Sometimes you have to think outside the box, or in this case, outside the pepper.
There are some foods from my childhood that are difficult to convert to a vegan recipe with the same result and my mom’s stuffed peppers are a perfect example. Consistency and taste of my past attempts never quite measured up to the peppers that my Italian mother would pull out of the oven. I went vegan in 2005, so it has been a long time since I ate them, but I can tell you with complete confidence that I finally have a vegan recipe that measures up.
The key was to think outside the pepper. I’ve tried rice, quinoa, vegan beef crumbles and a combination of each IN the peppers, but never OUTSIDE the peppers. I stumbled across this stuffed pepper soup recipe from Cooking Classy that was definitely not vegan, but had good enough bones (bad choice of words) to be the foundation of my new recipe.
I was not hopeful that a soup would be nearly as satisfied as those huge meatballs in a shell of yesteryear, but I was wrong. This is life-changing good. It is also super easy and cheap to make. I’m eating it for breakfast as I type.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion (chopped)
1 cup red pepper (chopped)
1 cup green pepper (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 cans (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable broth
2 cups frozen vegan beef crumbles
2 ½ tsp dry parsley (or 2 ½ tbsp fresh parsley)
½ tsp dry basil
¼ tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash or two of red pepper if you like a spicy sauce
1 cup uncooked rice (white or brown – I used instant brown rice)
Add chopped onion and peppers to heated olive oil in a pot (I used an enameled caste iron pot). Sauté for 3 minutes, then add garlic. Cook for another minute.
Add tomatoes, sauce, broth, frozen vegan beef crumbles, and herbs. Adjust to medium-low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cook your rice accordingly to the instructions on the package and set aside.
Start to get excited.
Give the dogs a treat.
Add the rice and serve.
- You can add more or less rice depending on how thick you want the soup to be or are just a carb-whore like me.
- I prefer Boca or Gardein beef crumbles. I don’t think Beyond Meat has the right taste for this for this recipe, but to each their own.
- You’ll be tempted to cook the crumbles first, but don’t. Add them frozen to avoid them getting too soft after cooking for 30 minutes.
- There was enough to give me five servings, so you normal people should get at least 7 servings.