Tag Archives: celery

Tuscan soups

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.


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.

What are all those grains?

GrainburgerDSC_5082 Oh, I remember Grünkern. Grünkern Frikadellen were the grain burgers of the early generation Birkenstock Vegetarians in Germany. Now on my eternal quest for the best plant based burgers I find that grains make a very ‘believable’ modern burger. Different than those crumbly tasteless early Generation ones… That reminds me to look up the difference of all those kernels: Continue reading

New York Deli

ThunaDSC_3181New York Delis have fooled many city visitors. Expecting a real ‘Delicatessen’ store, which in Europe is a premium feast for the eye and the palate, visitors enter a Deli in New York, but calling it such is a joke at best. A NY Deli sells coffee and sandwiches in a quality found in gas stations all over the country. One staple in delis, sandwich chains and bagel cafes is the common tuna salad. An often soupy concoction with only two distinguishable ingredients: mayonnaise and celery, other ingredients, hopefully tuna, hidden in the mesh. As tuna taste is addictive and vegans commonly miss it, there is now relief: The very convincing and most healthy vegan un-tuna blend. Just what I had for lunch!

Adding crunch

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.

Broth, bouillons and stock

Broth cubes are so ‘modern convenience’, they add a quick flavor to sauces, soups and stews. Did you know they have been around for more than a hundred years? In Northern Europe, the Maggi company built an empire with the soup extract, elsewhere did Oxo and others; Lovage is sometimes called ‘Maggikraut’ in Germany, because of its telltale scent. Continue reading

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

The green cowboy

If you don’t have an ingredient, be creative… Sometimes replacing creatively brings us a nice new recipe. Here is the ‘Cowboy’ salad with a twist in ingredients. A smoother much more refined version in green. With the season the possibility of weekend salad combinations is endless. See recipe

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

Pasta Prima-Winter

Channel the Tuscan sun with a light and quick pasta sauce, Primavera style, veganized and winterized. In a NY winter, the right mix of early vegetables might be hard to come by, besides I never liked too much watery summer squash. Just take little handfuls of vegetables you have at hand in winter. A cup of mushrooms, even dried and rehydrated ones; Winter roots such as carrots, parsnips, celery; Chopped and frozen parsley. I was lucky to find some green asparagus and tomatoes. Together it blends to a nice real Pasta Prima-Winter. Btw. did you know that whole wheat pasta is a great source of protein? 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

Barley Soup for the Soul

Barley as one of the first domesticated grains, was of such high importance, that it was even used as a currency, Probably the first drink developed by Neolithic humans was barley beer. Today, still good for brewing, barley is known as health food, while wheat rules as general purposes grain. When the weather turns, and noses start running, barley soup is my ‘Vegan choice for the soul’ and perfect for the pressure cooker. Here’s the recipe

Forbidden food

Buddhist monks avoid 5 forbidden plants: onions, garlic, chives, leeks and scallions. The Sutras list aphrodisiac properties for the cooked vegetables, something you surely want to avoid when you are a monk. Worse, the raw vegetables are said to cause breath that may irritate the good spirits.
Western tradition however, has long time celebrated the healing properties of the allium family against infection, blod clots, even cancer. Continue reading

Hearty chickpea + pasta soup

A good bowl of soup is remedy for body and mind. Whoever came up with the term Hale&Hearty hit the nerve. With the chills in my back, I was experimenting with a recipe from the internet. The first version was not satisfying and did not have much flavor. I liked the idea of chickpeas with pasta and gave it another try a different pasta this time, some twist of ingredients for more flavor and more spaced cooking segments. The result will be a nice round soup with lots of flavor.  See recipe here