Tag Archives: soup

Quick Asian Mushroom Noodle Soup

I made this for a client today and, as I often do, decided to whip some up for myself when I got home. I had almost all of the requested ingredients on hand, so I got to it and it was ready to eat in less than 30 minutes — pretty good, especially for a hearty soup! I didn’t have any udon noodles and didn’t feel like boiling up any others, so I went without. I think I prefer it this way and won’t add noodles next time.

The version for my clients included chicken instead of tofu and spinach for the greens. I knew my box was arriving any time from Door to Door Organics, so I let it simmer until that arrived and added in kale. This could really be a kitchen sink soup though — I think just about any vegetable or even beans would be really good in here.  Also, because there’s no butter or oil involved, it’s really low fat (if not no fat) and if you used Bragg’s liquid aminos in place of the soy sauce, it would be salt-free too. It’s extremely flavorful and was so, so easy. Enjoy!

Ingredients
• 4 c. vegetable broth
• 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, low sodium or Bragg’s liquid aminos
•  2 tsp. grated ginger (I took about a 2-3 inch piece and minced it)
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2-3 c. mushrooms — any combo of white, cremini, shiitake, oyster, baby bellas
•  2-3 c. shredded cabbage, white or napa
• 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 pkg. baked tofu, cut into small pieces (I use Panda brand, made in Royal Oak — you can find it at the farmer’s market, Holiday Market, natural food stores, etc.)
• 2 oz. cooked udon noodles (optional!)
• 1-2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
• 2 c. greens — spinach, kale, chard, etc.
• pepper to taste
• 1 Tbsp. Mirin (optional)

1. Cook noodles separately if you are using.

2. In a large pot, combine broth, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and tofu. Cover and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce to a simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add in noodles (if using), green onions and greens. Simmer until greens are wilted, about 2 minutes.

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Simple Butternut Squash Soup

This soup or a variation of it has become a fall staple in my house. It had been a while since I’d made it, but a client of mine handed over a couple of giant squashes so I got to work!

Get a loaf of crusty Italian bread and you barely even need a spoon.  This can be vegan or not — depending on what kind of stock, butter, etc. you use. It really is simple and delicious. You can doctor it up in any way you like — maybe add a little curry for kick. Add extra spices or herbs to it.  This is a hard one to mess up!

Ingredients
• 1 butternut squash (2-3 pounds), peeled and seeded
• 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I go with Earth Balance Buttery Spread, any variety)
• 1 medium onion, chopped/diced
• 6 c. vegetable stock OR (what I prefer) about 3 c. stock and 1 can coconut milk
• Nutmeg
• salt and pepper

1. Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. You can always buy frozen or pre-cut butternut squash (sweet potatoes would work here too, by the way), but I don’t find it all that difficult to peel. I just cut it in half or into manageable pieces, then slice off the skin with a good, sturdy knife. From there I slice and chop in various ways to try to make roughly 1- to 2-inch cubes.  It’s all getting pureed eventually, so no need to be exact. You just want it small enough that it will cook easily and quickly.

2. Melt butter in pot. May use half butter and half oil if you like, too.

3. Add onion and cook until translucent. I think I may have added a clove or two of minced garlic at this point as well. Now is also when I would add a little curry paste or powder if I were using it.

4. Add squash and stock (I believe the stock was covering the chunks appropriately, so I held off on adding the coconut milk until later).

5. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Remove squash chunks with a slotted spoon and puree in a blender. OR you can go the easy way — like me — and use your handy immersion blender. I use this regularly for soups, so I think it’s definitely worth the investment. I was given a Cuisinart one, which you can get for about $25 on Amazon.

7. Return squash to pot if you used regular blender. Add coconut milk until well blended, then stir and season with a few dashes of nutmeg and the salt and pepper.

8. Heat through and enjoy! This soup only takes about 30 minutes to make and is oh, so comforting. This one is totally doable even for those of you who “can’t” cook. Give it a try!

Vegan Creamy Asparagus Soup

Our latest cooking club happened to fall on St. Patrick’s Day and we went with a “green” theme. Although I never met a green vegetable or fruit I didn’t like, my two favorites are definitely kale and asparagus. For this, I went with asparagus and decided to make asparagus soup.

I found a vegetarian version on Allrecipes.com with great reviews, so I decided to make vegetarian and vegan versions so we could taste test them both. One of the things I have gotten better at during my vegetarian cooking exploration of the last few years is substituting various ingredients with others — I don’t think I’ve had a total fail yet, which makes me much more adventurous!

