Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans

by on February 25, 2010
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Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans

I’m coming up for air. I’ve spent the past couple of days working on the redesign of Fatfree Vegan Recipes, the website that spawned this blog. Although the really tricky stuff like coding and css and, for all I know, nuclear particle acceleration was done by a very talented web designer at E. Webscapes, I’ve had the incredibly mind numbing (and eye straining and finger cramping) job of copying and pasting all of the old recipes into the new format. I’ve had my daughter helping me, and so far we’re only up to number 76 of 1300, a realization that makes me want to run screaming into the street. I don’t trust myself to do any more right now (letters are starting to slide around on the screen), so I thought I’d take a break from all that and post you a recipe.

Unfortunately, posting a recipe requires looking at a screen, and the letters are starting to slide around here too (a few are even break dancing). So excuse me if I’m too brief or misspell or suddenly start swearing like Gordon Ramsay. This soup was delicious, and it deserves better treatment than I can give it right now, but thems the breaks.

The short story behind it is that I saw it, or the one it’s based on, in Eating Well magazine, and couldn’t resist making it, with a few changes: 1) Instead of tofu I used pinto beans. 2) Then I doubled the amount of pinto beans because I wanted it main-dishier (see, I’m making up words; swearing can’t be far behind). 3) I used Mexican oregano instead of epizote because I like Mexican oregano and don’t have any epizote. 4) I added chipotle powder because I wanted it to be spicier (without it, it’s deeply chile-flavored but not spicy at all). 5) I divided it into 6 servings instead of 8 because my family and I eat like pigs (only messier) and because I wanted it to be main-dishier (see #2).

I hope you’ll enjoy it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go take a walk before I get back to swearing at my computer screen.

Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pamela February 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I've been looking for some good new soups to try and this one looks amazing. Thanks so much! I can't wait to try it.

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2 Ellen February 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Your recipes are always wonderful, and I'm sure this one will not disappoint!! Your blog/website is always the first place I go when I am in need of a good vegan recipe.

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3 The Walmart Vegan February 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

This sounds great. I have some black beans (with extras for later) on and I may substitute them for the pintos just because I'll have them ready.

I can't imagine transferring that many recipes over. I think I'd try to bribe my "techy" daughter into it…lol.

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4 SusanV February 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Ha! Walmart Vegan, that's exactly what I'm doing: I'm paying my (nearly) 13-year-old to do it. I'm paying by the recipe and it's a bargain; the kid is so fast and conscientious. But I'm still going over each one and adding a couple of things before they're ultimately posted, so even having a fast teenager help it's a big job.

I keep telling myself that I put all those recipes there to begin with and I can do it again. But I'm not as young as I used to be so I'm slowing down.

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5 Xtreme English February 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm

this looks wonderful, and i'm going to try it tonight. the thing i like best about your recipes is how adaptable they are. i really dislike chipotle, but there are ways to get around this. and THANKS for the great tip on charring peppers (put them in a hot pan and press them down, first one side, then the other). it's much easier than trying to char them over the flame. and i don't see why a person can't use a gas stove for this just as well as an electric.

anyway, looking forward to this!!

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6 Christina February 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Well if it's any consolation for all your hard work…I took a peek at the recipe site and it looks SOOOOO good!! Almost as good as the soup!

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7 Misty February 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Yum – this looks great. Since its winter I'm on a soup kick. :)

I'm looking forward to the swearing like Gordon Ramsey, actually…

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8 Kathy G February 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm

This recipe sounds great, but I prefer to limit the amount of work I put into my food prep. Is there a product you can recommend so I don't have to toast my own chiles?
Kathy G

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9 SusanV February 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Misty, I could set up a microphone by my computer…. ;-)

KathyG, you can use ancho chile powder instead of dried chiles. It's not exactly the same, and you may have to play around with measurements, but it's worth a try. I've read that 1 tablespoon of chile powder is equal to one dried chile, but I would probably try less than that and add it to taste.

