Clint Would Bring Out A Smoking Gun Out For This Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder

Ohhh Vegan Corn Chowder I love you so. You are a beautiful filling and thick vegan cream-based soup, a great vegetarian alternative to clam chowder.

I’ve been meaning to make a soup with these beautiful yellow niblets for sometime as we had a bag of frozen ones in our freezer. I was skeptic that frozen corn wouldn’t be as tasty as fresh organic corn, but I was so VERY wrong to do so!

The Verdict of Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder

Well, lets just say that this soup is a match made in heaven when treated with a smoking gun. It’s begging for some smoke and mimicking Clint Eastwood saying “Go ahead make my day”.  Don’t get me wrong, this soup is a superstar without the smoking process, but the it adds a manly smokiness leaving you begging for seconds. If you don’t have a smoking gun, your second best tactic is to use a few drops of liquid smoke, usually packaged in a little glass bottle found in most grocery or gourmet food stores.

 

What I love about this soup is that it is nice and creamy. Using cashews with the almond milk is a perfect touch and one may guess that there is a bit of cream in this soup and not a vegan soup. Oh ya, make sure you keep a reserve of corn and bright red pepper morsels on the side to add as a garnish in the end!!

Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 parsnip, shredded
  • 1 yukon gold potato, chopped fine
  • 1 red pepper, chopped fine (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dired oregano
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped fine)

 Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder Instructions

  1. Heat oil, sauté onion and garlic until soft on medium
  2. Add parsnip and potato, sauté for about 3-55 minutes more.
  3. Add corn, salt and pepper
  4. Add in broth
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer
  6. Add oregano, almond milk, and simmer 10 – 15 minutes (or until your potatoes are tender
  7. While the soup is simmering add the cashews and chipotle with 2 cups of the soup and puree in blender. If using a smoking gun, add the hose in while you are blending the soup for best smoking.
  8. Stir mixture back into the soup. Add lemon juice. Add in red pepper (remember, keep some for garnish).
  9. Heat back up
  10. Optional: give the soup another punch of the smoing gun here if you wish (with lid on of course).
  11. Serve in bowls.
  12. Garnish with reserved red pepper, corn and cilantro
  13. Bam, enjoy!

Original recipe. I combined ideas form the following two recipes:

What I changed from the original recipe(s):

  • I did not use celery nor carrot
  • I used a parsnip instead of the carrot, and I shredded it into of fine chopped.
  • I used almond milk and not coconut milk
  • I used cilantro instead of chives
  • I used oregano instead of coriander
  • I used lemon instead of red sherry vinegar, and more of it. I seem to favor lemon juice most of the time to give a punch to soups to lift the taste.
Soup Mistress Rating For Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4/5 )
Taste: (4.7/5) 

Kimchi Soup – A Soup Way Too Creamy Spicy Good to Be Rationed For!

Kimchi, Kimchi, Kimchi…oh I love you by yourself, I love you in fried rice and now you are a shining star swimming around in my soup clay pot!

I’ve been meaning too make this soup since I had it a year and half ago in Singapore. And I am a very lucky gal to be using a fresh batch of my husbands homemade Kimchi in this soup this week. Did you know that back in the day in Korea, Kimchi was normally made to last the long winter months and sometimes used in soups when it is older and perhaps stale (if it can get stale)? Hmmn, interesting, we cannot seem to ration ours well – it disappears magically so fast!

So what is in my husbands Kimchi? It is fermented Napa cabbage, daikon radish, green onions, garlic, ginger and a red chile pepper spice, fish and Korean salted shrimps. I will update this blog post with the link to the recipe he used, which I will be post up shortly. My husband has made 3 batches to date and it seems to be a hot staple in our household.

Now let’s talk about the soup….I followed one particular recipe and adjusted/added some ingredients from other recipes I researched. I am very happy that I took the time to to research many other recipes because the bean paste made it a delight along with the egg.

The Verdict of Kimchi Soup:

I am so happy that I used an egg and added the bean paste. I truly think that is what sets it apart from a so-so kimchi soup to a marvelous creamy spicy goodness. I tried the soup before the egg was stirred in and it was good, but after the egg was stirred in it was very creamy…oh such a creamy spicy delight!

Oh and I love napa cabbage and the red pepper!

But wait , the soup party fun really happens when you have a small bowl of rice on the side. Dip your spoon in and get some of those little white party morsels and give them a quick dip in the soup. More rice please? Yessum.

