Potato-Leek & Broccoli Soup with Tempeh Bacon

PotatpBroccoliSoupWe’ve had some mighty chilly weather lately—mostly in the form of wind, so by evening, we’re ready for a hot soup to warm the bones. This soup is easy to prepare (especially if you have an immersion blender) but if you don’t, you can certainly transfer to a blender or food processor. The tempeh is optional, but we all thought it added a nice smoky flavor to the soup. I used LightLife organic strips, chopped up and sauteed in a little olive oil.

tempeh baconINGREDIENTS:

5 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 leeks, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 heads worth of broccoli florets
2.5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
6 C vegetable broth
1 tsp shallot salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes
4 Tbs flour
1 C warm almond milk
Daiya cheese shreds, optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the Earth Balance. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add the leeks and celery. Cook 5-7 minutes, or until the veggies soften and begin to brown.

DSC08196Add the potatoes, broccoli and broth. Lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to your heart’s content . . . you can leave some chunks of potato and broccoli if you’d like. Season with the shallot salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence, and nutritional yeast.  In a small sauce pan, melt the remaining tablespoons of Earth Balance and whisk in the flour. Little by little, add the warm almond milk, whisking constantly until thickened. This should only take a couple of minutes. Pour into the soup and blend thoroughly. Top with a scoop of tempeh bacon and Daiya cheese and enjoy!

Wild Rice & Potato Stew with Field Roast

WildRicePotatoFRStewCan you tell that I’m loving my new Dutch oven?! But really, this could be made with a regular soup pot too, but it’s way more satisfying to get use out of a new kitchen toy. This is a little similar to the Creamy Wild Rice Soup, but I revved it up by adding a Field Roast sausage (which we all thought, made the soup) and some other seasonings. I also didn’t have to prepare a roux, so it was even easier. This stew is perfect for a cold and wintry night. We’ve been socked in with LOTS of snow and temps this week haven’t risen much above 12 degrees. Our rain chain is certainly feeling it . . .

rainchainINGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
1/2 large red onion (about a cup)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C vegetable broth
1 C wild rice mix (I like Lundberg’s Wild Blend)
1 Field Roast sausage (either Apple & Sage, or Italian Seasoning flavor), crumbled
3 small red potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 C Tofutti sour cream
1/4 C almond milk
3 Tbs flour
3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper, to taste

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DIRECTIONS:

In a Dutch oven (3Q or larger) or in a large soup pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook 4-5 minutes, or until they are softened. Stir in the garlic and Field Roast and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and rice; cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and cook covered for another 20-25 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, milk and flour until well blended; stir into the soup. Season with the Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper.
soupsLet it cook a few minutes longer until heated through, then enjoy! (Serves 6)
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Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

MushroomSoupFor mushroom lovers like us, this soup certainly made us very happy. Some friends had brought it to a get together and we all demanded the recipe. It is from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  This soup requires just a tad of prep work, but then it all goes into the slow cooker. Not only is this soup savory and full of flavor, but the mushrooms are packed full of immune boosters—perfect for fighting off the winter chills and colds.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (1/2 oz) pkg dried porcini mushrooms (I could only find the 3/4 oz package, which I used all of)
1 C hot water (I added a bit more since I used more mushrooms)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 leeks, (mostly white parts and a little of the green) sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns (I used ground—didn’t have the peppercorns)
1 bay leaf
8-oz shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and thinly sliced (I recommend adding more–they cook down quite a bit)
8-oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered (Again, I’d add more)!
6 C vegetable broth
1 C water
1/4 C miso
Optional: fresh snipped chives

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine the dried porcini mushrooms and the hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, using a fine mesh strainer, drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Finely chop up the porcinis and set aside. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot and celery for about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and porchinis. Cook for a minute, then add the reserved liquid.

vegmixTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

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Cover and cook on high for 3 hours OR on low for 6 hours. Stir in the miso and cook on high for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and ladle into separate bowls; garnish with chives. Enjoy!

Vegan French Onion Soup

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I’ll be honest, I never really ate French onion soup before my vegan days, so I’m not sure how it’s supposed to taste. My guys were the ones to decide if this one passed the test. The Ninth Grader liked it a lot, but found it a little salty (I used broth and miso). The Husband liked it, but didn’t care for the vegan cheese—he admitted that the  real cheese is what made it so great before. I myself, loved the vegan cheese and I found that it all worked so well. Of course, the salt-factor didn’t seem to be a problem for me, which I’m thinking is because I spent the day (from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) walking over 15 miles along one of Fort Collins’ trails and pretty much sweated out any salt, so I was needing it! You can certainly just use water for this recipe. This recipe serves 3.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs olive oil
2 extra large onions, sliced (about 8 cups)
4 C water (or broth)
1/3 C miso
3 Tbs water or broth
1 Tbs thyme
Black pepper (and salt, if needed)
Vegan cheese

Croutons

1/2 a loaf of sourdough or French bread or baguette, sliced
Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

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Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a large soup pot and add the onions. Cook them over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until they soften and begin to brown.

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Meanwhile, make the croutons. Lay them out on a baking sheet, brush with oil and place under the broiler until browned. Flip them, brush with oil and broil again.

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In a small bowl, combine the miso, thyme and tablespoons of water or broth.

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Add the water/broth and miso mixture to the onions and bring to a boil.

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Fill bowls with the soup, top with the croutons and cover with cheese. I used the Daiya shreds and also sliced up some of the Daiya Swiss slices:

French Onion collage

Place the bowls onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler for just 1-2 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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Creamy Wild Rice Soup

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Colorado weather has been staying true to form, showing us just how schizophrenic it can be in the springtime. We’ve had 70 degree days and suddenly, we’re hitting the 20s and getting snow. Yesterday was one of those bone-chilling days which always makes me want to put on a pot of soup. I love experimenting with soups because it’s so easy. I have to say, this is probably one of my favorites—rich, creamy, and flavorful. I was already told that I need to make it again soon, and the Eighth Grader actually took leftovers to school today for lunch. He never takes leftovers! After a warm up this weekend, we are expected to get some more rain/snow next week, so I just may have to make this again. Darn. ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

2-3 celery stalks, sliced thin

1 medium onion, diced

7 C vegetable broth

1 C wild rice mix (I used Whole Foods 365 Everyday brand)

1 large russet potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, grated

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

1 Tbs nutritional yeast

4 Tbs Earth Balance

6 Tbs flour (any variety)

2 C almond milk

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DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil then add the garlic; cook 1 minute. Add the celery and onions and cook 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

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Add the broth, rice and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook another 15 minutes, or until they soften, but are still a little firm. Stir in the carrots and nutritional yeast.

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Meanwhile, to make the roux, melt the Earth Balance in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. You’ll have a thick, batter-like consistency. Slowly add the almond milk—a little at time—and continue to stir until it is all incorporated and thickens. This shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes.

