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Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

Even though I haven’t quite achieved my goal of cooking every recipe in Veganomicon (or any of my many other cookbooks) I broke down and bought two new ones. Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan and Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen. Both of them are chock-full of amazing-looking recipes that I can’t wait to cook. I’ve only done a few from each so far, but they’ve all been great.

I wish my first blog post from Viva Vegan was something more photogenic than this soup, as I’ve cooked several pretty things from it. But, as they say on the Internet: pictures or it didn’t happen.

Anyway. Here’s the soup:

Tropical Pumpkin Soup

I won’t post the recipe, as it’s in the book. But I will say that I used Delicata squash and red-skin potatoes instead of the Calabaza and waxy white potatoes that she suggests. Only because that’s what I got from my CSA share and part of the reason I made this soup was that it was a perfect way to use up a bunch of CSA veggies in one go. The only real seasoning was black pepper, but it still came out very flavorful and spicy (not in a hot way). So try it according to recipe before messing with the spices, is my advice.

Also, she says to blend the soup until completely smooth. I left a few chunks in there, because I like my soup like I like my women… chunky!

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The two basic ingredients are avocado and frozen green peas (thawed). It’s quick, easy, delicious and very, very green.

Raw Avocado, Green Pea Soup

Here’s what you do:

(Amount is for one person, based how much I’d like to eat in one meal, where the soup is the entire meal.)

1.5 cup of frozen peas

1/2 Hass avocado, or 1/3 Florida avocado

juice of 1/2 lime (a similar amount of lemon will work too)

Water, or cold veg broth, to dilute with

1/4 tsp. cumin

dash of cayenne pepper

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Put the peas in a colander under the faucet and run warm water over them until any freezer frost is gone and the peas are thawed through. (Or take out in advance at thaw, if you’re the well-organized type, I’d still rinse them though.)

Put the thawed peas in a blender (any blender will do, no need to get fancy) together with all other ingredients. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, you can put some water in to get your desired consistency. You could also use cold, home-made veggie broth, if you happen to have some hanging around.

Enjoy.

I eat this for a quickie dinner, but it’s tasty enough, and fancy-looking enough to serve dinner guests as a starter, in my opinion.

Variations:

Cilantro: Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the soup

Mint: Sprinkle fresh, chopped mint over the soup

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Much chickpeas are consumed chez foodmonkey. I’m on a temporary no-hummus regimen due to rehab-related issues. That doesn’t mean I can’t work chickpeas in here and there in other ways.

Today I tried something I’ve been meaning to make for a while: “Lablabi” a blended chickpea soup out of Olive Trees and Honey. I gather it’s a North African thing. I normally don’t post recipes straight out of cookbooks out of respect for the author, copy right and such. I thought I’d break that rule here, because I can’t imagine there aren’t a thousand versions of this already on the internets.

Lablabi

It’s sort of like hummus soup minus the tehina (hummus is the Arabic and Hebrew word for “chickpea,” so I guess it is in fact hummus soup). Very very tasty. Totally hit the spot for me. I suppose you could eat it with a few toasted wedges of pita if you were feeling ambitious, but I was lazy so I didn’t. I think the more “authentic” way is to leave more whole chickpeas in there, I think I will next time. Trust me, there will be a next time.

Here goes:

Lablabi — North African Chickpea Soup

2 1/2 cups dried chickpeas

olive oil

1 onion

3 carrots

1 small celeriac

3 big cloves of garlic

10 cups of water

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp harissa

1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin

freshly ground black pepper

salt

juice of 2 fresh lemons

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

Prep:

Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly and throw out any bad ones. Soak over night in a bowl of water. I’m a bit pedantic and like to change the water a few times, but that’s just me). Also, I like to add a tablespoon or so of baking soda to the soaking water, this helps the chickpeas get tender later on.

