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It seems that people either love or hate lentils. I love lentils, and this is my favorite lentil soup ever!! The lentils are simmered with serrano chile, onion, tomato, garlic, and cilantro until tender. It is a spicy and incredibly satisfying vegan lentil soup.

sauce pot filled with brown lentils, water, onion, and bay leaf

In Mexico, you can find it being made during the cold winter months, and it is especially popular during Lent. Depending on the region of Mexico that you’re in they are prepared a little bit differently. In Oaxaca, they serve their lentil soup with pineapple and plantains!! In other states, the lentils are cooked in a tomato-based broth. The vegetables vary according to the region, but you can find variations of this easy lentil soup with carrots, potatoes, celery, and spring onion.

saute pan with a cooked mixture of tomato, onion, garlic and chile serrano

Traditionally, this sopa de lentejas includes bacon, but to make it vegan I have omitted it. However, if you like vegan bacon you can add it to the soup.

vegan lentil soup cooking in a sauce pot

How to Make Lentil Soup?

First you have to clean your lentils. Spread them out on a sheet tray or flat surface and check them for tiny pebbles, dirt, and broken lentils, remove them, and rinse the lentils.

Cilantro added to the cooking vegan lentil soup

Place the lentils in a sauce pot with water, and add ½ onion and a bay leaf. Simmer until the lentils are tender. While this is going one sauté onion, garlic, tomato, and chile until soft. Add this mixture to the lentils with a couple of sprigs of cilantro, and let them cook for 8 more minutes.

a ladle full of vegan lentil soup suspended on top of sauce pot full of lentils

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

If you want to make this in the instant pot, start by sautéing the onion, garlic, tomato, and chile using the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot. Once the vegetables are tender, add the lentils, cilantro sprigs, and water or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer. Turn off the instant pot, and place the cover on top. Adjust the setting to “Manual,” and cook for 18 minutes. Let it stand to release pressure naturally, at least 10 minutes. (Try these Instant Pot Poblano White Beans.)

Mexican vegan lentil soup in a white bowl surrounded by tomato, cilantro and onion

The Recipe: Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Make sure you sort through the lentils looking for pebbles, and dirt, then give them a good rinse.
  • You can leave the chile serrano whole or you can mince it and add it the vegetable mixture (it is spicier this way).

Mexican vegan lentil soup in a white bowl surrounded by tomato, cilantro and onion

Mexican vegan lentil soup in a white bowl surrounded by tomato, cilantro and onion
5 from 2 votes
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Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup

Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup, an easy recipe for healthy, comforting, spicy lentils with tomato, onion, garlic, and serrano chiles
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword lentil soup, vegan mexican
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
225 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. (1 1/4 cups) Brown or green lentils, cleaned, rinsed
  • 8 cups Water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 White onion
  • 1 Bay leaf, dry
  • 1/2 White onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Chile serrano
  • 4 springs Cilantro

Preparation

  1. Place your lentils in a medium sauce pot, add water, onion, and bay leaf. Bring to a low simmer and let cook for 20 minutes.

  2. While the lentils are cooking, make a small incision using a sharp knife on the tip of the serrano pepper (like an X). Set a large sauté pan to medium heat and add the diced onion. Let the onions cook until translucent and tender, about 4-5 minutes. If it begins to stick to the pan add a little bit of water.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add diced tomato and chile serrano (whole) and cook until the tomato has broken down, about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove the ½ onion and bay leaf from the lentils, and add the vegetable mixture, and cilantro sprigs to the pot. Simmer slowly for about 8 minutes.
  5. Remove the cilantro sprigs, and serrano pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cut the chile serrano into rounds and add it back to the pot to make the soup extra spicy. (optional)

Chef's Notes

• Make sure you sort through the lentils looking for pebbles, and dirt, then give them a good rinse.

• You can leave the chile serrano whole or you can mince it and add it the vegetable mixture (it is spicier this way). •

You can make this in the instant pot as well (see post above for instructions)

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225
% Daily Value*
Sodium 8mg 0%
Potassium 737mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber 18g 72%
Sugars 4g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 13.7%
Vitamin C 17.7%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 24.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

This Mexican fava Bean soup or Sopa de Habas is another classic Lenten dish. The fava beans are cooked until tender then simmered with onion, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro. It is a comforting soup for a cold day or a perfect start to a Lenten meal.

This Mexican fava Bean soup or Sopa de Habas is another classic Lenten dish. The fava beans are cooked until tender then simmered with onion, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro.
Mexican Lent food is some of my favorite, because it’s when there are more vegetable dishes available like nopales, chicales, and lentejas. My family owns a restaurant in Mexico, which ironically is a steak house type of restaurant. There’s also a lunch buffet, and during Lent the buffet includes all sorts of veggie dishes.