The vegetarian version uses plain yogurt, which makes the soup tangy and for the vegan version I used coconut milk, which makes the soup a little richer and with a definite coconut milk flavor in the background. I think next time I might mess with a little curry too. Both versions were delicious, but can you really go wrong with coconut milk? I think the vegan version was my favorite…

I’m sure there are many different ways you could change this up — and other vegetables you could use in the place of asparagus! In my personal chef business, I hope to never use a can of “cream of ______” (fill in the blank) soup if I can help it. Something as easy as this makes me wonder why anyone would. Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients
• 1 lb. fresh asparagus (my guess is you could use frozen in a pinch)
• 3/4 c. chopped onion
• 1 3/4 c. vegetable broth
• 1 Tbsp. butter or vegan butter (Like my favorite, Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
• 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 pinch ground black pepper
• 1 c. soy or almond milk (I went with plain almond milk)
• 1/2 c. yogurt or coconut milk
• 1 tsp. lemon juice
• 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, parm substitute or nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Trim the woody ends off of the asparagus and set aside.

2. This step I decided to do on my own — you can skip it if you like and I’m sure it would be just fine! I put all of the vegetable broth in a saucepan and  placed the ends of the asparagus in with it. I simmered it for about 20 minutes to infuse the asparagus flavor into the broth, then removed it from heat (I think I put a little extra broth in there in case some cooked off). Remove asparagus ends with a slotted spoon and throw away.

3. Place asparagus and onion in small saucepan with 1/2 c. of broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer until vegetables are tender.

4. Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish if you like, and puree the rest in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree it in the pan until smooth, then pour into a bowl and set aside.

5. Melt butter in the pan, then stir constantly while sprinkling in flour, salt and pepper into it. Don’t let the mixture brown — cook while stirring for about 2 minutes.

6. Stir in the remaining 1 1/4 c. broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.

7. Stir the vegetable puree and milk into the pan, the whisk in the yogurt or coconut milk and lemon juice.

8. Stir until heated through and ladle into bowls. Garnish with asparagus tips and cheese or nutritional yeast if desired.

Spicy Vegan Fall Soup

I’m not ready for snow or anything, but I haven’t been totally hating the cooler temperatures.  I decided I needed to make soup this week  and went for it — what else are you supposed to do when you’ve got a couple of leeks and an acorn squash staring you in the face? I didn’t follow any recipe at all — just a bit of this and a bit of that. Obviously this could be changed up with all kinds of stuff, but I like how it turned out. Spicy, smooth and just what the weatherman ordered.

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash
• 1 sweet potato
• 2 leeks, cleaned and white parts chopped well
• 1 small cooking onion, chopped
• 10-15 baby carrots, chopped small
• olive oil and/or vegan butter
• 4 c. vegetable broth
• about 10 to 11 oz. coconut milk
• about 2 cloves minced garlic
• 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
• Various spices: curry powder, cayenne pepper, dill, salt, pepper, turmeric, celery salt (there may be others, that’s all I can remember!)
• honey (optional)

And here’s what I did:

1. Cut squash in half (from stem to bottom), remove seeds/pulp from center, lay cut side down on microwave safe plate and microwave on high for about 10 minutes. This also could be done by laying face down on a baking sheet or foil and baking for about 30-40 minutes at, let’s say, 400 degrees. I chose the shorter route, as I wasn’t getting started making my dinner until about 8 o’clock last night…

2. Prick sweet potato with fork all over, lay on a paper towel on a plate and microwave for about 4-5 minutes, depending on size.

3. Saute onion, leeks and carrots with ginger and garlic in a bit of olive oil and/or butter (1-2 Tbsp. total, I’d say). Cook this down for a bit until everything is soft and browning a little.

4. While cooking down/browning, add spices — a bit of salt and pepper, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1/4 tsp. dill and a dash or two each of the rest (I chose celery salt because I didn’t have any celery to contribute, cayenne for a bit of heat, turmeric for a little color and flavor)

5. Once squash and sweet potato is cool enough to be handled, squeeze/scrape, scoop out the pulp and mash it up as well as you can. This made about 1 c. of mashed sweet potatoes and 2 c. of mashed squash. Add to pot.

6. Add broth — I started with 3 c. and later put the fourth. You can kind of play it by ear depending on what consistency you think you want to end up with. Bring to a quick boil then drop down to a simmer.

