Meatless Monday Recipe: Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup

One full week into June means that we're well on our way to Summer! But I'll be honest - the weather has been a little bit strange here in San Diego. With Tropical Storm Blanca coming up from Mexico, the month so far has been unexpectedly cool and overcast - a bit dissuading for those of us who want to reach for our flip-flops and head to the beach!

However, the wonky weather of Southern California's late Spring and early Summer always has me looking to make some unconventional soups. For example, I might go for some matzoh ball soup with a side of sauerkraut pirogi or sprinkle some Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds on a hearty potato soup. But perhaps my favorite soup for this weather is a bean-based tortilla soup garnished with a couple corn tortilla chips for an added crunch, so I can enjoy the flavors of summer while beating that untimely chill!

Try this recipe with a number of different garnishes. Top it with a dollap of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream or chop up some fresh slices of avocado. Either way, you'll find yourself falling in love with the slight kick and aroma of this soup - and have plenty of leftovers too!

Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup

(Adapted From Minimalist Baker)

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

For The Soup -

2 tablespoons avocado, grape seed, or coconut oil

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red or orange pepper, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2 cups chunky spicy salsa

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup (optional, to taste)

2 15-ounce cans of black beans cooked in salt, slightly drained

1 15.25-ounce can of whole kernel corn, drained

For The Garnish (Optional) -

Lime juice

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Red onion, diced

Tortilla chips

Ripe avocado, cubed

Hot sauce

Non-dairy sour cream (or cashew crema)

DIRECTIONS:

1) Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic, onion, pepper, a pinch each salt, and pepper, and stir. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and the peppers have a bit of color.

2) Add cumin and chili powder and stir to coat. Then add salsa, vegetable stock, and coconut sugar. Stir to combine, then increase heat to medium heat and bring to a low boil.

3) Once it’s boiling, add black beans and corn, and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally.

4) Serve as is or with recommended serving options above. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 5 - 6 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.

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