Posts Tagged ‘soup’


St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Tis the season to eat all the irish food we avoid the rest of the year (cause seriously? the irish just dont have the best food), celebrate our 1/64th bit of irish blood and drink copious amounts of beer until we pass out. Oh, St. Patty’s really brings out the best in people!

With that said, I’m totally jumping on that bandwagon and partaking in all the above. Except maybe the drinking copious amounts of beer. Because holding my liquor is not a trait I inherited from my irish ancestors. Lightweights Representin’!


Anyway, here are a few St. Patty’s day recipes from last year:  Irish Cream, Corned Beef and guinness-glazed  potatoes. I think I am most looking forward to sauteing up those guinness-glazed potatoes. SO yummy. And here are some recipes that may not be typical St. Patty’s day grub but they fit the theme: green monster smoothy, for a nutritional, green, kick to your morning; spinach artichoke dip, a green appetizer for a more casual get together; vegan irish stew, which I totally forgot I had on the blog!; and how about one more? Beer fries.


Annnd, here is a new one!

Vegan Guinness Stew
from The Curvy Carrot
6ish large servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 6 small celery stalks, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 ounces (1 lb) button mushrooms, cleaned, de-stemmed, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • One 11.2-ounce bottle of Guinness Stout*
  • 4-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 lb (about 3-4 large) Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups of Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

*according to Barnivore, Guinness extra stout from North America is vegan.

1.  Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat until shimmering.

2. Add the onion, celery, and about 1/4 of the mushrooms, stirring frequently until softened, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the flour to the mixture and stir to coat and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Carefully pour the bottle of Guinness over the mixture, and stir to scrape up any browned bits.

5. Add the remaining vegetables and ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.


This is super hearty and is perfect served with a thick, warm slice of beer bread. Beer bread you say? Well…you’ll just have to come back tomorrow and get that recipe!

Read Full Post »

Mushroom and Grain soup

Read Full Post »


Ahh, christmas. It’s right around the corner. How many of you are excited? How many of you are ready??

That is not me at all. Let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with christmas- we normally dont get along. I like christmas the week of Christmas but i spend the weeks leading up to it resembling Grouchy Cat:


from Tardthegrumpycat.tumblr.com

I think we’re twins. LOL

BUT this year was different. I had a mission! I was going to make all my Christmas gifts by hand which means 1. No/minimal mall craziness. Thank gosh! 2. getting to try all the fun projects I’ve pinned on pinterest. Super exciting! and 3. All this Christmas project-ing would help me get into the holiday spirit!

Yeah well, I’m here typing this blog on my smart phone, at 1 am, in the dark, under my comforter because I forgot there would be a 4th component to handmade gifts- finding time to make it all! I’m just a wee bit behind on my to do list…and by a wee bit, I mean I don’t have one single project completed. And I just can’t sleep thinking of all the things I need to do! And all the work things i need to do! And my social life that needs fixing. Eek!

On the plus side, I managed to find some time to make some food- finally. A girl can’t make Christmas cards til 1am on an empty stomach! Or in this case, watch the Monday Night game without something hearty!


Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
minorly tweaked from Cookie and Kate
Serves: 4

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped (or equivalent jarred roasted red peppers)
  • 1 small butternut squash (less than 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2+ tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo* (I used 1 of the chipotle peppers in the can which was about 3/4 TBS)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14-ounces canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale (optional)
  • 2 Avocados from Mexico, diced
  • cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • Field Roast Chipotle vegan sausage (optional)
  • 3 tortillas, flour or corn (I used flour because it’s what I had)
  1. In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sautée the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of coconut oil on medium-high heat. Stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
  2. Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices (salt, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, bay leaf and cinnamon) and stir, cooking one or 2 more minutes until fragrant. Add all the canned ingredients (tomatoes, black beans, broth, tomato paste). Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. After 40 minutes, stir in the chopped kale if you are using it. After 1 hour, taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.
  3. By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency
  4. To make the crispy tortilla strips: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin little strips, about 2 inches long and place on a non-greased cookie sheet.  Brush the strips with some oil ( I ran out of olive oil so half had coconut oil and you couldn’t tell the difference). Sprinkle with salt, spritz with a lime (optional) and toss. Spread into a single sheet with minimal over lapping. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the strips are crispy and turning golden, flipping the strips over once at the half way mark.
  5. Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with crispy tortilla strips and plenty of diced avocado. I sauteed up some Field Roast Chipotle vegan sausage and served on top of the chili as well and it was delicious. You don’t want to cook the vegan sausage in with the chili cause it will get super soggy and lose it’s flavorings.


