Southwest Vegetable Soup – Vegan Recipe

I like soup, regardless of the weather, but this is a nice transitional soup for the seasons. It’s not heavy like a winter soup, but the spices give it a warming kick. This makes a TON of soup, so you may want to half it or prepare to freeze a bunch.

Instructions below are for doing this in a pressure cooker. If you don’t wish to cook it that way, presoak the beans overnight and then the rest is the same except cook on stovetop until beans are done.


  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots (or a couple of handfuls of baby carrots), chopped
  • 5 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and ends removed (or frozen)
  • 12 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups V-8 or tomato juice
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 TBSP dried cilantro
  • 3 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime wedges (1 per bowl)
  • tortilla chips crushed or tortilla strips (optional)
  • avocado sliced or diced (optional)
  • vegan sour cream


Place everything but the frozen corn (and green beans if you use frozen) in a large pressure cooker. If it will be too much liquid for your cooker to be safe, leave out some of the veg broth to add in the second stage. Bring to high pressure and cook 20 minutes. Turn off and allow to depressurize.

Check the pinto beans. If they aren’t done, return to a boil for a little longer without re-pressurizing until done. Once the beans are done bring to a low boil, add the frozen corn (and green beans if you didn’t use fresh) and any remaining veg broth, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

If it isn’t broth-y enough (I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure how much veg broth I used), you can definitely add more. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips/strips, diced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, and the juice from a lime wedge. Yum!

Vegan “Refried” Beans and Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips

We are big fans of nachos around The VeganAsana household.  We have them pretty much once a week on average.  Sometimes, I just open a can of beans and heat and then go from there, but sometimes we get a little more “fancy” about it (and also cost saving) and start from dried beans.  It’s easy and you end up with a huge batch of beans for nachos or burritos or whatever.

The night before – Sort and rinse 1 lb of dried pinto beans.  You can also use kidney beans, but I find them really unpredictable for cooking well, so I rarely do.  In my house of 7-8 people, I do two bags of beans in each batch, but most households should find one to be plenty.  Place beans in a pot and add water to 3x the level of the beans.

The next day, early afternoon, begin cooking.  Drain the soak water and add fresh for the cooking.  Heat on high until they reach a boil and then back the temp down to a strong simmer.  I like to add some chopped onion (1 per bag) and jalapenos (1-2 per bag depending upon size and heat level) for this step, but you can also do that later after the blending.

Once the beans are cooked tender, cool, drain, and food process them in small batches to a paste.  During the food processing, I typically add a bit of veggie broth or the cooking liquid back.  Return to pan, add a small amount of olive oil (helps them not get dry as they cool), cumin, and salt and pepper to taste while heating.  This is also a chance to adjust the heat level by adding some hot sauce, or make alterations like putting in some salsa or chopped tomato.  And, that’s it!

My kids also really like home baked tortilla chips.  This can be done with any flour tortilla, but I like whole wheat.  Simply mist tortillas with h2o, olive oil, or cooking spray, then cut tortillas into large pie piece shapes, place in a single layer on a baking stone, and sprinkle liberally with sea salt.  These are just amazing straight out of the oven served with the beans, maybe some cheese or faux cheese, salsa, guacamole, and whatever other nacho toppings you like.

As usual, this will be a featured dish for our New Year’s Eve Eat Yourself Sick family party.  And then we’ll burn a lot of candles the next day! 😉

Happy New Year,