Posts tagged ‘Soup’

Simple Potato Soup

This is the soup that my family eats every year on Christmas Eve or sometimes on New Year’s Eve. It’s a super-simple soup with very few ingredients, and part of the fun is adding garnishes to your own bowl at the table. If you want to forego the garnishes, though, it’s still delicious and warming – especially with a bit of green salad and a hunk of crusty bread.

By the way, I’m sorry my posting has been so sporadic this semester. I’m hoping to get back to regular posting now, but we’ll see how this next semester goes!

Simple Potato Soup
Makes 4 – 6 Servings

1 large leek, washed and sliced (white and green parts) – about 1½ cups
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and chopped (unpeeled if you like) – about 3 cups
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup soymilk or cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes:
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
fresh (or dried) dill
sour cream or plain yogurt

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the leek, stirring until the green parts are wilted and the white parts are translucent and separated (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to be mashed easily.
  3. Blend with an immersion blender or potato masher until smooth.
  4. Add cream or milk (if using) and salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish as desired.

December 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Beet and Spinach Soup


It’s tempting (at least for me) to call any beet-based soup a borscht, but this one doesn’t quite fit the bill. For one thing, it is has fewer beets than a traditional borscht recipe, which allows the flavours of the other vegetables to shine through a bit more. For another, it has a great deal of spinach in it, which adds a contrasting texture and contributes to the iron content of the soup.

This is the perfect meal to make as fall sets in. Hearty and warming, it takes advantage of the winter vegetables that are starting to show up in markets and lets you enjoy a bit more spinach while it’s still around, too.

Beet and Spinach Soup
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 small onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
1 large carrot, finely diced (about ½ cup)
2 celery ribs, finely diced (about ½ cup)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large beet, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed (or 4 cups fresh, finely chopped)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon dried dill
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
plain yogurt for garnish, optional (about 2 Tablespoons per serving)

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in 1 Tablespoon of water (or oil, if you prefer). Cook until the onions and garlic are translucent.
  2. Add beet, spinach, broth, dill, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve.

October 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

Garlic Grape Gazpacho


I didn’t mean for this to be a blog recipe; I really didn’t. I had every intention to just follow the recipe in my new issue of Vegetarian Times for a quick, easy (and oven-less!) dinner. Despite my intentions, though, I revised the recipe pretty heavily as I went along – substituting more grapes when my cucumber proved too small, and adding blended arugula to the soup itself. I also amped up the garlic, switched out the almond milk for coconut milk, and well… generally created a new recipe in the process.

I’m sure that the original recipe was excellent, too, but since we enjoyed this revision so much, I thought I ought to share it with you. It was super-simple to whip up and it made a perfect, refreshing (but filling) summer meal. And did I mention that I didn’t have to turn on the oven, or even a burner?

Garlic Grape Gazpacho
Serves 4 – 6

2 cups sliced almonds, divided
1 large cucumber, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cups green seedless grapes (plus ½ cup for garnish)
½ cup onion, chopped
1 cup baby arugula (plus 2 cups for garnish)
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon sherry
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon for garnish)

  1. Place almonds in toaster oven and toast 10 minutes at 350F, or until lightly browned. Don’t let them get too dark, because they will continue to cook  a bit, even after you take them off the heat. Set aside to cool. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can toast nuts in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat until lightly browned.
  2. In a blender or food processor (or using a hand blender), combine 1 cup of almonds, with the cucumber, grapes, onion, garlic, arugula, coconut milk, sherry, vinegar, and oil. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately, or chill 2-3 hours to let the soup get cold.
  4. Garnish each bowl with a small handful of arugula, 4 halved grapes, 2 Tablespoons of toasted almonds, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread, if desired.

August 22, 2009 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Big Pot of Chili + Corn Tortillas = 2 Meals in One!


Time is getting tight around here, so when I looked into the fridge and discovered nothing for lunch and nothing for dinner, I knew I had to make something that I could eat all week for both meals without getting completely sick of whatever it was I was eating. In the end, I made a big pot of chili and then turned half of the chili into enchilada filling the next day. It worked perfectly, because I really only had to make one meal but the chili and enchiladas were different enough from each other that I didn’t feel like I was constantly eating the same thing. Of course, you can make just the chili or just the enchiladas if you would prefer. Either recipe would also freeze well for later.

This recipe works especially well if you let the chili sit in the fridge overnight before attempting enchiladas. That way, it has some time to thicken up. If you don’t want to, though, it will probably work out fine to do both recipes the same day.


This chili is another variation on my basic chili, this one designed to blend into a creamy, smooth filling for enchiladas. The addition of spinach and molasses also adds iron (and deliciousness) to the dish.

Makes 12 – 15 servings, or 6 – 8 if you use half in the enchiladas

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large yellow onions, roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
4 large potatoes, chopped with the skins on (about 3 cups)
1 – 28 oz. can tomatoes, with liquid
3 cups beans (you choose: pinto, black, kidney, chickpeas) (2 – 15 oz. cans, drained)
2 cups frozen spinach (or about 8 cups fresh, stemmed)
¾ cup cilantro, stemmed and chopped (optional)
1½ Tbsp. chili powder
1½ Tbsp. cumin
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
1 cup vegetable broth

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add garlic, onion and peppers, sauteeing until onions are translucent.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. (Add broth gradually and only if needed. The chili should be thick like a stew, not thin like a soup).
  3. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Serve garnished with Monterey Jack cheese (or plain yogurt) and hot sauce, if desired.



