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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

That time of year has come, when people around you start coughing, sneezing, blowing their red and runny noses. You can certainly avoid becoming one of them! Hubby and I haven’t caught a seasonal cold in a long time. I realized this the other day when I was cleaning out the ‘pharmacy box’ and 80% of the meds were past their use by dates. We don’t really take meds anymore. When I feel like I am a bit run down or weaker I just take some Echinacea vitamins and they are awesome. I think it is good to take them at the changes of season when people are adjusting to the new weather and light cycle. I also think juices and smoothies help boost your immunity during those times, but more about that over the next few days.

IMG_1481We are in the middle of packing our home since we will be moving up north to Luxembourg in 2 weeks! I am excited and ready for a change. I tend to get a little stir crazy when I live too long in the same place. Anyways, packing boxes always makes you realize how much stuff you really have! I need to get my mug addiction seriously under control! Since I have been packing 24/7, I decided to make a large batch of nourishing and revitilizing miso to last me a few meals. I don’t know what it is about miso, but when I sit down and peacefully enjoy a nice warm bowl of miso, my body just feels so satisfied. I think it must be somehow related to all the sea vegetables I pack inside, I have a slight sea vegetable addiction since NGI! Hubby totally doesn’t understand it!

In culinary school we had a day during our baking segment which was all about ‘converting’. Converting what? Well, converting a traditional (junk food), cookie recipe to a vegan and health supportive one (no refined sugars or flours either). With all the tasting, especially of the first few versions, we ended up with a very sugar high class of moody girls! 

Thankfully, Chef Elliott, one of the friendliest and most charismatic chefs at the Natural Gourmet had already experienced this a bunch of times, and had a proven and reliable remedy. Miso soup.

IMG_1482Not just any miso soup, but probably the best miso soup I have ever had! I am telling you, as soon as the miso made it’s appearance, the entire kitchen calmed down. I don’t know how to describe it, but it has the same effect every time I have it. Hubby thinks I am insane!

This is my version of Chef Elliott’s amazing miso soup!

Ingredients (for a ton of soup to make you happy happy!)

– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 2 onions, thin slice
– 2 ribs celery, thin slice
– 1 cup sliced dried shiitakes, rehydrated and rinsed
– 1 large piece of kombu
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup wakame, soaked 15mins, rinsed and drained
– 1/4 cup arame, soaked 15mins, rinsed and drained
– 1/2 lb tofu, large dice
– 8 cups water
– 1 cup shiro miso
– 2 tablespoons dark miso of choice, I use Onozaki rise miso
– 1 bunch scallions, greens sliced for garnish



First, in a large, covered pot sweat the onions, celery, kombu and shiitake in the sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt to help extract the juices. Leave on low for 15mins, stiring once in a while, but keep the lid closed as much as possible. Add the wakame, arame and tofu, sweat with the lid closed another 15mins. Add the water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat back down and let simmer for another 15mins. Move off the heat and let cool for 15mins, you don’t want to add the miso to boiling water or it will kill the enzymes and probiotics. Take out 2 cups of broth and mix in your miso with a whisk. Once all incorporated, add the miso mix back to the pot. Garnish with scallions and serve.

Be prepared to act a little overly happy and excitedmofo_banner

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Hello everyone! I cannot even believe that I haven’t updated this blog in about a month! You all know what happens when life takes over, especially during the holiday season. I have been drowning in family dinners, holiday shopping, holiday decorating, holiday baking etc etc. Then my car broke down and we got a new computer and I forgot how to log in here! Enough excuses! I am back with something, or might I say two things, which are bound to please and excite you. These two wonderful things are… soups. Okay, this might not sound too exciting for a lot of you, but trust me, these soups are absolutely DIVINE! 

