Whether you’re new to plant-based eating or already a convert, when you cook vegan with Charity Morgan, private chef to elite athletes and rock stars, you may be leaving out the meat, dairy, and eggs, but you won’t be missing out on the flavour and indulgence of all your favourite comfort foods.
In her highly anticipated first cookbook, Charity lays out a plan for anyone who wants to eat less meat—whether they are looking to go completely vegan or just be a little bit more meat-free. Pulling inspiration from her Puerto Rican and Creole heritage as well as from the American South, where she lives with her family, Charity’s recipes are full of flavour. Think Smoky Jambalaya; hearty Jerk-Spiced Lentils with Coconut Rice & Mango Salsa; Jalapeño-Bae’con Corn Cakes with Chili-Lime Maple Syrup; and a molten, decadent Salted Caramel Apple Crisp.
Unbelievably Vegan offers more than 100 recipes for living a meat-free life without giving up your favourite rite comfort foods. Charity guides readers on how to use oyster mushrooms to stand in for chicken and how to spice walnuts to taste like chorizo! She proves that vegan food can be fun, filling, healthy, and above all else unbelievably delicious.
Vegetable Tortilla Soup
There are almost as many versions of this rich, zesty, and slightly spicy soup as there are people in Mexico some versions are thick like gravy and some are thin and brothy. My version is chunky with veggies and black beans and has a deeply flavoured broth made from roasted and dried chiles thickened with tortillas that get cooked into the soup. Garnished with fried tortilla strips, avocado, fresh cilantro, and Brazil Nut Sour Cream, each bite is packed with flavour.
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or grapeseed
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, halved and cut into short, ¼-inch strips
Fine pink Himalayan salt
2 dried ancho chiles
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 poblano chile, roasted, seeded, peeled, and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chili powder
5 cups Chik’n Broth or any vegetable broth
1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained, if canned)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional garnishes: Thinly sliced epazote or chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, plant-based cheese shreds, Brazil Nut Sour Cream, and/or lime wedges
In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1 cup of the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Line a sheet pan with paper towels. Fry half of the tortilla strips until golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain on the lined sheet pan. Season lightly with salt; set aside. (Leave the remaining tortilla chips uncooked.)
In a small bowl, cover the ancho chiles with boiling water. Let soak for 5 minutes to rehydrate, then strain and discard the soaking water. Remove the stems and seeds and transfer the chiles to a highspeed blender. Add the tomatoes and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil shimmers and is hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, and poblano. Sautéuntil the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and chili powder and sauté for another 30 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant.
Add the broth and tomato-chile mixture and bring to a simmer. Add the uncooked tortilla strips and cook for 15 minutes to allow the tortillas to break down and thicken the soup. Add the black beans and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the crispy tortilla strips and any other garnishes (if using).
To bulk up the soup even more, add roasted corn, chickpeas, diced and soutéed zucchini, butternut squash, or just about any other vegetables you like.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter.