Sunday, August 28, 2011

Black Bean Soup (Vegan and GF) and Apple Cake (Vegan)

Black Bean Soup in a Bread Bowl
I really thought I had posted both of these recipes previously, but I can't seem to find them on this blog.  Maybe I'm just blog blond, I don't know. 

Some of you already have a Black Bean Soup recipe from me.  I have several varieties that I make, but this is the most requested around here.  I much prefer to use dried beans that I've re hydrated overnight, but here in the real world I often times just grab a can out of the pantry.  This soup is pretty quick to put together.  Serve with chips or bread and fresh veggies on the side.  I like my soup full of hot peppers, but I usually just chop them and let everyone add their own.  I prefer it blended, but I can go both ways.

The Apple Cake is a "heart-healthy" version and is great for breakfast.  It is a dense sort of coffee cake when finished.  The brown sugar topping gives it a nice sweetness, so feel free to cut back on the sugar in the actual cake. It's best if you let it cool a bit, otherwise the texture is a little mushy.  It works well to bake this the night before and have it ready for a nice breakfast or brunch.  We had some kids sleepover last night and they devoured this cake for breakfast with some fresh oranges and mangoes.

2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper plus 1/2 green pepper (or 1 whole pepper of your choice), diced
1 small white onion
2 c. vegetable broth + 1-2 c. water
1 T. oregano
1 T. cumin
1 bay leaf
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice from 1 large orange
Salt and pepper to taste
Cornstarch for thickening (optional)
Jalapenos or green onion for topping at serving time (optional)

Soften the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil.  Don't let them brown. Add in the broth, seasonings and beans.  Add just enough extra water to cover the beans.  Simmer together for about 20-30 minutes and then remove the bay leaf.

Smooth version, pureed in blender
 SMOOTH texture soup:  Put small batches of the soup in a blender and puree until smooth.  Add the orange juice at the end.  Thicken if needed (may not need to be depending on texture from beans) with cornstarch and water. Re season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chunky texture, beans left whole
CHUNKY texture soup: L eave the beans whole and just squeeze in the orange juice. Thicken with 1 T. cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 c. water.  Let boil for about 2 minutes.
Top with chopped jalapenos or green onion at serving time.

2 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3 apples, cored and chopped finely (I leave skins on, your choice)
1/2 c. applesauce
2 servings egg substitute
1 1/2 c. sugar (I use far less if the applesauce is sweetened)

For Topping:
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. whole-wheat flour
1/2 c. oats
3 T. vegan butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.  Mix together the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a small bowl, mix together the egg substitute, apples, applesauce and sugar.  Fold the wet into the dry until it is just moistened.  It will make a thick batter.  Pour into prepared cake pan.

For topping, cut butter into the dry ingredients until it is a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle on top of cake. 

Bake cake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

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