The presentation of this easy, offbeat vegan taco soup is fun and dramatic. It’s basically an easy chili base made with quinoa or bulgur, which lend the dish a meaty texture.
The soup is presented in a bowl lined with tortilla chips and topped with a few favorite taco garnishes — shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and vegan cheese shreds.
The result is a delicious and filling hot soup — practically a stew — contrasted with the cool toppings. This one is a real crowd-pleaser, so if you’re feeding a larger crowd, double the recipe. Serve with extra chips and guacamole, and save room for a fruity dessert.
Recipe adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas. Photos by Theresa Raffetto.
- 1/2 cup raw quinoa or bulgur
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
- Two 15-ounce cans pinto beans, or 3 1/2 to 4 cups cooked 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 chopped mild or hot green chilies, as you prefer
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- 1 tablespoon chili powder or barbecue seasoning, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cheddar or pepperjack nondairy cheese
- Thinly shredded romaine or green leaf lettuce
- Finely diced firm, ripe tomatoes (about 1 cup)
- Large stone-ground tortilla chips
- Combine the quinoa or bulgur with 1 cup water in a small saucepan and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until all are golden.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the garnishes, plus the cooked grain and 3 cups water. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Assemble each serving as follows: Fill each bowl about 2/3 full with soup. Top with some grated cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes.
- Line the perimeter of each bowl with several tortilla chips, points facing upward, for a kind of star-shaped effect. The tortilla chips can be used to scoop up the solid parts of the soup or just nibbled along with the soup. Pass around a bowl of extra tortilla chips.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 405Total Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 20gSugar: 17gProtein: 16g
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