Dina Cheney's Meatless All Day is an undisputable reminder that Meatless Mondays can, and shall, be awesome. Utilizing protein-rich ingredients in innovative ways — and learning to master umami — all contribute to a supremely satisfying meal. This light but flavorful carrot soup is a delicious way to pack away a few servings of vegetables.
Dip toasts slathered with bean dip into the spiced, velvety soup on cold days. If reheating, feel free to thin it out with vegetable broth; just adjust the seasoning with more salt, if necessary. To make the soup vegan, either omit the sour cream or use a dairy-free yogurt and substitute agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups red onions, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 8 cups carrots, coarsely chopped
- 7 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons lime juice, fresh-squeezed and strained
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh whole cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon liquid from a can of chipotle chiles en adobo, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
Black Bean Toasts
- 3 1/2-inch thick slices country bread
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup fresh whole cilantro leaves, plus another 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
- 2 tablespoons red onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh-squeezed and strained
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid from a can of chipotle chiles en adobo
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
For the soup:
- Heat the oven to 400°F.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- When hot, add the onions, the cumin and chili powder and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes.
- Add the carrots and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for another 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the carrots are very tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to carefully purée until no chunks remain, about 3 minutes (be vigilant to make sure all of the chunks are gone).
- If you don’t have an immersion or stick blender, purée in batches in a blender, not filling the blender jar more than halfway and holding down the lid with a kitchen towel.
- Add the sour cream, lime juice, honey, the whole cilantro leaves, chipotle liquid, and salt; purée with the immersion blender to mix well. (You will have about 13 cups of soup.)
For the black bean toasts:
- Place the bread on a baking sheet with sides. Brush evenly with 1/4 cup oil.
- Sprinkle evenly with a total of a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Bake until crisp and slightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- While the bread bakes, in a food processor (a miniature model will work fine here), combine the rinsed and drained beans, the remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup fresh whole cilantro leaves, onions, lime juice, chipotle liquid, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and chili powder.
- Purée until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (You’ll have 1 cup of spread.)
- Ladle 2 cups of soup into each of six large serving bowls.
- Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the bean mixture onto each slice of bread.
- Cut each slice into quarters and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
- Serve two quarters with each portion of soup.
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