When people ask me about this recipe, I tell them it’s really nothing more than a can-opening exercise, and I’m not kidding. Sauté a few veggies, throw some canned goods at them and that’s that. Really.
I’ve halved this recipe and it still makes a pretty big batch, but why make soup if you don’t want to end up with enough to eat at a couple or more meals? Use a big-ish pot—six quarts or so.
Also, and important: a few days ahead of time, you should freeze a block of extra firm tofu. Pull it out a day ahead and thaw it in the fridge. Or, if you’re fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can get away with using their house brand extra firm tofu without having to freeze it. The idea is to make the texture more chewy; freezing does the trick nicely. I just keep a block or two in the freezer all the time so that I can grab and thaw as I wish.
Chop into 1/2-inch or so cubes, or some other shape if you prefer:
- 3 onions
- 2 bell peppers
Sauté them in a little oil and add:
- 3 T chili powder
- 1 T cumin
- 1 T turmeric
- 1 T garlic powder
- 2 T garlic salt*
- 1 T black pepper
(I like to add some chipotle powder, too, but that’s not in the original recipe.)
Once the vegetables are cooked, add the following, which, if you’re organized, you will have pre-opened (all) and drained (just the beans).
- Two 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
- the tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 cans black beans
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 2 cans garbanzo beans
- 2 cups of water
That’s it! Simmer about an hour and adjust spices as you please. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, some kind of hot sauce or whatever you like!
* I read a book by Judith Jones a couple of years ago wherein she describes garlic salt as a “travesty”. I roll my eyes to this, but if you feel similarly, do feel free to chop up some fresh garlic and adjust the salt accordingly.