Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

This is a fabulous way to serve this classic flavor combination while tomatoes are abundant, fresh and local.    I like to serve this with some rich and crusty pan-fried olive oil croutons made from a baguette and a handful of fresh basil. 


Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup


1.5 lbs tomatoes cut into halves

1 large onion cut into large chunks

6 cloves garlic

vegetable broth

olive oil

2 cups fresh basil

sea salt 

freshly-cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Lightly spray tomatoes, onions and garlic with olive oil and place into oven.  Roast for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have caramelized. 

Transfer to a blender and add the most of the basil, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.  Blend until smooth.  Return to the stove and add broth to the desired thickness.  Season with salt and pepper.

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This soup will play with your tongue in an amazing way.  The raw tahini [still rich in calcium because the seeds were unhulled] is an integral component that adds a luxuriant richness to the broth.  It has become one of my favorite soups to make because of  its compelling  flavors, wonderful texture and, importantly, because it’s so easy to make.  It literally takes 5 minutes to whip up this soup broth.  I know that come summer, when we’re out hiking and biking all day long, this raw soup broth will be a lifesaver when it comes to time and a meal that we’ll look forward to often.

Silken Tahini Miso Soup 

This soup broth can be kept raw if unheated and enjoyed at room temperature or cold.

[Serves 2]


½ cup light miso [I use South River miso products because they’re beyond fantastic.]

¼ cup raw tahini [Artisana makes an outstanding raw tahini.]

¼ cup soaked almonds [Soak for at least 4 hours in filtered water; overnight is fine.]

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 ½ T nama shoyu

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 lemongrass stalk

½ inch piece of ginger, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove

1 cup baby spinach leaves

½ cup zucchini, diced

½ cup carrot, diced

½ cup diced red bell pepper, diced

*sprouted wild rice, optional [Simply soak wild rice overnight in filtered water and then drain.  Place into a nut milk bag and rinse twice daily for 5 days.]


Place the soaked almonds, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic into a blender along with 4 cups of filtered water.  Blend until smooth.  Strain through a nut milk bag or fine cheesecloth into a pot large enough to accommodate the soup.

Whisk in the raw tahini, miso and nama shoyu until homogenous.

[At this point, you have a lovely raw, silken and incredibly flavorful soup.  If you dig completely raw vegetables, then simply add the diced vegetables and serve as is.  I prefer to have some of  the vegetables quickly blanched to give the carrots a slightly softer texture and to remove the raw squashy flavor of the zucchini.]

Into a pot of simmering water add the diced carrots.  Set the timer for 2 minutes.  At the one minute mark, add in the diced zucchini.  Drain and place into a bowl of ice water to quench the cooking.  You want the vegetables to maintain their crispness and not continue to cook.

Into each of two bowls, place ½ cup of spinach leaves, ½ of the diced red bell pepper and ½ of the blanched vegetables.  Pour half of the soup [warmed on the stove top or room temperature to maintain the raw state] over the vegetables and serve immediately.

As an optional ingredient, you can add in some sprouted wild rice for a nice textural contrast while still keeping it raw.

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We love greens and eat several varieties each day either raw in salads and smoothies or lightly sautéed or steamed.  Greens are an amazing food that provide a healthful abundance of macro- and micronutrients.  Their variety is staggering and we celebrate them all.  That said, it’s easy to fall into a rut and shop on autopilot at times, grabbing the tried and true romaine, spinach and kale rather than the watercress, stinging nettles, amaranth or mustard greens.  Mix it up as often as you can and you’ll be blown away at the bounty of nature’s variety and the amazing gift our senses get to experience.


Lima Bean and Mustard Green Soup

This soup has very few ingredients, yet is an incredibly flavorful meal.  The Lima beans and mustard greens combine to surprising perfection.


2 cups large lima beans, soaked overnight [I used an heirloom “Christmas” variety but any will do nicely]

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced [I like to cut the carrot lengthwise and then cut into half-moon slices.]

3 stalks celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch mustard greens, chopped [10 oz greens after trimming]

8 cups vegetable stock

1 T olive oil


Place a soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  Sauté the onions and celery until softened.  Add the garlic and carrots and sauté for a few minutes, until you can smell the garlic cooking.  Add the lima beans and stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for about an hour or until the Lima beans have softened.  Add the mustard greens and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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Rainbow Soup


At the end of this rainbow lies a pot of soup!  This gorgeous vegetable soup will flood your senses with vibrant natural colors and deliciously fresh flavors.  It’ll also nourish your body through diversity of root, stem, leaf,  flower and fruit, and help protect your cells with a broad-spectrum influx of antioxidants and other phytonutrients.  I even snuck in a cruciferous vegetable to help the liver detoxify the body from daily adventures through urban landscapes and just plain old living.