This comes together insanely fast. There a minimal veggies to cut (I may have bought my butternut squash pre-cut cause I have no sharp knives and because I had 800 crafts to do) and then you practically dump it all in a pot and walk away. It’s perfect for the holiday season when multi-tasking becomes 100% necessary but you want something warm and filling to hold you over.
My goal tonight: Start gift wrapping what I can and finish my Christmas cards! How is your christmas preparations coming along?

Read Full Post »

Quinoa Lentil Vegetable Soup

These past two weeks have been miserable in terms of food. I have eaten at my work’s caf so many times and had take out so many times that I was feeling pretty crappy this week. My breaking point came Tuesday night when I had two pieces of Peace ‘o Pie pizza (best vegan pizza place in Boston) with a side of vegan garlic cheese bread and a beer. Um…carb overload! It was so good but in a ‘oh-my-god-i-now-want-to-die’ way. You know what I mean?

So, the next day I went out and did some serious grocery shopping, something I haven’t done in two weeks. This is like, a big deal. I have a problem staying away from Whole Foods for more then two days, I don’t know how I managed two weeks. I think I was still in a food coma for Thanksgiving.

Last night I did some cooking, some baking, I had taken some pictures for the blog and I was feeling so good! Nothing like getting back in a routine to back you start feeling better. (I’m also doing 800 crafts. I can’t wait until I get one done to show you. But you know, I’m the Queen of ‘starting and not finishing/taking on too many ‘ crafts soooo that may never happen.)

Then I went to load the pictures…and could NOT find my memory stick plug-in anywhere. I had artsy kale pictures for you! I had steaming bowls of soup in cute bowls with handles! I had pictures of soup surrounded my fresh, colorful veggies. And you get to see none of them.

So sad.

But I really wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s delicious AND it’s for a good cause . It’s from an on-line cookbook that Charity:Water put together with recipes from some great bloggers, including one of my favorites, Ashley of Edible Perspectives, who created this recipe. All photographs in this post are 100% hers. I wanted to give you some incentive to go download the book and donate some money.


Picture was taken and belongs to Ashley at edibleperspective.com

Quinoa Lentil Vegetable Soup
created by Ashley from 1 Cup Water: Charity ecookbook. Click that link to download the books and get some amazing recipes! 

The book is free to download but donations are appreciated. I have donated to Charity:Water in the past when Adam, the lead singer of Taking Back Sunday, had a page for his birthday. What’s neat is you get updates on where your money went and pictures from the project. It was really interested and I plan to donate again for this book. After all, ‘Tis the season for giving and this is definitely a great organization to support. Plus, you get great recipes. It’s a win/win.

Tomorrow, I will be back with what will (hopefully) become a weekly tradition- Christmas Cookie Friday! I have pictures of cookies with steaming cups of hot chocolate and, if I can find my memory-card plugin, I will be sharing it with you right in time for the weekend!

See you tomorrow!

Read Full Post »

I got the Taylor Swift CD last week and seriously, I can’t stop. It’s not even funny.  I’m plugged in at the grocery store, there was an embarassing moment in an aisle of Target where someone totally caught me dancing to the song “Holy Ground”, and my poor roommates probably know the songs by heart because I’ve been blasting it while cooking, which is pretty much all I do. My friend, Melinda, even tried to stage an intervention by giving me a TON of new CDs and while I’ve given them a quick listen, I make it about 30 minutes before switching back to Taylor Swift.