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Remove and discard the bay leaves, then slowly pour the roux into the soup and combine well. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

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Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes

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This is definitely a carb-lover’s soup! You certainly don’t have to use pasta and potatoes, but I think they work really well together in this soup. I used to make this soup a lot about ten or twelve years ago, but sort of forgot about it, especially since it used real bacon, but like most meat dishes, this one is easy to veganize. It’s incredibly easy to make and versatile, too. I think some chopped kale or mushrooms would be great additions.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 veggie bacon slices, diced

1 large onion, chopped

1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped

8-9 C vegetable broth

3 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced

2 C pasta shells, uncooked

Black pepper, to taste

Daiya mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and veggie bacon and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly tender. Add the pasta and cook 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Season with black pepper and serve with Daiya cheese on top. Enjoy!

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

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I saw this recipe on Lunch Box Bunch and it looked delicious. Potatoes are a staple around our house and with these snowy days, it foot the bill nicely. I made some changes to it so this is an adaptation of the original. Absolutely delicious and full of flavor—a keeper for sure. It was very simple to throw together as well and dinner was ready in less than an hour. Makes about 7-8 cups.

INGREDIENTS:

Soup:

1/2 C almonds, blanched (boil in water for 1-2 minutes, drain, rinse and remove and discard skins)

3 C vegetable broth

2-3 large (4 C) russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2-3 dashes cayenne

Garnish:

2 russet potatoes (2 C), diced peeling them is optional

1/2 C nutritional yeast

2-3 Tbs olive oil + 1 Tbs for sauteing

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 C onion, chopped

5-6 slices veggie bacon

4 green onions (white and green parts), sliced


DIRECTIONS:

Begin by making the garnish. Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Layer the potatoes on a greased baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, but check often. Roast until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

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Meanwhile, boil the four cups of potatoes until tender. And while those cook . . . saute the onions and veggie bacon in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside along with the green onions.

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Using a blender or food processor, grind the almonds. Add the nutritional yeast, broth, pepper, salt, garlic, and cayenne. Once the potatoes are done, drain and add them to the blender. Puree 1-2 minutes, or until completely smooth. (You can add the broth little by little in case you want it thicker). Transfer back to pan (that you used to boil the potatoes in) and heat over low to medium heat; stir often until heated through. Top each serving with some potatoes, veg bacon/onion mix and green onions. Enjoy!

Roasted Mushroom and Garlic Soup with Caramelized Onions

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I found this recipe on She Wears Many Hats, and knew it was right up my alley. I love mushrooms and it also has white beans, so I was hooked. I wasn’t expecting to change it up, but I ended up deviating off the recipe a little. It turned out fabulous; full of flavor! Not only that, it was pretty easy to make. The only thing that takes a while is caramelizing the onions, so I recommend allowing about 30-45 minutes for that—but well worth it!

INGREDIENTS:

6 C white and cremini mushrooms, quartered

3 – 15 oz cans white beans, not drained

5-6 large cloves of garlic, skins on

2 Tbs olive oil + a drizzle

Salt and pepper, to taste

8-10 fresh sage leaves

8-10 thyme sprigs + 1 Tbs fresh leaves

5 C vegetable stock (I recommend using Better Than Bouillon)

2 Tbs dried minced onions

Caramelized onions:

1 large white or yellow onion, sliced into strips

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Begin with the onions. Combine the onions and olive oil and add to a medium skillet. Saute over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook another 15 minutes; stirring often. Stir in the sugar and continue to saute until the onions are almost black and sticking to the skillet.

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Reduce heat to low. Of course, while you’re doing all of this, you’ll need to start the soup . . . Preheat oven to 450. Coat the mushrooms with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large baking pan. Add the sage and thyme sprigs. To prepare the garlic, place the cloves in the middle of a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap up tightly; place onto the baking sheet.

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Bake/roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add the broth, beans, salt, pepper (to taste), and the tablespoon of thyme to a large soup pot; bring to a simmer. Stir the mushrooms in the oven and roast another 10 minutes.

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Remove the thyme sprigs and discard. Gather the sage leaves and set aside. Transfer one cup of the soup broth to a blender, along with 2 cups of drained beans. Toss in the sage leaves and the two tablespoons of minced onion, along with the garlic (the skins should slide right off). Puree until smooth. Add the mushrooms to the soup and stir in the puree; season with salt and pepper if you’d like then bring to a simmer.

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Serve with some caramelized onions on top and enjoy!

Hearty Vegetable Stew

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The guys went snowboarding yesterday, so I figured this soup would be great for them to come home to. It may not have healed the bruises and bumps, but it did hit the spot. This is much like beef stew but without the cancer-causing, artery-clogging, animal carcass. Yum!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C white onion, chopped

2 Tbs olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or minced

1/4 C flour

1 C red wine

7 C vegetable broth

1 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

4-5 celery stalks, sliced

3 large carrots, sliced

2 C mushrooms, quartered

2 Tbs arrowroot

1 Tbs dried minced onion

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften and brown. Stir in the flour and coat the onions well and cook 2 minutes.

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Whisk in the wine and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

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Whisk in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper, then drop in the bay leaf. Cover and let simmer over low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

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Add the potatoes, celery, and carrots and cook 20-25 minutes, or until the veggies soften, but not too much—you don’t want them mushy. Add the minced onions and mushrooms and let them cook down a little—about 5-7 minutes. The soup wasn’t quite as thick as I wanted it, so I mixed together the arrowroot with just over an 1/8 cup of water and then poured it into the soup. As always, it worked like a charm. Enjoy!

Hot and Sour Soup

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I have always wanted to try making hot and sour soup at home. Typically, Asian restaurants use a chicken or beef-based broth in their soups, so I usually have to pass on it. I found a recipe in Color Me Vegan, but I made some alterations to it. We loved the results! I went easy on the hot part, so feel free to spice it up more if you’d like.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 oz dried mushroom variety such as shiitake, oyster, porcini, boletus and woodear

3/4 oz dried exotic mushrooms

14-oz extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into cubes

7 Tbs tamari or soy sauce, divided

1 Tbs canola oil

6 C vegetable broth

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 C rice vinegar

1/4 C arrowroot

1 can bamboo shoots, sliced into thin strips

2-3 tsp chili sesame oil

4 green onions, sliced

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dried mushroom variety mix

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dried exotic mushroom mix

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3 packets of dried mushrooms

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for about an hour. Drain, but reserve the liquid (approx. 2 cups). Then cut/slice the mushrooms.

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Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil and coat with canola oil. You don’t have to use foil, but I find stuff still sticks to the pan regardless. Place the tofu on the baking sheet and drizzle with 4 Tbs of the tamari.

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Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the pieces. I’m sorry to say, there really isn’t an easy way to do this other than one by one . . . bake another 8-10 minutes.

DSC07107(These may look pretty scorched, but it’s actually just the baked-on tamari)

In a large soup pot, bring the broth to a boil, then add the mushrooms. Let simmer or med/low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and black pepper. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot, rice vinegar, and 3 Tbs of the tamari. Whisk well to thoroughly combine. Stir into the soup and bring it to a boil.

