Thanksgiving is over. December is here.
It is all about the holidays now, no?
Well, you know me, I kind of beat to the tune of my own drum. My forthcoming recipes may not necessarily be holiday-driven, but they will definitely be highly recommended. For yourself and others. And if that is not holiday-themed, I do not know what is.
This is a black bean soup I shared with my parents while they were in town. I had some lofty meals planned, but ended up working late and being on call, so things did not work as originally scheduled. I turned to this soup from The 30 Minute Vegan’s latest cookbook: Soup’s On! This is my favourite book of his so far, possibly because I love soups.
Mark’s latest book proves that complex soups do not need to take hours over the stove. With tricks like foregoing a slow saute for onions and prepping your vegetables as you cook your soup, a proficient cook should be able to make most of these soups quickly. Separated into chapters for basic broths, vegetable-dominant soups, heartier soups with whole grains, legumes and pasta, creamy blended soups, raw soups and desserts soups (plus garnishes and sides), this a comprehensive vegan soup compendium. His recipes highlight whole foods: vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and flavourful herbs. In addition to being entirely vegan, this cookbook caters to many special requests: no/low-oil, gluten-free (almost all), and mostly soy-free, too, and every recipe has variations to help you craft your best brew.
This black bean soup was no exception: lots of colourful vegetables superimposed on top of jet black black beans (Rancho Gordo’s Negro de Arbol beans). Bell pepper, carrots and corn with a dash of orange juice, cloves and liquid smoke for a Brazilian flare. The original soup was no-oil, but I opted for the oil-sautéed onion variation. I made the soup first and waited until dinnertime to make the plantain chips. The nuances of the maple-orange-cinnamon marinade for the baked plantain chips may have been lost on us, though. They also took twice as long to bake, but after Hannah’s recent gush of love for oven-baked plantain chips, I figured they may take longer.
With the plantain chips (unpictured), this would have been a stretch for a 30-minute meal, but it was quick. And the soup was delicious. Mark said it would serve 6-8, but the four of us devoured it in one sitting. (Sadly no leftovers for me). I was actually impressed that my Dad thought I had served this to him before. I assured him that this was a new recipe but two years ago, yes, I shared a (different) Brazilian soup with him. It was more stew-like with sweet potato and kale amidst the vegetable choice. I think I liked this one more. RG’s black beans were a hit: a bit smaller than your typical black bean while keeping their shape nicely.
I have been easily cooking my way through this delicious cookbook and can also recommend the Jamaican Jerk Plantain Soup, Holy Moley Soup, Himalayan Dal with Curried Chickpeas, Fire-Roasted Tomato and Rice Soup with Spinach, and Polish Vegan Sausage and Sauerkraut Stew. There are plenty more I will be trying out later.
I really want to share this cookbook with you and thankfully the publisher is letting me give a cookbook to one reader living in the United States. To be entered, please leave a comment here, telling me about your favourite recipe by The 30 Minute Vegan. If you haven’t made anything by Mark yet, have a look through the table of contents of The 30 Minute Vegan Soup’s On! on amazon (or my list above or below) and tell me what you want to cook the most. I will randomly select a winner on December 20, 2013. Good luck!
PS. Other recipes from Soup’s On:
PPS. Other recipes I have shared by Mark Reinfeld:
PPPS. There is still time to enter my giveaway for 365 Vegan Smoothies here.
Brazilian Black Bean Soup
Adapted from The 30 Minute Vegan Soup’s On!
1 tbsp coconut oil, or your choice of oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 x 15 oz cans, rinsed)
3/4 cup carrot, diced
3/4 cup orange or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (I used the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
zest from 1 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp salt, or to taste
dash of smoked paprika
dash of liquid smoke
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1. If making the plantain chips, see below. Start by preheating your oven at 375F. Prepare your plantain chips and start baking them before you begin the soup.
2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 3 minutes until softened. Add garlic, cumin and chile flakes and stir until fragrant, around 1 minute. Deglaze with the vegetable broth.
3. Stir in the black beans and carrot. Cover and bring to a boil by turning heat to high. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add bell pepper and corn and cook 5 minutes more. Add orange zest, orange juice, salt to taste, and a dash of smoked paprika and liquid smoke. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in a portion of the cilantro. Top with fresh cilantro prior to serving.
Brazilian-Spiced Baked Plantains
1 large plantain (mine was yellow with a few brown spots), peeled and sliced on a diagonal into 1/4-inch slices
1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp melted oil (I used coconut)
salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to make sure all the sauce coats each slice of plantain. Transfer to a silpat-lined (or well greased) baking tray and lay in a single layer. Bake until golden brown, flipping after 6 minutes. (Mark suggests this will take only 10 minutes, but I needed 20-22 minutes, and bumped the temperature up to 400F). Carefully remove from the baking tray after they cool slightly.
Makes ~1 cup plantain chips.