And finally, I made it a truly authentic experience. I had these authentic Korean clay pots and I broke them in on the stove top for the very first time ever. Serving up the soup and heating the clay pots up until the soup bubbles and drop that key gooey creamy egg in. Be careful and serve the bowl bubbling hot to your hungry mates with an oven mitt and placeholder underneath though!

Kimchi Soup Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 clove garlic garlic, finely chopped
  • 1  teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 16-oz. package silken tofu, cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 cups gently squeezed cabbage kimchi, chopped, plus 1 cup liquid
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 2 teaspoons doengjang (Korean bean paste)
  • 6 cups veggie stock
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 8 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari (or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 large bowl of cooked rice

Servings: 6

Garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Shredded scallions (green onion) – Tip: Slice them very thin lengthwise and drop them in a bowl of cold water and watch them curl up all pretty!

Kimchi Soup Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat, carefully add tofu, and simmer gently until slightly puffed and firmed up, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to a medium bowl.
  • Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. saute yellow onion, garlic and ginger. Add kimchi and gochujang and  gochujang and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 5–8 minutes. Add kimchi liquid and 6 cups veggie stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until kimchi is softened and translucent, 35–40 minutes.
  • Add scallions, tamari, fish sauce and tofu; simmer gently until tofu has absorbed flavors, 20–25 minutes (tofu will fall apart a little). Add sesame oil; season with salt and pepper.
  • If you have Korean Hot Pots like I have, ladle soups into them on the stove top. Heat until soft boil and top each with an egg yolk (soft egg), shredded green oinions and sesame seeds.
  • Carfeully serve dish with pot holders.
  • Serve with steamed white or brown rice

Original Recipe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-kimchi-tofu-stew

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • I added garlic, ginger, yellow onion, and fish sauce
  • I used vegetable stock instead of water – to give it more depth
  • I added Korean bean paste
  • I used butter instead of veggie stock, I wanted an extra creaminess.
Soup Mistress Rating ForMiso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4.5/5 )
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Vegetarian or Pescatarian Curry Laksa With Spiralized Zucchini Noodles

 Above is a Pescatarian version with grilled shrimp and eggplant that I made a month later – what a mighty fine addition indeed! Below is the vegetarian version:

So what is Laksa? Well, let me share with you on Wikipedia says:

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup; either based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, or based on sour asam (tamarind or gelugur). It can be found in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Southern Thailand.

The Verdict of Vegetarian Laksa With Spiralized Zucchini Noodles:

Over a year ago, I was blessed with visiting Singapore, Malaysia for 5 weeks and had a chance to try a few Laksa soups to appreciate it from where it originated. All versions I tried had either chicken or seafood in it when I was there. I did not see any vegetarian versions. For my version below, I decided to make a vegetarian Laksa (with egg) and I really LOVED the result, taste and healthiness.

I am sold on this very authentic soup base recipe. If I closed my eyes and smelt the aroma of the soup I made, I truly felt like I was back in Asia!!

I had great fun making my version of the soup for two reasons:

  1. I had an opportunity to use my fancy spiralizr to replace rice noodles with healthy veggie zuchinni noodles. They worked very well.
  2. I attempted to make a perfectly soft-boiled egg to put in the soup and will be trying it in the future with a ramen version I am sure. It added a velvety goodness to the soup!

Laksa Paste Ingredients:

  • 4 red chilies (If you are using dried ones, you need to presoak them)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped
  • 3 cm piece galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 5 cashew nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

Laksa Paste Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a food Processor. Process until finely chopped. Add oil. Process until a smooth paste forms.

Laksa Soup Ingredients:

  •  Laksa paste (above)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 6 cups veggie stock
  • 2½ tsp brown or raw sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1.5 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1.5 cup tofu, cubed small to medium sized
  • 2½ cups bean sprouts
  • 3 cups fresh zucchini noodles, spiralized from whole zucchini
  • 1/2 pund shrimp (optional/added)
  • 1 cup diced eggplant (optional/added)

Garnish/Fixings Ingredients:

  • 2 soft boiled eggs (7 minute egg: boil water, softly immerse 2 cold eggs in boiling water, simmer water for exactly 7 minutes, immerse eggs in cold ice water bath, peel and slice the egg just right before placed in the bowls for serving)
  • Fried shallots (in peanut oil)
  • Fresh Thai Basil
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Lime wedges in quarters

Laksa Soup Instructions:

  • Optional: grill shrimp until almost cooked pink/white. Put aside on plate.
  • Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add Laksa paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add stock and sugar. Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
  • Add carrots, cabbage, and eggplant return to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Separately, in a frying pan, sauté the zucchini noodles for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to make them to soft and mushy. Divide these noodles among bowls for serving.
  • Add coconut milk, tofu and beansprouts. Stir gently to combine, then bring almost to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes or until beansprouts are wilted and tofu are heated through.
  • Ladle Laksa soup among bowls. Drop in a few grilled shrimps (optional), scatter over fried shallots, basil leaves, Sriricha sauce, and lime wedges.