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Add the bamboo shoots, tofu, and chili sesame oil; cook for 5 minutes. You may want to thin out the soup a little, so add some of the reserved mushroom water. I had two cups and ended up using it all–it just depends on how thick you want the soup. Top each individual serving with some green onions and enjoy!

Potato-Leek Chowder

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I’m finally back and I bring with me a satisfying, flavorful soup that is perfect for a winter’s night in. It’s quite easy to make, particularly if you have an immersion blender (which I don’t, but I suspect I may find one under the tree come Christmas ;-) )

INGREDIENTS:

5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ dice

2 large leeks (mostly white parts with a little of the green parts), chopped

4 C veggie broth (I really like Better than Bouillon)

3 Tbs Earth Balance

2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

6 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 C almond milk

2 tsp shallot salt

1 tsp celery salt

2 dashes black pepper

2 dashes white pepper

Optional ingredients: croutons, vegan cheddar shreds, sliced green onion, vegan sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the Earth Balance and garlic over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute about 10 minutes, or until the leeks begin to soften.

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Add the potatoes and broth and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. I prefer to not cook them too much, as I don’t want real mushy potatoes. I then transferred the soup to a food processor, working in batches. Each time, I added 2-3 Tbs of the nutritional yeast and some of the almond milk until I was out of each. I try not to blend it too much, as I like a few potato chunks left in there. If you use an immersion blender (any suggestions on brands, anyone?) slowly add the milk and nutritional yeast as you blend the soup. Season with the salts and the peppers and serve with your favorite soup toppings! Enjoy!

Lasagna Soup

 

Well this was unexpected. So earlier this afternoon, I was reading though the 131 blog entries from my Google blog reader (after being out of town for a while) and came across this recipe from That Was Vegan? I immediately bookmarked it. Then I realized I had hungry he-gans to feed and not much to work with. I wasn’t planning on going to the store until tomorrow. Anyhow, it was love at first read . . . even though I didn’t have all the ingredients for the original recipe, I figured I could make it work with what I had. I even borrowed a can of diced tomatoes from my good friend (and neighbor). (Thanks, Jessie)! You don’t have to use lasagna noodles, but if you’re like me, chances are, you’ll have an opened box of lasagna noodles leftover from a bygone (yet fabulous) lasagna. This is the perfect soup to use those rogue noodles! I added a couple of Field Roast sausages and made some other alterations and it came out fantastic. Try this with some diced zucchini or mushrooms for some variety.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Field Roast sausages, Italian variety

1 Tbs olive oil

2-1/2 tsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried rosemary

28-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

9-10 lasagna noodles

7 C water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1/2 C spaghetti sauce

2 bay leaves

1-1/2 Tbs dried basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Daiya cheese

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil, garlic, Field Roast, and onion.

Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.

 

Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, and rosemary; stir to combine. Add the diced tomatoes (juice and all), spaghetti sauce, 6 cups of water (you may want to add more later), the two bay leaves, and the bouillon (I chopped it up first); bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Break up the lasagna noodles and add to the pot. Let simmer 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked (you may need to add more water). Remove the bay leaves and serve with a sprinkle of Daiya cheese. Enjoy!

Halloween Fun

Another Halloween come and gone . . . with lots of delicious food and drink and wonderful friends. This is just one of many hysterical pictures!

The Menu

Guacamole, Black Rice Salad, Almond cheeze (herb and plain), pumpkin hummus, Party Cheese Ball, Spinach Dip, Pesto Potato Soup, Cashew-Truffle Hummus and cupcakes!

I hope you had a safe and fabulous Halloween!

Pesto-Potato Soup

 

I told you I’d find a way to use the pesto—or at least some of it. This soup, from Crash Test Vegetarian has become a mainstay around here. I’ve made small changes during the half a dozen times I’ve made it and I have to say, adding the pesto is probably my favorite variation. It reminds me of the Pesto-Potato Bread that is so delicious. Served with bread or croutons, this is a fabulous fall dinner.

INGREDIENTS:

4-5 C potatoes, peeled and diced

2 C celery, sliced

1 C onion, diced

4 tsp Better than Bouillon vegetable base

4 Tbs Earth Balance

6 Tbs flour

2 C almond milk

2 Tbs basil pesto

Salt and pepper

Vegan cheddar shreds, optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, whisk together the bouillon base with 6 cups of water. Add the celery and onions and bring to a boil. Stir in the potatoes and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes become tender. You should have just enough water to cover the potatoes and veggies, so if it’s too watery, you’ll want to drain some of the liquid. In a medium saucepan, melt the Earth Balance, slowly whisk in the flour; blend well. You’ll end up with a paste. Blend in the pesto. Little by little, add the almond milk and whisk thoroughly. Cook over medium/high heat and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour into the soup and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes until soup is thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

 

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup

 

This soup, from Vegetarian Times is amazing! It’s a simple fall soup that comes together in no time. I think it came out pretty thick and I would have preferred it to be soupier. If you’re like me, I recommending using about 10 cups of water instead of 6. The bread that it’s served with really soaks up the liquid. Otherwise, for a thick chunky version stick with the recipe as is. Either way, it’s delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs olive oil, divided

2/3 C Arborio (risotto) rice

3 cloves garlic, minced

3-1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

6 C veggie broth (I like to use Better Than Bouillon veggie base)

2 C sliced cabbage

1 bay leaf

2 slices Italian bread, torn into pieces (1 cup)

1/4 C pine nuts

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS:

Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the rice and toasted for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook 2 more minutes.

 

 

Add the broth, cabbage and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the bread and pine  nuts in a food processor until you get small crumbs. Heat the remaining Tbs of olive oil in a skillet and add the bread/nut mixture. Toast over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

 

Add the beans to the soup and cook 5 minutes. Check to make sure the rice is tender. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

 

The recipe says to stir in the bread crumbs, but I opted to just sprinkle them on top of individual servings. Otherwise, I think the bread would soak up too much of the broth. Serve with salad and bread and enjoy!

Carrot-Ginger Soup

I have been wanting to make this soup for some time, ever since we first had some at The Black Cat in Boulder. My friend Jessie, gave me this recipe. I tweaked it a little, and in fact, I may tweak it a bit more next time I make it by using canned coconut milk instead of coconut meat or shreds. Either way, this is a fantastic soup for any carrot lover. It can be served warm or cold—both ways are delicious. We enjoyed this with the tasty tomato tarts.

INGREDIENTS:

3 C carrot juice (I juiced 12 large carrots)

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

3 Tbs freshly grated gingerroot

1/2 C unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

2 dashes of nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 C almond milk

Optional: cayenne pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth (you may have tiny specks of coconut). If you’d like it warm, transfer to a large sauce or soup pot and heat. Enjoy!

