Friday, September 20, 2013

Mexican Soup

There are so many directions I could take this post.  Maybe I will try to fit in a bunch of random thoughts that are seemingly unrelated and somehow pull together a cohesive post. First off, I love when you find a good product that 'partially' home made and turns out to be vegan. Second, I think that the Daiya Cheddar Wedge tastes like Cheez Whiz (or is it Velveeta?).  Third, my cabinets are overloaded with 'stuff' and I am a mission to reduce what is in there.

A while ago I discovered a soup mix for Corn Chowder at Wegman's. The base mix was vegan, and though the instructions for completing the soup included non vegan items it was easy enough to make vegan, and it was really good.  The same company, Cherchie's, also makes a Mexican Tortilla Soup mix. It is also vegan but calls for non vegan add ins to complete the soup.

Since this soup mix has been sitting in my cabinet for a few months now, and I am on a mission to declutter my cabinets I decided to give it a go. One item down, a million to go!

Instead of the ground turkey the recipe on the mix called for I used Wegman's Don't Have a Cow Beef Style Crumbles.  They worked beautifully.

The recipe on the soup mix also called for shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.  I decided to try out the Daiya Cheddar Style Wedge I purchased not too long ago.  I am not a big user of, or usually a fan of vegan cheese.  I cut a small chunk of the cheese and cut it up to top the soup. I took a bite of the cheese before putting on the soup and was struck by the fact that it tastes like Cheez Whiz (or maybe Velveeta)!!! Or at least I think it does. It has been many, many years since I have had Cheez Whiz (or Velveeta), but man oh man, this is what I remember it tasting like.  I imagine it is probably as processed and just as not good for you , but it sure does open up a lot of doors in terms of cooking -- ¿can you say queso?

Anyway, the soup was great.  I did not have tortilla chips to top it with, as suggested. They would be a nice add.  I have a bunch of leftovers, so this weekends trip to the store might include tortilla chips. Oh wait, that could be considered cluttering up my cabinet.

Mexican Soup

1 pkg Cherchie's Mexican Tortilla Soup Mix
1 lb pkg Beef Styel Crumbles
Daiya Cheddar wedge, chopped; about one tbs per bowl of soup
7 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the beef style crumbles and saute until browned and heated through.

In a large sauce pan or soup pot over high heat add the 7 cups of water and the contents of the soup package.  Bring to a boil and then add the beef style crumbles. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Allow to continue to cook for another 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle soup into a bowl and top with the chopped Daiya Cheddar and cilantro if using.

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