Serves 8 to 10
Chicken tortilla soup has long been a family favorite, so I set out to create a vegan version for Meatless Mondays (see this page for my weekly schedule). To replace pulled chicken, I use spaghetti squash for that pulled textural component, and for the protein, I add black beans. The flavor of the soup is reminiscent of tacos, a kid favorite around here, so it’s a win-win all around. We like to top off a bowl with a dollop of sour cream.
1 (2-pound) spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
½ red bell pepper, diced small
½ green bell pepper, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups vegetable stock
2 (14.5-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, thinly sliced red onion, lime wedges, sour cream, Candied Jalapeños , Homemade Tortilla Strips, for serving
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
2 Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the cut-sides down on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender and can be pulled apart with a fork.
3 In a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne and continue to sauté for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and sauté an additional 2 minutes, until it darkens in color. Add the stock, diced tomatoes with their juices, and the black beans. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, until the soup is slightly thickened.
4 Use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the spaghetti squash halves (discard the skins). Divide the shredded squash between serving bowls and fill with the soup. Garnish with the toppings of your choice.