Oh So Very Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup Sans Cream!

Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup

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The completed Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup with Goat Brie Pesto grilled sandwiches,

Lately I’ve been using cashews in recipes for replacement of sour cream or cream cheese (in savoury dishes as well as sweet dessert toppings) and all have turned out so wonderful. I have a fair bit of almond milk in soups to date, but wanted to try cashew cream in its place. This particular recipe grabbed my attention because it had a range of spices that I would not normally use together in one recipe. I was first a little septic because I never thought of using cumin, curry, dill and basil together with cloves. I thought “what the heck”, let’s risk it and give it a shot.

The Verdict of Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup

Wow, let’s just say it is a home run! If I was served this soup in a restaurant I would definitely think that it had a ton of fatty cream and butter!

I must say that my scepticism was wasted thinking time. The mix of spices played very well together. Not one spice was overpowering and they all seemed to be in perfect harmony!

The soup had delightful hint of heat…not too much either.

And oh so awesome creaminess!!!

This soup goes very well with the goat brie pesto grilled sandwiches I made with yummy gluten-free bread!

I also think this soup is very versatile and tasty for any kind of pasta. The next day I simmered it down a little and added in fresh cooked gluten free pasta with jumbo shrimp, smoked salmon and a bit more pieces of fresh basil.  Who would know that this delectable pasta sauce was a soup the previous day?!!


Note: Cellery is missing in the above ingredient picture – I did add it in the recipe though!

Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onions,
  • chopped
1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle, dried
  • 3 tablespoon fresh basil
 , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 whole cloves 
(or ground)
  • 2 28-oz cans chopped or diced oragnic tomatoes
  • The juice from one lemon or lime
  • basil for garnish

Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup Instructions:

  1. In a blender (I used a vitamix) blend the cashews and water until smooth.
  2. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil, and add the onion, celery and salt. Cook slowly, partially covered. Stir occasionally. When onions are soft and translucent, add the garlic and chipotle and cook until fragrant. Add remaining spices and continue to cook another minute or two.
  3. Add tomatoes, and stir. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until soup begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4.  Blend using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender (be very careful when blending hot liquids!), until soup is smooth.
  5. Add cashew cream into soup.
  6. Add the lemon juice and fresh basil
  7. Reheat gently, watching carefully as it’s easy to scorch the bottom.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the optional basil leaves.
  9. Enjoy!
I made a pesto with nutritional yeast instead of parmesan for a lactose-free alternative for the brie goat grilled sandwiches, here’s the recipe:

 Basil Pesto Ingredients:

  • 1 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 cup Nutritional yeast

Combine the basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

The Original Creamy Cashew Tomato Soup Recipe Here: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Cashew-tomato-soup-346120

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Used olive oil instead of canola oil
  • Did not use fennel
  • Used fresh basil and added it at the end.
  • halved the recipe
  • Added a 1 1/2 cup of water, it seemed to thick

Soup Mistress Rating for Creamy Tomato Cashew Soup:

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

Sunchoke Lentil Soup With Garnish Galore!

Sunchoke lentil soup

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with a apple, chive, sunchoke medley

I’ve been meaning for quite sometime to make this soup when my boyfreind shared the original recipe from the Wall Street Journal back on January 13, 3013. I never had a chance to cook with sunchokes in the past nor did I hear of them till late last year. And now I notice more restaurants in Vancouver like The Acorn making Sunchoke soup. I was even more motivated to make this soup. Is this a new fad of soups? Hmmn.

The Verdict of Sunchoke Soup?
This recipe was very thought out with the great looking garnish that took it further than a garnish because it added another level to the soup with taste and texture. Two thumbs up to Chef Michael Anthony from the Gramercy Tavern in New York known for fine-dining take on hyper-seasonal American cuisine with this recipe.

 

The soup was healthy and sans cream or milk products. Loved it also because the topping with chives was exquisite and the crunchy apples a fine texture and just enough sweetness. The fried tiny Sunchoke pieces are subtle and plays well with chives and apples. The soup was very velvety and creamy like a pureed cauliflower soup (one of my favs). The bouquet spices made a strong statement in the pot of soup for a tiny packet.