Original Soup Recipe: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/malay-curry-laksa-laksa-lemak

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Added cabbage
  • Added carrots
  • Added soft boiled eggs
  • Omitted prawns, chicken and fish balls
  • Replaced chicken stock with vegetarian stock
  • Replaced thin rice noodles with zucchini noodles
  • Replaced tofu puffs with sprouted organic tofu
  • Replaced mint with basil for garnish

Soup Mistress Rating For Vegetarian Laksa With Spiralized Zucchini Noodles:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4/5 )
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Chipotle Vichyssoise – A Happy Ending To An Improvise of Provisions!

I have made a few sweet potato soups in the past, but never one with leeks and zucchini.

I was being a tad creative and just Googled the 3 ingredients with keyword “soup” as that is what was all we had in the fridge. From now on, I want to challenge myself to use up everything in the fridge and not let anything go to waste before I head back to the grocery store for new provisions. I sincerely cringe at how much food wastage restaurants and hotels partake in and truly believe it will be a big problem later on in life for the World.

The Verdict of Zucchini & Sweet Potato Chipotle Vichyssoise:

“It was one of your best soups ever!” words directly quoted from my handsome boyfriend.

Well I wasn’t planning on this one being one of my superstar soups. But it seems to be Graemes all time favourite of soups I have made for him. He has had his fair share of my soups and makes some dandy ones himself. I was really impressed with this soup myself. What I really loved the most , is that it had very fine chopped veggies added in the end. I was first going to fry some veggies for a pretty presentation of garnish, but at the last moment I decided to use them raw for a healthier texture to the soup. I must say for myself, that is what I really liked about the soup, it had very nice tidbits of crisp yummy veggies in the velvety smooth puree from the Vitamix. The chipotle was subtle yet added some heat in random spoonfuls. We ate every drop of the soup for lunch the next day!

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Chipotle Vichyssoise Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups leeks, sliced
  • 4 cups sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3 cups zucchini (about 2 small), chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I used 3 stock cubes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle in adoba sauce.
  • 1 cup cashew cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
Instructions for Zucchini & Sweet Potato Chipotle Vichyssoise :
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil up over med/high heat.
  2. Saute leeks, sweet potato and zucchini for 3-7 minutes.
  3. Make sure you keep about 1.5 cups of raw veggies reserved on a plate and finely chopped or julienne them more. Do not cook them yet.
  4. If using cube stock, dissolve it in 3 cups boiling water.
  5. Add stock to vegetables in pot.
  6. Bring soup to subtle boil and then lower heat with lid on pot, simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Puree soup with salt, pepper and chipotle in a blender. Be careful if still hot.
  8. Add soup back into pot and stir in cashew cream and the reserved raw veggies (keep a tad for garnish for each bowl though).
  9. Gently heat soup back up on low.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls and also garnish with some of your reserved veggies and finely chopped chives.
  11. Drop or swirl in some cashew cream in any design you fancy.
  12. Feel free to adjust the Chipotle to your liking/heat tolerance and add water if soup is a tad too thick for you.
This soup can be served chilled as well. I personally fancy this soup warmed though!
These little morsels of raw veggies is what make the soup great texture versus just being 100% puree.
I love this stock cubes above. I picked them up in Singapore and sure would love to see them in North America soon!

Original Recipe From Here:

What I Changed From The Original Recipe:

  • Used cashew cream instead of cashew sour cream and also used more and added it  in the soup base.
  • Used fresh chives as garnish.
  • Reserved a fair bit of raw chopped veggies to add in after I puree the soup and for garnish.
Soup Mistress Rating for Zucchini & Sweet Potato Chipotle Vichyssoise:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5
Presentation: (4.5/5) 

Taste: (5/5) 

Cashew Cream of Leek, Zucchini and Parsley Soup

Serve up

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Serve onions on top for garnish with some finely chopped parsley.

