Happy Bellies Indeed!
Yesterday, I spent a majority of the day taking care of normal responsibilities as well as meal prepping for today and the first part of the week. Since we have become vegan and vegetarian, I have found through reading multiple recipe books as well as lots of research over the past two years, that soups are a normal experience for vegans and vegetarians even in the summer. Even while living in Florida, where it seems to be summer all year long, soups are normal. Here is the reason I think they are so popular.
One, because soups are quick to make, for the most part. Two, they can have a large incorporation of vegetables and spices. Three, you can add so much to the topping options of most soups. Depending on the ingredients you add to the soup and what kind you are making, depends on the amount of nutrients you will receive from them. The cool thing is that, nutritional yeast is a wonderful thing to be added to almost all ingredients. Honestly, I’m a little sad I didn’t think of this earlier while I was making this recipe. Nutritional yeast or, Nooch, as it is referred to in the vegan world, provides a rich, nutty flavor, but it also provides nutrients and vitamins and goodies for your body that you don’t always get from each meal. Many people use nooch as a topping or added ingredient for a more cheesy flavor. If you ever search recipes for vegan cheese sauces, nooch is a primary ingredient.
all the ingredients you will need are pictured above. as always, I have adapted some of the ingredients and it still tastes amazing.
I love finding new recipes, this also, is a Pinterest find. https://peasandcrayons.com/2017/02/vegetarian-lentil-tortilla-soup.html
You can find the recipe linked here. I have not done too much research for this blogger, but she looks like she has a lot of meal prep options as well as lots of veggie based dishes to share, so check it out!
For this recipe I do not have photos of all the cut up veggies and ingredients. The reason why is due to having so many ingredients to put into the mix that it is just easier to show you everything mixed together. In her blog post, she gives you two different ways to cook this recipe. You can use a slow cooker, which is what I did or you can use a pressure cooker. I don’t own a pressure cooker and honestly, they make me anxious to use. I have an irrational idea that they will explode and that is why I will always use the slow-cooker or the stove.
As always, I adapted a few of the ingredients because this recipe calls for a jalapeno. My hubs does not like eating very spicy things, so, I added a serano pepper which is still spicy, but not nearly as spicy as a jalapeno in my opinion. Once this had cooked down and all the spices and ingredients mixed together, you don’t really taste the flavor of the heat from the pepper anyway.
Ingredients and the How To:
1 cup diced onion (I used a small purple onion and diced the whole thing, I also really like adding onion to things for that crunch)
1 tsp avocado oil (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, avocado oil maintains its nutritional value while cooking at higher temperatures)
1 bell pepper diced
1 jalapeno or serano pepper diced
2.5 cups veggie broth (I use “Better than Bouillon because it lasts longer than veggie broth)
15 ounces canned tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup mild or medium salsa verde (don’t drain it because you want to add in as much flavor as possible as well as the liquid will add to the recipe and help cook the lentils)
1 tbsp tomato paste
15 ounce can black beans (rinsed & drained)
15 ounce can of pinto beans (rinsed & drained)
1 cup of corn (I used one can and drained it, because the original recipe calls for fresh corn and fresh corn doesn’t come with added liquid)
3/4 cup dried red lentils (these for some reason always taste better and we have compared them to green lentils)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder (I used garlic crushed from the squeeze bottle you find in the produce section)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I did not have cayenne pepper, instead I used Trader Joe’s brand of Chili Lime spice)
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream if vegetarian or vegan sour cream
**SIDE NOTE: I know this is a list of a lot of ingredients. I had almost everything except the fresh vegetables. I always try to find recipes that will help me use ingredients I already have so I’m not spending as much money while grocery shopping. Again, I’m a super thrifty lady when it comes to things like grocery shopping, even as a vegan/vegetarian cook.
Slow Cooker Instructions: **I do not have the pressure cooker instructions, so you will have to reference the link for those instructions.
- Chop your veggies and measure the spices, lentils, salsa and tomato paste. This will make it easier to add everything in at once.
- The original recipe says add everything except the heavy cream and toppings. I added the avocado oil to the base of the crockpot and the squeezable, crushed garlic. I let that cook in the pot for about five minutes while I rinsed the beans off. Then I added everything to the pot and gave it a good stir.
- Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. I cooked it on high for exactly 4 hours and the lentils and veggies were cooked through and it tasted so good.
- Swirl in the heavy cream or the vegan sour cream, add all your toppings and enjoy the goodness!
As always, I hope you try this recipe and let me know how you might have adapted it! We have enough leftovers for a single person to have lunches for four days following the original day of making or a couple to have lunches for two days following the original day or a family to have leftovers the next night.
From my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!