This is a problem. Halloween in TOMORROW. I should be listening to a halloween playlist. I even have one made up! But nooo…I keep listening to “We are never, ever, ever getting back together” ad nauseam and wondering if Taylor Swift is trying to give me relationship advice through her music.

Seriously…I need help…

BUT, even if my music life is in shambles, I am totally prepped for Halloween, food-wise. I made a huge pot of this pumpkin cranberry soup for lunch this week. Check in tomorrow, too. I may be posting a cupcake recipe that I should have given you today but totally forgot to photograph. Fail…

Pumpkin Cranberry Soup
veganized from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook by Marjorie Druker. (seriously…buy this book)
found on-line at Food.com

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (or 1/2 c. cranberry sauce or 1/2 cup dried cranberries)*
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance or other vegan butter
  • 1/2 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pound of fresh, uncooked pumpkin or butternut squash, cubed (Do you even need to ask which I used?  Butternut Squash Addict!)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1.5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream (or 1/2 c. silken tofu or 1/2 c. heavy vegan cream)**
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pepitas for toppings

* The recipe called for dried cranberries but I couldn’t find them so I used fresh. I didn’t think this gave the recipe a ton of cranberry flavor so next time I will definitely use sauce

** Cashew cream = 1/2 c. raw cashews blended with 1/2 c. water until smooth. I like this because I feel it has a more neutral taste then vegan cream and I always have cashews, as opposed to silken tofu. All these options will work though.


  1. If you are using dried cranberries, place the cranberries in a glass or ceramic bowl and 1/2 c. water. Cover the bowl and let the cranberries soak at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. In a stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute 5 minutes.
  3. Add the fresh pumpkin/butternut squash and saute for another 5 minutes
  4. Add the canned pumpkin, stock, brown sugar, maple syrup and nutmeg and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 30 minutes or until fresh pumpkin/butternut squash is fork tender
  6. Remove from heat, add cranberries (or cranberry sauce) and puree or blend until creamy. (I used a immersion blender)
  7. Add the cashew cream and stir until incorporated
  8. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Top with Pepita seeds!

I know a lot of people don’t like blended soup. It sort of has the consistency of baby food so I get it. I love adding seeds and nuts on top of blended soup for some crunch, which helps with the texture thing.

This soup is so warm and comforting. I had a huge bowl of it while I was camped out during Hurricane Sandy and it was perfect. It’s thick and hearty and I love all the Fall flavors.

Also… Halloween mini-sized candies don’t count calories-wise, right? Cause I may have had about a bajillion Monday while camped out on my couch riding out the hurricane and watching Dexter season 6 and 7. Please tell me you have seen this show! I’m so obsessed right now!

Also… download this song so when you see me dancing like a weirdo in Target you can join me and we can be weird together. Awesome!

Read Full Post »

Last week was brutal. Every time I walked into the kitchen, I just started melting. It was just too hot and humid to function.

Despite this, I attempted to make cookies for my friends on Friday. Worst. Idea. Ever. The first batch spread out to thin pancakes in the oven. I attempted to chill them and add a bit of flour and then they just sat like rocks in the oven. They also turned an odd brown color. Rock shape + brown color resulted in my friends affectionately nicknaming them Cat Poop cookies. Thanks, guys! =)

After this lovely attempt at turning my oven on again, I reluctantly accepted  the fact that it’s not fall yet. ARGH!

So I am reluctantly continuing with my no-bake, no-oven routine. I hate it, but I’m continuing. Here is a recipe for cold soup. It’s my compromise with the weather- I want it to be fall and cook soups and wear boots and scarves. But the weather is all, no way! I’m going to be humid and ruin your life and make you want to waste away in front of the AC. Fine, I’ll make cold soup. Be that way.


