Creamy Chick’n & Mushroom Soup

CreamyChickSoupWow, two posts in two days! I’m on a roll! We have had three days of rain, which is great—we need it (my lilac bush loves it):
20140508_164036but it makes me want to hunker down, get cozy and cook something comforting. Soup was in order. I had these chicken-free strips from Beyond Meat, so I decided to go for a hearty, satisfying soup.
Beyond MeatI’ve used this product for enchiladas and thought they’d be great for this soup. I think the strips lose a bit of firmness when boiled, but that didn’t bother me; the flavor was still great. When it comes to fake chicken, I think Beyond Meat is the best tasting and uses the most natural ingredients. They’re not only vegan, but non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, hormone-free, cholesterol-free, and has 20 grams of protein for every 6 strips. Good stuff, especially great for feeding those omnivores in the family.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
12-oz pkg Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips, cubed
4 C (about 18) mushrooms, quartered
5 C vegetable broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 C vegan sour cream
3 Tbs flour
1/2 C nutritional yeast
1/4 C unsweetened, plain almond milk
3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the garlic. Saute 2 minutes, then add the onion and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. 
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Add the broth and let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Toss in the chick’n and mushrooms and let cook for 10 minutes.
20140508_172403In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, flour, nutritional yeast and almond milk; stir into the soup. Season with Herbs de Provence. Let simmer a few minutes until it thickens. Serve and enjoy!

 

Potato-Leek & Broccoli Soup with Tempeh Bacon

Potato-Leek & Broccoli Soup with tempeh baconWe’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

Wild Rice & Potato Stew with Field RoastCan 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)
wildricepotatoFRStew2

Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

Wild Mushroom & Miso SoupFor 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.

Wild mushroom & miso soupTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup slowcooking

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

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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!

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean VeganColorado 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

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

 

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.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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!

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes

Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes -- Epicurean VeganThis 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

Creamy Baked Potato Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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
Fresh chives, chopped

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.

Creamy Baked Potato Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Creamy Baked Potato Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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. (Some chopped chives would also be great.) Enjoy!

Roasted Mushroom and Garlic Soup with Caramelized Onions

Roasted Mushroom & Garlic Soup with Caramelized OnionsI 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

Hearty Vegetable Stew -- Epicurean VeganThe 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!