These two fabulous soups are not only perfect in every way, they also take only about 15-20minutes to make! They won’t leave you hungry, and are versatile enough to make up an entire meal. Both soups are from one of my favorite cookbooks, Alicia C. Simpson’s Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. One is the Sweet Potato Soup (p.112) and the other is the Coconut Corn Chowder (p.102). If you don’t have this cookbook, go out and get it and put it under your Christmas Tree! I promise you, I have not yet tried a recipe that I didn’t love!

In the meantime, I hope that Alicia doesn’t mind that I share these two recipes with those of you who don’t have the cookbook yet. They are just too wonderful!

First of all, the Coconut Corn Chowder. I am not sure how this can be, but this chowder reminds me so much of actual clam chowder! It is so creamy and comforting. I tweaked the original recipe a tiny bit by adding cubes of baked potato. All I can say, there was dead silence at the table when I served this; always a good sign!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced (I used a whole one)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I skipped on these)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used an extra creamy one)
1 tablespoon diced, oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes
3 ears white corn, yellow corn, or a mix
1 avocado, diced
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
*1 cup baked potatoes, diced

Warm the oil over medium heat in a medium stockpot. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the red pepper and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, tomatoes, corn, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10minutes. 

Evenly distribute avocado among the serving bowls and ladle soup on top. Serve warm. 

It might be because I am a huge avocado fan, or it might be because of the coconut milk, but I find this chowder to be amazing. I would very happily have eaten the entire pot of soup myself!

Secondly, the Sweet Potato Soup. As said with my previous post, I am quite intrigued by sweet potatoes, because they are quite exotic to me. I was not brought up eating them as a staple food, so I tend to get overly excited with their special taste. I thought this soup would be too sweet and heavy, but instead the sweetness is very well balanced. I think that next time I might add some beans to add some texture. The creaminess of this soup is also incredible. I think the spices make it perfect for the holidays. It is completely different from the Chowder, but I love it just the same.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup plain soy milk

For this recipe I baked my own sweet potatoes instead of using the canned ones (I don’t even think I would ever find canned sweet potatoes here!). This was super simple to do. I just placed them (3 small potatoes) in an oven dish and cooked them for 45minutes at 450F. After letting them cool off it was very simple to just peel away their skins and use the flesh. I then quickly mashed the flesh with a fork.

For the soup, whisk the flour with the oil and cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes a light caramel color. Whisk in the stock and brown sugar and bring it all to a boil.

Stir in the sweet potatoes and spices. Reduce heat, then lower to a simmer, cover and cook 5minutes more. Allow to cool and puree the mixture with a blender. 

Add the soy milk and reheat the soup. Serve warm.

To balance out the sweetness I served it with fresh dark bread with seeds inside. It was just a perfect meal.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Pappa Al Pomodoro

Or in other words, a hearty tomato soup.

Last weekend was my aunt’s 80th birthday! So she organized this nice dinner party at a local Grotto in the mountains. She was sweet enough to ask for a vegan menu for my boyfriend and I. As appetizer we got this mysterious ‘Pappa Al Pomodoro’. Thankfully, my grandma was sitting right in front of me so I managed to secretly whisper to her ‘what is this?’ and she explained how it was tomato soup with bread. So I tasted it and it was divine. EXACTLY what one needs in a chilly, rainy, fall evening.

I was so surprised and pleased with this discovery I wanted to learn more about this traditional Tuscan recipe. Like all bread based meals, it used to be staple food for the peasants. It was a great way to make use of older bread, because the recipe calls for bread a few days old, preferably Tuscan bread. I used a ‘grey’ bread which was perfect. Keep in mind that traditional Tuscan bread has no salt, so you don’t want anything with overpowering flavor. 

In my mind, mixing fresh market tomatoes, basil, olive oil and bread can never go wrong! I love enjoying these traditional Italian recipes.

