Black Bean, Turmeric and Cauliflower Tortilla Soup

You can’t always judge a cookbook by its title. But I will judge a cookbook by its photographs!

That’s exactly what happened as I noticed The Easy Diabetes Cookbook, by Mary Ellen Phipps, RDN, on a cart of recently returned books. It was nearing the end of the day, and the photograph on the cover of cheesy chicken parmesan made my stomach growl. Good thing that photo prompted me to flip through the slim paperback and browse the other scrumptious food photography. You certainly don’t have to be diabetic to enjoy the recipes in this cookbook; either way, the book offers “simple, delicious recipes to help you balance your blood sugars.” Diabetic or not, it’s a bonus when delicious and healthy recipes go hand in hand!

With a head of cauliflower in my refrigerator and a can of black beans in the cabinet, I whipped up the black bean, turmeric and cauliflower tortilla soup. The recipe calls for roasting the cauliflower first; it’s so flavorful that you likely won’t miss the chicken that’s usually in tortilla soup! Just a note: I opted to substitute curry powder for the turmeric called for in the recipe. Curry powder contains turmeric in the spice blend, and the soup was delicious.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into medium florets
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium salsa
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (I used regular chili powder.)
  • 4 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lime
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Finely chopped fresh cilantro, as needed
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 4 lime wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil, turmeric, and garlic powder and toss to coat the florets in the seasonings. Transfer the cauliflower to a large baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sauté the vegetables for 5-10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent with charred edges. Add the salsa, chipotle chili powder, water, lime juice, and black beans and bring the soup to a simmer.
  4. When the cauliflower is done, add it and the cheddar to the soup. Simmer the soup for at least 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Serve the soup with the cilantro and avocado, if desired, and a lime wedge on the side of each serving.

Chapters feature Blood-Sugar Balancing Breakfasts (including blueberry cheesecake overnight oats, easy sweet potato and egg sandwiches); Quick & Delicious Entrees (coconut-crusted chicken tenders, Meatless Monday spinach lasagna); Simple 15-Minute Meals (Grown-Up Lunchable, Pesto Pasta in a Pinch); Flavorful Veggies (cauliflower and butternut squash mac and cheese); Wholesome Snacks (homemade movie night popcorn, tangy roasted chickpeas); and Blood-Sugar Friendly Desserts (peanut butter fudge brownies, frozen mocha milkshake), just to name a few.

The Easy Diabetes Cookbook is available upon request from Whitehall Public Library by calling 412-882-6622, or here.

Black Bean, Turmeric and Cauliflower Tortilla Soup
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