Tomato soup is one of America’s comfort foods. Served with grilled cheese sandwiches, it was my favorite lunch. I hadn’t tried to make any in a very long time because cooking vegan, I always thought “but how do I make it creamy?”
One of the advantages of the day job is that I learn so much from the Chef. He taught me a simple way to make tomato soup without adding all the dairy. I’ve taking this basic procedure and added the good things that the Southwest has to offer, chili amarillos and chipotle, along with basil, garlic and onions. Make this soup for one of those really cold winter days. But with the spice, it’s great for a cook-out as well.
Cut the tomatoes and chilis in half. De-seed the chili amarillo.
Place the tomatoes, chilis, chipotle, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and olive oil in a deep roasting pan. Cover, and roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Uncover and roast for another 5 to ten minutes.
Strain off the liquid and reserve. Remove the bay leaves. Blend the vegetables, basil leaves, and coriander together in a blender, adding enough of the liquid plus water to make the soup smooth. Make it as thick or thin as you want. I like my soup a little on the thick side.
Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
Serve either hot or chilled, garnished with chopped tomatoes, tofutti sour cream, fresh basil leaves or cilantro. Even some fine diced green chilis adds color and flavor.
Enjoy with a grilled cheese sandwich made with Daiya cheese.
We are on week 2 of the newly implemented weekly menu/grocery shopping/prep plan. So far, so good. Compared to last month’s figures, I’ve already saved over $200.00 in food cost. I’ve thrown out less food than I have in the past, and I’ve actually used up almost every single vegetable I had in the house. I’ve got a few tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 green pepper, 1 yellow onion, and some lettuce. I’m inspired by this new plan and how it is working. We’ve stayed on target with the menu, with a few adjustments here and there. I did get sick for two days last week, and even though the menu schedule shifted, there was no additional expenditures, no running out to a restaurant for quick eats. I had made enough food on my days off for the Partner to survive a sick day or two.
I had some left over vegetables from the weekly cooking, so I let loose a soup. I love making soups, and there is usually more soup made than can be eaten. Not this time. I’m sure this Weekly Kitchen Sink Soup will go fast. It’s been rainy and gloomy for two days now, perfect soup weather.
This soup goes great with salad, or when it’s cold and rainy. The combination of ginger and clove is powerful, add the fennel into the mix and it becomes a potent hummy soup guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest appetite.
½ fennel bulb, shaved (left over from previous meal, found while rummaging around in fridge)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins (if you prefer you can dice the carrots)
broccoli stalk, peeled and diced (left over from previous meal)
½ inch ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
6 mushrooms (button or crimini), sliced (left over from salads and such)
½ head of cabbage, sliced thin (left over from making Bund Gobi)
½ tsp fennel seed, toasted
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander, ground
Pinch of clove, ground
Prepare all the vegetables. Toast fennel seed. Set aside.
Heat up a soup pot, add sunflower oil. Turn heat down and add fennel. Cook until fennel starts to caramelize. Add carrots, ginger, and broccoli stalk. Saute until vegetables become tender. Add 6 cups of water, mustard seed, fennel seed, coriander and clove. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage and mushrooms. Cook until cabbage wilts, and mushrooms soften.
Summer is almost here, and that means cold soups, gazpachos, and watermelon, lots of watermelon. And watermelon can be the base for a great raw soup. I found this version at The Sunny Raw Kitchen, and with a few tweaks, made it fabulous. Be warned, it makes a lot of soup, (6 cups) and the habanero chili is hot, so play with caution, use gloves if you are sensitive to capsacuim.
3 cups watermelon (use seedless if you don’t like taking seeds out)
finely dieced watermelon and mango pieces for garnish
Assemble all ingredients. Remove cardamom seeds from their shells. Place all ingredients except for cilantro and agave in blender and puree. Transfer to a bowl, and add agave and cilantro. Garnish with finely diced mango and watermelon pieces. Serve on a hot day with fresh-made lemonade.
Just a note: To make this a truly raw soup, omit the agave syrup. Melon and mango are sweet enough on their own.
Traditional Gazpacho is defined as a cold Spanish tomato-based raw soup. Modern variations include Avocado, Cucumber, Parsley, Watermelon, grapes, meat-stock, seafood, as well as other ingredients. If there are those who want to argue that Watermelon cannot be gazpacho, I beg to differ. If the definition of gazpacho is cold and raw, then this Soup is Gazpacho.
As a final tribute to the Squash we’ve been discussing this month, here’s a base recipe that several squash will take to. Remember adjust as you see fit for your own tastes. Stay warm, and I hope these recipes help warm your holiday season.
Grate the ginger with a microplane. Heat up the coconut milk in the stock pot, and add all the ingredients except for stock and squash. In a food processor, puree squash with 1 cup vegetable stock. Add to the coconut milk and spices. Add more vegetable stock to thin out soup. As the soup thickens during the cooking process, thin it out now and then with vegetable stock.
Cook for 20-25 minutes, allowing time for all the flavors to blend. Strain through a sieve, and serve hot with a dollop of tofutti cream.
A good soup or sauce, and even some dressings have a solid stock base to them. I like to cook beans in a vegetable stock because it adds a certain depth of flavor. Yes, you can make the stock in the pan when making the soup, but sometimes time constraints demand that a prepared stock is used.
Here’s my most basic vegetable stock. Feel free to embellish in any way you want. Let me know the results.
Dice up all the vegetables, and prepare the Sachet.
Heat up your pot and add the oil, get that heated up, then add all the vegetables. Stir and let cook on a medium low heat until the vegetables soften (onions will start to look translucent).
Add the water and bring the stock up to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat down to a simmer, add salt. Cook for about an hour and a half to 2 hours. Remove from heat, strain out the vegetables, and cool down (see: cooling procedures). Place in appropriate containers, and freeze if not used right away.
Tip: Use an ice tray to freeze cubes of vegetable stock for when you only want to add just a little bit.
The weather is turning cooler here in the land of sunny hot, and the cooking mind turns to comfort food: soups. How to make those tasty vegan soups rich and yummy, check out this recipe guaranteed to warm you on a cold day.
3-4 curry leaves (found in specialty markets, or Asian grocers)
S & P to taste
Heat up the pan, add the sunflower oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, peppers, carrots and garlic, lower the heat to simmer, and “sweat” the vegetables until the onions start to turn translucent. Add a bit of salt to the veggies as they sweat.
Add the zucchini and squash, stir for a bit and let them cook, then add lentils. Add water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Add turmeric, curry leaves and salt and pepper. Cook until the lentils become soft (it’s ok if they get mushy, but you don’t want the squash and zucchini mushy), approximately 1 hour.
Serve hot with your favorite bread, or tortilla.
Sunflower oil gives a “buttery” flavor and consistency to a finished dish. It is one of my favorite oils of the moment. Give it a try I’m sure you’ll find the results pleasing.