Monday, March 5, 2012

Hearty Black Bean Soup

So, it's March, and in Northern Michigan, that means it's still only about 20 degrees out!  I'm longing for some delicious "spring food", but alas, here I am, cooking food that should only be consumed in the depths of winter.  Good thing this tastes so amazing, that I have forgotten about my spring-time longings, and am completely content to be sitting here (next to my heater) eating this wonderfully tasty, warm and filling bowl of soup.  (And if we're being honest, I'd admit that I actually had two bowls!)  Did I mention how easy this was to make?  Well pay attention to's a one pot meal, no mess, no hassle, no worries!  Did I also mention that my lovely sister, Danielle came up with the recipe for this little beauty?  We all have her to thank for this wonderful if you see her walking down the street, or in the grocery store (which is much more likely), give her a big hug and tell her how much you love this!

In a large pot combine:

1 carton of Imagine Bistro Cuban Black Bean Bisque (4 c total)
1 carton of Imagine Bistro Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque (4 c total)
3 c. vegetable broth (go ahead and use 4 c if you got a quart container and don't want 1 lonely cup just chilling in your fridge)
3 c. black beans (I cook my own beans, so they're measured differently than canned ones.  If you're using canned, rinse 2 cans of black beans and throw them in!)
1 c plain coconut yogurt (or unsweetened almond milk OR vegan sour cream)...I only had the yogurt on hand, and thought the added probiotics would be nice.
1 1/2 c. chopped, frozen tri-colored bell peppers
2 c. chopped, frozen zucchini (you can use fresh for the veggies if you'd like, but I had prepared a bunch of peppers and zucchini from the farmers market this fall, for instances like this when I don't feel like chopping and washing!)
3 T. taco seasoning
6 T. nutritional yeast
1 t. sea salt
1 T. garlic powder
1 t. lemon juice

I cooked mine low enough so that it didn't boil, so as not to kill the probiotic.  It takes a little longer to cook, but I had time.  If you're not using the yogurt, or you just don't care about the live active cultures it contains, boil until the peppers and zucchini are ready to eat and have absorbed the flavors.  Done!  You can eat it just like this, OR here are some topping ideas:

chopped cilantro
chopped tomatoes
chopped avocado
chopped green onions
sprinkle of nutritional yeast
sprinkled with Daiya Cheddar Shreds (these are amazing!)
a dollop of vegan sour cream
a dollop of veganaise mayonnaise (highly recommended!)
crunched up tortilla chips
served in a bread bowl

With the same pot of soup, you could possibly have a different tasting bowl of this soup every time, just by changing up the toppings!

*Note:  For all of you out there who detest peppers (like my dear Brother) you can definitely get away with skipping the peppers and adding the same amount of chopped onions...AND if you don't like onions, then you can certainly just skip them all together!

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