Now for the actual cooking:

Chop the onion. Fry in a large heavy bottomed pan in the oil over a low heat until transparent and soft. In the meanwhile, chop the carrots and the celeriac. Crush the garlic. Add to the onions and fry for a while longer until everything is soft and aromatic. Rinse the chickpeas, add. Pour in the water and add the bay leaves. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until some of the chickpeas begin to break and they are soft enough so that they make a non-grainy mush when you crush them with a spoon. Add the harissa, pepper and cumin. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Fish out the bay leaves.

Let cool a little. Blend quickly in a food processor or blender (I like to leave a little bit of chunkiness.) Add salt to taste and stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and eat.

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I try to stay as seasonal as possible and mostly shop for vegetables at the farmers’ market. In New York City in March, this means pickings are rather slim. The most well-stocked farmers’ market is the one on Union Square, but even there we’re talking mostly different types of roots. I’ve pretty much done beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips to death at this point, so I figured I’d try a recipe based on celeriac.

I made the Celeriac Soup with Bouillabaisse Seasonings out of Cranks’ Bible and served with rouille as suggested.

Celeriac Bouillabaisse

The rouille recipe in the book was based on egg yolks, I figured I’d take a stab at egg-less rouille. Basically I used the same recipe but substituted silken tofu for eggs. I used 4 cloves of garlic, but think next time I will cut down on the amount of garlic, my rouille was very garlicky, probably because the tofu isn’t as fatty as egg yolk and thus doesn’t cut the garlic as much. It was still tasty though. Also, my rouille didn’t float on top of the soup as well as the rouille pictured in the cookbook. Next time I will try adding some tehina. I think that might help make it creamier and more bouyant, but then again, the flavor might be a bit off. A third option that I will try in the future is blending some white bread into it, I noticed many traditional rouille recipes involve bread.

As for the soup, it involved 1 carrot and about 1 kg celeriac, leeks, saffron, orange peel, lots of garlic, plenty of wine and a bunch of herbs. Next time I will add a little more carrot and maybe a potato and use a little less celeriac. It had sort of a bitter celeriac undertone that was ok, but not my favorite.

Here’s the recipe for vegan rouille:

Egg-less Rouille

1 packet of silken tofu (not the vacuum packed kind)

1 tsp paprika

a few dashes tabasco

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp tomato purée

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper

juice of half a lemon

a few tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt

Chop the pepper and garlic. Throw all ingredients in the blender. Blend. Add a trickle of oil while blending.

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Weekly Soup

Turkish Mixed Legume and Bulgur Soup

I tend to be too busy to cook during the weeks. Instead I try to make a batch of soup on the weekend that I freeze into portions for future use as workday lunches. I’m about 10 months into doing this systematically so at this point I have a good variety of soups in my freezer. Some might say way too much soup for my tiny freezer to handle.

Lately I’ve had to slow down a little and not make soup for a week or two since I was running out of space. Instead I lived off UFOs (unidentifiable frozen objects) from when the grass was greener and the produce at the farmers’ market more exciting.

Unthawing a vegetable stew with summer squash, aubergines and fresh herbs was like having my own little piece of August right here in my dismal February kitchen (but without the mosquitoes and the oppressive heat).

Today the time had finally come to make soup again. I chose the Turkish Mixed Legume and Bulgur Soup from Olive Trees and Honey. I’d had my eye on this one for a while. Since it doesn’t have any fresh veggies in it, it didn’t make sense to make during the harvest season. I figured now was the perfect time since all there is at the farmers market is potatoes and roots.

I had lots of little amounts of stuff that I needed to get rid of, like 3/4 cup of bulgur. This recipe which mixes black eyed peas, chick peas, lentils and bulgur was perfect for that. I used homemade vegetable broth so that there would be at least some nutrients in there. Other than that the only freshness in here was chopped parsley and mint, which cut it suprisingly well, but I think next time I might add a few veggies to the mix. I think carrots and celery might work particularly well.

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