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Summer Zucchini & Apple Curried Soup

September 11th, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

My friend Dalyn (The Best i Ever Had) and I shared a garden plot this summer.  The plot was in her back yard, so I have to say, she did most of the work.  I managed to get around for the occasional weekend weeding session over a few glasses of white wine and a tomato harvest or two.  It was lots of fun, and I think we learned a lot for what to do, and what not to do next year.

Photos Courtesy of Dalyn "The Best i Ever Had"

One of our crops was zucchini.  We let a couple of these bad boys get a little out of control in terms of size, but mostly because there was so many we couldn’t keep up with ideas on what to do with them!  I’ve had three “monsters” in my fridge for about a week, and I spent the afternoon brainstorming on zucchini baking ideas (most of which I poo pooed since I don’t consume a whole lot of baked goods in general).  Then I started thinking about dinner and it came to me – I could make a summer harvest soup!

The fruits of our labour:

Serves:  6
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  30 minutes

1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 (or more) cloves of garlic
Grapeseed oil for sauteing
2 medium zucchini, chopped, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
2 apples, diced
3 cups vegetable broth
4-5 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, saute the onion until translucent over high heat.  Add the zucchini, garlic, and apple and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so as not to burn.

When the apple and zucchini starts to become a bit mushy, you can add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.  At this point I turned the heat down to minimum and  started to blend the soup in batches in my high-speed blender until all the soup was pureed. Stir in the nutritional yeast.

This is when the soup becomes your own.  Everyone likes a different level of flavours and spice.  I used 5 tsp of curry powder here, but your curry powder may be stronger or weaker than mine, so add 1 tsp at a time and taste often until you’ve reached the flavour that best suits you.  Do the same with the salt and pepper, just adding a half a teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached the level of flavour that you like.  I have to admit I did add quite a bit of salt to mine (about 3 tsp).

Once the soup is seasoned to your liking, serve it up!  This would be lovely with some crusty bread and some vegan herbed cream cheese.  Yum.

 

Vegan Cheddar and Beer Soup

June 24th, 2011 § 11 comments § permalink

June 24.  Dear Summer.  I miss you.  We should hang out again soon.  Love Melissa.

Normally at this time of year I’d be tossing the raw foods and salads, but on June 24th, we just endured a torrential rain storm, followed by hail, and the temperature outside is nothing to be desired.  Hm.  Ok…I guess it’s back to winter food!

Ever since I saw a version on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, I’ve wanted to do a vegan version of this Irish classic and I took the hail storm as my que.  I’ve just used an ale that was in the fridge, but feel free to experiment with your favourite beer (I’m going to try Guinness next!).

Serves:  4
Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Oil for sauteing
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 medium waxy potatoes cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp Dijon mustard
12 fluid oz of beer – your choice
1 tsp tamari
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 pkg Daiya Cheddar cheese shreds
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven (that’s the fancy term for “large pot”).  Saute the onions and potatoes together over medium heat, turning constantly.  You want to “caramelize” the onion and potato together as it creates the character for this soup.  Continue to cook the potato and onion mixture until the potatoes are cooked.  Put half the mixture into a high-speed blender and add the vegetable stock (to the blender).  Blend until smooth.

Add the potato/onion puree mixture back to the pot and add the other half of cooked potato and onion.

Stir in the mustard, the beer, the tamari, nutritional yeas and Daiya cheese shreds.  Reduce the heat to medium/low and gently heat the soup back up to temperature, until the cheese if fully melted and the alcohol in the beer has cooked off.

Season with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with salted crackers (I’ve used pita chips here).  Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup

March 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I use nuts and seeds a LOT in my diet.  Soaked cashews are the base for many of my cream sauces and dips and they are a great source of protein.  I’ve decided however, that I need to get more beans into the mix. I am a fan of quick and easy, so this soup is a great meal to whip up during the weeknights after work.  High in protein, fiber and iron, beans are a great vegan staple.  I loaded this with veggies to make a well rounded, hearty meal.

Grapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 carrots finely chopped
1 red pepper finely chopped
1 green pepper finely chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups spinach finely chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat some grapeseed oil in a large pot and saute all of the chopped vegetables aside from the spinach and cilantro on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes (the onions should be tender).  While the vegetables are cooking, add the cumin. In a blender, add the vegetable stock, the beans and the sauteed vegetables and pulse until the soup is slightly blended, but not smooth.

Return the blended mixture to the pot and gently stir in the nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and the spinach.  Bring the temperature up until the soup is hot and stir in the chopped cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream and some rice tortilla chips (optional).

Serves 4

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