Tag Archives: soup

Easy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Sage

Easy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Sage - Luminous Vegans

I’m ready for fall. Yet Atlanta still seems to be desperately clinging onto the remnants of summer. That doesn’t stop me from wearing hoodies even when it’s still in the 80s (F) outside. Of course, I’m inside most of the time so it’s not like I’m actually sweatin’ up some pit stains. But that’s beside the point.

The point is I am not going to let something like the weather dictate what should be fall. Bring on the cozy slippers, hoodies, warm apple cider and cinnamon. And I WILL eat all the orange foods. I’m looking at you sweet potato and pumpkin.

This no-recipe sweet and savory soup is easy to make and customizable. Mine was full of roasted sweet potatoes, onions and pumpkin puree. To add a little sumpin’ special, I topped it with sautéed apples and sage leaves and a sprinkling of vegan bacon bits. This no-recipe was inspired by a pumpkin soup from FoodNetwork.

Easy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Sage - Luminous Vegans

So the first step is to roast chopped veggies coated with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I roasted three sweet potatoes with one onion at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. You could also use butternut squash, acorn squash or whatever roasty veggies you have on hand.

Easy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Sage - Luminous Vegans

The next step is to soupify the veggies in a blender. I put 1/2 – 2/3 of the roasted veggies in the Vitamix (I didn’t use all of it because it was too much) and added ~1/2 cup of canned pumpkin puree. Then I turned the blender on and slowly added vegan chikin broth until I got a consistency that I liked. I used about 3-4 cups of broth. I wanted this soup on the thicker side.

Easy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Sage - Luminous Vegans

Now it’s time to heat the soup while adding in some seasoning. Heating is important for dried herbs as it releases flavor. The blender I use heats as it blends so I did this directly in the blender (because dishes). Stirring herbs into the soup over the stove top is just as good.

I used dried tarragon, a pinch of nutmeg, maple syrup, salt and pepper all to taste. Thyme, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and cloves are just a few other spices that would work well. Not sure how much of each spice to use? Start with small amounts, blend (or stir) and taste. Keep adding in small amounts until your tastebuds are happy.

For the soup topper I sautéed a cubed apple and ribbons of fresh sage leaves (about 3)  with vegan butter and sugar until the apples were soft. I used a Granny Smith apple because that’s what we had but I think a sweeter apple would work even better.

Easy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Sage - Luminous Vegans

To recap: roast veggies, blend with broth and pumpkin puree, heat and season and top with stuff. Pretty simple right? I also topped my apple topper with vegan bacon bits. The soup topper is totally optional but adds a nice fruity, crunchy and salty bite to everything that complements the sweetness of the soup.

So it may not be fall outside just yet but at least it is where it counts. My belly.

What are your favorite fall flavors?

So stew me!

N has been doing most all of the cooking lately because of my job. The other night he made a comforting tomato-y stew. For the base, he used a couple of cubes of veggie stock mixed with water and a can of diced tomatoes.  He then threw in chopped potatoes, some frozen corn, chopped carrots, broccoli, leftover macaroni, a can of marinated seitan, garlic, thyme and black pepper.

He let it simmer for 20 minutes until it was all stew-y and I was yelling “what smells so good?!” from my office. He served it with some English muffins. The stew made so many leftovers it fed us for the entire weekend, getting thicker with each serving, much like my belly.

One order of hot and sour please, no egg

N came home the other day from the store really excited about something he bought. You want to know what he was excited about? Cabbage. That’s right. Cabbage. He bought a huge head of local cabbage for only 60 cents. It was a beauty, but that cabbage sat in the fridge for a couple of days untouched because I had no inspiration to make a dish with cabbage. That is, until I found veganyumyum’s recipe for hot and sour soup.

I present to you The Cabbage.

We stuck to the original recipe pretty closely, however, we added shreds of this vegan seaweed fish that we picked up at the Asian market

along with some sliced shiitake mushrooms.

