Hearty Vegetable-Lentil Soup

Hearty Vegetable-Lentil Soup -- Epicurean VeganSo, I’ve been kind of mackin’ on lentils lately. If you’re a longtime reader, you may have noticed that I haven’t cooked with lentils too often. I bought some a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to give them a shot. I’ve had plenty of lentil dishes at restaurants, but for some reason, I just never introduced them into my kitchen—until now. This nutty, earthy legume is not only tasty, but it’s pretty healthy too: high in fiber which helps lower cholesterol, control weight and keeps things moving smoothly; high in magnesium and folate which promotes heart heath and improves blood and oxygen flow; and is an excellent source of protein. How ’bout that?! Add in some other healthy veggies and you have yourself a powerful bowl of vegan goodness. This soup started out with me scouring the produce drawers; not much there at the moment because I have to hit the grocery store tomorrow, so I wasn’t sure how prolific this soup would be, but I’m thrilled with the results. If you’ve fallen out of love with lentils, rekindle the magic with this hearty, comforting bowl of lentil love.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
9 C vegetable broth
1-1/2 C lentils (I used half green, half red)
1 C pasta (I used rotini, but any small pasta will do)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
2 C mushrooms, quartered or chopped
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
4 C spinach (about 1 cup of that was kale), chopped

DIRECTIONS:
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the garlic; cook 1-2 minutes. Add the onions and cook until they soften and brown just slightly, about 10 minutes. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover (I didn’t cover completely. I left a 1/2″ gap). Cook 40 minutes, but stir once in a while. Next, add the pasta and increase heat to medium. Stir occasionally.

Hearty Vegetable-Lentil Soup -- Epicurean VeganOnce the pasta is about halfway cooked–about 5 minutes–reduce heat and stir in the mushrooms.
Hearty Vegetable-Lentil Soup -- Epicurean VeganCook another 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and spinach. Lower heat and cook until the greens have cooked down, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

Hearty Vegetable-Lentil Soup
 
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Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 9 C vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 C lentils (I used a half green, half red)
  • 1 C pasta (I used rotini, but any small pasta will do)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 C mushrooms, quartered or chopped
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 C spinach (about 1 cup of that was kale), chopped
Directions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the garlic; cook 1-2 minutes. Add the onions and cook until they soften and brown just slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover (I didn't cover completely. I left a ½" gap). Cook 40 minutes.
  3. Next, add the pasta and increase heat to medium. Stir occasionally.
  4. Once the pasta is about halfway cooked--about 5 minutes--reduce heat and stir in the mushrooms.
  5. Cook another 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and spinach. Lower heat and cook until the greens have cooked down, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

 

 

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup -- Epicurean VeganYep, it’s still August. And yes, I know using a slow cooker in the summer isn’t necessarily the norm, but I’ve got my reasons. First, our summer here in Colorado has been interesting; lots of cloudy days and rain. Second, the guys were coming back from a three-night backpacking/camping trip and would be arriving home around dinnertime. I didn’t have time in the afternoon to cook, so I threw together this soup in the slow cooker and voila, dinner was made. Sure, they were glad to see me when they got home, but I also think the savory aroma of the soup lured them inside. You certainly don’t need to use a slow cooker for this recipe,  a regular soup pot would do. I chose this method based on the time I had and the fact that it could just simmer away until the backpackers arrived home—whenever that was going to be. The soft avocado and crunchy tortilla strips are great toppers for this soup—the best of both worlds (texture-wise). The Field Roast has all the seasoning, so there’s no need for a long list of spices, however, if you choose to sub in another meat alternative, I suggest adding chili powder and oregano in addition to the cumin. The cilantro and dollop of sour cream completed this spicy, savory soup.

INGREDIENTS:
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Field Roast sausage links, Chipotle flavor
2 14-oz cans (or 1 28-oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
4 C vegetable broth
2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs agave
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toppings: chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, tortilla strips

DIRECTIONS:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and Field Roast. Saute until browned.
Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup -- Epicurean VeganAdd everything, including the Field Roast mixture into the slow cooker and combine well. Cook on low for about 5-6 hours.
Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup -- Epicurean VeganTop individual servings with avocado, cilantro, sour cream and tortilla strips. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
 
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Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Field Roast sausage links, Chipotle flavor
  • 2 14-oz cans (or 1 28-oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 4 C vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 Tbs agave
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toppings: chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, tortilla strips
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and Field Roast. Saute until browned.
  2. Add everything, including the Field Roast mixture into the slow cooker and combine well. Cook on low for about 5-6 hours.
  3. Top individual servings with avocado, cilantro, sour cream and tortilla strips. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Chick’n & Mushroom Soup

Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganWow, 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.
Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganI’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.

Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganAdd the broth and let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Toss in the chick’n and mushrooms and let cook for 10 minutes.
Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganIn 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 and Broccoli Soup with Tempeh Bacon -- Epicurean VeganWe’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.

Potato-Leek and Broccoli Soup with Tempeh Bacon -- Epicurean VeganINGREDIENTS:
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.

Potato-Leek and Broccoli Soup with Tempeh Bacon -- Epicurean VeganAdd 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 and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean VeganCan 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

Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean VeganLet it cook a few minutes longer until heated through, then enjoy! (Serves 6)
Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean Vegan

Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean VeganFor 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 and Miso Soup -- Epicurean VeganTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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 VeganI’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:

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganHeat 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.

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganMeanwhile, 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.

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganIn a small bowl, combine the miso, thyme and tablespoons of water or broth.

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganAdd the water/broth and miso mixture to the onions and bring to a boil.

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganFill 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:

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganPlace the bowls onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler for just 1-2 minutes.

Vegan French Onion Soup -- Epicurean VeganEnjoy!

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!