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.


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


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!

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!


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


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.



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


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.


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!

Chili Stew

Chili Stew -- Epicurean VeganThe 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!


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


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!

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup -- Epicurean VeganThis 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.

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

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.

Mushroom Barley Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the mushrooms.

Mushroom Barley Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mushroom Barley Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Mushroom Barley Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mushroom Barley Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Enjoy!

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean VeganYesterday 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.

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

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.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Vegetable-Barley Soup

Vegetable-Barley Soup -- Epicurean VeganYes, 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.

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

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

Vegetable-Barley Chili -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

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 . . .

Homemade 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

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!

Potato and Corn Chowder

Potato and Corn Chowder -- Epicurean VeganI 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.

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

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!