Tag Archives: vegan soup

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup and Vegan Red Lobster Biscuits

soup and biscuit

This soup from the Post Punk Kitchen is an old favorite and easily one of my favorite soups of all time. I’ve posted it here before, but it’s been a long time so I thought I would revisit. I’ve also changed my instructions slightly to cut out a couple of steps, making the prep time about 10 minutes.

biscuitsBut first. BUT FIRST. Let’s get to these biscuits. It’s been probably close to two decades since I’ve been to a Red Lobster. Something recently made me think of those biscuits they give you — salty, cheesy, flaky, bottomless baskets of delicious cheddar bay biscuits. PROBABLY not the healthiest thing on the planet, but making them at home helps. I found this recipe on the blog Amazeballs Eats.

claire biscuits Our resident tween, a self-appointed cheddar bay biscuit connoisseur, even said, “If you gave me a Red Lobster biscuit and gave me one of these biscuits, I wouldn’t know the difference. They are soooooo good.”

She always seems to like things she helped make more, but I can’t disagree. She was a great sous chef.

Do cheddar biscuits go with Thai flavors? I don’t know. But they were both good and nobody complained. Good enough for me.

Even the toddler ate some of the soup, which does have a bit of a kick in the background. She would eat a spoonful, say “hot,” push it away, then ask for more.

I’ve tried to add different vegetables over the years — it’s perfect as is. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way just to leave it alone. Also, don’t skip the cilantro and sesame oil garnish on this one. You might think it wouldn’t make that big of a difference, but you would be wrong. It completes the soup and is so much better than without. Now to the recipes!

Vegan Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Biscuit Ingredients
• 2 c. all-purpose flour — I’ve been using spelt flour a lot lately for a little extra health 🙂
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 3/4 tsp. salt (I put less in the biscuits and added to the buttery glaze that goes on top)
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
• 1 c. cheddar style shreds (I use and recommend Daiya)
• 1 c. plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I went with almond)
• 1/2 c. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks), melted

Butter Topping Ingredients
• 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. dried parsley (I used 1 tsp. fresh, minced parsley)

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar style shreds; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond milk and melted vegan butter until the butter forms small clumps. (Ours never formed clumps, so we just went for it. It was fine. They were flaky and wonderful!)
  4. Add the almond milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
  5. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

• 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
• 1/2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1-2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon red curry paste (or more for extra spice! I probably added closer to 2)
• 1 15 oz. coconut milk unsweetened
• 3 cup(s) vegetable broth
• 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon(s) sea salt
• 1 tablespoon(s) sesame oil
• 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, fresh

1. 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.

2. Add sweet potato, diced small, and stir for about a minute.

3. Add coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

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).

 

Miso Vegetable Soup

IMG_4885

As luck would have it, a little spring head cold found its way to me over the weekend. Or maybe it’s allergies. Either way, by Monday morning I was a stuffy, sinus-y mess. I decided a quick miso soup was in order.

When I don’t feel well, whether it’s a cold or a hangover or just feeling blah, my goal is to get as many vegetables into my body as possible. Miso also has many nutritional benefits so it was a no-brainer to throw this together.

FullSizeRender-2In addition to feeling pretty crummy, my 1-year-old, normally a happy baby with an amazing appetite, decided she didn’t want anything I put in front of her. All of which she normally eats up with no hesitation. It all went on the floor and she kept reaching toward the area where I was chopping vegetables and making soup. What should have taken 20 minutes, took close to an hour and by the end of it I threw a little bit of the soup in a bowl to attempt to make her happy. And it did! Obviously, it was a mess, but she loved it. Including the vegetables that were identical to the ones she just finished throwing on the floor. 🙂

I have every intention of feeding her what we eat, but many nights it’s hard to have dinner ready for all of us before she’s ready for dinner, so I often sauté some vegetables and do whatever’s easiest in the moment. Healthy at the end of FullSizeRender-3the day, but not what I’m making for myself. This is a little reminder to try to do that more often so I don’t eventually slip into the bad habit of feeding her only what’s easy or only her favorites.

