personal comfort food #1

comfort for arna,
hens & cows

creamy tomato soup with mexican spices, beans and ‘chicken’


Arna / 23

enjoys cooking:
“ 3 / 5 ”

preferred textures/flavour:
“paprika spice, creamy and tomato-based stews! ”

diet in three words:
“simple / vegan / convenient”
ultimate comfort food:
“mexico-soup, a creamy tomato soup with mexiacan spices, chicken, sour-cream and chips!”
why this meal:
“it’s nostalgic, my mom usually makes it, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy”

essential elements of the meal:
“it needs to be a little bit spicy, with a nice and creamy tomato base, it needs to have black beans and corn, some sort of chicken substitute, sour cream and tortilla chips, and also grated cheese!”


A co-designed recipe with Arna (my friend), showing care through a compassionate act of cooking together, forming a new version of a chicken soup, with chicken and dairy free, comfort-for-all ingredients.

Establishing the essential comfort elements of the meal, and letting this guide us in the process. We had to cook apart with digital tools, due to us being in different countries. The goal was to recreate the feeling of comfort in cooking and eating the meal, minimizing harm to the planet and it’s beings in the process.


- 2 red or yellow onion
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 bell peppers
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayanne
- 2 cubes vegetable stock
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of corn / 2,5 dl frozen corn
- 300g plain ‘oumph!’ or other plant-’chicken’
- 400-500ml water
- 400ml oat cream or other plant cream
- salt & pepper
- tortilla chips
- plant-based sour cream
- fresh koriander
- grated plant-based cheese

U: Ok, so I will guide us through the cooking process, but it’s your recipe so you have to tell me how you want things to be.. A: I have never made this soup before, it’s just something that my mom makes and I used to eat at home.. U: Ok, haha! then I will tell you what to do, but we will try to make it as similar to your mom’s soup as possible! A: Sounds good!


Fry the onion and garlic in a large pot on medium heat, with a bit of vegetable oil.

“U: I don’t think you have to be very precise with cutting the vegetables, I think that’s one of the most comfortable things about making soup, that you can just chop things up very roughy, throw it in a pot and let it do it’s thing!
When the onions and garlic have browned slightly and softened, add the spices to the pot. Add a bit of water and the stock cubes and turn the heat to medium-high.
A: I don’t have any big enough pots in my apartment, so I went and borrowed my mom’s big soup pot! U: That is perfect, It looks like a good pot for this! A: Yes, It is the pot we used to make all our soups at home, since I was a kid!”

U: How much soup do you want to make? A: It would be nice to make a big batch, so I can eat it for the next few days. U: Ok sounds good, lets add two cans of tomatoes then!”

Add two cans of chopped tomatoes. Use the tomato can to add more water to the soup, you can start with one can of water.
U: How should we cut the peppers? Sliced or diced? A: Maybe sliced.. should we just add them directly into the soup then? U: Yes you can add them in right away. After that I think it’s time to add all the beans and everything else. A: Ok, sounds good!”

After adding the peppers, add the black beans and corn to the pot. Now prepare your chicken substitute, depending on the product you are using you might want to cut it in bitesize pieces and fry it in a pan before adding to the soup. If Using Oumph, there is no need to precook the bites, just cut them and add into the soup directly.
U: My soup has started boiling, I think it’s time to add the cream in. A: Ok, how much should I add in? U: That depends on how creamy you want it, how does your mom usually make it? A: I think it’s nice to make it quite creamy. U: Ok, let’s add around 400ml oat cream then!“

At this stage add water to reach your desired consistency as well as season with salt and pepper. Now you can also taste it to see if it’s missing some more cayanne or other spices for heat and flavour.  

A: Mmm now it’s starting to taste good! U: Yes, mine too! Do you think it tastes like the soup your mom makes?  A: Yes, it’s very similar, except my mom usually adds carrots in her’s, but I don’t really like that so this is perfect!”
Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes, then plate it up with some tortilla chips, oat sour cream and optional grated vegan cheese and fresh koriander! Enjoy!  

  arna’s soup / una’s soup
U: So how do you like it? A: It’s really good! U: There is one thing we always do with this sort of soup, and that is putting some shredded iceberg lettuce on top. A: Ok that is a bit weird.. U: Haha yes I guess!” 

U: Do you think this version of the soup meets the comfort standard of the original? A: Definitely, It’s very comforting! U: This is also a bit different since you are the only participant in my project who is vegan, and so you have already had a vegan version of this soup before.. A: yes that’s true. U: I think that is a good example of how easy it is to make your original comfort foods vegan, and how they remain comfort foods even though you omit the animal ingredients! A: Exactly!”
U: But what did you think about cooking together like this online? A: I thought it was a lot of fun! I appreciate someone telling me what to do in the kitchen! U: Haha, that’s nice! A: It was something different, and I would love to do it again! U: Perfect, then we will just keep cooking together across countries!

U: Thank you for participating in this with me! A: Of course, no problem!”