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May 6, 2010

A Soupy Cinco de Mayo and Vegan Sour Cream

Guilty. I totally jumped on the Cinco de Mayo bandwagon. I would not normally be seduced by such a holiday, but the circumstances were just right this year, and I am so glad they were! We are all friends here, so there is no need for me to be modest. This soup seriously rocks. It is everything I could ask for in an entree soup. I am in love with this combination of beans, greens, and grains. This soup is accented by roasted tomatoes and sweet chewy bites of hominy, all in a spicy smoky broth. The name I had really wanted to give to this soup was Mexican Black Bean & Barley Soup with Hominy and Collard Greens, but I reigned myself in a bit. I dropped the Hominy and Collard Greens from the title, mind you they are just as prominent as the black beans and barley.

I thought this soup would do well with a dollop of vegan sour cream, so I decided to make some. This was my first experience with vegan sour cream, but with Vegan Epicurean as my guide I knew that I could do no wrong. I am also very enthused about these results! I had a couple of non-vegans around to try it and they were also impressed. Wouldn't you know, it is less than half the calories of dairy sour cream, at just 14 calories per tablespoon. You better believe you'll be seeing it again around here.

Mexican Black Bean & Barley Soup
Serves 5-6

1 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, finely diced (about 2 tbsp)
2 ribs of celery, chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup pearled barley
2 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 large collard greens, center rib removed and chopped
1 15 oz can hominy, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes (or regular) with liquid
2 cups cooked black beans (or one can, drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp tomato paste
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper

Tofu sour cream (recipe below)
Toasted tortilla strips
Green onion

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and saute for about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, serrano pepper, and celery and saute for another 3 minutes.

Pour in the stock, barley, and spices, and turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling lower heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Stir in the collard greens and continue to simmer for about 8 minutes minutes. Test the barley for tenderness, and when it is to your liking mix in the hominy, tomatoes, and black beans and heat through, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, lime juice, salt and pepper, and serve.

The toasted tortilla strips offer great extra flavor to the dish, as does the sour cream. Chopped cilantro is another option for garnish.

Vegan Sour Cream
(Adapted from Vegan Epicurean)

12.3-ounce package of Mori Nu lite silken tofu (firm)
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process several minutes, until very creamy and smooth. This will firm up a little when it chills. It is important to use the firm silken tofu to get the correct consistency. Refrigerate sour cream until it is ready to be used.

I am submitting this soup to the No Croutons Required blogging event. This month's challenge is to create a Mexican inspired soup or salad. Perfect timing! You can vote on your favorite soup or salad May 21-31 over at Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen.


  1. I'm really intrigued by the homemade vegan sour cream! I'm going to have to try that. The soup sounds really good too - I'm with you in loving the beans, grains and greens combo.

  2. Sarah,

    What a hearty and healthy Cinco de Mayo soup. I need to give that a try soon.

    I am so glad you liked the vegan sour cream. Thanks for the mention and the link. ;-)


  3. Gorgeous! I am very impressed Sarah and would like a bowlful right now :)

  4. Yumm...I love the mexican bean soup! Please join "green gourmet" event going on in my blog. Would love to have you participate.

  5. This soup looks so good. YUM. I normally wouldn't jump on the bandwagon either, I just happened to have some more vegan tamales in the freezer to pair with leftover quinoa. So why not right? ;-)

  6. Oh this looks lovely. And vegan sour-cream is my fave- homemade beats store-bought every time.

  7. I'm excited about that sour cream! I have to make it. And that soup looks so hearty and delicious! I'll go vote for you!

  8. love this. i've always wondered about making my own sour cream :)

  9. This sounds great. I have been making a ton of soup lately (funny, because when I was younger I never liked soup much). I really want to try making my own sour cream too. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  10. Homemade vegan sour cream. I'll drink to that - tequila! : D

  11. No need to apologize for cinco de mayo love - really, it'd be a sin to not indulge and give this holiday some spot light! Your soup looks delicious, and not too heavy at all for the warm weather we've been graced with. I'm not going to lie, I'd totally dunk some tortilla chips in there and call it a day! Thanks for sharing the sour cream recipe - still holding out on attempting that one!

  12. your soup looks and sounds fantastical, indeed! i've never had hominy before - and roasted tomatoes with black beans, peppers, garlic....ooooh, sign me up! i'm gonna try subbing in some quinoa for the barley to make it gluten-free. i can't wait to try this out (and the homemade sour cream!)!!!! superw00t!

  13. We made this for dinner tonight, subbing kale in for the collards. It was delicious! Thanks for the inspiring recipe :-)

  14. I'm so glad you thought up a recipe containing hominy! I'm a nutritionist, and I love hominy for its awesome fiber content, not to mention its nutty flavor...

  15. Lovely soup - I am still hoping to find hominy here one day but meanwhile I love the sound of your sour cream - sounds great

  16. I love soup all year round - no matter how hot it is outside, I could still eat soups!

  17. Sounds great. If you've never tried cashew-based "sour cream", I recommend trying - IMO much better than the tofu based ones. :->

  18. Yumness! Very intrigued to try the vegan sour cream, looks like a great alternative!


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