When we got down the bottom of her bowl, I tipped it up to show her how to drink the rest of the soup. I may regret this later…

This could include just about any veggie you have on hand. Just chop and throw it in the pot together. I was attempting to hurry, so I didn’t even sauté anything first. I was sure to include a couple of cloves of garlic since it’s super good for you when you’re under the weather too. I tossed it in at the end, since raw garlic is more beneficial. Here’s what I did.

Ingredients
• 4 c. low sodium vegetable broth
• 4 c. mushroom broth
•  5 asparagus spears, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 small zucchini, diced
• 5-6 large baby bella mushrooms, sliced
• 1 large carrot, cut in quarters and thinly sliced
• 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
• 1 cup leafy kale, washed and chopped, stems removed
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• sea salt and pepper
• 1/2 pkg. of firm tofu, drained in a tofu press and cubed (optional)
• 1/3 c. white miso paste

1. Pour broth into a soup pot and bring to a low rolling boil.
2. Remove 1 c. of the broth to a small bowl and whisk in miso paste. Once dissolved, add back to pot.
3. Chop your veggies whatever size you like and add to pot.
4. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cook until veggies are of desired doneness.
6. Add cubed tofu if using and continue to simmer until heated through.
7. Chow down!

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

I threw together this easiest soup ever last night in about 15 minutes before heading to a friend’s to pass out candy. Boy was I glad I had when I returned home this afternoon after chaperoning my stepdaughter’s school field trip to the zoo — five hours mostly outside in 40-degree weather! I paired it with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich and felt like I was her age back in my mom’s kitchen on a cold day.

Ingredients
• 1 c. celery, diced
• 1/2 c. yellow onion, diced
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 3, 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I grabbed a few different kinds — Italian herbs, roasted garlic, and fire roasted tomatoes. Use whatever you like!)
• 3/4 c. cream (of course, you could use regular whipping cream if you’re not vegan, but why when there are so many vegan creamers? I went with my favorite — So Delicious Coconut Creamer.)
• 3/4 c. water
• salt and pepper
• chopped fresh basil (the store was out, so I bought one of those squeezy bottles of organic basil. Worked for me!) Add to taste.

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat and cook diced onion and celery until softened.

2. Add cans of diced tomatoes and heat through.

3. Leave chunky or, like I did, grab your handy immersion blender and blend until it’s smoother, with not as many chunks (but not completely smooth).

4. Whisk in cream and water, season with salt and pepper and add basil to taste (I put in probably 2 Tbsp. of the basil paste).

5. Enjoy! It’s that easy.

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!

Miso Soup

Last night I posted the recipe for a yummy miso dressing I made. To go with it, I made a very simple miso soup, which might replace Tom Yum as my go-to soup when I’m sick.

But first, let’s chat about miso for a minute. I’ve been eating miso soup for years — first because it would be given to me free before my sushi arrived. I don’t know if my tastes have changed (well, yes they have changed since I was a meat-eater, obviously, but I’m not sure if that’s the culprit here) or whether I was just not getting the greatest soup, but I used to not be the biggest fan of miso. It has such a mild flavor, I don’t really know what I didn’t like about it. Fortunately, that has changed.

There are many different kinds of miso, but the basics are that it comes from fermented soybeans generally. Though it’s pretty high in sodium (don’t worry — a little goes a long way — only a couple of tablespoons in 4-5 servings of soup), there are many health benefits.

Miso contains protein (about 2 g. per Tablespoon), dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, B12, zinc (great for immune function), copper and manganese.

I still have some investigating to do with the many different types of miso, but I really liked the milk and not-to-salty flavor of the mellow white miso I used in this very basic recipe for miso soup. I imagine I will try many variations of this, including different greens, perhaps some soba noodles and something to spice it up a bit.

Here’s a good start!

