My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


« cornbread skillet stuffing | Main | chai spice + almonds »

southwestern soup

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made cornbread in the past few months.  More than any year before.  Way more. 

I’m addicted and it feels so good.

In preparation for making cornbread stuffing [!!!], I whipped up 2 batches , using my pumpkin cornbread recipe.  This is the vegan cornbread recipe, which uses pumpkin, but doesn’t taste like pumpkin.  Promise!  Pumpkin haters, buy 1 can this year, and make this bread!

Whenever you’re making cornbread, always double the recipe.  I shouldn’t have to explain why.  You’re going to be stuffing your face with it for 3 days in a row and then you’ll be sad when it’s all gone.  This bread is definitely breakfast material, too!  Cornbread, cornbread, all day long.  The 2nd batch ensures you’ll have enough [maybe?] to stick in the freezer, and thaw out on a snowy day.

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If I can take a moment to breath, and stop obsessing over cornbread, I can start obsessing over this soup.

I was trying to replicate a soup I recently ate at Tasty Harmony.  Something a little lighter than chili.  Something with not quite so many beans and with the addition of potato.  Similar to the taste of tortilla soup, but with a little more oomph inside.

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Just like cornbread, soup, chili, stew, and any other soup-like meal, made in a big pot, should always be doubled.  It takes zero extra effort and only a few extra dollars.

And just so you’re sure to double it, I’ve already doubled it for you.  Just don’t double my double, unless you’re ready to feed 24! 

I made dinner for two, lunch leftovers, 2 freezer bags filled with large personal portions, a 32oz mason jar [froze it after cooling], and a 16oz jar FULL of this soup!  

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I’m calling this “soup”, but call it what you will.  It’s hearty, but not nearly as thick as I make my chili, and not stuffed to the brim with beans. 

I used to be scared of making soup!  Basically, up until this year.  I just never understood how you could possibly get the flavors right.  What I’m learning is, it’s quite easy to get the hang of.  I always start with the thought “less is more” and then after letting it cook for awhile, taste and add.  It’s hard to go backwards in cooking, so I’m cautious at the beginning. 

With this recipe, I started with what I thought would be enough seasoning and then ended up adding about another 30% of each spice. 

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I wanted to give you a better idea of the texture and contents of the soup, so I took a few photos with a much wider bowl and plopped a big spoonful of the “guts” on top!

If the beans look huge, they are!  I received these beans, as a part of a gift from Foodbuzz, for winning my photography blog award.  They’re from the company Rancho Gordo, who supplies fancy, heirloom beans!  You would be amazed at the variety.  They’re currently offering a “a year of beans” gift package, and I seriously would be the happiest, bean-loving-girl to get it!

But I’ll keep dreaming on that one! 

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The tomato broth was just the right consistency and packed with warming flavors + just a little kick of heat.

This is definitely a soup for beginners.  A little chopping + measuring, but nothing too fancy for the actual method.  And, if you feel inclined, you can throw everything in your crock pot on low for 6-8hrs and call it a day.

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{doubled} Southwestern Soup [~12 servings]

  • 8c low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1- 28oz can, fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2- 4oz cans, roasted mild green chilies
  • 2c frozen corn
  • 2c onions, diced
  • 2c bell pepper, chopped
  • 3c potato of choice, 1/2” cubes
  • 2c bean of choice, rinsed + drained
  • 1/4c fine ground cornmeal
  • 1.5T garlic, minced
  • 4t cumin
  • 1.5T chili powder
  • 1t coriander
  • 2t oregano
  • 1/4-1/2t cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2T sunflower oil
  • 1/2-1.5t salt [depends on broth being used]
  • black pepper
  1. Chop all veggies and garlic, and get all spices + ingredients out and ready.
  2. In a large pot, add the oil over medium heat. 
  3. Once hot, add the onion + peppers and cook for 5-7min, until softened + translucent.
  4. Add the garlic, spices, and cornmeal, and stir for 1min until fragrant.
  5. Add the whole can of crushed tomatoes, green chilies, and corn.  Stir until combined.
  6. Pour in the broth, stir, cover + bring to a boil.
  7. Uncover and lower heat to simmer for 5min.
  8. Add in the potatoes [I used 1/2 sweet, 1/2 yukon gold] and simmer for about 12min. 
  9. Test the potatoes for tenderness, and cook longer if needed.
  10. Add the beans and simmer for another 5min.
  11. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.

tips/substitutions: I use no-sodium veggie bullion cubes, which required about 1-1.5t added salt.  If your broth has sodium, be careful not to add too much in the beginning.  Corn flour will work instead of cornmeal.  Plain crushed tomatoes will work instead of fire roasted, there will just be a bit less flavor.  Add 1/4-1/2t smoked paprika or chipotle seasoning instead.  I recommend using a nice, sturdy bean.  Black beans would be perfect!  If desired, throw all of the ingredients in a crock pot on low for 6-8hrs. 

