then strain and discard the soaking water. Remove stems and seeds and transfer to a high speed blender. Add tomatoes and blend for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. Put aside.
  3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and poblano. Sauté until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder and sauté for another 30 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant. Add broth and tomato and chili mixture and bring to a boil. Add the uncooked tortilla strips and cook for 15 minutes to allow the tortillas to break down and thicken the soup. Add black beans, salt and pepper and stir.
  4. In four serving bowls, pour soup and top with crispy tortilla strips, epazote, avocado, cheese, sour cream and lime.

Photo credit: Charity Morgan

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