I just picked up a great cook book in Vancouver (Mouthwatering Vegan, Over 130 Irresistible Recipes For Everyone). I read it from front cover to back cover like I have done so with all of my cookbooks and magazines. I love reading recipes to learn from common techniques and ratios of ingredients, especially so for soups!

I decided to make this super easy soup for a chilly rainy day. It fancied me because it had leeks – they are something that I want to use more in my cooking.

The Verdict of Zucchini Leek and Cashew Cream Soup?

This soup is very nice and healthy indeed. At first I found the soup quite bland when I tried it, but when we added garlic and then truffle salt at the end, bam – it was to die for! Also, the addition of caramelized onions as a garnish was a good idea…I went back for more onions when I got halfway through my bowl of soup! I wished that I caramelized more onions though – perhaps next time!

This soup freezes well and is very much so truffle salts best friend! I would make it again next time!

Zucchini Leek and Cashew Cream Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 leeks, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 or 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1/2 cashew cream (1/4 cup of cashews and 1/2 cup water)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
Zucchini Leek and Cashew Cream Instructions Soup:
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil.
  2. Saute leeks and garlic for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add zucchini and sauté for 4 more minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes over low heat.
  5. Blend using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender (be very careful when blending hot liquids!), until soup is smooth.
  6. Return soup back into pot to reheat, add salt and pepper
  7. Soak 1/4 cup of cashews in water for 20 minutes, drain and blend in blender with 1/2 cup of water.
  8. Add cashew cream to soup, keep soup in pot on very low/simmer.
  9. Fry up onions until they are slightly caramelized.
  10. Add finely chopped parley to soup pot and stir (leave a little for garnish)
  11. Ladle soup in bowls.
  12. Serve onions on top for garnish with some finely chopped parsley.
  13. Sprinkle a small amount of truffle oil and/or truffle salt.
  14. Enjoy!
Original Soup Recipe: from a book I just purchased: Mouthwatering Vegan, Over 130 Irresistible Recipes For Everyone, by Miriam Sorrell.

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Used truffle oil and truffle salt after soup ladled in bowls
  • Used fried caramelized onions as garnish with parsley
  • Added 2 cloves of garlic
  • Adjusted leeks and zucchini to 3 and 2

Oh ya, I made a great accompaniment with the soup – Tomato Onion Phyllo Pie, here’s a recipe that was my inspiration: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tomato-onion-phyllo-pizza. So delish and so easy!

Soup Mistress Rating for Zucchini Leek and Cashew Cream Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.75/5
Presentation: (4/5) 

Taste: (4/5) 

Gluten-Free French Onion Soup, An Apres Ski Delight

Ladle the soup

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Ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof serving bowls. Top each with a slice or two of toasted bread cheese rounds

I have been wanting to make a gluten-free vegetarian french onion soup for sometime. Being up in Whistler for the skiing season was a perfect start to get back to some soup making.

I decided to spend some extra special attention to caramelize onions for this soup – time was on my hands since I am so blessed to work at home. I let them carmelize for close to double the time the original recipe called for.

The Verdict of Gluten-Free French Onion Soup?

This broth and the onions were super delish and especially so the next day.  I would use even more cheese next time. My soup tester said he’d prefer regular Gouda instead of the smoked Gouda I used.

Udi’s Gluten-free Millet Chai bread is pretty tasty and kept well in the soup but costed a whopping $9!! Yikes! I think I have to go back to making my own homemade gluten frees bread.

 

Gluten-Free French Onion Soup Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick goat butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • a splash water
  • a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 slices of Udi’s gluten free bread (Millet Chai), cut if needed to fit your bowls
  • 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
Gluten-Free French Onion Soup Instructions:
  1. Melt the butte and oil—and then add the onions, a splash of water and salt and pepper. Stir well, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. This will capture steam and help the onions release all their moisture. Cook, stirring now and then, until the onions soften and become quite wet, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until all the water has evaporated. Lower the heat a bit and slowly begin to caramelize the onions, stirring them frequently. This will take about 1.5 hours. You don’t need to stir continuously, just enough to keep the onions from sticking to the bottom. Continuing to lower the heat will also help prevent sticking.
  3. For the soup, when the onions are a deep golden colour and have shrunk dramatically, add the brandy. Turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the additional liquid seems to have evaporated. Add the worcestershire and broth and bring to a simmer. Add the thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 15 minutes or so.
  4. Preheat the broiler in your oven. Toast the gluten-free bread slices both sides for a minute.
  5. Cover the bread with an even mound of shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted and browned and looks beautiful.
  6. Ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof serving bowls. Top each with a slice of toasted bread cheese, enough to cover the top of the soup.
  7. Enjoy!
Original Soup Recipe: http://chefmichaelsmith.com/recipe/french-onion-soup/#.UreUKRaiKZM
What I Changed From Original Recipe:
  • Used goat butter instead of regular cow milks butter
  • Added worcestershire sauce
  • Used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
  • Used gluten free bread (Udi’s Millet Chai)
  • Used smokey gruyere instead of regular
  • Used brandy

