The presentation of this easy, offbeat soup is fun and dramatic.
NotesVegan Gourmet nacho cheese is particularly good in this recipe.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionFamily Get-together, game day
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecrisp, garlicky, herby, hot & spicy, spiced, tart
Type of Dishhot soup
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup raw bulgur
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 cups cooked pinto beans (about 1½ cups dried), or two 16-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
- One 28-ounce can salt-free crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped mild green chilies, fresh or canned, optional
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 to 1½ cups grated cheddar-style nondairy cheese (see Note)
- Thinly shredded romaine or green leaf lettuce
- Finely diced firm, ripe tomatoes (about 1 cup)
- Large, triangular stone-ground tortilla chips
Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the bulgur and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Or if you can do this step ahead of time, simply add the bulgur to the boiling water, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until all are golden.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnishes, plus the cooked bulgur and the remaining 3 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Assemble each serving as follows. Fill each bowl about 2/3 full with soup. Top with some grated cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes. Line the perimeter of each bowl with several tortilla chips, points facing upward, for a kind of star-shaped effect. The tortilla chips can be used to scoop up the solid parts of the soup or just nibbled along with the soup. Pass around a bowl of extra tortilla chips.
2009 Nava Atlas