Yields: 32-oz

Vegan New England Chik’n Corn Chowder

This may not be something you’d consider making in the summer, but on a rainy evening (which we could desperately use) this chowder would hit the spot. Even without the rainy weather, this soup is absolutely delicious! The Seventh Grader picked it out, so we worked side-by-side in the kitchen on this one. It comes together rather quickly—certainly under 25 minutes. The original recipe is from LightLife. We made some changes though and actually had to guess on some directions because they weren’t real clear on how some of the ingredients needed to be prepared. I also used Morning Star Chik’n Strips. The recipe makes only 3 servings, which is great for us, but you may want to double the recipe to feed more. (Note: You probably wouldn’t need to double the Chik’n Strips, because I think there’d be plenty for a double batch).

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg Morning Start Meal Starter Chik’n Strips

4 slices LightLife Smart Bacon

3 Tbs Earth Balance

1/2 C onion, chopped

2 large celery stalks, chopped

1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, diced

2 Tbs flour

3 C almond milk

1-1/2 C corn kernels

1 tsp fresh thyme

Salt, pepper and cayenne, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

If the Chik’n Strips are frozen, defrost a little, then chop up into bite-sized pieces.

In a soup pot, heat the Earth Balance until melted. Over medium/high heat, add the onion, celery, and pepper. (Remember, wear your rubbers when handling hot peppers ;-) )

Cook for about five minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are tender. While this is going on, you may want to get the bacon frying. Cook according to package instructions. Add the flour to the pot and cook about a minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add the almond milk and incorporate it well. Add the corn, Chik’n, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and stir constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes.

Serve with some crumbled veg bacon on top. Enjoy!

Chili Stew

The weather has been a bit cold and windy these days, and last night was no exception. On nights like that, a hearty soup or stew hits the spot. I threw in tons of different things in this chili and I think this one is my favorite version so far. It’s also great to scoop onto tortilla chips. I had three avocados I planned on dicing up to top the chili, but each one was bad! Total bummer. Crash Test Vegetarian used olives and roasted red peppers in her chili recipe, so I owe her a big thanks for the idea!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (1/2 C of barley is a good substitute)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained

4 C low-sodium vegetable broth

2 C water

1 6-oz can black olives, sliced

1 small can tomato paste

3 jarred roasted red peppers, diced

1/8 C lime juice

2-3 Tbs Ancho chili powder

1-1/2 Tbs cumin

1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste

4-5 green onions, sliced

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Optional: Daiya cheese, diced avocado, Tofutti sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until tender. Add the broth, water, potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are slightly tender, about 20 minutes. Add the seasonings, roasted red peppers, olives, and lime juice. Simmer another 15-20 minutes and stir in the lime juice. Sprinkle servings with green onion, cilantro, cheese, and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Spinach Soup with Basil and Dill

This is a delicious and very flavorful soup from Color Me Vegan. I’m not typically a big fan of dill, but it tastes great combined with the basil and spinach. It’s also very simple to make. Even during the summer, I think this soup would be ideal to make because of the abundance of fresh herbs.

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

6 C vegetable stock (I used 4 and added 2 cup of water)

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 lbs fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 C fresh dill

8 fresh basil leaves, minced

1/2 C nondairy milk

1-3 Tbs agave

Juice from one lemon

Pepper

Tofutti sour cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, combine the onions, potatoes, garlic, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

In a food processor or blender, puree the soup with the spinach, dill, and basil. I had to do this in two batches. Blend until smooth. Return it to the soup pot and add the milk, agave, and 1/2 the lemon (add more if needed).

Warm the soup up, but don’t bring it to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of sour cream on top! Enjoy!

 

 

Potato-Celery Soup

This FANTASTIC soup comes from Izzy over at Crash Test Vegetarian. We LOVED this soup–so easy to make and absolutely delicious. The only thing I changed was use almond milk instead of soy and added 1 tablespoon on chopped fresh rosemary. Get the recipe and visit Izzy–she has a great blog with lots of yummy recipes! Thanks, Izzy!

Carrot & Roasted Bell Pepper Soup

I don’t go out of my way to eat carrots. Typically, I only buy them for recipes or for juicing (when added to other juiced veggies). I decided to go out on limb and try this soup from Color Me Vegan. I actually was hooked when I had a similar soup at Black Cat in Boulder. And this recipe is fantastic; very simple to make, too. It’s full of flavor—the thyme is perfect in this dish. The recipe calls for 2 cups of nondairy milk, so next time I think I’ll sub in one cup of coconut milk to change it up and add a different element to it.

INGREDIENTS:

3 carrots (I used two large ones), peeled and chopped

2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped

1 yellow potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 C dry sherry or white wine (I used cooking sherry)

1/4 tsp salt (or more for taste)

2 jarred roasted bell peppers, coarsely chopped

2 tsp dried thyme

3 C vegetable stock

1/3 C yellow miso

2 C almond milk

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, combine the carrots, onions, potato, garlic, salt, and sherry. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates.

Add the roasted red peppers, thyme, and stock. Cover it and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.

Transfer to a blender along with the miso and 1 cup of the milk. Blend until completely smooth. Return the soup to the pot and slowly stir in the remaining 1 cup of milk.

Reheat and add the cayenne and possibly more salt. Serve with salad and bread. Enjoy!

Mushroom Barley Soup

This recipe is from Color Me Vegan, a cookbook I bought over the summer, but I’m just now getting around to using it. I had marked so many of the recipes as ones to try, and I have a couple more this week that I plan to make. I really love this cookbook!

The flavor was really outstanding and of course, the truffle oil is the piece de resistance. It’s subtle, yet still distinguishable. I would certainly make this again, but I would probably use more barley and use kale instead of carrots—it all depends on what you like. It’s a satisfying, tasty soup that’s sure to become a staple around here.

INGREDIENTS:

4 C water

3/4 C uncooked pearl barley

2 medium onions, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 Tbs olive oil

1-1/2 lbs sliced fresh mushrooms (I used a combo of white and cremini)

2 C carrots, chopped

6 C mushroom or veggie broth–or half of each. (I used 2 C portobello mushroom soup and 4 C vegetable broth)

1 Tbs tomato paste

1 Tbs truffle oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

3 Tbs fresh parsley, minced

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium sauce pan, bring the water and barley to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes—you only want to partially cook it. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain it. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onions and celery for about 7 minutes.

Add the mushrooms.

That may seem like a lot, but remember, mushrooms always cook down quite a bit. Stirring often, cook the mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the carrots, tomato paste, broth, and partially cooked barley.

Bring to a boil, them reduce heat, and cover. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the truffle oil, salt, and pepper.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Snow Pea Soup

This soup is perfect if you want a comforting meal in no time. I used lots of my favorite ingredients and like most soups, it will taste even better the next day.

INGREDIENTS:

6 C vegetable broth

1 Tbs olive oil

6 green onion, sliced

3 C Shiitake and white mushrooms (or cremini), sliced

2 C snow peas, cut into pieces (and ends snipped)

1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated

3 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tbs yellow miso

6-oz Angel hair pasta

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and garlic. Add the green onion, mushrooms, and snow peas. Cook until the veggies are tender.