Soup Mistress Rating for Gluten-Free French Onion Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)  
Presentation: (4/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup With Quinoa

Curry Squash Lentil Soup

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Brrr, can someone turn up the heat please? I’m in Vegas and it has been chilly and rainy for the last few days – I feel very much like I am back home in rainy Vancouver, BC!

Soup is on my mind more lately and since there seems to be abundance of squash at the supermarkets – I asked myself “why not make a soup with it?”

I found this recipe online (link below) but I adjusted it a tad to my liking.

The Verdict of Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup With Quinoa

This soup’s broth turned out pretty tasty with just enough curry.  The original recipe called for only water in the base – I think adding in vegetable stock in place of the water made the broth much nicer! I liked how the cilantro oil floated on the top and gave a nice herbal flavour. The quinoa was hearty and filling and a great source of protein. If I was to make this soup again in the future (and I think I may), I would add a little more celery. I think the soup had a little more room for some chunky vegetables like celery and carrot if you like. I also liked the fact that I substituted coconut oil for olive oil – it added a little bit of a Thai flair to the curry broth. My soup tester fella really liked the souo as well and only commented that it needed a little more ginger in the next batch!

I found it interesting that the red lentils sort of dissolved into the soup. I am sure they added to the tasty broth even though I could not distinguish them in my spoonful of goodness!

We ate the soup two days in a row and on the second day, we added some torn up kale – it worked very well in the soup!  I never felt healthier after soup as I did with this one!

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup  Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 2 carrot, chopped small
  • 2 celery rib, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart (32 oz) vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup quinoa

For cilantro oil:

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt
I like to chop the vegetables really nice and small so it presents well in the soup!

 

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup Instructions:

  • Heat coconut oil in a large heavy pot,  on medium saute squash, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  • Add lentils, broth and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir in lemon juice into soup and season with salt and pepper in the soup.
  • In a separate pot while soup is simmering, boil 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, simmer until fluffy.
  • Ladle soup into bowls, add in a scoop of quinoa and drizzle cilantro oil.
  • Enjoy!

Make cilantro oil: 
Purée cilantro, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender.

Serve soup drizzled with cilantro oil.

Original recipe from here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Squash-and-Red-Lentil-Soup-351416#ixzz2l7gwR653

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Replaced butter and vegetable oil with cocnut oil for soup base and cilantro oil.
  • Changed basmati rice to quinoa as the accompaniment.
  • Replaced half the water with broth – I like always using a vegetable broth for more depth.
  • Added 1 more carrot and celery rib.
  • Added salt to cilantro oil. It tasted too bland without the salt. Salt lifts the flavours very much so!

What I’d Do Next Time to Make it Even Better:

  • Add one more celery rib.
  • Add one more teaspoon of minced ginger.

Soup Mistress Rating for Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5
Presentation: (3.5/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Raw Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup, A Vegan-a-licious Delight with Zip!

Raw Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup

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Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the lemon, and fresh dill.

Yup, I am on a quest for some great summertime soups and think I am on the right track. This is my second cold soup recipe for the summer that I adjusted and I am now thinking that there may be endless possibilities to find some keepers in the chilled soup category!

Just the other day I got inspired to make a full raw meal after perusing Brendan Braziers Thrive book. His book is great and full of wonderful ideas to eat a great plant-based diet to optimize a lifestyle that has a lot of sports and endurance activities.

So last night was my first attempt of a 100% homemade vegan and raw meal, it included:

  • Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup (with horseradish)
  • Strawberry Mint Lemonade
  • Zucchini Lasagna (with cremini mushrooms, sage lemon cashew cream, herb pesto (with nutritional yeast instead of parmesan), sun-dried tomato sauce, tomatoes, pine nuts)
  • Raw Raspberry Torte (almonds, macadamia nuts, cacao powder, dates, raspberries)

 

The Verdict of Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup?