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10 Lisa Blair February 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I'm not making this tonight, and now I wish that I was! This soup will definitely make the list for next week. It looks delicious.

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11 Anonymous February 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Hi! I love your site and this is the first time that I have written in. Fabulous recipes!!

A friend of mine just redid her blog, and found someone on e-lance to copy all the material for her. Their rate was super cheap too. Might be something to consider…to save your eyes, and fingers, and keep those recipes coming.

Best,
G.

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12 Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Wow what a job- that's a lot of recipes!! Your recipes are great though, so it'll be worth it :)

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13 Healthy and Homemade February 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm

YUM!! I cant wait to try this. I always loved the tortilla soup from El Torito when I was a kid . . . now it just doesn't appeal to me and it's hard to find a good recipe for it!

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14 Anne-Marie Borbely-Bartis February 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm

This looks (and reads) absolutely amazing, Susan! I'm always looking for more bean/legume recipes. I'll definitely try this over the weekend. And thank you for all your amazing, inspiring hard work on the website and blog–you make healthy vegan living a joy to behold.

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15 dogbaker February 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm

As someone who has done site redesign for my business you have my biggest sympathy.
Hang in there and Big hugs for the fine job. I know you will have a big celebration when its done.
I cannot wait to try your adaptation of the recipe.Everything I have made from your site has been wonderful.
Thank You for your diligent hard work.

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16 Veganice February 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm

mmmm sounds amazingly delicious, I can't wait to try this soup – I loved your post! :-)

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17 ms.min February 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Cute post. It's funny to think of you stomping around swearing like Gordon Ramsay!

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18 Jacqueline February 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Poor you, that sounds like a hellish amount of tedious work, but the soup is great. i love the chunks of avocado floating on top.

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19 healthy life February 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

That looks really good.

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20 deana - gwg February 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm

THANK YOU FOR THIS! I absolutely love tortilla soup and haven't had it in years. Very Exciting!

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21 Christi from A Different Daisy/VeganGoods.com February 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm

New design looks good and so does the soup!

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22 moonwatcher February 25, 2010 at 7:16 pm

HI Susan,

This looks really good, and I have to put it on my "to make" list! Hang in there with the recipe transfers. . I love the image of letter break dancing. . your wit is remains sharp despite the exhaustion!

xo

moonwatcher

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23 Songbird February 25, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Oooooh, this looks delicious! I'm definitely trying it soon. The avo cubes and tortillas strips did me in. Thanks, Susan.

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24 Oh She Glows February 25, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Posting is not taking a 'break' so thank you for being so dedicated to you readers even when swamped with website work!! :)

My husband and I are geting ready to move my websites to a dedicated server and I am quite worried about the process (as is he- and he is the computer whiz kid).

This soup looks great. I don't know if I have ever used pinto beans before!

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25 Christina Garton February 25, 2010 at 9:22 pm

This soup looks AMAZING. Can't wait to try it out next week. Glad I came here before I went grocery shopping.

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26 Laina February 26, 2010 at 12:04 am

Susan, one thing my father-in-law told my dh when he was just a boy when picking cotton was to not look at the acres and acres of cotton, but to only look at the one row.

When that row was done, then only look at the next row and so forth. And it worked. The job didn't seem so gigantic anymore. :)

And my dh still remembers that when he comes across a task that seems overwhelming.

I'm glad you took a break by the way. This recipe looks fabulous. I'm from New Mexico and just wanted to say that it's also very authentic. Can't wait to give it a try. It would go great with your confetti cornbread!

We appreciate YOU!

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27 DJ Karma (VegSpinz) February 26, 2010 at 1:27 am

I've been eating a lot of (almost)this exact same dish! I love pinto beans, and since I recently acquired a magical thing called a pressure cooker, I've been making this a lot, and adding greens to it.