Add the ginger and miso, and combine well. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook another 3-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Potato, White Bean & Kale Soup

 

We received about 10″ of snow yesterday. The day before was up in the ’70s. That’s Colorado for you. And I am not a fan of Old Man Winter, but I do love to make soups, which are a staple during these cold, snowy months. This soup not only warms you up, but it’ll heal what ails you. Kale is a powerful veggie. It’s packed full of antioxidants which are essential in fighting chronic illnesses including heart disease and cancer. It works as an anti-inflammatory, helping those who suffer from joint pain to fibromyalgia. Loaded with calcium, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folic acid, and potassium, kale is one of the best weapons against a cold. Let’s not forget the power of mushrooms, too, which are rich in potassium, riboflavin, niacin (B3), and selenium. Mushrooms have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as breast and prostate cancers. They’re your immune system’s best friend. So load this soup up with lots of kale and mushrooms—your body with thank you.

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs garlic, minced

2 large leeks, chopped

1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped

2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 15-oz can Great Northern Beans

2 carrots, peeled and chopped small

8 C low-sodium vegetable stock

1 sprig rosemary

A dash or two of cayenne

Salt and pepper

We brought the rosemary inside just in time. The basil, however . . .

 . . . has seen better days. My neighbor suggested cutting it down and placing it in our sunroom. Operation Save Basil has commenced.

DIRECTIONS:

I recommend having all of the ingredients chopped and ready to go before you start. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the leek and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks starts to brown. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, cayenne, and rosemary sprig; cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened. Stir in the beans, kale, and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer another 5-7 minutes, or until the kale is wilted.

Remove and discard the rosemary sprig and enjoy!

 

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary


Yesterday was a chilly, rainy day where the sun never made an appearance. Dare I say . . . we’ve stumbled into fall? This soup was perfect for a evening like that. This recipe is from Vegetarian Times and the only thing I’d change is add more potatoes and mushrooms or use less broth to make it thicker. Otherwise, this is a super flavorful, delicious stew—loved it.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms

4 Tbs olive oil (I cut this in half)

1-1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes

1-1/2 lb cremini mushrooms,

3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs)

1 Tbs plus 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divded

1/2 C dry white wine

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 7-1/2 C of water to a boil in a large soup pot. If you want a thicker soup, use less water (or use more potatoes and mushrooms). Add the porcini mushrooms and remove the pot from the heat and let soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes and thickly slice the cremini mushrooms. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs (or 1 if not using as much) and add the potatoes and salt, if desired. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to brown.

Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pan. Using cheesecloth (I recommend using a thin cotton napkin), squeeze as much liquid from the porchini mushrooms as possible.

Finely chop the porcini mushrooms and add them to the pot of liquid. Once the potatoes are browned, add them to the pot and throw the cremini mushrooms in the skillet with the remaining olive oil. The recipe says to cook them until they begin to brown, about 15-17 minutes. For me, this happened within 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and 1 Tbs of the rosemary; cook for 20 seconds. Add the wine and simmer 15 seconds. Transfer to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Puree 2 cups of the soup in a blender and return back into the soup pot. Serve with remaining rosemary sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

A Look Back

When it’s time to plan meals for the week, I sometimes rely on some old favorites of mine. When looking back on my recipes, I always come across yummy ones I’ve forgotten about. I thought I’d bring these oldies, but goodies to you.

Appetizers

Party Cheese Ball

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mustard Greens and Cheeze Filo Pie

Avocado Bruschetta

.

Breads

Pesto Potato Bread

Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

Home-made Pita Bread

Chive-Flecked Spud Muffins

.

Side Dishes

Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts & Parsley

Easy, Creamy Pasta Salad

Baked Fries with Sea Salt & Truffle Oil

Easy Cole Slaw

.

Soups

Eggplant Parmagiano Stew

Vegetable-Barley Soup

Vegetable-Barley Chili

.

Lunch

Smoky-Miso Tofu Sandwiches

Garden Wrap

BLTA with Tempeh Bacon

Green Tea Rice with Lemon, Snowpeas & Tofu

.

Breakfast

Quinoa-Couscous Cereal with Dried Fruit

Colorful Kale and Potato Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole

Home-made Granola

.

Dinner

Sweet Chili-Lime Tofu

Breaded Zucchini with Lentils and Rainbow Chard

Angel Hair Pasta with Mushrooms & Ricotta

Spinach & Tofu Calzones

Spinach & Pesto Lasagna

Fresh & Healthy Soft Tacos/Burritos

Pecan-Crusted Seitan

Field Roast with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

.

Desserts

Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes

Chai-Spiced Berry-Oatmeal Cookies

Cheeze Danishes

Sunflower-Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Day 3 of Reboot, plus Potato-Spinach Soup

So the first three days of a reboot are usually the worst. You’re hungry, tired, and usually suffering from headaches. You may even feel like biting someone’s head off. Just remember, feeling lousy is actually a good thing when detoxing—it means your body is expelling toxins (just try to refrain from murdering anyone).

Today’s been a good day. Yesterday . . . not so much. The Husband was ready to force feed me a burrito or two, but I mashed up an avocado with some lime juice and ate it with a handful of jicama. I admire folks who can do the all-juicing fast—I think I’d keel over after two days of it. Luckily, the reboot I’m doing allows me to eat fruits and veggies in addition to the juicing. I am also allowed to use small amounts of oils and spices. My mid-section is noticeably smaller and I’ve dropped two pounds already. No complaints there!

I started the day off with a kale-strawberry-mango smoothie. The reboot does not include nuts, so when I’m fully rebooted, I think some chia seeds would be ideal in this.


Ok, it may not look appetizing, but it is truly my favorite smoothie! Give it a whirl: 5-6 kale leaves, 5 strawberries, 1 mango, and 3/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth. :)

After munching on salad mid-morning, for lunch, I needed something with some girth. A warm meal sounded great, too. I remembered my Potato-Leek Soup recipe, but it’s not quite acceptable for the reboot as it is . . . so I gave it a reboot of my own.

The original recipe calls for Earth Balance margarine and milk, so I needed to get creative. I added mushrooms to give it that thick and creamy texture and I also threw in some spinach. I incorporated a sweet potato and used a tablespoon of coconut oil instead of butter. LOVED it! It was exactly was I was needing to fill me up and satisfy my comfort food cravings—all with staying within the reboot guidelines!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs coconut oil

1 large sweet potato

1 tsp garlic, minced

3 medium russet potatoes or 6 small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

2 large leeks, sliced thin, then halved

2 cups mushrooms, quartered

1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

5 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth

salt and white pepper, to taste

fresh chives

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, melt the coconut oil and add the garlic. Saute for a minute. Add the leeks and saute 5-7 minutes, or until they soften.

Add the potatoes and broth/water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes soften.

Working in batches, ladle into a food processor and add some mushrooms and spinach. Puree until smooth-ish. Transfer to a large bowl. Continue to puree the rest of the soup, adding mushrooms and spinach. Season with salt and white pepper and top with some freshly chopped chives. This was out outstanding and I didn’t miss the milk, cheese, or sour cream that the original recipe uses.

