Category Archives: Soups

Tuscan soups

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Warming cold winter nights. Although the expected super snowstorm passed us by and went to Massachusetts, we got a lot of snow in the following days. So much that we don’t know where to put it anymore. The cold temperatures don’t let any of the accumulated snow melt. Warming up with a hot soup when the snow falls is the best way to prepare for shoveling duty. I found this soup recipe on Epicurious.com and veganized it. A wonderful whole soup in the cold weather. Here’s my recipe.

Light blender fare

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I am now a proud participant of the ‘Soup challenge’, challenging my soup repertoire. Pan-raw fare while preparing for a blizzard on the East Coast? I don’t know. In this weather when I am reluctant eating salad and prefer comfy food such as split pea soup. After bean and split pea soup, I’m opting for the recommended Borscht. Other suggestions have ingredients that are hard to get here in winter. Still this one also asks for fresh dill… got frozen one instead. I cooked all the beets added some potato for substance, then sautéed onions, carrot and parsnip and add to the blender with broth, almond milk and spices. It works although the sorbet-like result looks more like a light summer refreshment, I preferred it re-heated. It is also harder than I thought to sell ‘pink sorbet for dinner’ to a ‘real man equipped with real teeth’… see recipe

Malaga-torn-knee

MullagaDSC_5686.1The ‘Last Soup of the Year,’ Miss Sophie’s favorite Mulligatawny soup in ‘Dinner for One’, is known in Germany at least since the annual airing of the British play at New Year’s Night. The Anglicized Tamil-Indian soup’s name, that is spoken with a stiff lip, simply means ‘pepper water’.
There are many ways to make this soup, which always has a curry taste and a yellowy turmeric tint. Following is my vegan interpretation. Despite the Indian leaning, the soup is perfect for our Northern cold season. See recipe.

Variation of a Theme

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Black beans are such a Soul Food. As mushrooms have Umami flavor, black beans, I am sure have something similar. While red bean Chili is an American favorite… ( just read our local fire department’s participates in a chili contest,) there are some like me, who are just not able to survive the day after Red Bean Chili (maybe the beans were not soaked?) however, I have never met anyone who can pass up a velvety Black Bean soup.
My earlier recipe contained butternut squash, this one here is even easier, it is based on tomatoes. I always recommend to go as fresh as possible with ingredients, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, which in winter may be a challenge. This soup is more succulent less sweet and more spicy than the other recipe and it comes close to Dobbs Ferry’s Tomatillo restaurant soup. See here for recipe.

What to do with eggplant

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Good recipes should be passed on. Our CSA blog suggested an eggplant soup to take care of the orphaned nightshades in our kitchen. The recipe from the NY Times they recommended, looked so nice and tasty, that I had to try it. My soup looked more earthy and not as milky as on their picture, plus I photographed at night, which did not produce such a good picture, but it tasted great. Following is the link to the original recipe. The changes I made might have been due to that I had a only a white eggplant. The roasting in the oven broiler took also double the time,  than indicated, that I would consider roasting over open stove flame next time. My adapted recipe

Even more Kale

CoconutDSC_3218.1Vietnamese coconut soups are very popular in winter; La Sa Tom for example, the spicey curry coconut noodle soup comes with chicken or shrimps. I can do without the shrimps and as I found out, also without the noodles. This unusual pan-asian blend is a great way to get a big serving of kale in a very satisfying soup. I used dark Indian chickpeas for the first time, they have a stronger shell, similar to fava beans, and may require longer soaking and cooking, however the bigger light colored chickpeas may be smoother for the soup. See recipe 

Adding crunch

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Using contrast in a dish, you can dress up a very smooth soup with a crunchy element. Crunch is traditionally added by either using naturally crunchy vegetables, such as carrot slices; or roasted ingredients that add flavor, such as bread crumbs or bacon, grains, such as popped amaranth, or fried vegetables, such as onions. When I made a variation of my butternut squash soup, I needed something interesting, and added crunch and flavor by dressing the soup with quickly roasted potato mini cubes. See recipe here.