The soup turned out PERFECT!  It tasted just like hot and sour soup you would order at a restaurant but it was like 100 a million times better! The soup was just the perfect thing to end a long day with and it was just as good reheated at work the next day.

Easy-split-peas-y

Split pea soup is one of the easiest meals to make from things in your pantry and you don’t really need to follow a recipe.  We made this one night when we didn’t feel like doing anything too involved.  Here’s an approximation of what we did.

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 cups of dried split peas

-1 large yellow onion (finely diced)

– 3 large cloves of garlic (minced)

– 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

– 5 cups of vegan stock (whatever you have on hand)

– 2 large carrots (or 8-10 baby carrots) (halved and then coined)

– 2 vegan hot dogs (cubed)

– pinch of salt

– dash of pepper

Here you can see some of the specific ingredients we used.  I couldn’t decide which salt to use yet at this point (I know, it’s just salt right?).

First rinse the split peas and drain them.  Next sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil. When the onions are cooked and your kitchen smells all garlicky, add the stock, split peas and carrots and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is boiling, put a bird* lid on it, turn down the heat and let it simmer until the peas are all tender, which can take up to an hour and a half.

While the soup is simmering away, you can get the vegan hot dogs ready.  Fry them up in a pan using the least amount of oil possible.  The skins might stick to the pan and burn a little, that’s ok, b/c the burnt skin part is still good and gives the soup a smoky taste.  Just keep frying on medium heat until the hot dogs are lightly browned making sure to scrape off all the burny goodness.

When the soup is done, use a potato masher to roughly mash the soup directly in the pot (or use a high speed blender if you want a smooth soup).  Add the browned vegan hot dogs and skins and incorporate.  Finally, add a bit more salt and pepper to taste.  I decided to add a dash of rosemary salt from the Beautiful Briny Sea, a local artisan.

If you don’t have stock on hand, you could probably just use water, though keep in mind that you are going to have to amp up the flavor of the soup in other ways like adding more onion and garlic in the beginning.  This is a super easy meal to make, you just have to plan ahead because of the simmering time.  Enjoy!

* I don’t actually put birds on my soup, that’s a reference to a show..can you figure out which one?

Visit Home Part Deux

It was Hsauce’s turn to visit his family (I visited mine at the end of last month.)

Hsauce was there to visit and celebrate the opening of his parents’ store, Words and Pictures, which sells out of print and collectible books among other things. If you’re every in Langley, WA, check it out!

He also hiked.

…and of course cooked:
Those are green beans with peanut ginger dressing (we’ve actually made this a couple of times now for friends and it is really, really good) and Hsauce’s own signature Pad Thai dish.

And guess what else he did?!? He went to Mighty-O Donuts in Seattle!!

But you know, he was sweet enough to bring me home some….these were gone pretty soon after he got back home. Yes, they were damn good.

While Hsauce was gone I made (along with some boring meals not worth mentioning), what I’m going to call 5-minute Vietnamese Pho. I used veggie broth, Chinese 5 spice, slivers of fresh Thai hot chili peppers and some squirts of lime juice to make the broth. Then I just piled it on some rice noodles and whatever veggies I had in the fridge. I didn’t have beansprouts so I used some shredded lettuce for a crunch effect. It was good.

And I also tried out this recipe for mac and cheese (originally from PPK, I think). I’m always on the hunt for the best mac and cheese and I think I’ve found it! I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, adding more margarine (Earth Balance!) when I thought it needed it or more or less of other things and it came out just delicious!

Straight from the oven…

On my plate with a side of broccoli. Oh yeah, I also added peas to the mac and cheese.

I think this is my favorite mac and cheese recipe. I made it again for Hsauce when he got back from his trip and yup, still tasty. I like covering it when it’s the oven to help prevent the top from getting too dry. This way, it all stays ooey-gooey and cheesey! Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and reheats well.

And yay, new sewing machine!