7. Blend with an immersion blender, or cool a bit and blend in a blender in batches. I borrowed my sister’s immersion blender (I really need to get a new one!) and it took about 2 seconds and was really easy. There are some really affordable ones and you won’t believe how often you will wish you had one!). I added the fourth cup of broth around now, I think, because it seemed like it was a little thick and it hadn’t made very much.

8. Add coconut milk. I started with a mini can that is 5.5 ounces. This left the soup nice and thick — I actually loved the consistency. But it was a little spicier than I wanted. I started with about half of a 13.5 oz. can and it was great. I wish I just would have used the whole 13.5 oz. can to begin with (and maybe held back on the broth a little…)

9. If you’re not vegan, I thought it would be good to add a little honey for sweetness or to tone down the spice a little. It would also be a great opportunity for sprinkling in a little nutritional yeast if you’ve got some too (which would thicken it back up a little too).

I had this soup again tonight and it was really good! I’m happy with my little adventure and will definitely be “winging it” like this again. You should too.   🙂

Cooking Club: Angela’s Spicy Lemongrass Veggie Soup

We kicked things off with a cocktail for our Cooking Club: Asia posts. Here’s another! We started dinner off that night with some delicious soup from the lovely Angela, from Tuesdays with Angela. She said it was a little too spicy at first (Angela loves the spice! I have noticed she’s always the first to grab for the hot sauce!), so she cooled it down with some extra coconut milk.

IT was really, really, really, really good. I loved it and will be making it soon for sure.

Ingredients:
• 1 can coconut milk
• 4 c. veggie broth
• 2 stalks of lemongrass, grass cut off and white parts cut/bruised with knife
• 1 Tbsp. curry paste
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1 inch ginger
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 red pepper, chopped
• 1 cup broccoli, chopped
• 4 oz. mushrooms
• 1 package baked tofu, diced
• 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp. Golden Mountain sauce (if you have it — if not, no biggie)**
• lime for garnish
• sesame seeds for garnish

** I wasn’t sure what Golden Mountain sauce was, so I did a little investigating. It seems it’s like a thick soy sauce, but sweeter, and sounds like vegetarian oyster sauce or fish sauce would make a good substitute if you don’t have it!


1. Heat the coconut milk and veggie broth in a pot.  When it’s warm, add the bruised lemongrass, knob of ginger, curry paste, and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes.  When you have simmered at least 30 minutes, fish out the lemongrass and ginger knob before adding other veggies — otherwise it’ll get lost in the pot!

2. Add the carrots first.  Simmer until they are tender but not mushy.  Add the red peppers next, then the mushrooms, then the tofu, and the broccoli last.  Stir in the soy sauce and Golden Mountain sauce (if using).  Taste, and add more soy/Golden Mountain/or minced ginger, if necessary.

3. Garnish with sesame seeds and squeeze fresh lime juice in right before serving.

Those look like happy faces squeezing the lime and eating that soup!

Spicy Sweet Potato Coconut Soup and Raw Kale Salad

I decided today I was going to make a bunch of food this weekend to have in my arsenal for the coming week, but I gave myself too many options. SO, I gave up and went to a movie when I couldn’t decide what to make first. When I got back, I decided that I was going to make one of my favorite soups of all time, even though it’s about a million degrees + humidity today. It’s nice and chilly in my house, it’s my ultimate comfort food that doesn’t leave you feeling like mashed potatoes and I haven’t had it in far too long.

I blogged about this sweet potato soup from The Post Punk Kitchen (the authors of Veganomicon and other great cookbooks) at least once in I Eat Veg’s previous incarnation — in fact, I think it may have been one of my first posts. But I decided it’s worthy of a second post. It’s really easy, really delicious, and really not spicy, so it should maybe be called sweet potato coconut curry soup — that would be more fitting.

I had some kale that needed to be used up, so I decided to search for a new kale recipe too. I found one that was easy, sounded light and I had almost all the ingredients (kind of).

Anyway, I’ll start with the soup:


Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, rinsed (This is usually about 2 or 2 1/2 large sweet potatoes)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (I usually mince it)
1 Tbsp. red curry paste (or more for extra spice!)
1 15-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
3 c. vegetable broth
3 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 c. fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place potatoes directly on rack. Bake for 45 min. If you have smaller potatoes, I’d check them before that. You want them to be cooked but not mushy, as you’ll be cutting them into bite-sized pieces (not making mashed potatoes!) If you stab them with a fork to test their doneness, know that they will ooze liquid that will drip in your oven if you put them back in – FYI. When they are done, let them cool until you can handle them, then cut into bite-sized cubes.

2. In a stock pot, saute onion and ginger in oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add curry paste and cook for another minute or so.

