May 6, 2010
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
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
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.