This Mexican fava Bean soup or Sopa de Habas is another classic Lenten dish. The fava beans are cooked until tender then simmered with onion, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro.

I guess it’s kind of funny that I crave Lenten dishes, since now I don’t eat meat anyway. Some of my other favorite Lenten dishes that I’ve successfully veganized are capirotada, cauliflower fritters, vegan shrimp cocktail, cauliflower ceviche, and aguachile. What are some of your favorite Lent dishes?

The Recipe: Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)

  • The consistency of this soup can be creamy or chunky. It’s up to you.
  • The fava beans are dried favas, not fresh.
  • You should be able to find them without a problem in your grocery store.
  • You could also make this recipe with chickpeas.
  • Adding nopales to this is another popular way to eat this soup

This Mexican fava Bean soup or Sopa de Habas is another classic Lenten dish. The fava beans are cooked until tender then simmered with onion, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro.

This Mexican fava Bean soup or Sopa de Habas is another classic Lenten dish. The fava beans are cooked until tender then simmered with onion, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro.
5 from 2 votes
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Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)

Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
236 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Dried shelled fava beans, cleaned and rinsed
  • 2 Sprigs of cilantro
  • ½ Yellow Onion, peeled
  • 1 cup Diced yellow onions
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 Jalapeño, minced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced

Garnish:

  • 1 Toasted chile pasilla
  • 1/2 cup Diced tomato

Preparation

  1. If possible soak the fava beans overnight.
  2. The following day, place fava beans in a large pot and cover with water. Add cilantro sprigs and half onion. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 50 min. to an hour or until fava beans are soft and falling apart. (Or cook in instant pot set to manual, high pressure for 20 min.)
  3. While the fava beans are cooking, set a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add ¼ cup of water and add diced onions. Let onion cook for 3-4 minutes until tender and translucent.
  4. Add minced garlic and jalapeño and let cook for 2 more minutes. If onion begins to stick add a little more water or veg stock to the pan.

  5. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes or until tomatoes have broken down.
  6. Once the fava beans are cooked, add the tomato mixture to the pot and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with diced tomatoes and toasted chile pasilla

Chef's Notes

You can puree the soup for a smoother texture or leave it chunky. Cooked nopales are a great addition to this soup.

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Potassium 886mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber 16g 64%
Sugars 7g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 22.9%
Vitamin C 17.8%
Calcium 8.7%
Iron 24.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Potassium 886mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber 16g 64%
Sugars 7g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 22.9%
Vitamin C 17.8%
Calcium 8.7%
Iron 24.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

What is capirotada? Well, according to google it’s Mexican bread pudding, but that’s not quite right. It differs greatly from American bread pudding because it does not have a custard base. It is toasted bread soaked in a piloncillo, cinnamon, and clove syrup, then layered with bananas, peanuts, raisins and toasted coconut. Traditionally it contains cheese, but for the vegan version I have simply omitted it. Piloncillo is unrefined whole cane sugar, and it has a very unique flavor.

This recipe for vegan capirotada is toasted bread soaked in a piloncillo-cinnamon syrup layered with bananas, peanuts, raisins and coconut.

This vegan capirotada (Mexican bread pudding) screams it’s Friday in lent. I realize it’s Thursday, but you know how it is when you have three kids demanding every minute of your attention. The other thing you should now is that my husband hates this dessert. Maybe hate is too strong a word, let’s just say he dislikes it very much. Though, I know many of you would agree that this is a dessert Mexicans hold close to their hearts, because it most likely reminds us of a special person who would make it without fail during lent.

This recipe for vegan capirotada is toasted bread soaked in a piloncillo-cinnamon syrup layered with bananas, peanuts, raisins and coconut.

Easter is right around the corner, and I’ve kind of been procrastinating like I always do. Also this year Karina’s birthday is on Easter. Any ideas for a vegan Easter-birthday party menu?

This recipe for vegan capirotada is toasted bread soaked in a piloncillo-cinnamon syrup layered with bananas, peanuts, raisins and coconut.

The Recipe: Vegan Capirotada

  • You can refrigerate the leftovers and eat it hot or cold.
  • If you cannot find bolillos feel free to use a baguette instead.
  • Toast the bread very lightly.
  • Feel free to add vegan cheese if you like. Enjoy!

This recipe for vegan capirotada is toasted bread soaked in a piloncillo-cinnamon syrup layered with bananas, peanuts, raisins and coconut.

