My favorite coffee shop recently featured tomatillo soup for lunch. It was delectable and inspired me to create my own version at home. Because I keep cooked beans, caramelized onions, cooked grains and vegetable stock on hand in the freezer, the preparation was incredibly quick and easy. (You can find my directions for making big batches of beans here, caramelized onions here, and veggie stock here.)
For those who don’t keep these ingredients on hand, I’ve provided a list of substitutions below the recipe.
- 2-quart or larger slow cooker
- cutting board and chef’s knife
- stirring spoon
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans with cooking liquid
- 1–2 cups cooked quinoa* or millet
- 1½–2 cups tomatillo salsa (a 12- or 16-ounce jar)
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- 2 cups vegetable stock (more if you want a thinner soup)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
*Although I’m all for saving money, I recommend fair trade quinoa because the commodity market has had unintended negative consequences on Bolivian farmers.
- Dump everything in the slow cooker.
- Cook until soup is hot – about 2 hours on high or 3 hours on low.
- Serve on its own or sprinkled with chopped avocado.
- For cooked grain, substitute ½ to 1 cup dry millet or quinoa plus 1–2 cups water or broth.
- For cooked beans, substitute canned OR 2 cups soaked beans plus 2–3 cups water or broth. Extend cooking time until beans are tender – about 4 hours on high heat or 5–6 hours on low heat.
- For caramelized onions, substitute 1½ cups chopped onions, sauteed for about 5 minutes.
- For salsa, substitute 1½ cups fresh tomatillos and ½ cup sweet red pepper, diced, plus 1 clove minced garlic and 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
- For veggie broth, substitute water or poultry broth.