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?