Cabbage flowers

Early Arab scientists wrote about Cauliflower in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 16th century, the French introduced ‘Chouxfleurs’. Cultivars were developed in Germany, France and Asia. Italian versions include the original white, the Romanescu and the colored varieties, also broccoli cultivars.
When I grew up in Northern Europe, cauliflower was popular. Today, broccoli might have taken it’s place. There are great in Indian dishes like Aloo Gobi, but also a soup of cauliflower and potato is a quick and warming dish, that might even work in leftover cauliflower. See Recipe

Old Fashioned favorites

Simple, yet satisfying is split pea soup. Split peas are high in protein and low in fat. They contain some of the highest amounts of fiber, (26 grams of fiber per 100 gram portion,) which helps to make people feel full and satiated. Therefore split pea soup used to be the comfort food at big markets and events (with a serving of Wiener sausages). There are several recipes, of split pea soup, some sweet and pureed, some more country style. I wanted something that cooks in less than an hour and tasted as strong flavored as my mom’s soup, but with veg. bacon bits and sauteed onions instead. This recipe is for the pressure cooker. See recipe

Vampires and Borscht

Happy Halloween! For the second time in a row, Halloween has become the spooky reminder of global warming. Last year we had snow and ice that day which cancelled Trick or Treating, this year in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, Trick or Treating happened on a limited scale with early curfew. Still groups of kids made it into the woods and I must admit, for the first time I ran out of candy. Woe is me. Continue reading

Winter soups

A good soup makes up for a rainy day. We are back in the rainy season. There is rain from all sides washing down the hills and merging into a powerful stream on the street. A short errand outside and I was soaking wet, despite my umbrella. It is good to have some warm comforting food. A choice of chickpeas, beans and veg. sausage in a spicey soup, another keeper. See recipe

Raw blends

Now testing my new high speed blender… One big advantage of blender food is, that it is quick and good for some raw recipes. A great thing if you do not want to cook twice a day. While flipping through the ‘Forks over Knives’ cookbook, I tried this soup. I added some ‘zing’ but the base is a cold avocado soup. See recipe

Throat soothers and scrubbers

Out of the blue, I caught a summer flu. Magazines are now big on light summer soups. The pastel colored and easy to make, often pureed soups, are a great starter for dinner and perfect for lunch and use the abundance of squash and corn. cilantro, hot peppers and lime add Southern flavor. My corn soup also worked great to soothe my sore throat, hot chillies added a scrubbing and beat the flu – forget chicken soup. Another variety I tried today was a summer squash soup with several kinds of squash, zucchini and corn. See recipe

French Country Style

What shall we do with all the pesto?  Besides serving with Ravioli or other pastas, or spread on bread with tomatoes, I found this french twist… The french ‘Soupe au Pistou’ uses the pesto (Pistou) to flavor soups, here a mixed country style vegetable soup with pasta. A very convincing mix with early Spring vegetables and lots-a garlic. See recipe

A promising Season

The yellow giants are out. Most of my heirloom seeds seem slow this year. The only variety shooting up rocket like, is the big yellow, a juicy heirloom tomato from the farmer’s market plus one shy Cherokee. I don’t even know the big yellow’s name yet. Looking forward to my tomatoes in summer, I recently found a tomato soup picture with a perfect orange color. As I did not have much fresh tomato produce, I added some carrots and even beets for substance and for a deep red color. With spices a convincing soup; blend nut milks to make it creamy! See recipe

Green Food

Asparagus is Spring food. In Northern Europe, April/May is asparagus time. As a close relative of the allium plants, asparagus is said to be an aphrodisiac. Known as early as in old Egypt, the plant was also served to Madame de Pompadour in France as ‘Love Tips’. Asparagus is low in calories, a good source of vitamin B6, fiber and protein and other important nutrients. Continue reading

Maroccan sunset

Traveling is a great way to break old habits. Especially with food. Back from family in Argentina, I will try new ideas in the next weeks, pastries as trying to eat vegetarian there, is… a real challenge… The simple soup I made today is Maroccan Style – another place in the world I’d like to see. Continue reading

With Love from Russia

Cabbage is your friend in colder seasons. From Eastern Europe, to France, Cabbage is known as a reliable winter vegetable… Cabbage contains riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which is important for a variety of cellular processes. Riboflavin solution has a fluorescent yellow color. As excess of this vitamin is removed from the body, a deficiency is quite possible. Try this country style soup to warm up on a cold day.  See recipe

Soup of the day

You know a good recipe source, when it is quoted in several books. Candle Cafe and Candle 79 have great recipes and cookbooks, that are simply so good, that they are referenced by other authors. This particular recipe for a velvety smooth black bean soup is a variation from the Candle 79 restaurant. Continue reading

Winter warmers


Roots rule!
The last frosty outdoor market this year, had mostly root vegetables and winter squash. At this time you will see usually the first rutabagas. A cross between cabbage and turnips, Continue reading