LuAnn's White Chili (Vegan)

In one word "DELICIOUS!" My daughter, who was a grade-schooler at the time, said she would happily eat the soup EVERY week! As people often do at my table, she asked if it was vegan. When told “yes,” she said she would become a vegan JUST to eat that soup! BTW, she was not alone in her opinion that the soup was "soup-erb". EVERYONE liked it!

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Ingredients

Chili

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, rinsed (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon McKay’s chicken-style seasoning or Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (7-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 cup light-colored dehydrated texturized vegetable/soy protein (see Notes)

Add last, just before serving

  • 1 cup non-dairy sour cream alternative (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

Garnish

  • Chipotle chili powder
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, in a high-powered blender, combine the hot water, cashews, vegetarian chicken-style seasoning or soup base, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, chili powder and salt, then cover and blend on high until the liquid is completely smooth with no hint of graininess. (See Notes)
  3. Stir the blended mixture, rinsed and drained beans, green chiles and dehydrated texturized vegetable/soy protein granules or curls to the sauteed onions, scraping the bottom of the stockpot to bring up any stuck-on bits of onions; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook gently for about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream alternative and lime juice until smoothly mixed; set aside.
  5. After the soup has cooked for about 20 minutes, remove the stockpot from the stove and stir in the sour cream alternative mixture until no streaks of white remain. (Do not return the soup to a boil after adding the sour cream alternative, as the soup may curdle.)
  6. Serve immediately, sprinkling each bowl lightly with chipotle chili powder and garnishing with a fresh cilantro sprig.

Notes

  • If you do not have a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix or BlendTec, soak the cashews in hot water for 10 or 15 minutes. Drain the soaking water before blending with the other ingredients.
  • Dehydrated texturized vegetable (or soy) protein, sometimes just called “TVP,” can be used as a vegetarian alternative to meat in soups and stews, casseroles and vegetarian “meat” loaves, tacos etc. It can be found in some larger natural/whole food stores and online. You may find several varieties – light or dark, unflavored or flavored, granules, chunks or strips/curls. Select the type according to its intended use.
  • Usually, dehydrated TVP is rehydrated in an equal amount of water before using; however, in this recipe, I add the TVP directly to the soup without rehydrating. (Extra liquid is included in the soup to account for the dehydrated TVP). My favorite TVP for this soup is Butler Soy Curls. I do find that the dehydrated curls become quite large after cooking and often use a slotted spoon to lift them out of the soup and break them into smaller pieces.

Recipe written by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, a two-volume collection of family-approved, plant-based recipes.

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