Enchiladas are always a favorite for us, with their yummy, saucy, filling goodness. If rolling enchiladas seems like too much for you, you can take the easy way out and simply layer the ingredients. Put one third of the sauce on the bottom of a large greased casserole dish, then a layer of tortillas, layer of filling (all of it), ⅓ more sauce, half of the cheese, another layer of tortillas, the rest of the sauce, the rest of the cheese – done! Then you can pretend it’s extra fancy by calling it “Enchilada Lasagna”! (This sauce is adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

Chili Enchiladas
Makes 10 Enchiladas, Serves 4 – 6 people

10 small corn tortillas
4 cups chili (recipe above)
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (optional)

Enchilada Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 cup tomato puree (1 large or 2 small tomatoes, blended)
½ cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  2. Start by making the enchilada sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Combine onions with remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Remove from saucepan and simmer until heated through and slightly thickened. Set aside.
  3. Blend chili slightly so that the liquid is thickened but the chili is still chunky. A hand blender is especially good for this but you could use a conventional blender or food processor as well. Set aside.
  4. Spoon half of the sauce into the baking pan.
  5. Now assemble the enchiladas. Add about ¼ cup of chili filling and 2 Tbsp. of cheese to each tortilla and roll it, placing it seam side down in the pan. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled.
  6. Spoon remaining sauce on enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake 20 – 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Omit cheese for a vegan dinner.

December 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm 2 comments

Curried Potato Soup with Truffled Pecorino Cheese

This recipe may not seem to fit the requirements of quick, easy, cheap, but it actually was. I’ve discovered that a little grocery store in my neighborhood (Romeo and Cesare’s) carries a wide variety of really good cheeses that are relatively cheap. If you can’t find Truffled Pecorino, try substituting regular Pecorino (or another sharp Italian cheese, like Asiago or even Parmesan) and either adding truffle oil or just sauteeing about 1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms with the onion.

Curried Potato Soup with Truffled Pecorino Cheese
Serves 4-6

½ Tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup red onion (1 small onion)
5 cups potatoes, chopped
7 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. dill
1 cup finely shredded truffled pecorino cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large soup pot, saute onion until translucent.
  2. Add potatoes, broth, curry and dill and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.
  3. Remove from heat and mash potatoes roughly with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

November 10, 2008 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

Veggie Noodle Soup

I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I needed something quick, easy and nourishing for dinner. This soup was incredibly easy to make and totally hit the chicken-noodle-soup-for-vegetarians spot. Serve with crusty bread and butter and you are ready to cozy up under a warm blanket and watch your favorite DVDs.

Veggie Noodle Soup
Makes 2 Big Servings

1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth (“Better Than Bouillon” is great here)
1 cup dry short whole wheat pasta (penne, fusilli, macaroni, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop the carrot, celery and garlic. This is so easy if you use the food processor. Do it – you’re sick.
  2. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Get well soon.

Tip: Since so many winter recipes start with “one onion, one carrot, one celery stalk” and since it’s not always easy (or cheap) to get carrots or celery stalks one at a time, we like to buy in bulk and make a frozen mixture for easy cooking later. Buy a 3lb. bag of onions, two 2lb. bags of carrots and 1 big bunch of celery. Chop them up super-finely in a food processor (big chunks tend to get soggy when they thaw) and saute in a large pot with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil until tender. Drain if necessary and let cool before packing them up in freezer safe containers and freezing for later. Then, take out about 1 cup every time a recipe calls for “one onion, one carrot, one celery stalk.” It’s so easy and cuts down on prep work for your other recipes. I also like to liven up plain rice by cooking it in vegetable broth and adding about ½ cup of these veggies at the beginning of the cooking time.

September 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Two Vegetarian Chili Recipes: Super Chili

Vegan Chili

So, if you want to fancy things up a bit, here is my “Super Chili” recipe, which is essentially the basic chili with a whole lot added in. I’ve garnished it here with some Avocado Cream, which is delicious and super easy to make, but you can leave it out if you like.

Vegetarian Super Chili
makes 6 – 8 servings

1 large onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
2-6 cloves garlic, minced (you decide)
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 large bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large carrot, chopped (about ½ cup)
½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 – 28oz. can diced tomatoes (or 3½ cups chopped tomatoes and ½ cup water)
2 cups black beans (or 1 – 14oz. can)
2 cups kidney beans (or 1 – 14oz. can)
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup corn
1 large potato, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 cup frozen spinach (or 4 cups raw spinach, cooked down)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. maple syrup

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil and sauté garlic, onion, jalapeño, bell pepper and carrot until onion is soft. If you are using fresh spinach, add it and cook it down after cooking the onion.
  2. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, spinach, potatoes, broth, spices and syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency is reached, about 20 minutes.

VARIATION: Slow Cooked Super Chili: Throw all of the ingredients together into your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

Avocado Cream
Makes 4 – 8 servings

1 avocado
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. lime juice

  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado.
  2. Add the yogurt and lime juice and mix.
  3. Serve immediately

August 27, 2008 at 9:07 am 2 comments

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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.