April 20, 2013

"Plant-Powered 15" Black Bean Soup

The most popular post, of all time, on this blog is the one where I lauded Dreena Burton's fantastic chocolate chip cookies from her cookbook Vive le Vegan! It's the most pinned of all the recipes on this site, and it's the most searched for. And all I can say is... "Thank you, Dreena Burton, for bringing these fantastic cookies into our lives!"

Not only is Dreena a lovely health-conscious mom, and the perfect example of a glowing-from-within vegan, but she's also friendly and sweet. And she has graciously offered to allow me to reprint one of the recipes from her latest cookbook titled Plant-Powered 15.

Plant-Powered 15 is an ebook that features 15 gluten-free, oil-free, and totally-vegan recipes.

"These recipes were selected with a few criteria in mind. To give you recipes that will delight your taste buds, that are not too time consuming or difficult to make, and that are chocked with whole-foods goodness! Yes, these recipes feature whole-foods ingredients: whole grains, whole-grain flours, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, natural sweeteners, and no oil. They range from breakfast and baked goods to sauces, soups, burgers, and even a few sweet treats!" 
-- Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered 15

Dreena generously allowed me a peek at the cookbook, and let me tell you, it looks amazing!

Here is a list of the 15 mouth-watering recipes featured in the ebook:
Almond Zen Granola
Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Creamy House Dressing
Green Goddess Dressing
Orange-Miso Dressing
Wonder Spread 
Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes 
Presto Pistachio Pasta
Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers 
Sneaky Chickpea Burgers 
Coconut Pillows 
Sticky Almond Blondies 
Peanut Butter Munchy Squares 

Ever since I watched the The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue, I've been toying around with all of my staple recipes, experimenting with removing as much added oil as possible while keeping a delectable flavor and texture. Thank you, Dreena, for giving me a leg up on going oil-free with this fabulous cookbook!


"'This soup has an irresistible quality, the flavors are deep and earthy with some sweetness from the potatoes. Don't let the number of ingredients intimidate you - they build layers of flavor, but this soup is not at all difficult to make!'
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups chopped onion (one large onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups combination of chopped red and green peppers
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (generous is good)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice (rounded)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or less/more, to taste) red pepper flakes
  • 4 medium - large cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups black beans (reserve 1 cup; this is three 14 or 15 ounce cans)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed (in small chunks, about 1/2") yellow sweet potato (or can substitute white potato)
  • Chopped cilantro for serving
  • Extra lime wedges for serving
  • Chopped avocado tossed with lemon juice and dash of salt, for serving
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add water, onions, red and green peppers, salt and pepper, cumin seeds, oregano, allspice, and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until onions and peppers start to soften. Add garlic. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and let cook another few minutes to soften garlic - if sticking/burning, add another splash of water. After a few minutes of cooking, add 3 1/2 cups beans (reserving one cup of beans), water, tomato paste, vinegar, lime juice, and maple syrup (start with 1/2 tsp). Using an immersion blender, puree soup until fairly smooth. Increase heat to bring to boil, add bay leaf and diced sweet potatoes, then once at boil reduce and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add remaining cup of black beans and extra maple syrup if desired (taste test). Stir through, let simmer for another few minutes, then serve, topping with cilantro if desired and with lime wedges. Also delicious to top soup with some chopped seasoned avocado or a simple guacamole.  Serves 4-5 as main course.

Sweet Potato Tip: Sometimes I have leftover sweet potato home fries that have been seasoned with just sea salt. If so, I take a recipe and chopping shortcut and simply add these to my soup during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, just to heat through.

Recipe from 'Plant-Powered 15' by Dreena Burton. For more recipes and information, visit www.plantpoweredkitchen.com. Photo credit: Nicole Axworthy."


Dreena has offered up a free copy of her new ebook to one lucky winner. Just visit the Rafflecopter widget below and enter to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Breanna Leon said...

Favorite ways of cutting fats from recipes: water sauteeing and using applesauce for oils :)

Unknown said...

I would love to win a copy of Dreen's e-book!

Tam said...

Dreena rocks ... I would love a chance to win her ebook.

Unknown said...

I like to substitute oil for applesauce in baked goods and use broth or water when sauteeing veggies.

jpie said...

I'm excited to try this recipe tonight!

Linda said...

I love soup for lunch, even in summer. I make a batch to last all week then on the look out for something new for the next week. Sweet potatoes and black beans are great together. Looking forward to trying more recipes from this new cookbook.

Unknown said...

I never use processed oil. Saute onions without anything in the pan. Use applesauce or even better mashed pumpkin instead of oil in baked goods. But I do add nuts, coconut or seeds to cookies to make them yummy!

Gail said...

I am new to the vegan lifestyle. would love the cookbook!!

Tracy said...

This looks like an awesome cookbook. :)

Julee said...

I use applesauce for baking instead of oil, and it is surprising how very little oil you actually need for sautéing, or in cooking...

Faith Thomas said...

When baking, I substitute applesauce for part of the oil. It always turns out well for me!

Walt Huntsman said...

I use a little water for sauteeing vegetables or vegetable broth if I want to add a little extra flavor. For baking, I use applesauce or mashed banana.

Alex said...

Applesauce in baking for sure

Yvonne said...

I would use broth for sauteeing and applesauce or mashed pumkin/sweet potato for cake and muffins.

Carrie™ said...

I have all of Dreena's other books and let me say, her stuff is amazing!
To cut back on fats in cooking, I do what the others said - broth or water for sauteeing, or sometimes a squirt of non-stick spray is all that's needed. Applesauce in baked goods is another favourite trick.

Casy said...

A lot of times, I will use water instead of using oil. Sure, the taste and texture might suffer--depending on the food--but at least I know that I am not getting the fat in my meal!

Anonymous said...

I saute vegetables in vegetable broth instead of oil.

Aimee Douglass said...

I saute in water or broth.

Broken Girl said...

I use vegetable broth or water for sauteeing.

Simona said...

water sauteeing to cut on oils!

Lydia Claire said...

I use veggie broth instead of oil when sauteing. Applesauce can be used to replace butter when baking in some recipes.

The Peace Patch said...

I like to replace oil-based salad dressings with a fruit juice and agave dressing...yumza!