Tag Archives: soup

Vegetable Soup for the Soul

Y’all, I feel a little silly sharing this recipe. I mean, it’s just vegetable soup, nothing fancy, right? But I love this soup. It is absolute comfort food to me. This makes an enormous batch, which I always freeze half of. When I feel a cold coming on, I pull out a quart of this soup. When a friend has the flu or just got out of surgery, I pull out a quart, bake or pick up a fresh loaf of bread and take it to them. The secret is allowing this to simmer for a long time so that the flavors become more than just some vegetables in broth. Anyways, with a raging flu season going on out there, I hope you enjoy it, despite the less than ideal picture.

Vegetable Soup

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Pumpkin Stew with Dumplings

Way back in the dark ages before I became a vegetarian, chicken and dumplings was one of my favorite dishes. When I gave up meat I didn’t really miss the chicken part but I did miss the dumpling part. I decided to combine some classic flavors from southern gardens to make a new hearty vegetarian dish worth of my beloved dumplings. It’s probably not how you’re used to seeing pumpkin or dumplings used but believe me, you’ll love it.

This time around I used a short cut to make the dumplings, but if you’d like a homemade recipe for dumplings, let me know!

Pumpkin Stew with Dumplings

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, or 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups baby lima beans (frozen is fine)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s whole meal baking mix (or equivalent)
  • 2/3 cup milk

In a large stock pot, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat then sautee onions under soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin, tomatoes, beans and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 30 minutes or until the squash has cooked through (if not using precooked squash). In a bowl, mix baking mix, milk and remaining 3 tbsp oil. Plop tablespoon-fuls of the dough into the boiling soup (don’t worry: they’ll expand!) Bring back to a boil if it’s cooled off, cover again and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

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Best Ever Tomato Soup

Y’all, I am not kidding you about this soup. One bowl of this and you will not want to go back to Campbell’s ever. I like to make a few batches of it at the end of the summer when plum tomatoes are plentiful and usually very cheap. Then I freeze it in individual portions to eat all winter long with grilled cheese sandwiches (currently obsessed with sharp cheddar on sourdough). If I run out, then I sub in canned tomatoes, which is almost as delicious.

Best Ever Tomato Soup

  • 4 lbs plum tomatoes, quartered, or 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 small onion finely diced OR 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional garnishes: basil, croutons, parmesan OR ricotta salata (worth it!)

Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil or butter. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Garnish as desired. Serves 6.

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Tofu Noodle Soup

I was under the weather this weekend and wanted some soup. Since I’ve been vegetarian for almost 20 years now (whoa!), chicken noodle soup hasn’t been my comfort food in quite a while. I came up with this recipe a few years ago, and love that it’s simple to make up (great when you’re feeling blah), contains only ingredients I always have on hand, and is light but tasty. Not a tofu fan? Simply leave it out, scramble some eggs and pour in for some protein, or add chopped cooked chicken if you’re a meat eater.

Tofu Noodle Soup

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch peeled ginger, minced (or 1/2 tsp powdered)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 block tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb bag frozen chopped broccoli or spinach
  • 1 tbsp miso (optional)
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti or udon noodles, cooked according to directions and drained
  • Sriracha (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and carrots, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 more minutes. Add broth and tofu, bring to a simmer, and cook covered until all the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in frozen veggie of choice and miso, cover and cook until warmed through, about 5 more minutes. Serve over noodles with sriracha. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Gazpacho

I grew up eating tomato soup made two different ways: heated up Campbell’s condensed mixed with water, or for a special treat, mixed with milk. The first time I heard about gazpacho, I was totally disgusted by the thought of cold tomato soup. But, when I saw it on a menu during my first trip to Spain, I figured when in Rome (or when in Madrid, to be exact.) In Spain this is a quintessential summer dish, that exceeds the sum of its ingredients. If you’re still icked out by cold tomato soup, think of it as a liquid salad or savory smoothie.

Gazpacho

  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 medium bell peppers, deseeded
  • 1 medium cucumber, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and if desired, chill until ready to serve. Serves 4 as a side dish.

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Curried Zucchini Soup

The world might be preparing for an invasion of zombies, but right now I’m dealing with an invasion of zucchini. Let’s just say that I have an entire vegetable bin in my refrigerator dedicated to squash and zucchini right now, and it will probably stay that way through August. I love the little ones for sauteing or roasting and sometimes even raw, but the baseball bat ones often have a less appealing texture. Fortunately, I found this recipe for a zucchini soup and it was a perfect solution for consuming more bat-like zucchini: by pureeing the soup, you take care of any texture issues and get to focus on the lovely flavor. While I’m not normally a soup kind of girl in the summer, this one is so light that I don’t mind a hot dinner. I keep it simple by having it with some naan and yogurt, but I bet this would go well with any Indian inspired protein.

Curried Zucchini Soup

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb zucchini, diced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 5 cups broth or water
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice
  • small zucchini, thinly sliced (optional)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add zucchini and curry powder and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add liquid and rice, bring to a simmer, cover and allow to cook until rice is tender, ~20 minutes. Adjust salt to taste (you’ll need more if using water). Remove soup from heat and puree using an immersion blender, or in batches with a regular blender or food processor. Pour a little lemon juice over each bowl just before serving, and if desired, garnish with a few slices of zucchini. Serves 6 to 8.

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Almond Soup

Deborah, my favorite farmer, tends to be very generous with almonds. Last week, when I was putting away my latest delivery of 2 pounds of almonds in my freezer, I realized that I already had 9 pounds in there. I’ve mostly been using them for making almond butter and having a batch of spiced almonds at my desk for when I get hungry. Clearly, I needed to branch out and step up my consumption. While checking under almonds in the index of my copy of Cooking in Spain, I discovered a recipe for almond soup. This was a bit labor intensive, but sooo tasty: rich but not heavy. It also called for bread, and since I still had had half a loaf of failed bread on hand, this recipe was a win-win. A word to the wise, it calls for blanched almonds, which weren’t too hard to make myself. Simply put the almonds in a bowl, pour boiling water over them, let them sit for 1 minute, drain off the hot water, rinse with cold, and drain again. Then spend 20 minutes or so in front of the t.v. popping the skins off.

Sopa de Almendras

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb blanched almonds
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 lb bread, diced (preferably stale)
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium high heat, and in it, toast the almonds, saffron, garlic & bread, until they are lightly golden. Poor into a food processor or blender along with peppercorns, cumin, vinegar and 1 cup of broth, and process until smooth. Heat remaining broth in the same pot, whisk in the puree, and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

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