Raspberry-Nectarine Gazpacho
from New England Soup Kitchen Cookbook, found on Free Recipes
makes about 6 servings 

2 cups red raspberries
3 nectarines, peeled and diced
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1/2 long English cucumber, diced small
1 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
3 cups V-8 Splash juice (I used the Berry Blend flavor cause it had raspberry juice in it)
3 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Juice of 1 fresh limes
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon green Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a very large and deep bowl, combine the raspberries, nectarines, scallions, yellow pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, V-8 Splash, tomato juice, bread crumbs, lime juice, cilantro, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper and stir well.

Pour 3 cups of the soup into a blender. Puree until the texture is mostly smooth, but a few chunks remain. Return to the bowl and stir to incorporate.(I made sure that all the cilantro and bread crumbs got put into the blender because I didn’t want whole herbs or soggy bread in my soup but that was just personal preference) Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Before I made this, I pretty strongly believed that soup should not be cold. I’m desperate for something other than salads, though. So, I braved the cold soup and I’m really glad I did! It’s different, especially since I’ve never had any sort of gazpacho. But this blog was created to encourage me to try new things so I can share them with you! So, I guess it succeeded!

Now…is it too soon to start a count down to fall? *cough 40 days cough* How about to start a birthday list if my birthday is early October??

Read Full Post »

Remember when I was super excited to go to the Cinco de Mayo party my friend, Rachel, was having on Saturday?

Remember when I was just thinking it was an excuse to drink excessive amounts of margaritas and an unhealthy amount of guac, aka mashed up avocado, aka my favorite things ever?

Well…that didn’t happen. I’m starting to feel like if I post something on here that is suppose to happen, it won’t.

Instead, I woke up Saturday with an ear infection, on top of the no-voice situation I’d been rocking since Thursday. So, instead of yummy party food and booze, I made soup. Bor-ing.

It should also be noted that it wasn’t particularly warm this weekend and we are looking at a week of rain so this soup is perfect for New England. I understand it’s warmer elsewhere so don’t think I’m weird for posting soup in May.

Red Bean, Potato and Kale Soup
roughly based off of Red Chard,Potato and White Bean Ragout 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), sliced
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about two or three potatoes)
  • 3 cups vegetable, 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup frozen kale (I used 365 frozen blue curly kale. It’s great! or you can use about a pound of fresh)*
  • 1 can red beans
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 TBS chopped parsley (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a big soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes and stir together. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water, a bay leave, nutritional  yeast and thyme leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Salt to taste.

2. Add the kale, beans and another 1 cup of broth and 1 cup of water to the pot**, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. The kale should be very tender. Stir in freshly ground pepper to taste and the parsley. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.

* If you are using fresh kale, remove the leaves from the stem. Saute the stems in with the onions in the first step and then wait to add the kale leaves until step 2.

**When I’m sick, I like my soup broth-y. I feel like the healing properties are in the broth, not the actual food. So, I added more broth/water since it had cooked down significantly. If you like less broth, feel free to leave out the additional 2 cups of liquid at the end but keep a close eye on your red beans. You’ll most likely only have to cook them for 5-10 minutes until they are hot. You don’t want to over cook them or they will burst and make your soup sort of gritty. Trust me…I know…

yummm…this soup was just what the vegan doctor ordered. I curled up with it in my oversized North Conway mug and read for a good portion of the weekend. It also gave me enough energy to clean my room between naps! You should see it…it’s so clean!! Clearly, I should get sick more often if it means time to clean. Who knew?

Read Full Post »

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup

Do you know what I slept in last night? Are you ready for this? I’m going to tell you in the order they would have to be put on:

-black tights

-knee high socks

-fleece boot slippers



-flannel PJ bottoms


-long sleeve shirt



-fingerless gloves

Ridiculous? Yes. Was I warm and toasty in bed? Yes!

I told you my apartment was cold. I wasn’t joking!!

Because my roommates and I have not turned on the heat yet (its suppose to get up to the 60s at the end of the week and we are waiting to plastic our windows so we aren’t heating the outside), all I can think of is hot things like:



-hot showers

-hot tea

-hot coffee

-hot soup

-Ryan Gosling without a shirt on

Hey, Whatever works!

