I promised. I delivered. The Soup of the Week is back.
And now for your regularly scheduled soup:
When I first went vegan, going out to eat, an event that had once brought pleasure and joy, became a stressful experience. If I wasn’t able to research possible vegan options beforehand, I found myself close to panic over the thought of asking the waiter whether a dish used butter. In hindsight I realize how unreasonable my panic was. After all, if I’d been allergic to an ingredient, I’d have asked the waiter question after question without abandon.
Navigating the restaurant landscape as a vegan can be tricky, especially if you live in a city like Washington, DC where vegan restaurants are few and far between and many a meeting happens over lunch. Restaurant dining can also be tricky if you aren’t interested in always eating a handful of lettuce, a few nuts, and a side of weird dressing – all that usually remains of a typical restaurant salad after you’ve asked the waiter to hold the cheese, chicken, and croutons. Even dining in a vegan restaurant can be an awkward situation (seriously!) since I’m not a giant of fan of most things that are meant to resemble meat. I never liked meat much anyways, and I definitely don’t miss it (seriously!).
Nowadays it’s rare that I go out to eat at all. But that’s not because I’m afraid to ask for what I want. I’ve long since gotten over that particular fear. If a waiter, or a restaurant, has a problem with my probing questions, it’s probably not a place I want to eat even if their grilled veggies haven’t been doused in butter.
As for this soup, there’s no need to check with the chef. I’ve done the work for you. I love veggie fajitas, yet I never seem to make the actual fajita. I’m usually plowing into the veggies and guacamole sans tortilla well before my dining companions can unfold their napkins. So when it came to making this week’s soup, which I promised wouldn’t be blended, I figured I’d cut out the middle man (aka tortilla) and go right for the totally vegan veggies.
Although the soup requires two pans, it’s really quite simple once you’ve chopped everything. I suggest reading the recipe through and preparing all of the ingredients before cooking.
No Substitution Fajita Soup
(serves 4 as a main course)
Tomato Base Ingredients:
- 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (you’ll need the other half for the soup)
- 3 dried chili peppers, deseeded
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 adobo chili (usually comes in a can with sauce)
- 1 T sauce from adobo chili can
- 1 28 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, jalapeno, dried peppers and adobo chili. Heat until fragrant.
2. Add adobo chili sauce and fire roasted tomatoes. Blend together using an immersion blender (if you don’t have one, you can transfer it all to a blender).
3. Simmer over low heat while you prepare the rest of the soup.
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 orange pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 red pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 zuchinni, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 yellow squash, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 large onion, chopped into bite sized pieces (use your remaining half)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T cumin
- 1/2 t ancho chili powder
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 cups veggie stock
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cliantro, chopped
- 1 14.5 oz can black beans
1. While the tomato base simmers, prepare the soup. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic, cumin, and ancho chili powder. Stir to coat the veggies in spices and heat for 5 minutes. The spices will start to stick to the bottom, but don’t worry!
2. Add the tomato base to the veggies. Then add veggie stock, lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add black beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls and serve with a few slices of avocado, a scoop of vegan sour cream (I made this one; use your high-speed blender, not your food processor per the instructions), and sprig of cilantro for garnish.
A perfect bowl of stress-free, assuredly vegan soup.