This recipe for vegan capirotada is toasted bread soaked in a piloncillo-cinnamon syrup layered with bananas, peanuts, raisins and coconut.
4.5 from 4 votes
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Vegan Capirotada

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 5 Bolillos, large, stale, cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 8 oz Piloncillo (1 cone)
  • ½ Ceylon Cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 Cloves, whole
  • 2 Bananas, sliced into rounds
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • ½ cup Roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup Coconut, shredded, toasted, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp. Sprinkles

Preparation

  1. Turn on oven broiler on high.
  2. Place sliced bread on a sheet tray and place under broiler 1 -2 min. or until bread is golden brown.
  3. Flip the pieces of bread over and repeat the process. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F
  5. In a small sauce pot, bring water, piloncillo, clove, and cinnamon to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and stir until the piloncillo has dissolved. Strain and place liquid back into the pot.
  6. Add the raisins, and ¼ cup of the roasted peanuts to the liquid and bring back up to a simmer. Take off heat and set aside.
  7. Line the bottom of an 8 X 8 square pan with a layer of bread. Pour ¼ of the liquid over the bread and cover with banana slices, raisins, and peanuts. Add another layer of bread and repeat the process. You should be able to fit 3 layers of bread.
  8. When the final layer of bread has been laid down, pour the remaining liquid on top and cover with banana slices, toasted coconut, ¼ cup of remaining peanuts, and some sprinkles.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 min. or until syrup is absorbed. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 min. then serve

Chef's Notes

Refrigerate leftovers. Can be eaten hot or cold. If you cannot find bolillos use baguette or french bread.

 

These vegan cauliflower tempura bites (cauliflower tortitas) in a tomato-chipotle sauce are one of my favorite lent side dishes. Traditionally the tortitas are dropped in an egg batter and fried, but for this version of the batter, I’ve essentially made an eggless tempura batter. The tomato-chipotle sauce gives this dish the acidity and spiciness that pairs very well with the crunchiness of the cauliflower

Every time lent and Easter comes around I get very homesick. Holy Week and Easter are a big deal in Mexico and our family has a set of traditions we practice every year. Every Friday in lent we enjoy comida de cuaresma(lent food) which includes things like tortitas de camaron, lentejas, caldo de mariscos, shrimp cocktails, capirotada, tortitas de coliflor, tortitas de papa, etc. I can’t get those things around here, or at least I haven’t found a place that serves traditional lent food, so I’ve adapted some of these dishes to be vegan.

This recipe for vegan cauliflower tempura bites in a spicy tomato-chipotle sauce is a satisfying and crunchy dish. The batter has no eggs!

This recipe for vegan cauliflower tempura bites in a spicy tomato-chipotle sauce is a satisfying and crunchy dish. The batter has no eggs!

One of the other traditions that we really enjoy and we can do here is Mexican confetti eggs. I’ve been saving my eggs since February and we’ve already started painting some. It’s so fun to watch the kids smash the eggs on each other’s heads and the colorful confetti jump out every where. Now all I have to do is find a family who will adopt us for Easter since the hubby is working. Sigh.

This recipe for vegan cauliflower tempura bites in a spicy tomato-chipotle sauce is a satisfying and crunchy dish. The batter has no eggs!

This recipe for vegan cauliflower tempura bites in a spicy tomato-chipotle sauce is a satisfying and crunchy dish. The batter has no eggs!

Enjoy!

The Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Tempura Bites in Tomato Chipotle Sauce

Cauliflower tortillas are cauliflower tempura bites in a spicy chipotle-tomato sauce.
5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Cauliflower Tempura Bites

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Batter

  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups Soda water
  • 1 tsp. Salt, kosher
  • 1 Cauliflower, large, cut into florets
  • 2-3 cups Vegetable oil

Sauce

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • ¼ Onion, chopped
  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo (1 pepper)
  • ½ cup Vegetable stock

Preparation

  1. Place all the ingredients for the sauce in the blender and process until smooth.
  2. Bring sauce to a simmer in a sauce pot set to medium heat. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour and cornstarch into a large bowl. Add the salt and soda water. Whisk until combined. The batter should have the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Add more water as necessary.
  4. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 350°F.

  5. Once the oil is hot, use your hands to drop the cauliflower in the batter and then into the oil. Fry for 2-3 min. on each side or until the batter is crispy and slightly golden.
  6. Remove from oil and place on a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Serve with spicy tomato sauce.

Chef's Notes

For a healthier version, season the cauliflower with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp. of oil. Roast the cauliflower in the oven at 450F for 20 min.