I adjusted the recipe and added more lentils to make a meal out of my soup. I took it to work two days in a row for lunch and it filled me up just fine!

One thing I would do different next time if I made this soup is I would use a lighter coloured vegetable stock (like Imagine Organic Vegetable Low Sodium Stock). The stock I used for this time (Pacifico Organic Vegetable Broth) was way too orange for my liking. I would have loved to have a whiter looker soup (prettier in my opinion being more white). Oh, ya, sprinkle a little lemon juice on the apples before adding to the medley if you want them looking white for next day and store the medley in an airtight plastic container.

 

Sunchoke Soup Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup black lentils
  • pinch salt, plus more, to taste
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 2 pounds sunchokes, all but 2 pieces (about 3 inches each) peeled and cut into ½ inch coins
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
  • 15-20 corriander seeds
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • pepper to taste
  • ½ cup apples. Cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
Sunchoke Soup Instructions:
  1. Set a small pot of water over high heat and bring back to a boil. Add lentils and pinch salt and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, make soup: Set a deep pot over medium heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions, leeks, shallots, garlic and celery. Sweat until softened and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add sunchokes and sweat until slightly softened, 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add enough stock to just cover vegetables and raise heat to high. Wrap spices and ginger in cheesecloth, secure with kitchen twine and add sachet to pot. Once soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer steadily until sunchokes and fork-tender, 20-30 minutes.
  4. While vegetables simmer, assemble garnish: peel and cut reserved sunchokes into ¼ inch dice/ Set a medium pan over medium heat and swirl in remaining oil/ Once hot, sauté diced sunchokes until tender and golden all over, about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix sautéed sunchokes with cooked lentils, apples and chives. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  6. Once vegetables have simmered, set a sieve over a large bowl and pour soup through to separate vegetables from stock. Discard sachet and reserve stock. In a food processor, puree vegetables until smooth.
  7. Return pureed vegetables to pot and stir in enough stock to create a loose yet creamy consistency. Bring back to a simmer and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  8. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and place a large spoonful of sunchoke-apple-lentil garnish in center of each bowl.
What I changed from original soup recipe:
  • Used black pepper instead of white pepper
  • Doubled lentils
  • Used 3/4 cup of diced apples instead of 1/2 cup
  • Used more chives, corriander and two star anise
  • Used a mix of lentils (black and brown)
Soup Mistress Rating for Sunchoke Soup:

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

Mushroom Leek Soup – A Vegetable World Meat Delight!

mushroom-leek-soup-0

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The completed Mushroom Leek soup!

A week ago, I went to a great Asian grocery store called TNT Supermarket that I haven’t been to in quite sometime. This place has a ton of various foods that you normally don’t find at regular supermarkets. I entered the supermarket without a plan of what to buy, but was drawn to the variety of mushrooms and how cheap they were.

So mushroom leek soup is was!

For this soup, I did not follow a recipe. I threw together my favorite base ingredients that I normally use in soups (e.g. vegetable stock, garlic, ginger). I also love leeks with mushrooms in any dish – so they joined the party as well. And having used enoki mushrooms in the past, their texture is almost like noodles to me and I thought they would be perfect in soup that was noodle-less.

The Verdict of Mushroom Leek Soup?

This soup is very fresh tasting and meaty with a ton of mushrooms – a vegetable world meat delight! I do love how the sesame oil added asian flare to my taste buds and it played very well with the ginger.  I had the soup for dinner and for lunch two days in a row  – and I would have had it another day but I was leaving for San Diego the next morning.