P.S. Your blog makes me laugh! Love your wit! :)

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28 Elessar February 26, 2010 at 5:12 am

Sooz!
this is the kind of soup i could happily make while sleepwalking over the kitty-cat. I adore Southwestern and Mexican cooking,as you know,but I am an exile in England, with a woman who doesn't much like chilies, smoked or unsmoked. What's a po'veg-boy to do? Work around it! If you made me this soup I'd have to work along-side you, giggling and swearing as much as that damn Ram(sey). But he loses out big time:I have no need to buy his cook books (or Jaime Oliver's,or any hot mouthy chef. they have some good ideas, but they are meat-eaters and I am not.I was going through a few foodie e-mails today, and chuckled that you & I and a few others can make great food for vegetarians faster than they can edit and present. Food Heroine? You, Mollie Katzen and Julia Child. Good company.Torilla soup? Oh YUM! Might have to print this one…at least when Lesley wants to cool down the chilpotles or smoked paprika or a too-hot NM pepper or white pepper, she goes for tortilla chips or sour cream…, I am Southwestern-izing her,but oh so slowly.That's when I reach for something Italian or Hunan or Polynesian, and "pray". it is hard to change a person's cultural eating tastes!

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29 Mary February 26, 2010 at 8:34 am

Yum! I think I would really, really like this. Now to track down some chipotle chili powder…

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30 Adrien February 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I just found your blog- I think I love you!

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31 Katie February 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Beautiful! Keep up the hard work, the new site looks great!

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32 tbsomeday February 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm

lol–i'm enjoying your frazzled, made up words post
since you have over 1200 recipes to go (not to remind you)…looks like you'll be in this mode for some time :)

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33 jasmine February 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I made this soup last night (more or less)–so thanks for the inspiration! :0

In case it helps anyone, I used regular chili powder (what I had), but the tomatoes I used were fire-roasted and adobo seasoned (thank you, Muir Glenn). The dried chiles I used were from an Indian grocer, so probably not a New Mexican variety. And, I used a mix of pinto & black beans.

And, lastly, I served it with arepas, since i had no tortillas. And, being out of avocado, I added some cubed sweet/ripe plantain, that I had already cooked and leftover. It added a really nice & unique flavor dimension to the soup.

…the leftovers were even better for lunch today.

so thanks!

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34 Yaz Lawsuit February 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Yummy! This soup looks so tasty and easy to make. Cheers, thanks for the recipe.

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35 Charlotte's Vegetarian Blog February 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Great sounding recipe! Oh, and good luck with the nuclear particle acceleration :)

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36 vasilisab February 27, 2010 at 10:25 am

Good thing I checked my email before going to the grocery store. It sounds really yummy, so I will be making it today.

Beautiful picture, as usual. I am still trying to get there with the quality of my food pics…

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37 Braelin February 27, 2010 at 11:39 am

Thanks for taking the time to redesign the other site- it looks great so far!

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38 Lori Lynn February 27, 2010 at 11:49 am

I recently posted a Baja-stye tortilla soup on our new collaborative veggie blog. Your recipe sounds excellent.

Lori Lynn
http://thegreatvegproject.blogspot.com/2010/02/baja-style-tortilla-soup.html

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39 Kristina February 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm

HI Susan,
I just made your blueberry banana bread and a conventional non-vegan banana bread for a friend to taste. My family gave thumbs up to yours, thumbs down to the conventional! Thanks for creating such a delicious and healthy bread.
Kristina

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40 Millette Jones February 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Took these to church today and they were devoured. High percent of vegans/veggies but everyone seemed to enjoy them. Not overly sweet but very flavorful.

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41 Christina Garton February 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Just made this tonight for dinner and it was WONDERFUL. I only made two minor changes: I didn't use chipotle powder (I live in NM so I can get hot dried chiles) and I added two diced green chiles. Fantastic recipe, keep up the good work!

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42 Melanie March 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Made it! I used a little 7.5 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of the dried peppers – probably too spicy for most people but I loooove it that way. Followed everything else except I was too lazy to do the tortillas… so I used Fritos instead! :> Very very very yummy!!!!

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43 Heather Loves Healthy Vegan Recipes March 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Awesome idea to sub beans for tofu! I am not a fan of tofu, and don't digest it very well, and always sub it for something else – usually tempeh, but beans are a superb thought. Thanks!

