The presentation of this easy and simply delicious, offbeat soup is fun and dramatic.
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup raw bulgur
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 cups cooked or canned pinto beans (from 1 1/2 cups raw beans or two 16-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
- One 28-ounce can salt-free crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped mild green chilies, fresh or canned, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the bulgur and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Or if you can do this step ahead of time simply add the bulgur to the boiling water, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to saute, stirring frequently, until all are golden.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnishes, plus the cooked bulgur and the remaining 3 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Fill each bowl about 2/3 full with soup. Top with some grated cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and tortilla chips.
Nava Atlas is the author of Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, Vegan Express, The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet, and many other cookbooks designed for busy families who want healthful vegan and vegetarian food