Topping ideas: red onion, pepper jack cheese, tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream

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Now back to the cornbread!  I slightly adapted the recipe, and like this version even more!  This time I used GF oat flour instead of buckwheat flour and cut the brown rice syrup down from 6T to 2T.  The corn flavor came out so much more with the flour switch!

I’ve added the changes on the original recipe page.  Pumpkin Cornbread [vegan + GF]

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Tomorrow, I plan on eating a heaping pile of cornbread for breakfast, with chai spice almond butter.  Sounds weird, tastes so good!

What’s on your breakfast plate?


Reader Comments (53)

[...] have a better texture once fully cooled.  Reheat when serving if desired.*Updated version as of 12/7/11*  Both versions work + taste great!  However, I think I prefer this 2nd version.  The oat flour [...]

Soup & bread is one of my very favorite meals - so comforting. I really need to start making my own soup more often. Homemade soup is SO much better than the canned stuff, and it's easy too! This recipe looks wonderful! I think I'll try making it in the slow cooker this weekend.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

i love soups as they are so versatile and winter warming. This looks so good and I love your white soup cup/jug in the photos!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjo@includingcake

This soup looks so hearty and delicious -- I bet even a meat-lover wouldn't notice it was vegetarian! Soup and bread is perfect for these chilly days -- cornbread for breakfast sounds amazing, too! Yesterday for breakfast I modified one of your buckwheat bakes and included figs in the was so amazing I'm going to make another one again today! Thanks for the inspiration :)

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren@spicedplate

Ooh! This sounds perfect for cold chilly days! Looks great :)

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ What Lauren Likes

Yumm this sounds great Ashley! I made a very similar soup on the weekend which I've called Tortilla Soup, but I don't know if it's a true tortilla soup because there are no beans in it. Your version however, sounds great! I've been experimenting with lots of different beans lately and I'm totally going to check out Rancho Gordo!

Um...yeah...cornbread is so dang good. I have never made it from scratch (I'm a Jiffy girl, I guess), but I have a bulk bin bag of yellow corn meal that isn't going to be polenta anymore and plenty of time on my hands so this is going to happen.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaraHadley

I used to love tortilla soup but feel like 99% of the recipes have chicken - this is a great veggie alternative.

i read that it's bad to use canned tomatoes because of the bpa. what do you think?

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterolivewineandfood

Ohdang. The raw onion on top is a necessity! *spicaaaay*

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatelyn @ Chef Katelyn

What a great hearty meal for the cold weather!! Awesome photos!!!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

Thank you for this recipe! I've been wanting to try to make another soup or chili, and this is the perfect mix of both. I'm slightly obsessed with soups.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLena @Fit on the Rocks

I am obsessed with making soup these days. I make at least one large batch every week! I cannot wait to try this recipe :)

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

That looks amazing! Definitely going on my "to make asap" list

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHaley S

Looks amazing! Are they dried beans, canned beans, or previously cooked beans?

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Why is it that every time I visit your blog I end up feeling hungry?!
As usual your food looks delicious, this soup looks warming, comforting, and hearty. A perfect dish for this cold, wet weather :-)
Your photos are beautiful as usual too!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn

Rancho Gordo beans are SO delicious. Thanks so much for this recipe...perfect for winter!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandice @ Sailing on Paper

This is exactly the type of meal we've been enjoying lately---I've been making soup after soup and freezing leftovers. Love coming home to dinner already made :)

Now I need to make some cornbread, huh?!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternatalie (the sweets life)

yum! i am loving soups these days (prob bc its 10 degrees outside). that looks awesome!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered

You sure can never have too much cornbread! It's seriously addicting. This soup looks great! I love that it makes huge servings too. Freezer meals are the best.

Um...yum! I made the whole bag of beans I won and the other half is in my freezer. I will make soup. It will be this one.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMama Pea

The soup looks fab! love the messy mug shot...comforting and tells a story!

