Tuesday, September 29, 2015


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Soup is the ultimate comfort food in most cultures. In Peru it is part of the their  culinary history and tradition, eaten at home as main dish, and even for breakfast. (I am partial to soup for breakfast, I must confess.)

It is estimated that there are around 2000 different soups in Peru. This amazing number reflects the three main geographical zones of Peru (the coast, the Andean highland and the jungle) and the fusion of influences from different times and immigrant cultures-- the indigenous people, the Inca Empire, the Spanish,  Africans, Italians, Chinese, and Japanese.

As many of you know, my late father, Alejandro Jaime Urbina, was Peruvian.

Peruvians love their soups, and he was no exception.  I've been veganizing Peruvian recipes for a few years now-- slowly, I grant you.  This soup, very common in Peru, with many versions, is my latest.  I see Italian influences here-- the pasta and the fact that it is sometimes served with Parmesan cheese.  (Italians are the 2nd largest European population in Peru-- my paternal grandmother was Italian-Peruvian.)  Sopa de Frijoles is usually made with pork, but there is no need for meat to make a delicious stew-like soup in the Peruvian spirit.

Printable Recipe

6 servings
Peruvian yellow beans are also known as Peruano beans, and they are the same as Mexican yellow beans ( canary/canario beans or mayocoba beans). Their cousin, the pinto bean, makes a good substitute.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
2 cups  cubed seitan, OR reconstituted Soy Curls OR textured soy protein chunks (See Tips below for reconstituting)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cups  cooked or canned Peruvian or Mexican yellow beans, or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced peeled raw orange winter squash (or orange sweet potato, if you have no winter squash)
4 cups  boiling water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp flavorful vegan "chicken-style" broth powder or paste (or equivalent cubes for 2 cups) (my favorite in Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Broth Paste)
2 tsp flavorful vegan vegetable or "Beefy" broth powder or paste (or equivalent cubes for 2 cups) (my favorite in Better Than Bouillon Vegetable or No-Beef Broth Paste)
2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1  tsp salt
4 oz dry tubular pasta-- penne is the preferred variety

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sesame oil.  Add the seitan or alternate and sauté quickly until browned a bit. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

Add the chopped onion, garlic, tomato, oregano and cumin.  Sauté over medium-high heat for several minutes, adding a bit of water as necessary to keep from sticking, until the onion has softened a bit.

Add the drained beans and the squash cubes, and all of the Broth Ingredients.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil, then turn down, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup simmers, cook the pasta in boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

After the 30 minutes are up, add the drained, cooked pasta to the soup. Taste for seasoning and serve with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.  Some people serve some parmesan on the side. I didn't bother, but, if I did, I would use Go Veggie! Soy Parmesan sub.

NOTE: This is traditionally served with boiled yucca or yellow potato chunks, and/or cooked plantain and sweet potato, but the soup is so hearty that I didn't think it needed any accompaniment.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 331 calories, 64 calories from fat, 7.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 973.1mg sodium, 652.9mg potassium, 48.7g carbohydrates, 10.4g fiber, 4.7g sugar, 20.7g protein.


For 1 1/2 cups dry textured soy protein chunks (the amount you need for this recipe), bring to a boil in a medium saucepan:

3 cups water
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Add the soy protein chunks and turn dow to a simmer.  Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or til tender.  Drain.

For 1 1/2 cups dry Soy Curls:
Use the same broth as above, but you will need only half the amount.  You need only pour the boiling broth over the Soy Curls and let them soak for 5 minutes, then drain.
NOTE: You can reconstitute 3 cups of Soy Curls with the whole recipe fro the broth above and then freeze half of the drained, reconstituted Soy Curls for another meal.

¡Buen Provecho!


Mia said...

Soup for breakfast? I have never thought of that! I am more of a sweet breakfast person though... Soup for dinner? YEAH!!!! This one looks delicious :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds yummy! I would try this for dinner this winter for sure! :)