This recipe makes a very large pot of soup.  I kept the numbers even or whole so that you could easily divide the recipe in half if you wanted to make a smaller volume.  I like to make a big pot and freeze some for a rainy day.  You can also add some cooked lentils to your soup bowl to make it a heartier meal.   [Another thing to consider is that if you do not like a particular vegetable, such as yellow bell pepper, substitute in another yellow vegetable such as squash or corn in order to keep the benefit of that particular color vegetable’s antioxidant profile.]


Rainbow Soup


1 medium onion, diced

4 stalks celery, sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

2 cups Peruvian [purple] potatoes, diced

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups chopped cabbage [Kale would work really well as a substitute]

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1-28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, broken into pieces by hand with juice reserved

12 cups vegetable stock [I prefer Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock]

1 T olive oil

Fresh herbs for garnish [Parsley, oregano and basil are my favorites]


Place a stockpot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.  Once hot, add the olive oil.  Add the onion, celery and garlic.  Sauté until softened.  Add the carrots, bell pepper, potatoes.  Cook with periodic stirring for about 10 minutes.  Add in the cauliflower and zucchini.  Add the tomatoes with their juice and the stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.  This should take about 30 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with fresh herbs, if you wish.


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Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup


So…I’ve been on a lentil kick lately.  I love them and just can’t seem to get enough of these wee legumes.  Not a bad predilection to have, I suppose,  since lentils are nutritional superstars.  You’ll dig this soup.  It’s rich, thick and amazingly flavorful. 

Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup


1-15oz can lite coconut milk

1 quart faux chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup lentils

1 medium onion, sliced

1 lime, zest reserved for garnish

4 kaffir lime leaves, plus some sliced thinly for garnish

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

1 ½ tsp curry powder

½ tsp red pepper flakes, plus some for garnish

toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

coconut oil


Sauté the onion and garlic in a drizzle of coconut oil until softened.  Add the curry powder, ginger, red pepper flakes and lime leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a low simmer and add the lentils.  Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.  Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth.  Add the juice of one lime and blend to mix thoroughly.  Return to the stove and taste for seasoning.   Adjust as necessary with salt and pepper.

Garnish with lime zest, red pepper flakes, toasted coconut and thinly-sliced kaffir lime leaves.


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Curried Lentil and Quince Soup



Every year on Christmas Eve we renew a dinner tradition.  We share our meal together very late at night,  and it is always a soup.  This is the soup that I shall be making this year in order to help celebrate this open-hearted season. 


Curried Lentil and Quince Soup


1 medium onion, medium dice

2 carrots, cut into medium-sized pieces

2 quince, peeled, cored and cut into medium-sized pieces

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ cup lentils [I used red lentils, brown lentils would work just as well]

1 ½ T curry powder

2 quarts veg or faux chicken stock

1 tsp red pepper flakes

olive oil

sea salt

pumpkin seeds, for garnish

fried onions, for garnish


Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the bottom of a soup pot and turn the heat to medium.  Once hot, add the onion, carrots, quince and garlic.  Sauté until the edges have caramelized a bit.  Add the curry powder and red pepper flakes.  Sauté for a couple more minutes.  Add the lentils and stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the lentils are soft [~20 minutes].  Transfer the contents by batch into a blender and purée until smooth.  Return to the stove and taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  At this point you could also add more curry powder or red pepper flakes if you wish a stronger flavored soup.

Serve hot garnished with pumpkin seeds and fried onions.



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This is a great seasonal chili recipe that’s quick and easy to make.   It’s loaded with gorgeous golden-hued and red vegetables that contain a specturm of carotenoids as well as curcumin-rich turmeric,  and the super antimicrobial herb oregano.   This meal will fill your bowl with the color of falling leaves and nourish you as only plant strong foods can.


Golden Chili


2 cups butternut squash, cut into a medium dice

one medium onion, medium dice

1 orange bell pepper, medium dice

8 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz tempeh, cut into a medium dice

28 oz plum tomatoes, broken into bite-sized pieces

15 oz red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz tomato sauce

 2 T tomato paste

1 T chili powder

1 T Mexican oregano [Plus some for garnish]

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 quart No-Chicken or vegetable stock

Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes until the edges have caramelized. [I roast the squash first in order to give it more flavor.  You could certainly skip this step and add the diced squash to the pot when you add the tomatoes and then adjust the cooking time to allow for the squash to soften fully.]

