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Monday, May 14, 2012

Black Bean Soup & Vegan Quesadillas

We got a pantry share from Wolf Pine Farms this year, and it was the best $125 I have ever spent. I got beans, jams, pickles, flours, applesauce, and so much more. The beans were the kicker for me. We eat a lot of beans in this house since we're vegetarian and we need our protein, but I'm not a fan of canned beans. Dried beans from the store can take eons to cook, though. Fresh beans from the farm, however, do not, so getting 10 pounds of black, kidney and pinto meant a whole lot of yummy, and dare I say quick, meals. I tend to cook up a bunch when I'm cooking them, so I can make several things from them. Last week I made a tortilla pie with black and kidney beans, then I took the remaining few cups and set them in the fridge, pondering daily what I wanted to make with them. Yesterday it came to me - black bean soup! And what better to go with the soup then quesadillas? Alas, being vegan meant getting crafty with these, but I managed, and this was quite the yummy & fulfilling meal.

Black Bean Soup
(serves 4)

1/2 C onion, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
1-3 T olive oil
1 t cumin
3 C black beans (mine were mixed with kidney beans)
4-6 C stock/water/broth (start with just 4 cups, and add more if needed as it cooks)
1/2 C salsa
1/2 C tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C corn
1 t salt
1/2 avocado
2 T nutritional yeast

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat until hot. Add onion, peppers, cumin and garlic and stir to coat all veggies with oil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, add oil if you need to so it doesn't burn. When this is nice and cooked down, puree in the food processor and add back to the pot. Add in beans and liquid and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer and add in salsa, tomatoes, corn and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding more liquid if needed. The next step is based on preference. I pureed the whole soup because I like it creamy, but you can either leave it chunky, or puree half the soup. Whatever suits your taste. Top with avocado and nutritional yeast.

Vegan Quesadillas
(serves 4)

4 large flour tortillas
1/2 C tomatoes
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/4 C flour
1 t salt
1/8 t dry mustard
1 t garlic minced
1 C water
2 T vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)

In a pot add nutritional yeast, flour, salt, mustard and garlic and whisk until well combined. Add in water and butter and heat over medium heat, whisking until well combined. Cook until boiling, then remove from heat and set aside. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Spread 1/2 the cheese on a tortilla and place in pan. Sprinkle in 1/2 the tomatoes and 1/2 the avocado and press a second tortilla over the top of it all. Cook for a few minutes until the bottom is browning, then carefully flip over and cook a few more minutes. Repeat the remaining two tortillas, cheese and filling. Cut these quesadillas into 8 slices each and serve 4 to each person with a bowl of soup and lots of salsa.

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