I also need to mention that this soup is indeed very filling. The ingredients below are for 4 – 6 servings. If you are only two people feel free to divide it in half. What we did was just keep the leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients

1 medium loaf of white or grey bread (preferably a few days old), sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
6 medium sized tomatos (about 800 grams)
4.5 cups of veggie broth

1 bunch of fresh basil
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
olive oil

Preheat the oven at 200C (380F). Fill a large stock pan with water and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes to the boiling water for 1minute, drain and remove. Let cool. Place slices of bread in the oven and let grill for a few minutes. Take the tomatoes and peel them. Set aside. Remove the bread slices and let cool. Cut the garlic cloves in half and rub them on each side of the bread slices. Set aside.

Take a sieve and gently use a fork or spoon to press the tomato pulp and juice into a bowl. The seeds and harder tomato parts are to be discarded. Place the bread slices at the bottom of a stockpot and cover with the tomato pulp. Add the vegetable broth, sugar and salt. Gently stir and let simmer for about 40minutes. Stir once in a while to get the bread to break down and look uniform.

Once cooked add the shredded basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

BUON APPETITO!

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Burbora Ticinese

Ticino is the small Canton on the southern part of Switzerland, bordering Italy. It is also the only Canton in Switzerland which has Italian as main language. It has it’s own specific cuisine, much inspired by Italian cuisine from Piemonte and Lombardia. I especially love this type of hearty cooking in the cooler months of the year. It is a very cozy and comforting food, maybe because I associate it with my grandma’s cooking. Lucky for you all, I will be sharing a few of my grandma’s, and even great grandma’s best recipes over the next few weeks (veganized).

This was the view from the Chalet Kitchen this morning, you can see the snow starting to creep in on us.

If you are anything like me; Halloween will give you a pumpkin craze and fill your house with pumpkins until you know not what to do with them! This, mixed with the crisp wind that I have been dealing with over the past few days, wind which basically freezes you to the core, made me reach for this warming and comforting soup.

It is called ‘Burbora’ but is nothing more than a pumpkin soup! The special thing about it is that it has rice and beans inside, which make it a perfectly hearty meal. It takes a little while to cook so don’t try and make it 15mins before dinner.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

1 lb fresh pumpkin, cubed
1 cup soy milk (I like the sweetened one)
1/2 tablespoon of white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of non-hydrogenated margarine
1 cup risotto rice
1 cup beans of choice, rinsed (I used canned for convenience)
veggie broth
mixed seeds, for garnish

Firstly, you need to add the cubed pumpkin to a stockpot of boiling water with some broth. Let the pumpkin simmer for 15minutes. Drain and keep 1 cup of the broth. Add the cooked pumpkin cubes to a mixing bowl, or a pitcher, and puree with a hand blender until creamy. Pour the pumpkin cream in a pot and add the milk and broth. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the flour and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 15mins, stir constantly and make sure the soup doesn’t stick. Add the rice and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Stir in the beans and the margarine. Serve and garnish with a pinch of mixed seeds, or pumpkin seeds.

I hope you guys enjoy this soup as much I as always have!

BUON APPETITO!

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After all this week’s baking we decided to have a healthy and nourishing dinner. So I made a vitamin packed minestrone just like my nonna (grandma) makes it. It is a very simple recipe to do. Most of the work will just be the chopping of the veggies. You must just remember that it will have to simmer for a long time (1-1.5hrs) so make this well in advance. I like to use whatever veggies I have leftover in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup barley (you can replace this with small pasta, quinoa, rice, oats etc)
2 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup beans (I used borlotti)
2 potatoes
1/2 cup green beans
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup parsley, thinly chopped
1 cup basil, shredded
2 cups of your choice of cabbage, spinach or kale. chopped
1 cube veggie broth 
1/4 cup olive oil

Add about 10cups of water to a stockpot and a cube of veggie broth (or 10cups of pre-made vegetable stock). Bring to a boil and add all the ingredients. Lower heat and cover the pot. Let simmer for 1hour to 1.5 hours. Serve nice and warm with some grilled whole wheat bread.

BUON APPETITO

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