While the squash is in the oven, sauté the onions, garlic and bell pepper in a drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the tomato paste and spices and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and tempeh.  Mix well.  Add in the stock and bring to a low simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Gently fold in the roasted squash.   Season with salt and pepper.


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This is such a nice autumnal soup and the spiced beets add a wonderfully unexpected twist!

Saged Butternut Squash and Asian Pear Soup

Serves 4-6


1 butternut squash [1.75 lbs], roasted

1 onion

1 asian pear, pan roasted

1 green apple, pan roasted

4 clove garlic

1 T olive oil

8 Fried sage leaves [Reserve the olive oil you use to fry them for use later to sauté the onions]

4 fresh sage leaves

¼ tsp mace

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground sage

½ tsp white pepper

Juice of one lemon

1 quart vegetable stock

1 T umeboshi paste [optional]

½ cup white wine

8 scrapes of fresh nutmeg


Roast the squash 400°F for 45 minutes.  Pan roast the pear and apple, sauté the onions in the olive oil used to fry the sage leaves.  Add everything to blender.  Adjust seasonings.  Garnish with the fried sage leaves.


Chai-Spiced Beets

2 cups unfiltered organic apple juice

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 T date sugar

1 inch ginger

zest of ½ lemon

¼ tsp mace

6 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

6 green cardamom pods

½ tsp black pepper

1 cup diced beets


Add everything to a pot.  [Place cloves and cardamom pods in a tea strainer for easy removal.]  Simmer until the beets are tender.  Drain and spoon on top of the soup.

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Because we are whole food vegans,  our pantry closet looks like a Bob’s Red Mill outlet since that is where we buy most of our bulk grains, legumes and flours.  We always hit up the Portland, Oregon store whenever we venture down that way and slowly cruise the aisles looking at all the amazing organic products they offer.  If there is a grain, seed, legume, flour mixture [such as vital wheat gluten or 10-grain mix] that you’ve been hunting for but can’t find locally, check out their web site because they’ll probably have it in stock.  I’m really looking forward to ravaging my own pantry as the weather cools and the season turns.  I’ll find plenty of uses for dried legumes and grains that’ll help to fend off the cold.  This soup is my first autumnal offering.

I used two varieties of lentils for this soup for textural reasons.  The brown lentils are larger and softer and shall break down with freezing, cooking time or even due to a voracious simmer.  The Puy lentils are heartier and will retain their shape through nearly anything.   It’s for this reason that I use these little French green lentils most often in recipes unless I specifically want a creamy texture such as in an Indian dal dish.  If you don’t have Puy lentils at hand, you may certainly use brown lentils in their place for this recipe. 


Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8


1½ cup brown lentils, rinsed

½ cup Puy lentils, rinsed

1 leek, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then across into a dice

1 onion, diced

2 cups thinly sliced dinosaur kale

3 carrots with tops, if possible, diced

1 zucchini squash, medium dice

3 inner stalks of celery with leaves, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 quarts vegetable stock [You could use a faux chicken or beef broth if you wanted a more savory soup]

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper


Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a soup pot.  Add leek, onion, celery, carrot and garlic.  Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the zucchini and lentils and mix well.  Add the stock and bring to a slow simmer.  Cook for about half an hour to 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with chopped carrot tops or parsley if no carrot tops were available. 

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This is a fabulous way to use leftover rice and lentils.  I don’t know about you, but we often have leftover cooked lentils and brown rice on hand because they are so versatile.  I also tend to keep cabbage in the crisper because I love adding it to salads for a sweet crunch.   This soup will thicken overnight as the rice absorbs the broth and become more stew-like.  You can then ladle it over baked potatoes or a plateful of steamed greens for another more hearty meal.  It also freezes very well.


Stuffed Bell Pepper and Cabbage Soup


5 tomatoes [mine weighed 1.5 lbs total]

1 medium onion, diced

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced [reserve a ¼ cup for garnish]

½ head cabbage, cut into shreds [Mine yielded about 6 cups]

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup cooked Puy lentils

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

1 ½ T dried oregano

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

6 cups vegetable or faux chicken broth

Olive oil


Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with a bit of olive oil.  Roast in a 450°F oven for an hour or until caramelized on top.  Transfer to a blender and blitz.  [Mine yielded 2 cups of tomato puree]

While the tomatoes are roasting, add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic, bell pepper and cabbage until softened.  Add the tomato paste and oregano.  Cook for a few minutes longer.  Add in the rice and lentils and mix well.  Set aside until the tomatoes are ready.

Add the tomato puree and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Let cook for about 15 minutes and then season with salt and pepper. 

Garnish with dried or fresh oregano [mine happened to be flowering, so I used those as well] and finely diced green bell pepper.

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