Layer, I threw together another tasty smoothie: 4 kale leaves, 1/2 a small cantaloupe, 1 pear (peeled and chopped), and 3/4 C of water.

I snacked on some salad, munched on some jicama and cherries, and for dinner, I had some more of the leftover potato-spinach soup and decaf herbal tea. I have several more recipes geared up for the next few days, so I’ll be bringing those to you soon. All in all, I feel pretty good and its get easier as I go. The key is planning. Be armed with recipes and ingredients. I recommend planning your meals in advance and spending some time chopping vegetables up ahead of time so that it’s a matter of just grabbing them when you need them. Lack of planning can easily derail you from the reboot!

Quick Gazpacho Soup

This refreshing soup is great not only for the summer, but for a reboot, too! You can actually juice these ingredients, but I decided to use the food processor.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large tomatoes, chopped

1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped into big pieces

2 celery stalks, cut into large pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces

1/4 C red onion, chopped

1/2 C fresh parsley

1/2 C fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the onion, bell pepper, parsley, cilantro, and celery to the food processor. Process until smooth. Add the cucumber and tomatoes and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like. Enjoy!

Makes about 5 cups.

Vegetable-Barley Soup

Yes, I am on a barley kick. Since I started using it (Vegetable-Barley Chili) I’ve been hooked. It has a lovely chewy texture that is ideal for soups and stews. In addition to the rainy weather, I  needed to clean out the fridge of some veggies, so this soup worked out beautifully. Amazing flavor and ideal with some garlic toast or rolls.

INGREDIENTS:

4 C vegetable broth

3-4 C water

1/3 C pearled barley

1 zucchini, sliced then quartered

4 stalks celery, sliced

2 C mushrooms, sliced/quartered

3 medium carrots, sliced

4 large green onions, sliced

1/3 C light miso

1/3 C sherry

3 Tbs dried minced onion

2 Tbs dried chives

1 C fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp black pepper

3/4 C almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the broth, barley, zucchini, carrots, celery, minced onion, chives, and pepper in a large soup pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add 1-2 cups of water along with the mushrooms, green onions, miso, and sherry. Cook another 5-7 minutes. Add more water if you feel it’s too thick. Stir in the parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Vegetable-Barley Chili

This morning, I awoke to this:

And this is how it is now . . . (same day, folks):

Living in Colorado my whole life, I should be used to this kind of schizophrenic weather, but it still amazes me when it happens. The good thing about this morning’s freak snow storm is that it kept me sequestered inside and busy writing. I planned on making just spaghetti for dinner, but like the weather, I switched it up and made this chili. I didn’t have all the ingredients I normally use, but I remember a friend telling me recently, that she uses barley in chili. I decided to give it a whirl. The family actually liked it better than my original chili recipe. If you’re not used to that much fiber (between the beans and the barley) I suggest easing up on the beans, perhaps.

INGREDIENTS:

2 14-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

28-oz can diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, diced

3/4 C pearled barley

1 Tbs olive oil

5-6 C water and/or vegetable broth

1 pkg chili seasoning or . . .

Home-made chili seasoning:

1 Tbs Ancho chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 Tbs dried minced onion

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 Tbs ground dried chilies

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot; saute the onions and bell pepper until slightly browned. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then add the barley. Combine all the seasoning ingredients; add to the pot. Partially cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water (or broth) if needed in order to reach the consistency you want. Continue simmering for 10-15 minutes. Serve with some shredded vegan cheese and/or a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup

This comes from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times and was pretty easy to make. I altered a couple of things and it made a comforting, hearty meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion, diced (1-1/2 C)

1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 C)

1 small green bell pepper, diced (1 C)

6 cloves garlic, minced

6 C cooked black beans, (I used canned–drained) divided

3 medium potatoes, diced (2-1/2 C)

2 Tbs white wine vinegar

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves (I used dried)

1 bay leaf (I left this out)

1/2 tsp salt

Green onions, sliced for a garnish

Optional: vegan cheddar, Tofutti sour cream, salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, saute the bell peppers, onions and garlic in a bit of water or vegetable broth for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth.

Add 3 of the 6 cups of black beans, as well as 6-7 cups of water. I think a low-sodium vegetable broth would be great, too.  Puree until the mixture resembles a thick soup. I didn’t have enough room in my food processor for all of this, so I pureed what I could, transferred half the mixture back to the soup pot, then pureed the rest with the rest of the water. Transfer to the soup pot and add the rest of the beans, potatoes, vinegar and seasonings. Bring to a simmer; reduce to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish each serving with green onions and/or other optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Potato and Corn Chowder

I told you I was going to make soup. Considering it’s quite cold here in Colorado, soup just hits the spot. I used frozen diced potatoes which made it very easy to prepare. I served this soup with the chive-flecked spud muffins which were an ideal accompaniment.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C onion, diced

1 C celery, sliced thin

5 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 tsp Garlic and Wine seasoning or a Mrs. Dash-type seasoning

2 lbs russet potatoes, diced (I used frozen ones)

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 C corn kernels

14-oz coconut milk

4 C vegetable broth

1/2 C nutritional yeast

1-2 Tbs olive oil

Optional ingredients: shredded vegan cheddar, Tofutti sour cream, fresh chopped chives

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions and celery for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 3 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the nutritional yeast and vegetable broth. In the soup pot, whisk in the coconut milk, then the broth mixture. Add the Garlic & Wine seasoning and rosemary.  Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and corn and simmer 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Eggplant Parmagiano Stew

It’s soup season and this chili-like stew is delicious and satisfying. It also comes together rather quickly, so from start to finish, it takes only about 35-40 minutes. The stew and Parmesan recipes come from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, which is shaping up to be my latest obsession. The Husband and Sixth Grader even rank this as one of their favorite soups. And the Parmesan?! It’s fabulous—ideal with this stew as well as with pastas and anything needing Parmesan cheese. It’s also a great source of protein and B vitamins with the almonds and nutritional yeast.

INGREDIENTS:

Stew:

8 C vegetable broth (I used 4 C of low-sodium broth to not overdose on the salt)

1-6oz can tomato paste

1 Tbs crushed garlic

1 medium eggplant, unpeeled and diced

2 C finely chopped, packed kale

1 large onion, chopped

4 C drained cooked or canned white beans (2-15 or 16oz cans)

1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes

2 tsp oregano

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

Salt, pepper, and cayenne

Parmezano Sprinkles:

1/2 C blanched almonds

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1-2 tsp light miso

Heaping 1/4 tsp salt

The beautiful eggplant I got from Green Buffalo Food Co. on Tuesday.

DIRECTIONS:

I made the Parmezano Sprinkles earlier in the day, so I’ll start with those. To blanch the almonds, place them in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain them; rinse with cold water. When pinched between your fingers, the skins will slide right off. Dry off with a paper towel and place the almonds in a food processor; grind to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and pulse several times to incorporate everything. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; will keep for a month or so and can be frozen. (This is fabulous on steamed veggies, particularly kale)!