3. Add coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

4. Add lemon juice and salt. You’re ready to serve!

5. Once in bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with chopped cilantro (as much as you like). I once thought, “This soup smells so good, wouldn’t the oil and cilantro ruin it? Are they necessary?” They are essential — soooooo good when you add these two surprise elements.

This soup has been a crowd pleaser! Everyone who has eaten it has loved it and it really is so, so simple (and cheap for that matter). I would say it could serve 6-8 servings so dig in!

And, now onto the raw kale salad…

The original recipe, from JaneSpice.com calls for the following ingredients:

1/3 c. Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce (I just had regular soy sauce)
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. flax seed or olive oil
1/2 medium red onion (I had tons of green onions on hand, so I sliced up about 8 of them)
1/4 c. each sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (Wow — I had them all!)
1 bunch kale
1/2 c. each alfalfa and sunflower sprouts (I had mung bean sprouts, but they were funky, so I had to omit them…)
1 avocado diced (Again, I didn’t have it…)

I basically searched for “kale salad” online since I was pining for the kale salad at The Golden Gate Cafe — something light and delicious — and this sound like a decent substitute. And it was! I would love to include the other things I didn’t have next time. And might even try substituting the soy sauce for some rice vinegar next time. A weird substitute, but for some reason, that sounds good to me. Anyhow, here’s how you make it:

1. Combine soy, lemon juice and oil in a blender or whisk it well. Add onions and let them marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.

2. De-stem the kale and cut into 1/4″ strips. This is important! The lemon juice acts similarly to how it does in ceviche (when it “cooks” fish). It kind of “cooks” the kale, wilting it a little. I think if you didn’t cut it into smaller pieces, this might not happen as easily.

3. Separately toast each of the seeds then cool them before adding to kale. I had raw sunflower and sesame seeds on hand (a weird coincidence) and also had roasted pumpkin seeds. I think the pumpkin seeds were maybe a little tougher, since they were already roasted, but I toasted them anyway and added them. They were just a little chewy though. Maybe they would have been that way regardless.

Here is the kale pre-dressing:

4. Add rest of ingredients to toasted seeds and kale. Skim onions out with a slotted spoon and add them, then add enough of the dressing to saturate the mixture, but not drench it. This ended up being about 1/2 c. for me. You are then supposed to massage it into the mixture with your hands — this helped me judge when enough was enough. Basically, everything seemed pretty well saturated and there wasn’t really any dressing sitting in the bottom of the bowl.

Here is the kale after adding the dressing:

I  really like it! I think there are a lot of different things you could add to it or ways you could change it up depending on your taste (even just lemon juice and olive oil alone would probably be good!) It’s been in the refrigerator now for a couple of days and has held up really, really well — better than any kale I’ve ever steamed or sautéed, so that’s a good thing too.

Indian Lentil and Carrot Soup

This recipe comes from the lovely Katie E., who created this for our Indian Cooking Club night back in April (I’m way behind with my posts as you can see!) It was DELICIOUS.

Here it is, with instructions by Katie:

Stock:
3-4 quarts of water
8 bunches of greens from the carrot tops
stalks from a bunch of cilantro
1 leek top
1 red onion
5 garlic cloves, smashed
salt and pepper

Simmer for 45 minutes. Don’t let it get to a rolling boil. After 45 minutes, strain the vegetable out of the stock.

Soup:
2 lb. bag of lentils
8 carrots
3 large tomatoes
1 leek
1 shallot
5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
4 Tbsp.  butter
2 Tbsp. curry powder (I used yellow)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 can coconut milk

1. Soak then lentils for about an hour before making the soup.

2. Remove the core of the tomatos and score the skin. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water, place the tomatoes inside and bring to a boil. Cook till the skin is falling off. When tomatoes have cooled remove the skin and set aside.

3. Chop the carrots, leeks, shallot and 2 cloves of garlic and saute them in the butter for a few minutes, till soft, with a dash of salt to help draw out the moisture.

4. While that’s cooking, drain the lentils and put in the stock and simmer. Add vegetables and cook till everything is tender, about 30 mins.

5. At this point, you can either transfer it into you food processor in batches or use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your liking. Once, the soup is blended, add the coconut milk and start adding the spices and ginger. Those measurements are based on what I did but I usually start with less and add to taste.

6. At this point I add the rest of the garlic by grating it on a microplane. In the last few minutes of cooking, I muddle the cilantro in a mortar and pestle, yielding about 2 tablespoons, and add it.