Mushroom Leek Soup Ingredients:

  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ginger, minced
  • 3 packages enoki mushrooms , ends trimmed off
  • 4 king oyster mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 package brown shimeji mushrooms, broken apart
  • 1 package white shimeji mushrooms, broken apart
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely

Mushroom Leek Soup Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a gentle boil and then keep it on simmer.
  2. In a pan add olive oil and sauté the leeks, ginger and garlic about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in the mushrooms and bell pepper and sauté for another 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add mushroom, peppers, and sesame oil to the soup base.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Ladle soup in bowls.
  7. Garnish with green onions.
  8. Season with salt and pepper – adjust to your liking.
Soup Mistress Rating For Mushroom Leek Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5) 
Taste: (3.5/5)

Veganlicious Soup Options in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland is Plentiful

For the last three weeks I have been participating in a vegan challenge and it has been a mighty fine journey. I must confess that I did have one slip up just 3 days in. I confessed to my challenger. He displayed disbelief and disappointment of my news – I felt like a gigantic fricken loser! After that naughty episode, I got back on the program instead of just throwing in the towel. I was determined to do it!

At first I thought it was going to be very difficult to find good vegan grub in Vancouver and the lower mainland, but after being a week and half into my challenge, I was overwhelmed by the options – and plentiful indeed!

The Outcome?
Over the last few weeks I felt super great and realized that I was treating my body well with this diet choice. I am considering becoming a vegan close to full-time (well…minus 2-3 days per month. I do love having an egg and prosciutto once in a while as well as butter on my hot air popcorn!). Read more on veganism here.

Below are vegan soups that I want to share with you that are from my favorite vegan friendly spots to date in Vancouver/ Lower Mainland:

Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House
http://www.paradisevegetarian.com/
8681 10th Avenue, Burnaby, BC

I had their #12 Soup: Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle Soup (Pho Ga)

The Verdict of Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle Soup
Refreshing sunshine on a grey day for me! I was astonished how the slices of veggie chicken had the texture like any juicy meat basting in a fine broth. The soup was served with sprouts and lemon on the side, which soon joined the party in my bowl. The broth seemed very flavorful and hint of a creamy broth. I’d love to find out how they make their broth and try to recreate it at home.

I am sure that I will visit this place frequently on the way home from work. I was surprised that it was so close to home and that I walked by it many times when shopping at Choices. A nice spot indeed with a humble and cute atmosphere. The lady who served me was so passionate about the food and even gave me a recipe book on organic vegan cooking! So sweet!

I also tried the vegetarian ham and the vegetarian chicken….very nice tasting nuggets dipped in a sweet chile sauce….pass a napkin please!

Soup Mistress Rating For Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle Soup:

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

Nuba, Healthy Fresh Lebanese
http://www.nuba.ca/
1489 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

I had their vegan soup of the day, it was a Roasted Tomato Soup.

The Verdict of Nubas Roasted Tomato Soup
Wow and wow. The soup was very yummy. It also looked and tasted creamy to me. But what was the cream if it was the vegan soup of the day? I asked the server what was in the soup and was totally surprised that it was not a complex soup what-so-ever. I expected some magical spices or additional ingredients as well as some vegan cream-like ingredient. He mentioned that it did not have any cream and it was the powerful food processor that made the soup so fluffy and creamy. Also the soup just had bay leave and thyme – that’s it!

KISS – Keep it simple soup! It must have been the good quality tomatoes or the particular technique of roasting that delighted my taste buds!

Soup Mistress Rating For Nubas Roasted Tomato Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5)
Taste: (4.5/5)

Bandidas
http://bandidastaqueria.com/
2781 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC

I had a small bowl of their Tortilla Soup. It was made of roasted tomatoes in a rich vegetable stock.

The Verdict of Bandidas Tortilla Soup.

The soup was very nice, chunky and thick. The base was pretty tasty and who doesn’t like avacados? I do think it could have used some corn and the chips were a tad too salty for my liking. Something that was not stated on their website is that they have vegan cheese and vegan sour cream. I was going to opt out of the cheese, but when I read the vegan options on their printed menu I was delighted!

Although the soup receives a decent review from myself, the superstar dish was their tacos. You must have the tacos with your soup or just stay home in your jammies!

I had the following 3 tacos, they were killer and very unique:

  1. Bobcat – Roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, purple cabbage pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, & roasted salsa
  2. Stella – Kale, butternut squash, roasted salsa, pinto beans, cheese, & sour cream.
  3. Ronny Russel – Roasted yams and onions, fresh guacamole, black beans, green salsa, purple cabbage & toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

 

Soup Mistress Rating For Bandidas Tortilla Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (3/5)
Taste: (3.5/5) 

Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup – What Beauties Beets They Are!

Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup

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Yummy, Spicy Beet Soup!

Over a week ago I roasted some red beets for the very first time ever and made a delish beet salad with lemon juice, shallots, macadamia oil with sprouts and arugula. It was so easy to roast beets and very yummy and fresh. I decided that my next beet culinary adventure would be in a soup and I wanted to try golden beets instead.

This soup recipe caught my attention and yesterday I headed to New Westminster Quay (Rivermarket.com) for some fresh produce to use in my soup. My good friend Karen Carter, a mighty fine real estate agent with Remax was coming over to get paperwork signed to list my condo on the market and I decided to make the soup for her visit!

The Verdict of Golden Beet Curry Soup:

Golden Beets –beauties they are!

Karen and I really liked how the curry played with the golden beets. They seem less sweet to me than red beets and perfect for this soup. The addition of carrot and parsnip gave a warm and earthy taste to the soup. Also the cayenne gave the soup a very nice mysterious heat to the soup – I don’t think it should be omitted from this soup ever (versus optional in the original recipe). The julienned red beets on top gave a nice contrast and texture. Karen did suggest that it would have been nice to have a dollop of cream in the soup (dairy or non-dairy cream like product – perhaps almond cheese?) – I have to agree with her on that point. Would have made it look even prettier as well!

Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup Ingredients:

  • 6-7 golden beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red beet (for garnish)
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 -1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup:
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a large baking pan or oven dish, toss beets, onions,  parsnip and carrot with oil and all spices. Roast the red beet whole by itself for garnish.
  3. Pour 1 cup water over the mixture and cover in foil. Roast for 1 hour.
  4. Blend using an immersion blender or puree in batches in a food processor, adding vegetable broth half a cup at a time followed by remaining water (up to 2 cup) until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Add soup into a pot on stove top, add cinnamon stick, simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  6. Adjust curry and salt to taste.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls.
  8. Julienne red beet and garnish on top of soup.

What I changed from original soup recipe:

  • Used more beets (6-7)
  • Roasted a red beet separately and used it is  garnish julienned
  • Used 1 onion versus 1/2 onion
  • Doubled, curry, coriander, cumin, cayenne
  • Used a cinnamon stick after soup pureed and simmered it for 8-10 minutes
  • Used fresh ginger minced instead of ground ginger
  • Used more vegetable stock
Soup Mistress Rating (and Karen) for Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5)

Taste: (4.5/5)

 

A New Year Start With a Super Green Pot Of Morgans Soup

A super green soup

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The completed soup. Super duper healthy for you!

On New Years Eve before going out with some of my friends, I made a huge pot of probably the greenest and healthiest soup I made to date. This was a pot of soup for my New Years detox and to take to work that week for my lunches.

I follow Vega on Facebook (clean plant-based nutrition products) and they’ve posted this soup recipe a few times since October/November. It looked awesome and sounded super healthy with kale, swiss chard, broccoli, asparagus –  I’ve been wanting to add more Kale in my diet.

Benefits of Kale:
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, lutein, zeaxanthin, and rich in calcium. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Read more here.

The Verdict of Morgans Green Soup:
Right after New Years, I somehow got a fever/flu and I was very glad that I had this huge pot of soup all made and sitting in my fridge. I definitely, think it helped me recoup and fight the fever faster. The soup was not the best tasting soup, but the healthiest I probably had. The original recipe seemed a tad bland. I did try to adjust and add in freshly squeezed lime juice, more garlic as well as some very fine chopped red thai chile. The soup needed some acidity as well as a little more heat. Perhaps it was because I was sick and my taste buds weren’t 100%. In the end, I would make this soup again for my lunches, but probably not one I would make for dinner guests. Not everyone would appreciate it as much as I and it is not a “wow, this soup is awesome” kind of soup. Also, next time I would chop the asparagus pieces way smaller – I didn’t like how big I did them in the soup (hard to pick up with spoon).