I was actually planning on giving you guys a homemade peanut butter cup recipe today but really, I should have posted that last week so that you were all prepared for the Halloween onslaught of non-vegan candy. If you are anything like me, you’ve shoved your face with seen so much candy the last few days that having more presented to you would simply be over kill. Plus, peanut butter cups are best served cold and I can’t even think of going near my refrigerator.

So here’s more soup. This is approximately my 100th soup recipe since I started this a month ago. I’m probably the worst blogger ever. But its cold outside (or inside, if your me). And our bodies want to hibernate.  And soup is so good for that! Plus, you can pack it in nice to-go containers and bring it to lunch so it saves you time AND warms you up AND its stuffed with good stuff.

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
courtesy of my friend, Melissa Constantine

makes 3-5 servings

2 bags of frozen butternut squash or 2-3 fresh butternut squash, depending on the size, cut into 1″ cubes (I used frozen)
3 apples (not red delicious), peeled and chopped
1/2 an onion
1 large container of veggie broth
1 stick of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Brown sugar- optional
Cream (such as the cashew cream I made for the Mushroom Onion Soup)- optional
Sunflower seeds/pecans- optional

Melt the butter slowly, and add the onion. Cook the onion just a bit, then add in apples. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Add in butternut squash. It cooks faster, so add it last. Stir. Add broth. Let bubble, stirring every once in while for an hour, or until the squash has completely fallen apart and the apples are easily squashed with a spoon.

Add about a tsp of pumpkin pie spice, then blend with an Immersion blender. Don’t have an Immersion blender? A Regular blender works just as well. Puree until consistently smooth.

Taste it and decide if you would like to add the optional ingredients such as brown sugar, if you want it sweeter, or a few tablespoons of cashew cream, if you want it thicker.

I opted not to add these ingredients. I think the apple made the soup sweet enough and I was planning on having the soup for lunch so wanted it to be on the lighter side, so opted out of the cream. If I was serving this for dinner or wanted an extra kick of protein, I would most likely add the cashew cream.

I did sprinkle with sunflower seeds and pecans, though. I love smooth soups for lunch but I like adding that little bit of crunch. It helps me from feeling like I’m not eating hot baby food.

Lunch for the week. Yeah!

Do you think Ryan Gosling is single? I bet he has his heat on. Or, you know, enough body heat for two…

Read Full Post »

oh, Hello Cold

So here’s the thing with being a 20-something at an entry-level job living in a city- you don’t have a ton of money. At least not with a degree in english and art history and a nasty Starbucks habit you can’t kick.

This means that I have to be stingy- I can’t purchase that studded Burberry purse that I’ve been drooling over for over a year. (Ms. Lindsey-I-have-no-job-but-800-outstanding-lawsuits-Lohan gets one though. WHATEVER!) That trip to Disney World so I can go to the halloween night 5 days in a row and wear 5 different costumes ain’t happening. Decorating my kitchen with gadgets from Crate and Barrel will have to wait…until I’m married…and they are purchased for me.

This frugal attitude also extends to my apartment. My very drafty apartment. The roommates and I do our best to keep the heat down low. Which means from mid-October until May my house is cold. Sometimes very cold. Like, sleep-in-multiple-layers-and-gloves cold.  Though no one will come visit us and we walk around in full length sleeping bag/body suit things, it does helps us save money so we aren’t eating only Ramen Noodles (and I can save for a trip to Italy).

Though we avoid the Ramen, soup does helps fight off the chill, which is already starting to creep into the apartment. This mushroom onion soup is definitely going to be in rotation this winter. PLUS, it may give me a legitimate excuse to buy an immersion blender. Yeah! one gadget I don’t have to wait for my wedding day for!

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup with Cashew Cream

from JoytheBaker.com

2 TBS olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound of cremini mushrooms. cleaned and sliced

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

about 1 tsp course ground black pepper

3 cups vegetable broth

salt to taste

For the Cashew Cream*:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup water

*you may substitute the Cashew Cream with 3/4 cup half and half or 8 oz. of silken tofu

Cream from just cashews and water. How cool is that?!