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44 Danyell March 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

I love this!!!! I am a veggie, but not yet a vegan (I just love fish and cheese too much). I am always trying to do new things with beans…thank you! You can find me at cooleatsandhottreats.blogspot.com

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45 prabhu March 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

Soup making is really a good one. that gives pleasure to drink it .. veg soup s very good for the health..
By

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46 Mark Austin March 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Omg, great recipe, looking forward to trying it out!!!Yummy!

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47 Johanna GGG March 3, 2010 at 7:05 am

good luck with redoing your website – sounds like something to do in front of a movie on the telly – but then the mistakes creep in don't they – well am glad you are still sharing your lovely soup with us despite little energy for all things computers

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48 whatiwore March 3, 2010 at 11:40 am

This looks DELICIOUS! Thanks for this, it's going on my grocery list for next week for sure!

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49 M D March 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

You are brilliant at healthy Vegan food!!!

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50 Nicole, RD March 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

What a daunting task! The Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans looks fabulous! Especially garnished with avocado! DELICIOUS!

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51 lilyng March 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm

thanks for sharing this lovely soup recipe, a very comforting one on a cold day.

thanks

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52 Carolyn March 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm

OMG Susan, the new site is going to be fabulous! And thanks to Laina for passing on the wisdom to "only look at the one row". Jeez, if we all did that every day of our lives think of what could be accomplished.

I love tortillas and pintos. Plus chipotle chile rules. For some reason avocados have been on special here and there locally too. Synchronicity?

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53 sarahk March 5, 2010 at 4:26 am

Another great recipe, Susan. We're getting the first taste of autumn here with some cooler nights so I jumped at the chance to make soup after weeks of salads. Chipotle chilli powder is not something that's available here so I did without, but a friend suggested either smoked paprika or liquid smoke to try and replicate the smokiness. Do you think either of those would work?

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54 SusanV March 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

Sarahk, the Mew Mexico chiles and roasted tomatoes really make it smokey enough, but the chipotle adds heat, so instead of smoked paprika or liquid smoke, I would suggest using cayenne or another hot red pepper. But you should make it to your taste, so if you prefer smokey to spicy, one of those ingredients might suit you better.

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55 Anonymous March 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

I made this the other night for my omni-husband and two friends and everyone loved it. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful recipes. I just celebrated my one year anniversay of eating completely vegan. I would never have been able to do it without your blog. – Kathleen

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56 m.e. March 8, 2010 at 7:02 am

i made this, and i happily discovered goya's chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. since i don't really like the taste of chipotle peppers in the ubiquitous salsa dips, i spooned out just two of the smallish peppers, and chopped them very fine. with the adobo sauce that clung to the peppers, it made about 1/4 cup on my chopping board…but i scraped it into the soup pot, stirred it up, and then let the soup cook for quite a while. well! the effect was magical! i could taste only a hint of the smokey chipotles, but there was this wonderful HEAT–like the first warm day in spring. absolutely delicious!

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57 Laina March 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I made this with your confetti cornbread. They were both delicious!

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58 Karen March 14, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Oh, I love tortilla soup and I'm thrilled to find a veg version! This rocks, I can't wait to make it. Thanks!
http://thedailygrindchopandfry.com

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59 Lindy March 18, 2010 at 12:34 am

Thanks for this recipe. I finally made it tonight (I printed it off a while back meaning to make it) when I realized i had everything I needed. While it wasn't a huge hit with the kids (they are tough with stuff mixed together, so soups generally don't win) my husband and I both loved it. It tastes very "restauranty" but I found it very simple to prepare (it helps to have a vitamix that I like to use). Thanks for the recipe and I can't wait to try more!

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60 Elina March 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I saw that recipe in Eating Well as well. Yours looks (and sounds) even better!
When I switched platforms, I didn't need to retype anything. Not sure what kind of magic my husband used, but it all just transferred. He even said it was easier than he thought it would be. Sorry your process is A LOT more painful :( Oh and swearing is definitely allowed. lol

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61 Jen March 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I'm always coming back here and finding great recipes to try! Great stuff!

