We're running a quite low on both money and groceries right now, so I took a trip to the salvage grocery store to stock up on vegan meat and cheese analogs at a price I can actually afford. And, boy oh boy, did I score some fun finds! In addition to vegan cheddar at 99 cents a pack, and the plant-based version of roasted ham slices at 50 cents a pack, I also snagged a two pound bag of guacamole (complete with tomatillos and cilantro) for 6 bucks! I ended up freezing four huge bags of the stuff. AND my favorite find of all was the Food For Lovers Vegan Queso at (get this!) 3-for-a-dollar. Wha??? I've always wanted to try this stuff, but like most vegan analogs it's too expensive for me to just buy one for experimentation purposes. But now that I know how good they are, I might actually blow the dough for a jar every now and then.
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 package Tofurky Italian Sausages, thickly sliced and lightly browned
4 cups vegetable broth
Add the following spices to taste: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric (just a pinch), chili powder, salt and pepper
- Lightly brown your sausage slices over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan with just a spritz of oil. Set aside.
- In a large pot, place your broth, beans, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer just for 20 minutes or so, allowing your spices to mingle and cook into the beans.
- Add your sausage and allow to simmer another 10 minutes. You can let this simmer for an hour or more, if you want to, to allow the flavors to deepen, but if you're in a hurry, go ahead and serve it up!
- Ladle your soup into a bowl and, if you've got it, top with vegan queso and guacamole. Your mouth will thank you!
- If you can't swing the queso and guac, I highly recommend the substitution of a fresh, hot baguette slathered in vegan butter.