This is probably the easiest meal we put together in our kitchen on a fairly regular basis. Its roots are found in the CPHA‘s publication, The Basic Shelf Cookbook, which is something I feel every household should have a copy of. I don’t actually own the book right now (and before you call me a hypocrite you should know that I’ve owned the book and given it away at least 7 times.) The contents are brilliant on a fundamental level: simple meals comprised largely of ingredients with long shelf lives which focus on maintaining nutritional integrity. It can be ordered here for CDN $7.50.
My recipe differs from the original by a couple of steps and ingredients but still maintains the inherent simplicity while stepping up the flavour quotient a couple of notches. Oh, and it’s entirely vegan if you omit the cheese or replace it with a soy based cheese.
What you need:
1tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1 medium sized cooking onion, finely chopped (vidalias and reds are my favourites for this soup)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cans of diced tomatoes (or jars if you do your own)
1 can of black beans (or soak the dried kind if you want to)
1 can of sweet or baby corn (or use leftovers if you’ve got ‘em)
2 cups of vegetable broth (or dissolve 2 cubes/packets of bouillon-esque stuff in your 2 cups of boiling water)
1 tbsp dried or 1/4 cup fresh oregano
1 tbsp dried or 1/4 cup fresh basil
A pretty, fresh herb and some cheese for garnish (I’ve got cilantro and cheddar in the pic above but parsley &/or basil are great alternatives to the cilantro if you don’t have any on hand.
Toast the spices in a large pot over medium-high heat until fragrant. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, sweat the onions and garlic in it for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the tomatoes, corn, beans & stock. Up the heat again to medium-high and keep it there, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a low boil. Stir in the herbs. Move to large bowls and garnish.