Ingredients
• 4 c. water
• 2-4 Tbsp. miso paste
• sliced green parts of one bunch of green onions
• 1 pkg. extra firm tofu, pressed (I used my wonderful TofuXpress — which is PERFECT for something like this — for about 30 minutes before cutting)
• a couple of handfuls of steamed kale

1. Boil 4 c. water and place miso in a separate bowl.

2. Once water is boiling, take a bit of the boiling water and whisk into miso until not lumpy (this is much easier than trying to incorporate it to the whole pot and get lumps out).

3. Remove water from heat and pour miso mixture into it.

4. Slice tofu into very small squares. I ended up using pretty close to an entire package, adding it a few minutes before serving.

5. Add sliced green onions and any greens you might have — I think spinach and watercress  or herbs would be good too. Since I had steamed kale for another dish already, so I grabbed a couple of handfuls of it, chopped it up and tossed it in.

It was smooth and not too salty and I think the combo of tofu-onion-kale was perfect. I can’t wait to mess with it and see what I come up with!

Comfort Food: Vegan French Onion and Shitake Soup

OK, so maybe it’s not French Onion Soup if it’s got shitake mushrooms in it, but I’m not sure what makes it “French” anyway (I used Chilean wine in it, after all). Either way, this is a favorite comfort food of mine and I haven’t found a way to make it since going veg that really tasted like it used to with beef broth. My homemade stock was never “meaty” enough and I haven’t tried some of the new mushroom broths out there.

Kroger has been stocking its organic and veg section (usually by the produce department) with some amazing stuff lately, and I was excited to find this not-beef, gluten free vegan “beef” bullion recently. Instantly, I thought of French onion soup. I just so happen to have a pot of thyme growing like crazy on my front porch too — even better.

I dug into the recipe box and found the one I used to make back in the day. I have no idea where it came from and didn’t follow it exactly, so I’ll just tell you what I did since I really liked the end result!

Ingredients:
Onions (1-2 lg. yellow or a bag of the smaller ones)
6 c. broth (i.e. 3 cubes of that not-beef bullion)
fresh thyme leaves (about 2-3 tsps or more if you don’t have a bay leaf like me)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. vegan margarine or similar
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. red wine
salt and pepper to taste
vegan cheese
crusty bread or baguette

1. Add oil and butter substitute to a hot pot. I finally snagged some of the Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread I’ve heard so much about, and it really is good! I tried some on the multigrain baguette I bought and it really tastes like butter.

2. Add 6+ cups of thinly sliced onions to the pot — feel free to guess/approximate the amount and add them as you slice. I’ve yet to find a good way to prevent crying while cutting onions. If you have any tips, please share!

3. I cooked the onions over medium heat, covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then dropped in the garlic cloves and cooked for another 15 minutes or so. Once the onions started to brown a bit, I added salt and pepper and a giant handful of thyme. I didn’t measure and I didn’t take it off the stems. I figured the leaves would mostly fall off on their own and I could fish the stems out, along with the garlic, when I served it. Most recipes say to include a bay leaf (which also should be fished out later), but I’m out so I didn’t worry about it.

4. At this point, I also chopped up a package of washed, sliced shitake mushrooms. I guess I thought it would make it a little richer and it just sounded good. After all this cooked down for about 10 minutes or so, I added 1/2 c. of red wine. Most recipes ask for sherry (which is just a fortified wine that has salt and is a little sweet). I had a bit of cooking wine left (again with the salt, which helps shelf life, and is OK in a pinch. I can’t seem to keep actual wine around for too long, so it’s nice to have this on hand). SO, the 1/2 c. was a little cooking wine and the rest from my bottle of Chilean syrah I had.

5. I let this cook down for a bit, turning everything slightly burgundy, until there was no standing liquid (or alcohol I’m sure) left. Add your stock and let simmer for a while — if you have willpower stronger than mine and can wait that long.

6. Since I don’t have the crocks most people put in the oven to get their cheese all melty on top of the soup, I toasted a couple of slices of my baguette and cut them into bite size chunks, then topped with my new favorite vegan cheese, Daiya, which I finally picked up at Whole Foods last weekend. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s melty and delicious (especially on pizza!)