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions to hot oil and saute until translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the mushrooms, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook until mushrooms are cooked and broken down, about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add cracked pepper and  vegetable stock and cook at a simmer until mushrooms are completely soft.  This took me about 10 to 15 minutes.

While the soup simmers, prepare the cashew cream.  In a blender, combine raw cashews and water.  Blend on high until smooth.  Pour into a measuring cup and set aside.  Don’t worry about washing the blender… we’re going to use it to blend the soup.

When mushrooms are cooked through, add about one third of the soup to the blender.  Hot soup rises high in the blender so definitely be careful how high you fill the blender.  Blend soup on low, increasing the speed to high, until no large mushroom chunks remain.  Pour blended soup into a clean pot or large bowl.  Blend the remaining soup in batches.  *If using silken tofu instead of cashew cream.  Blend the silken tofu in with the mushrooms and broth.

Add the cashew cream to the blended soup and stir to incorporate.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the pot that you cooked the soup in.  In batches, pour the blended soup into the fine mesh strainer and work the soup through the strainer with a rubber spatula.  Don’t use a wooden spoon… you could get splinters in your soup… seriously.  Heat and serve the strained soup.  Or place in a freezer safe container for a few weeks down the road.

This recipe was delicious! And how cool is the cashew cream thing?! Cashew’s have such a subtle taste to them that it didn’t overwhelm the onion and mushroom taste. Also, I didn’t bother straining it. The blender did a good enough job and, honestly, I don’t have a strainer that fine. If you don’t have a blender or aren’t into soup that sort of resembles baby food, that’s cool. I tried a bite of the soup before it went into the blender, with just the onions, mushrooms and broth all cooked together, and it was amazing! It was sort of a different twist on a french onion soup.

So, technically, this soup recipe could actually be considered two soup recipes- a vegan cream of mushroom AND a French Onion Mushroom soup, depending on how you prepare it. Don’t you just love this blog =)

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago was my Dad’s birthday. He turned the big 5-0 and courtesy of my second job, I totally missed his birthday dinner. Not cool, Erin. Not cool.

So to make it up to him, I decided to make him a super yummy lunch… which just happened to be vegan.  My thought was, if the meal is good enough he would never even realize he’s missing meat or dairy. And really, how can  he miss those things when you have beer pretzels and a Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Soup, which is chuck full of flavors he loves??

Turns out, Dad had a bit of a surprise for me. Half way through the preparation of my pretzels and soups, he lets it slip that he had a brisket on the smoker. A brisket? As in, smoked cow? yeeeeah…that’s definitely not vegan, Dad! So much for stealthily sneaking that vegan lunch on him. Carnivore-1; Vegan-0

Meat or no meat, this soup is amazing! I’ve made it twice already. I like  dividing it up into 5 servings and taking it to lunch with me for the week.

Smoky Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

via Whole Living
serves 4 or 5

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
2 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cups vegetable broth*
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
2 cups cooked black beans
salt to taste
cilantro or daiya cheese to garnish, optional

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and carrots, cook another 3 minutes. Add in the cumin, chili powder, and oregano and stir to coat.

Pour the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, quinoa and chipotle chile in the pot. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, you should see the familiar little quinoa tail, stir in the black beans and salt to taste. Heat until everything is cooked through. Serve garnished with cilantro or vegan cheese. (I only used vegan cheese once or twice. I really like it just plain. It has enough flavor on its own)

*the recipe only calls for 4 cups of broth but the soup really absorbs the broth when you reheat it. I would suggest picking up an extra can or resealable carton of vegetable broth and keeping it on hand so that you can add it to the leftovers before eating.

This soup is also super versatile. I omitted the cumin and replaced the oregano with italian seasoning because that’s what I had and it still tasted great.

I know pretzels and soup sound crazy but it definitely worked. Trust me! It was delicious. 

(PS. Do you like my fancy, ripped paper towel. Someone get this girl some better kitchen props! )

Read Full Post »