Sometimes eating healthy is really hard. You eat well for a while but inevitably begin to miss the familiar, comforting foods that are no longer on your menu. This has happened to me many times over. But, I have a solution, and that’s to get creative; to modify and find ways around restrictions and rules so I can still enjoy my food without ditching my healthy eating habits.
The good news ? This soup satisfies both requirements. It has all the taste of the hearty, comforting dishes you love plus all of the nutritional and health benefits and whole foods ingredients your body craves. Plus, it’s easy, vegan and gluten free – a win-win for all parties involved.
Originally I set out to make a tortilla soup mixed with a vegan chili. The name didn’t hit me until I was taking my first bites and thought, “Wow, this tastes exactly like nachos!” The crunchy chips on top and all of the traditional nacho toppings had me totally sold. It’s like healthy food and comfort food all wrapped into one.
These DIY baked chili cheese fritos are perfection on top of this soup. But you can also just use tortilla chips for a quicker, easier option.
What I love about this soup:
1) It comes together in about 30 minutes.
2) Is rich and hearty with the perfect balance of tomato-y thickness and savory broth.
3) And is loaded with veggies: onion, tomato, chilis, fresh salsa, plus fresh avocado and red onion on top. Cilantro would also make a brilliant addition.
Dream big, friends, and don’t skimp on toppings. That’s my motto.
I think we’ll be seeing a lot of this soup this winter. It’s so perfect for cold weather, plus makes enough to feed you for at least two if not three meals. Make it your own and adjust the heat, toppings and yield to best suit your family. It’s extremely customizable and thoroughly delicious. Enjoy!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 can tomato paste (or sub 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and omit the water below)
- 2.5 cups water
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup your favorite fresh, chunky salsa
- 1 4-ounce can mild diced green chilis
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, lightly drained
- Optional toppings: tortilla chips or DIY chili cheese fritos, fresh onion, cilantro, avocado, grated cheese and sour cream (if not vegan), hot sauce, lime juice, etc.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat.
- Add olive oil, onion, garlic and sir. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened and transparent. Turn down heat if the garlic starts to brown.
- Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and stir to coat. Then add tomato paste, water, veggie broth, salsa, green chilis and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then add black beans. Bring to a simmer again, reduce heat to low and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more spices, salt or pepper. Add hot sauce for more heat.
- Serve hot with tortilla chips or DIY chili cheese fritos, fresh onion, avocado or guacamole, fresh cilantro, etc. Add grated cheese or sour cream for non-vegan options.