To make the stew, combine the broth, tomato paste, and garlic in a large soup pot. Add the eggplant, onion and kale. The kale has to be finely chopped, so I recommend using your food processor for a real time saver. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender, but still firm.

Transfer 2 cups of the broth, 2 cups of the beans, nutritional yeast, and oregano in a blender and process until smooth.

Pour it into the soup pot and mix well. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of beans and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and simmer uncovered until the beans and tomatoes are heated through. Garnish with the Parmezano Sprinkles and enjoy!

 

My Cure-All Vegetable-Miso Soup

Well, curing colds is the idea. If anything, this soup is hearty and flavorful. It’s also chocked full of immune-boosting ingredients. The Husband was struck with a cold for two weeks, then after four days of wellness, got hit again. The Sixth Grader is now catching on to this cold business. I’m a firm believer that fresh fruits and vegetables are the best remedy for the cold. Unfortunately, the Husband didn’t load up on them when he was sick . . .hmmm. . . Twice, I did feel it coming on, and both times I ate a big bowl of steamed kale. Cold symptoms gone. I make the kale a regular thing for me now—at least three days a week and even for breakfast. So last night my sniffling, coughing guys were asking for me to make the colds go away, so to the kitchen I went and for a appetizer, I made them split an orange bell pepper, which is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants.

INGREDIENTS:

4 C low-sodium vegetable broth

3 C water

2 C red potatoes, diced

1 large leek (loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium)

2 tsp garlic, minced (also loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium)

1 C carrots, sliced (get your beta carotene, Vitamin A and antioxidants)

2 C button or shiitake mushrooms, quartered (packed full of nutrients–long list–plus some fiber)

1 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (high in fiber and protein)

1/2 C yellow miso

Optional: 1 C kale or spinach

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the vegetable broth and water in a large soup pot. Bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, carrots and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes and then add the garlic and beans. Simmer again for another 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are soft, but still with a bit of a crunch. Stir in miso and mushrooms and simmer 5 minutes. It’s that easy!! Serve with a little extra love and it’s sure to cure colds! Enjoy!

Vegan Jambalaya

Vegan MoFo, Day 20

This has always been a favorite with the fam and so when I looked at the Tofurky Kielbasa sausages in the fridge, I knew it was meant to be. I usually make biscuits to serve under the jambalaya, but I forgot, so I used some rosemary and sesame seed saltines. If you don’t have a lot of time, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are vegan and a quick option.

INGREDIENTS:

1-14 0z pkg (4 sausages), diced

2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with juices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion, but any variety is fine)

1-1/2 C vegetable broth

1/2 C white wine

1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 C white rice, cooked

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

Cajun seasoning (1 tsp is fairly mild. For more of a kick, add more, a 1/4 tsp at a time)

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste

Crackers or biscuits

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet, heat the oil and garlic. Add the bell pepper, onion and sausage. Saute about 10 minutes, or until the sausage begins to brown and the peppers and onion soften.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, combine the tomatoes and broth; bring to a simmer. Transfer the sausage mixture to the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the seasonings, parsley, and wine; simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in the rice and enjoy!

Cheezy Kale and White Bean Soup

Vegan MoFo, Day 10

Kale is my drug. I love it. This soup is great for fall (or even a cool summer evening) and easy to throw together. It’s hearty without being overly filling.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large leek, chopped

2-15 oz cans great northern or cannellini beans, drained

8 C vegetable broth (or 6 cups broth, 2 cups of water)

1/2 C white wine

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs lemon juice

4-5 C fresh kale, torn or chopped

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

White pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

I just filled my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup of kale to the top–so about 5 cups

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and leek and saute until slightly browned. Add the beans and parsley and saute 4-5 minutes.

Add the broth, kale, lemon juice, and white wine. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. 5 minutes before serving, add the cheeze. This is strictly an optional ingredient—you can also just sprinkle a little cheeze on individual servings. Enjoy!

Happy World Vegan Day!

Today kicks off my Vegan MoFo quest to blog everyday in November about all things vegan. We got an early start to the festivities last night with an all-vegan Halloween party with family and friends. When it comes to entertaining, our guests never go hungry or thirsty for it’s an opportunity for me to stuff them with vegan goodness. Last night was no exception.

The Menu

Vegetable Chili

Party Cheese Ball

“Cheddar” and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Spinach Dip

Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta

Olive tray

Spicy Wonton Cups (see below for recipe)

Mexi-Roll-Ups (see below for recipe)

Spicy Wonton Cups:

INGREDIENTS:

30 wonton wrappers, Twin Marquis brand (egg-free)

2 Field Roast sausages, Chipotle flavor,

1 small onion, chopped

5 large mushrooms, quartered

3 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped

Vegan mozzarella, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

You can make this recipe earlier in the day to make things easier–which was a lifesaver! To make the wonton cups: Preheat broiler to high. Lightly grease a  muffin pan. I made medium-sized ones, but these work really well with the mini-muffin pan. Place a wonton wrapper in each muffin cup:

Spray the cups with a little bit of cooking spray and put under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.

Meanwhile, break up the sausage into large chunks and throw into the food processor. Add the onions and chop up until pretty fine. Transfer the sausage mixture to a skillet, then add the mushrooms and roasted red pepper to the food process and process until fine, then mix in with the sausage mixture.

Preheat oven to 375. Heat mixture in the skillet thoroughly, then fill the cups evenly with the mixture and sprinkle on some vegan mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake about 15 minutes. If making ahead, refrigerate the sausage mixture and cover the wonton cups until ready to use.

Mexi-Roll-Ups

INGREDIENTS:

4 flour tortillas

8 oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

(2) 2-1/4 oz black olives, diced

4 oz can mild green chilies

4 large green onions, sliced thin

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and cilantro and spread 1/4 of the mixture onto 1 tortilla. Layer on some olives, green onions, and green chilies.

Roll up and if not using right away, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Otherwise, slice the roll and lay on a platter.

The Look

That’s right. Pedro and Napoleon. The Husband could also pass for a very tan Burt Reynolds or a Hispanic Ken doll. After making him dress as Marilyn Monroe a few years back for Halloween, I owed him, so it was my turn to cross-dress.

The Sixth Grader and I went a little nuts with the fake cobwebs:

By the end of the night, Pedro was ready to pass out . . .

Hope everyone had a great Halloween and Happy World Vegan Day!

Mushroom Garlic Bisque

I had a feeling I was going to like this mauve-colored soup because it not only has mushrooms, but wine as well. Yep, I love it. This comes from a cookbook that I’ve recently rediscovered—I’ve had it for years. Beyond the Moon Cookbook is all vegetarian, so I had to veganize the soup, which was no problem. Served with some rustic bread, this soup was ideal for a chilly fall evening.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C dry red wine

1-1/2 lbs mushrooms, quartered (about 6 cups)

1 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1-1/2 C onions, chopped

10 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1-1/2 C fresh bread crumbs (I used an olive loaf and chopped up about 1/2 of it)

1 C Tofutti sour cream

2-1/2 C almond milk

2 Tbs tamari

1 tsp salt

2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped

Dash of black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat 1-1/2 cups of the wine and add the mushrooms .

