January has been a long month so far, and with another heavy snow storm on the horizon tonight I decided to make some comfort food that would last through the weekend. This soup is quite simple and you can use this recipe as a base to add other vegetables or make a thicker stew/chili type thing. I like things on the spicy side to adjust according to your tastes. Likewise, the corn muffins are optional, but I needed to try out a new set of silicone baking cups that K so thoughtfully gave me last weekend. Let’s just say that they (and the muffins) are awesome.
Another optional part of the soup is the vegetarian ground beef. This was sort of a taste test to see how Boca’s ground “beef” fares. Verdict: actually pretty tasty (and this coming from a former meat-eater/lover). It doesn’t disintegrate or taste bland, even by itself. This is thanks to salt, probably (I know, hypocritical!) but if you only use a little bit of it, it’s fine. Plus, it blows the roof off your protein intake at 13 g and only 60 calories per serving.
Black Bean Soup:
2 cans black beans, with liquid
1 can sweet yellow corn, with liquid
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over (any variety of lentil works here, I just happen to have red.)
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
about 2 cups water or broth
1 cup vegetarian ground beef (I tried Boca because it was on sale this week, and it worked really well.)
2-3 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
Saute the onions, garlic, carrots in 2 tablespoons olive oil until soft in a large soup pot. Spice them with the paprika and pepper. Add the corn and water or broth and bring to a boil. Cook the red lentils in boiling water/veggies for about 10 minutes, then reduce heat and add the black beans. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and spice with the remaining pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. While the soup is simmering preheat a pan and saute the vegetarian ground beef in remaining olive oil (1 tablespoon) for about 7-10 minutes. Once cooked, turn off the heat and set aside. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor in batches until you get a smoother consistency. (This is optional, but I think it makes things look prettier.) After pureeing the soup, mix in the ground beef and serve warm with the muffins.
1/3 cup soy milk (or regular milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer + 2 tablespoons warm water (or 1 egg)
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
Follow the directions on the muffin mix package (aka mix above ingredients and spoon into half filled baking cups.) Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.