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62 Jen Rupert March 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

This soup was delicious. Most soups are better on the second day but this one was perfect immediately off the stove. I want to tell you how much I enjoy your site and recipes, especially the soups! Yummy, healthy, and not too hard to make! Thank you.

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63 beet-red March 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm

This was delicious!

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64 Rachael April 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

This was a yummy week-night meal. Thank you!

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65 Simply Life April 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

What a great variation on tortilla soup!

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66 العاب بنات April 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hello
Thank you for this information useful ordination
Thank you very much

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67 Apri May 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I have made a tortilla/taco soup with my high powered blender. Of course it does not make this much, and I have to add the veggies, beans and chips last so they are chunky and just ‘pulse’ a few times, but the clean up is quick and easy.

I have not used greens in my tortilla soup before, I like that idea. It’s kinda like a “sneaky – green game” to see how much greens you can sneak into your families tummies with out them knowing. ;0

However, tonight, I caught my 7 yo actually sneaking some spinach leaves out of the container and chomping down on them!!! Sweet moments! :)

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68 April at Kitchen Blender Reviews November 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Hi Susan,
Below is a link to a quick Vegan Tortilla Soup dish I make in my Blendtec Blender. I love making this for a quick lunch for us or add extras like avacado, black olives and such to make it a quick dinner.

It is always a hit. It’s like fast food for the healthy, raw eater!

http://www.kitchen-blender-reviews.com/recipes/vegan-blendtec-soup-recipe/

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69 Carole February 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I’m not vegan, but I am always interested in tasty, lowfat recipes. This is a good one — with the addition of a bit more chili powder and cumin. I am a lover of spicy food.

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70 Anna February 26, 2011 at 8:28 am

Aaaw, Susan, you have our sympathy, and thanks for sharing all your delicious cruelty-free recipes! You have turned this very unenthusiastic cook into a a very enthusiastic one. ♥

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71 Sue Justus May 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Just want to thank you for the awesome job you have been doing and also for the hard work of transferring all the recipes. Love your sense of humor!!!! Sue Justus

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72 Wendy January 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm

This soup turned out AWESOME! I didn’t think it would be filling enough for a meal, but boy was I wrong. My carnivorous husband gobbled it right up. Thank you!

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73 Julee January 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I just made this soup today and it is SO GOOD!!!

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74 Dianne February 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

SHUT IT DOWN!!!!!! ha

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75 April February 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

Just started a vegan diet on January 1. I love your blog- it is awesome! Thank YOU!

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76 katie February 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Hi Susan,
I’m making this right now. 8 cups of liquid seems too much. I’ve put 2 cups of veggie chicken broth on so far and it just seems like it’s going to be very watery soup. IT’s only cooked for 30 min.s so I don’t see how the pinto beans could cook down and thicken it. Am I missing something? The tomatoe puree witht he chilie’s tastes wonderful but something is wrong.
Katie

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77 Susan Voisin February 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Have you added the 4 cups of greens yet? I haven’t had a problem with it being too watery once all the ingredients are added, but if you want a thicker soup (more stewlike) you could use less water.

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78 Neha shah September 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

This was lovely; thank you. I mixed pinto and black, left out the water, added more chili powder and a lot of cilantro. Next time I will also add corn.

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79 Annie October 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I, for one, can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate all you do to make my whole foods plant based no refined oils lifestyle easy and wonderful. If I could help you with copying and pasting, I’d do it. Hugs to you and Happy Halloween.

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80 Susan Simon October 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm

This was unbelievably delicious and I will make it again. I added too much heat with the chili peppers so I cooked a cup of brown rice and added it in. I used kale instead of spinach and threw in some mild canned chili peppers that I wanted to use up. This is so rich tasting, so flavorful, and the best part is, I ate it for lunch and have a huge pot left at home. Thank you so much – it is wonderful!!!

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