Simmer, partially covered, until the mushrooms have absorbed all wine, about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions, garlic, and thyme until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Puree the onions in a food processor.

Add the bread crumbs, sour cream, and three-quarters of the cooked mushrooms.

(fresh bread crumbs)

Process until smooth.

Stir the puree into the soup pot with the left over mushrooms. Whisk in the milk, tamari, salt, basil, pepper, remaining 1/2 cup red wine, and 2-1/2 cups of water. Heat until warmed through, stirring often. Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!

Vegan New England Chowder

I have had this recipe from Weekly Vegan Menu bookmarked for some time now, and since today was drizzly and cold, it was about time I made it. I changed a couple of things like using button mushrooms instead of oyster and pureeing 1/2 the soup for a more chowder consistency. The flavors in this soup are spectacular and was perfect for a day like today.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/2 a bell pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

4-6 C mushrooms, diced

1 C corn

3 C vegetable stock

3 C russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke

2 C nondairy milk (soy or almond)

1/4 C cornstarch

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Tofutti sour cream (optional)

Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. I recommend having all your ingredients out, chopped, and ready to go before starting:

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, basil, and oregano. Once they are hot and on high heat, add the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes.

While this is happening, roast the corn in the oven for 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes, then the stock, Old Bay, Liquid Smoke, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the nondairy milk and cornstarch and add to the pot along with the corn. Bring to a simmer, but not a boil. Taste for seasoning. Here, I added (in batches) half of the soup to my food processor and just pureed a little; just enough to still be a bit chunky. I then added it back to the pot and mixed it with the un-pureed soup for the perfect chowder consistency. Top with a bit of cheese and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Vegetable Soup

I have been craving soup for two days now and since I’m not big on the canned variety, I finally made my own fresh batch. It was exactly what I’ve been needing. This has got me all geared up for fall soup season!

INGREDIENTS:

8 C vegetable broth (you can substitute up to 3 cups with water if you wish)

3 organic potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thin

3 celery stalks, sliced thin

1 small onion, diced

6 mushrooms, sliced thin

1/2 C white wine

1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

1-1/2 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 Tbs dried minced onion

1 Tbs garlic powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes, carrots, and celery soften. Add the mushrooms, fresh herbs, tarragon, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and wine; cook another 5-8 minutes. Voila! You’re done and ready to enjoy!

Potato-Leek Soup

This is an all-time favorite that is really simple and always delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

4 leeks, thinly sliced

3 Tbs Earth Balance

4 C vegetable broth

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1-1/2 C soy milk

Fresh chives, chopped (optional)

Tofutti sour cream (optional)

Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, saute the leeks in the Earth Balance for 5-7 minutes, or until the leeks are soft and tender.

Add the potatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 mins.

Remove from heat and in batches, scoop out (broth and all) into a food processor and add about a 1/4 to 1/2 C of soy milk. Now…like mashed potatoes, I like my potato soup with chunks of potato–none of this smooth whipped stuff. So…where you stand on the potato-texture debate, will determine how long you process the soup. For me, I just whirl it around for about 3-5 seconds–just enough to mix it all together and be left with small chunks. Otherwise, whirl away until you’ve reach your desired consistency. I then transfer each batch to a large bowl. Repeat the previous steps and then transfer back into  the soup pot. I like to serve a bowl of this with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped chives. A little vegan cheddar cheese never hurts though. Enjoy!

Vegetable Chili

A great hearty vegan meal! And such a cinch to make. I added about 7-oz of Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style, but it’s certainly optional.

INGREDIENTS:

7-oz (half a tube) Gimme Lean ground beef style (optional)

1 small eggplant, cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

2 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1-28oz can diced tomatoes, juice and all

2 to 2-1/2 cans of water (I use an empty kidney bean can)

1 small can tomato paste

1 pkg. chili seasoning

Salt, to taste

Vegan cheddar, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Saute the Gimme Lean with the garlic until browned. Basically, combine everything in a large soup pot and simmer for about 30 mins. Serve in individual bowls (about 8 servings) salt to taste, top with cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Enjoy!

Miso Soup with Tofu and Baby Spinach

This soup has all my favorite ingredients! Mushrooms, spinach, tofu, green onion….It’s a very light soup that would go great with half a sandwich and is tasty, tasty, tasty! Plus, with prep and cook time, it was ready in about 25 minutes. This is great soothing soup–it’s the new chicken soup! Add or substitute your favorite ingredients like celery, leeks or shredded carrot.

INGREDIENTS:

6 C water
1 1/2 C baby spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 C thinly sliced mushrooms
3 Tbs minced scallions (about 3 large green onions)
1 Tbs Tamari or other soy sauce
1/3 C mellow white miso paste
4 oz extra firm silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2″ dice

DIRECTIONS:

Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, mushrooms, scallions, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables soften, about 3-6 mins. Reduce the heat to low. Place 1/4 cup of the soup mixture in a small bowl and add the miso, blending well. Stir the mixture back into the soup and add the tofu and simmer for 2 minutes, being careful not to boil. Serve hot. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup

Very easy and very delicious! It smelled so good as it simmered. I could easily taste each ingredient such as the toasted sesame oil and cilantro.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 dried cloud ear or shiitake mushrooms, soaked in very hot water to cover, 20 mins (I used the shiitake)
2 C canned or fresh sliced bamboo shoots (The recipe didn’t specify what sized can. I used 14 oz of small, cute, little bamboo shoots)
4 tsp peanut oil
8 oz (just over 1/2 a usual pkg of tofu), drained and cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger root
4 C Vegetable stock
2 Tbs tamari or other soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Asian chili paste
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
2 Tbs chopped scallions (I left these out)
One thing I thought it needed was at least a 1/2 C of chopped green onion. I say add with the mushrooms.
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Drain the mushrooms and discard the stems. Cut into thin strips and set aside. If using canned bamboo shoots, drain and rinse, then cut into thin strips (unnecessary if they’re the ones in the can–typically) and set side. If using fresh ones, soak in water to cover for 30 mins. Cut into thin strips, cook in boiling water until tender and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp of peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 5 mins. (I found that 10 mins was better). Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the stock, tamari, vinegar, sugar, chili paste, and mushroom strips. (If you don’t want crunchy bamboo shhots, add them now). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 5 (to 10) mins. Add the tofu and bamboo shoots and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until heated through, about 5 mins. Stir in the sesame oil, scallions, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
This was such a delicious soup and can be quite changeable. Try 8-10 oz rice noodles during last 5 mins of cook time. If  you’re going to do that, I would recommend adding at least another cup of broth and nearly doubling some of the other ingredients like the rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, chili paste and cilantro.
This made about 4 servings with no leftovers. Next time, I might just double it. I was impressed with the various flavors and the ability to taste so many of them at once. I loved it! Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet