I freely adapted this soup from Rick Bayless’ recipe when I needed to put something together for friends in a hurry. There were leftover corn tortillas in the fridge that night, so that’s what I use; if you have leftover chips, that’s good too. Black beans and mushrooms have replaced shredded chicken. This is a staple, and a favorite; every ingredient is something I almost always have around (you can even freeze the bagged avocado and keep it!).
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans
2 cans vegetable broth
1 small can tomato sauce
1 large white onion, chopped
peppers – (I like to roast a few jalapenos or banana pappers over an open flame, then peel off the blackened skin and seed them. But you could also use roasted peppers from a jar, or chopped bell peppers, or another pepper flavor.)
1 package of mushrooms (white, or something more interesting.)
Leftover tortillas and/or tortilla chips
Shredded medium cheddar cheese
Avocados / guacamole (either cubed avocados, or in the processed-bagged form you can usually find in the deli section)
Extra virgin olive oil, Tobasco, cumin, Crazy Jane salt
Blend your pepper ingredient with the diced tomatoes. Put it and the veggie broth, tomato sauce, chopped onion, and black beans in a soup pot and cook (make it bubble lightly) for 15 minutes. While it’s cooking, season with a good shot of olive oil, as much Tobasco as you like (me = 15-20 drops, probably), plenty of cumin, and some Crazy Jane salt. If you’re entertaining, get to this step before the party starts; you can begin again from here at any time.
Put the mushrooms into the soup pot and cook for 5-10 minutes more.
To serve: put tortilla/chips in the bottom of a bowl, then ladle soup over it. Add a generous bit of cheese and the cubed avocado/guacamole on top.