I adjusted Barefoot Contessa‘s Chilled Cucumber Soup recipe (link here). It originally called for yogurt, cream and shrimp – so I adjusted it to be vegan and raw, substituting the milk products with almond milk and avocados. Also in the end when I tasted the soup, it was so delish but seemed as though it needed a little kick. There was some mighty fine fresh horseradish in the fridge and so a put a dollop in to swim with the cukes!

I had this soup the very next day and it was just as good and uber refreshing.

For those peeps who are looking for an ultra healthy alkalian diet, this soup is it! I never felt so healthy eating this soup yet at same time my taste buds are not left feeling jipped what-so-ever!

I will make this soup in a heart beat!

Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup Ingredients:

  • 2  avocados
  • 3 cups plain almond milk
  • 2 hot house cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh horseradish
  • thinly slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
  • fresh dill, for garnish

Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup Instructions?

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond milk, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, horseradish salt, and pepper.
  2. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Or use an immersion blender.
  3. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the lemon, and fresh dill.

The Original Recipe:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chilled-cucumber-soup-with-shrimp-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

What I Changed From The Original Recipe:

  • instead of using Greek Yogurt and half-andhalf I used 2 Avocados and 3 cups of plain almond milk
  • added a teaspoon of horseradish

Soup Mistress Rating for Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5
Presentation: (4/5) 

Taste: (4.75/5) 

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Homemade Goat Queso Fresco

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Goat Queso Fresco

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The Completed Chicken Tortilla Soup with Goat Queso Fresco

Over a week ago, I took a cheese making course with Debra Amrein-Boyes from The Farm House Natural Cheeses. She was very passionate and makes some mighty fine cheeses. The class was fun and very educating. Her Goat Gouda was my favorite tasting cheese that she shared with us that day.

The class gave me a bit of confidence with cheese making. I even bought Debra`s cheese making book: 200 easy Homemade Cheese Recipes. I found it fascinating that whole milk can be transformed into so many variations of cheeses. Basically it comes down to science and how it is processed (heating temperature, fermentation of bacteria, coagulation and draining).

This week, I decided to make Queso Fresco with goats milk (since I am a tad sensitive to casein in cows milk) and what a perfect opportunity to combine it with a tortilla soup! Queso Fresco is probably one of the simplest soft cheeses to make. I was very surprised on how easy it was and how good the results were. This blog post has two sections; first is the ingredients and instructions for the tortilla soup and second; how I made the yummy Queso Fresco.

The Verdict of Chicken Tortilla Soup with Goat Queso Fresco? I really adore this soup because of the variety of tasty elements in it. Especially having chunks of corn made it look very rustic to me. Although it was time consuming to make the homemade tortillas as well as the Queso Fresco – it was well worth it. I am sure I would make this again in future. The Queso Fresco is good for up to two weeks and you can use on top of other soups or even salads. I would not suggest to add the tortillas in the pot of soup as they would get soggy for leftovers (that is if you have any left over). Keep the tortilla pieces in a paper bag until you make your next bowl of left over soup. Also, this soup is not super spicy. For those soup-a-holics who like it hot, add in a little more chiles!

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Goat Queso Fresco Ingredients

  • 7 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 white onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 fresh poblano chiles
  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces roasted chicken, shredded
  • 2 corn husks
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup Queso Fresco
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, plus thin wedges for garnish
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Goat Queso Fresco Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to  425 F (210 C). Place tomatoes, corn (still in husks), onion and garlic on a tin foil covered baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tomatoes and onion are soft and garlic begin to brown. Remove from heat.
  2. Stem and seed chile peppers; cut crosswise into ½ inch slices. In medium skillet, heat the ¼ cup of canola oil over medium heat until very hot and not smoking. Add the sliced chiles and fry for about 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon or thongs, remove the chile peppers and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. Chop and and reserve chiles for soup. Reserve oil in skillet.
  3. Working in batches, fry the tortilla strips in the chile infused oil until the strips start to brown. Drain tortilla strips and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate.
  4. Add 5 roasted tomatoes (keeping two aside), onion, garlic, cumin, one cup of stock into large pot. Using a hand blender, blend until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Roughly chop the 2 left over roasted tomatoes. Add into the soup.
  6. Add the rest of broth and chopped chile peppers to soup.
  7. Cook soup over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Husk corn and take off cob.
  9. Add roasted shredded chicken, corn and beans. Simmer for 5 more minutes; add lime juice, stir, cover and keep warm.
  10. Ladle soup in bowls
  11. Add tortilla strips, Queso Fresco, lime wedge, avocado, and cilantro.

