Meatless Monday for vegetarian foodies features recipes that elevate the “dining at home” experience. Mondays won’t be the same once you get a hold of these savory and seasonal dishes. Invite a friend over and start your week already satiated with good food and good conversation.
Recipe is an excerpt from the book Meatless All Day author, Dina Cheney (published by The Taunton Press in 2014) Dina also authored Year-Round Slow Cooker, Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads, Tasting Club, Mug Meals (coming Spring 2015), and The New Milks (coming Spring 2016). "Taste Test" Columnist for Everyday with Rachael Ray. You can connect with Dina on Twitter at @dinacheney
Creamy Mexican carrot soup with black bean toasts
Dip the toasts (slathered with bean dip) into the spiced, velvety soup. If reheating, feel free to thin it out with vegetable broth; just adjust the seasoning with more salt, if necessary. To make the soup vegan, either omit the sour cream or use a dairy-free yogurt and substitute agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey.
Serves 6 (with some extra soup)
For the soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups coarsely chopped finely chopped red onions
1⁄4 plus 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 plus 1⁄8 teaspoon ancho chili powder
8 cups coarsely chopped carrots
7 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1⁄4 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed, strained lime juice
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh, whole cilantro leaves
1 tablespoons liquid from a can of chipotle chiles en adobo, divided
21⁄2 teaspoons coarse salt
For the black bean toasts
Three 1⁄2-inch-thick slices country bread
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil, divided
3⁄4 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1⁄4 cup fresh, whole cilantro leaves, plus another 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onions
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed, strained lime juice
11⁄2 teaspoons liquid from a can of chipotle chiles en adobo
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Give this entrée an Indian spin by substituting garam masala for the cumin and chili powder. Serve with warm naan brushed with butter or trans-fat-free margarine and sprinkled with finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Omit the black bean toasts.
Make the soup
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- When hot, add the onions, the cumin, and chili powder and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes.
- Add the carrots and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for another 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cook until the carrots are very tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Use an immersion blender to carefully purée until no chunks remain, about 3 minutes (be vigilant to make sure all of the chunks are gone).
- If you don’t have an immersion or stick blender, purée in batches in a blender, not filling the blender jar more than halfway and holding down the lid with a kitchen towel.
- Add the sour cream, lime juice, honey, the whole cilantro leaves, chipotle liquid, and salt; purée with the immersion blender to mix well. (You will have about 13 cups of soup.)
Make the toast
- Place the bread on a baking sheet with sides. Brush evenly with 1⁄4 cup oil.
- Sprinkle evenly with a total of a scant 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
- Bake until crisp and slightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- While the bread bakes, in a food processor (a miniature model will work fine here), combine the rinsed and drained beans, the remaining 1⁄4 cup oil, 1⁄4 cup fresh whole cilantro leaves, onions, lime juice, chipotle liquid, the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and chili powder.
- Purée until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (You’ll have 1 cup of spread.)
- Ladle 2 cups of soup into each of six large serving bowls.
- Spread about 21⁄2 tablespoons of the bean mixture onto each slice of bread; cut each slice into quarters and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
- Serve two quarters with each portion of soup.
Accompany the soup with an avocado, radish, and romaine salad with lime dressing, and offer Mexican wedding cookies for dessert.
The Vegetarian Aficionado™ and simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley, is the curator of the new online magazine, The Vegetarian Aficionado. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle. It is a harmonic balance between your mind, body and soul that gives rise to an appetite for life. The world is our farm and The Vegetarian Aficionado™ is bringing its bounty to your table. Connect with her on Twitter at @vegaficionado