Morgans Green Soup Ingredients (with my adjustments, I also doubled the recipe so that I had a huge pot for a few days and froze some in ziplocks for a later date.)

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 onion, diced
  • 1.5 head garlic, minced
  • 3 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 small red thai chile
  • 4L (16 cups) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cups broccolini, chopped
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped, stems and leafs separated
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 4 cups spinach (not packed)
  • 2 (14oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut thinly on an angle
  • 1 lime, juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut thinly on an angle
  • pepper, freshly cracked, to garnish
  • 1 parsnip

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a pot. Sauté onion about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, red thai chile and ginger, sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in vegetable broth, cauliflower and broccolini. Bring to a boil. Simmer soup for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in swiss chard, kale and spinach. Let greens wilt in soup for 2-4 minutes.  Add in coconut milk.
  4. In high-powered blender (or use immersion hand blender), blend soup until completely smooth. If soup is too thick, add more broth or water to thin it out.
  5. Add asparagus into soup and continue to cook until asparagus is cooked, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add in lime juice
  7. Heat 1 tbsp in a small fry pan and fry the diced parsnips till a tad golden, cool on a paper towel.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  9. Garnish with green onion, parsnip, chili flakes and freshly cracked pepper.

Add sliced asparagus into soup and cook 3-5 minutes until asparagus is cooked. Serve with green onions, chili flakes and fresh cracked pepper.

Orignal soup recipe link: http://myvega.com/blog/2012/morgans-green-soup

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • doubled most ingredients to get a huge pot of soup
  • olive oil instead of coconut oil
  • broccolini instead of broccoli
  • added julienne fried parsnips as a garnish
  • omitted chile flakes for garnish – with the red thai chile, it was already hot enough.

Soup Mistress Rating for Morgans Green Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5
Presentation: (3.5/5) 
Taste: (3/5)  

Ra Ra For Kristen Suzanne’s Harvest Raw Soup

Raw Harvest Soup

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The Completed Raw Harvest Soup

I have been meaning to try raw (uncooked) soup recipes and venture out more to raw food restaurants in Vancouver. Don`t get me wrong, I do love bacon, prosciutto and cooked foods – I am not a vegan and I do like to cook some of my food.  I do though try to eat a fair bit of raw foods (salads, veggies, fruits, fresh juices, nuts etc..) and I am a huge advocate of Vega One (a plant based shake)  – been taking it for over 2 years for breakfast. Having a raw food based diet in the mornings helped me a ton to do long runs and work bright eyed and effectively all day. I have never felt healthier.

So What Are The Benefits of Raw?
In short, when you cook your food, you’re destroying the nutrients. Read more here on the benefits of raw food.

A few weeks ago, I started following Choosing Raw on Facebook. She shared this raw soup recipe that she swore is awesome and she made it a few times in one week.

The Verdict of Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup ? Overall, this soup tasted pretty good! Presentation leaves a little to be desired being purred and all. The soup was a little warm and went down nice and smooth. I had some left over in fridge and tried it later chilled – I prefer it right out of the blender at room temperature though. My favorite thing I liked about this soup is how healthy I felt instantly and it was quite filling.

Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups carrot, chopped
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4cup flax oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup Instructions:

  • Blend all of the ingredients except for the flax oil, on high speed in your blender until really creamy (approximately one minute). Then, while the blender is running on low speed, add the flax oil. Continue blending, at a higher speed, for another minute or less. This will make it slightly warm. Enjoy!

Original Recipe here: http://kristensraw.com/blog/2007/09/05/kristen-suzannes-harvest-soup/

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • Used 1 and 1/4 cup of water to compensate for less flax oil
  • Instead of Himalayan crystal salt I used sea salt
  • instead of 1 tablespoon of onion powder I used 1/4 cup of chopped white onion
  • used 1/4 cup of flax oil versus 1/2 cup
  • added coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg (original recommend pumpkin pie spice mix as optional)

Soup Mistress Rating for Kristen Suzanne’s Raw Harvest Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)
Presentation: (3/5)
Taste: (4/5)

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)