 

Goat Queso Fresco

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The Completed Goat Queso Fresco

Goat Queso Fresco Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon whole goat milk (avoid homogenized or ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Goat Queso Fresco Instructions:

  1. In a 6 quart dutch oven or heavy stock pot (Important: do not use aluminum pot), combine milk and salt. Heat mixture over medium-high heat to 190 F (use a quick read thermometer) stirring gently and frequently. Remove from heat.
  2. Gradually add vinegar, stirring gently, let stand for 5 minutes. Stir gently (some curds should start form), if it needs to stand for 5- 10 minutes to see curds, let it.
  3. Place a double-thickness cheesecloth in a colander set in sink. Carefully pour mixture into the colander, discarding the liquid whey. Allow cheese to drain for 15 to 20 minutes to remove all of the excess whey.
  4. Gather cheese and transfer to a small bowl. If you prefer to make a Queso Fresco mold, line a plastic container with plastic wrap and place another container with a can of food to weigh it down.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Cheese can be stored in fridge for 1-2 weeks.

**It is very important to sterilize your pot as well as any measuring cups, spoons, thermometer. Before making the Queso Fresco, fill the pot with water bring to a boil and sanitize all utensils and place on clean dry cloth. Wash your hands well.

Original soup recipe from: Magazine: better Homes and Gardens Special Interest- Mexican, page 87, April 2011

Original Queso fresco recipe from: Magazine: better Homes and Gardens Special Interest- Mexican, page 25, April 2011

What I changed from original soup recipe:

  • added lime, cumin, corn and black beans
  • replaced chorizo with shredded roasted chicken
  • used olive oil for roasted veggies
  • used more onion, garlic and tomatoes, and broth
  • used cilantro instead of epazote

What I changed from original Queso Fresco recipe:

  • used whole goats milk instead of cows milk
  • let it stand more for curdling process

Soup Mistress Rating for Chicken Tortilla Soup with Goat Queso Fresco:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Shiitake and Button Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

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The Completed Shiitake and Button Mushroom Barley Soup

Barley – I have never used it in a soup, and this is my first. My doctor has been reminding me to work on lowering my cholesterol. I do like the fact that according to the FDA, barley’s soluble fiber reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and can lower cholesterol.

The Verdict of Shiitake and Button Mushroom Barley Soup? This is a filling and great tasting vegetarian soup. The original recipe called for button mushrooms only. I like adding in shiitake mushrooms anywhere a recipe calls for buttons mushrooms, they give a different dimension of meatiness. The soup has a richer taste the next day and gets thicker, I added extra broth. I try to avoid gluten in my soups most of the time but this soup is an exception as I like the taste of barley. If you area true celiac, this soup is not for you because barley has gluten if you didn’t know that.

Shiitake and Button Mushroom Barley Soup Ingredients:

  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 – 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, minced or chopped very fine
  • 1 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced
  • 16oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Shiitake and Button Mushroom Barley Soup Instructions:

  1. Add 2 cups of broth to a large saucepan/pot. Bring to a boil and add the pearl barley, cover then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate saucepan, add olive oil and saute onions over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, carrot, mushrooms to onions and saute for another 6 minutes.
  4. Combine mushroom and rest of broth into saucepan with barley/broth.
  5. Add pepper and salt to taste.
  6. Bring back up to a boil and simmer on low for about 30-35 minutes with lid partially covered.
  7. Stir in parsley and thyme (keeping some for garnish).
  8. Ladle soup into warmed bowls.
  9. Add parsley and thyme as garnish.
  10. Enjoy!

Original Recipe: Book: Soup Bowl, An Inspiring Collection of Soups, Broths and Chowders – Mushroom Barley Soup (page 64)

What I changed from original recipe:

  • used thyme instead of tarragon
  • used more mushrooms and broth
  • added shiitake mushroom and garlic
  • used olive oil instead of butter
  • omitted bay leaf

Soup Mistress Rating for Shiitake and Button Mushroom Barley Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.75/5)
Presentation: (3.75/5) 
Taste: (4.25/5)