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Recipe of the Month: Tortilla Soup

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June 2, 2014

By Sharon Palmer, RD., author of Plant-Powered For Life. Meet her this September 26-28 at the Enhancing Health with Plant-Based Nutrition Conference and Portland VegFest 2014.

A traditional Mexican dish, tortilla soup is a spicy blend of tomatoes, vegetables, and crisp tortilla strips. This easy plant-powered version—you can whip it up in no time— throws protein-rich black beans into the mix. Best of all, this dish relies on preserved goods, such as canned tomatoes, frozen corn, and canned beans, so you can make it year- round from your pantry. And it’s a great complement for a simple sandwich, burrito, or vegetable salad for lunch or dinner.

Active preparation time: 24 minutes
Total preparation time: 48 minutes
Makes 10 servings (generous 1 cup each)

Tortilla Strips
Three 6-inch (15 cm) corn tortillas
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup (164 g) frozen corn
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
4 cups (948 ml) water
1 tablespoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base
Two 14.5-ounce (411 g) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
One 15-ounce (425 g) can black beans, with liquid (or 1¾ cups cooked, with ½ cup
2/3 cup (37 g) plant-based cheese, optional
2/3 cup (60 g) chopped green onions, white and green parts

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
2. Slice the tortillas into thin strips. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then sprinkle the chili powder on top. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes, until brown and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn off the oven.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the soup by heating the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, zucchini, corn, crushed red pepper, and cumin and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Add the water, broth base, tomatoes, and black beans. Stir well and cover. Simmer over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
6. Ladle about 1 cup of soup into soup bowls, and garnish with a few tortilla strips, 1 tablespoon of plant-based cheese, and 1 tablespoon green onions. Serve immediately.
7. Store leftover soup (without garnishes) in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat the soup and garnish with the tortilla strips, cheese, and green onions.

Variation: Substitute cooked or canned white beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans for black beans, or use a combination.

Per Serving: 148 calories, 5 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 263 mg sodium Star Nutrients: vitamin C (40% DV), folate (12% DV), calcium (14% DV), manganese (11% DV), molybdenum (44% DV), phosphorus (10% DV), potassium (10% DV)

From PLANT-POWERED FOR LIFE: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes Copyright © 2014 Sharon Palmer

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