4 tablespoons vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2-3 teaspoons fresh ground cumin
2-3 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground coriander
5 cups faux chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 vegan chicken breasts (I use Gardein) or 1 (8 ounce) package vegan chicken strips, chopped
(I use Trader Joes' Chicken-less Chicken Strips)
6-8 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cashew cream (I use this recipe: http://www.talronnen.com/recipes/cashew-cream/ )
1. You will need to soak the cashews overnight, if making cashew cream. For soup, place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the margarine and stir until melted, making sure not to let it burn. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the can of tomatoes with juice, bay leaf, cayenne, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, onion powder and granulated garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes then add the "chicken" stock and fresh cilantro.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Add in the "chicken" and tortilla pieces and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the cashew cream. Continue to simmer another 10 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender (cover lid with towel and hold down tight! Hot liquid can get pretty explosive.) and blend on high for a few minutes until soup is smooth.
5. Pour back into stockpot and keep warm until ready to serve. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, avocado or guacamole, corn kernels, pico de gallo or fried tortilla strips/chips.
Source of recipe: Inspired by Veggie Grill's tortilla soup.