Just saw your molasses recipe hit TS. Congrats! :)

Tis the season for soups...this one sounds delish! Love how versatile they can be. My favourite soups are the ones where I roast the veggies first...totally enhances the flavours!
I just love reading your are so passionate about your put a smile on my face every day!
I wish my family liked cornbread...all this cornbread talk is making me want to make it anyways! lol

Did you use sweet potatoes? And if using dry beans, do they need to be soaked. Sorry for silly questions, this will be my first attempt at making soup. Thanks.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel C

I used 1/2 sweet + 1/2 yukon gold potatoes, which I mentioned in the directions. You can use any type of potato, though! Also, the beans that I call for in the recipe are for 2 cups of cooked beans. Either" rel="nofollow">cooked from their dried form at home, or store bought in cans. Whenever I call for beans to be used in a recipe, it's always assuming they are previously cooked, unless otherwise stated in the recipe. :) Hope you like this!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Cornbread is a winter comfort food for me! That soup looks so warming and delicious!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa @ Simple Eats

Aw, thank you Susan! That mean so much!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Woohoo!! The beans were SO BIG!!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You totally need to make some cornbread!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You can use canned or previously cooked at home, but it's not 2c of dried beans. Whenever I specify beans in a recipe, it's always in their cooked form, unless otherwise noted. :)

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I just read that too. It's a little frustrating to even think about. I would assume it's not just canned tomatoes but any canned goods? I have heard that beans have BPA in the cans, for sure, but Eden Organic uses BPA free cans. I boil my own at home from their dried form, so I don't have any problems with that. When there were those first talks about the water bottles with BPA in them, that was a no-brainer. Buy new water bottles. But canned tomatoes? It's a little harder to figure out. I did happen to find a carton of tomatoes, but they're in stewed form, which definitely does not work for a lot of recipes. I did read somewhere that Muir Glen was going to start using BPA free cans for their tomatoes but have not heard if they have made the switch yet or not. Definitely something to think about, but I would imagine these cans have been lined with BPA for...forever. If you have the option to buy tomatoes in a glass jar or carton, that's definitely the safest bet. It gets to be a bit much/overwhelming when there are SO many BAD things out there!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Jiffy cornbread is delicious!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oooh, your buckwheat bake sounds so good!! :)

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Cheaper too! Good canned soup is expensive!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Looks INCREDIBLE! And perfect for this freezing cold weather!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

Why on earth is cornbread so addicting? Soup looks incredible, great for a cozy winter day!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn@TheTieDyeFIles

Ashely, stop. It's not possible.

It's not humanly possible for your pictures to get EVEN better than they already were, but, WOW. That's all I can say. They are getting even better. Congrats on your amazing-ness! (But you knew that.)

And yeah, I probably will be doubling the recipe. Again. It just looks too good!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly @ Foodie Fiasco

Hi, Ashley! I don't know if I have ever commented on your blog before, but I wanted to tell you that I made your soup yesterday! I sauteed the veggies and put everything in the crockpot on low. My husband loved it! The 'taters were not quite done, even after moving it to high for the last two hours (may want to warn your readers) and the spice factor was a little high for me (will adjust next time). We called it sniffle soup because it made may nose run, but it was really, really good and I will make it again! :)

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

This soup looks delicious! I love the idea of making a mixture of a soup and chili. I'm going to make the 24 servings and freeze some for when I'm too lazy to cook! Thanks!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie at Burnt Carrots

I love that you're making the 24 servings!

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for the feedback. That's extremely odd about the potatoes though. I've cooked all kinds of potatoes, in stews, soups, chili, etc in the crock pot and never had a problem with them being done. Even when only quartering large potatoes when I used to make things like pot roast. Sorry it didn't work for some reason! Glad it was tasty though!

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] Southwest Soup from the Edible Perspective in the crock pot – I wanted to also make the Pumpkin Cornbread but we’ll have to save that for another time. DH is finishing up some errands after work so time is more limited than normal. [...]

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMenu Plan Monday – Decem

It's in the low 50's and raining today (in southern California!) and this soup sounds like the perfect way for me and the BF to warm up today. Thanks for sharing :)

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy @ Savory Notes

I made this soup and we all absolutely loved it! Thanks so much.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterann

[...] southwestern soup « the edible perspective 2c frozen corn 2c onions, diced 2- 4oz cans, roasted mild green chilies 2c bell pepper, chopped 1- 28oz can, fire roasted crushed tomatoes [...]

Thanks for letting me know, Ann. Glad you loved it!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] Southwest Soup from the Edible Perspective in the crock pot – Yummy! If we do this again we may halve it. [...]

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMenu Plan Monday – Decem

[...] 30. Southwestern soup [...]

[...] bottles!Next up?Another love of mine.Beans!!  I recently posted about Rancho Gordo beans in my Southwestern Soup recipe.  Following that, Timber Press publishing company contacted me to see if I would review [...]

January 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandom reviews « the edi

[...] dinner!  I was going out for the day so I adapted a recipe from The Edible Perspective called Southwestern Soup.  I used less chilli than Ashley’s recipe and I cooked it in the slow [...]

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