p.h.d.elicious cooks plants in tiny kitchens

Plant-based Cooking!

Posts Tagged ‘soups

Best Red Bean Soup

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This is the Best Red Bean Soup from Gourmet Today, one of those accidentally vegan recipes. I used up my old, pretty anasazi beans, and poblanos instead of cubanelles and aji dulces. They don’t seem to have cubanelles here that often–it’s interesting to see the regional differences in supermarket produce stock.
Anyhoo, the soup itself is more subtle tasting than its ingredient list implied, but pretty delicious, especially after the first day. I think I’ve decided that I like my pureed bean soups pretty watered down, or they start to remind me of a big bowl of refried beans. Those are some of my bean soup thoughts.

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Written by phdelicious

October 10, 2011 at 3:44 am

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Carol’s Finnish Pea Soup with Apples

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I posted a bunch last year on Anna Thomas’s Love Soup, a big book of seasonal vegetarian soups. I made tons of the soups from the book back then, but here’s one I hadn’t yet gotten around to. And it’s a delicious one! I love mustard in pea soups, and mustard sure has its role to play here. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of dijon, or more to taste. When I first finished the soup with the basic tablespoon of dijon, the soup tasted surprisingly bland. Oh, geez. So I added one more tablespoon of dijon, and that magical thing happened: the magic that results from what they call “tweaking the seasonings.” All of a sudden, I could taste everything: the toasted ground coriander, the chopped apple, the fresh peas from the campus farmer’s market, the earthy split peas, the smoked salt (that wasn’t from the recipe–I use smoked salt in just about everything these days, thanks to the box of it I brought here from Ontario), the cider vinegar, and of course, the mustard itself! Lesson learned for the millionth time: often, blandness has a shockingly easy and small solution.

Written by phdelicious

October 5, 2011 at 5:09 am

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Christmas Feast

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Here’s what my boyfriend and I ate for Christmas dinner last night! I was so pleased with how everything turned out.
The soup is the Scarlet Carrot Soup from the final printed issue of Gourmet magazine, November 2009. I thought they reproduced all the recipes from Gourmet on epicurious, but apprently they don’t. Someone’s reprinted the recipe here, though, so take a look if you like. It’s a great soup– very simple yet interestingly layered in flavour. Because it’s so simple, be sure to taste and fiddle at the end with the salt level and so forth. I tasted it and found it a little too bland, but just one more twist of salt brought out all the flavours as if by magic. The carrot ribbons were a great touch and worth the effort.
The crazy-looking entree is from The Artful Vegan, one of Millennium Restaurant’s cookbooks. I’ve had this cookbook for years, but have really only had the chops to cook from it properly for the past year or two (my first attempt to make an entree out of it, years ago, was one of the most stressful experiences ever!) Now I know better what kind of prep is required, and what I can substitute and how I can streamline the process. Necessary knowledge when you’re cooking from an ingredient list that’s not only lengthy, but includes multiple other recipes from the book that I don’t have a sous chef preparing for me at 5AM. I made this entree last year for a para-Christmas meal in Vancouver, and didn’t get any photos because I didn’t bring my camera on that trip. For that meal, I had made a parsnip puree in place of the garlic grits you see here. It had been delicious, but I think in the end the Millenium folks sure know how to pick the elements of a dish and I’m glad I followed them this time. Yet instead of the the grilled broccoli rabe, here you can see I substituted a saute of beet greens– I just prefer beet greens over broccoli rabe, and so does my boyfriend! But beet greens still fit the tuscan profile very well.
So, what you see here is a pool of wine-mushroom sauce– they call it zinfandel porcini sauce, but what you see here is cabernet-portobello sauce. Now, this is one of the most flavourful sauces around. Not only is this–

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–not even all the shallots I used, but this–

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is just the first flavour layer of the sauce: Dark Roasted Vegetable Stock from the same book. This stock alone has two layers of wine flavour–the vegetables are roasted with wine, and then simmered with more wine and herbs. The resulting stock is just one element of the final sauce. Along with the shallots I already showed you, there’s also a pound of mushrooms, a beautiful dark roux, and more wine. Nuts. Special-occasion worthy.

Okay, enough about the sauce. The purse is filled with a beautiful mix of white beans, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, fennel bulb, onions, herbs, and a bit of crispy vegan sausage (the only Tofurkey product that made its way into this holiday meal, incidentally). The purse sits on a cloud of garlic grits, which have been elevated to crazy decadence with some cashew cream. Grilled bosc pear and sauteed beet greens complete the picture. And below we have a picture of the stars of the soup, just because it looks pretty:

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Stayed tuned for a plum pudding post!

Written by phdelicious

December 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Brought Soup

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It’s my fifth year anniversary of being vegan today! My anniversary present is a great boyfriend who is learning to cook vegan things with me, and who brought me this vegetable bean soup he made up the other day! It was delicious, as things that people make and bring over so often are, but also incredibly delicious in its own right.

Written by phdelicious

November 10, 2010 at 3:52 am

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A Run On Soup

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When I get a new cookbook I tend to go nuts with it for awhile. The latest one has been Love Soup by Anna Thomas. It’s technically a “vegetarian” book, but the vast majority of the soups are either vegan or readily veganizable. I’ve made one stock and five soups from it, plus a salad and a fig-olive tapenade. Overall, the theme of this book, I’d say, is subtlety. All the soups I’ve made focus on the flavour of the starring vegetables, and the soups aren’t doctored up much or incredibly punchy. While I love punchy, these soups are a great, meditative way to get back in touch with the subtle flavours of vegetables. They’re all about the gentle layering of flavours– caramelized onions, a toasted spice here and there, different herbs added at different times. And I’m always a little too lazy to make my own stock, and haven’t had the best luck with homemade stocks (except for one I made a couple of years ago with corn cobs: yum)! But this one was delicious, thanks to tons of different veggies. As you can see above, it completely filled my stock pot! As it simmered, it settled down into the pot a little.
Below: Green Soup. So delicious, so green.

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Below:Fasolia Gigante Soup with Spinach, and Fig Olive Tapenade. The tapenade is very delicious– even my olive-averse boyfriend loved it. And I used large lima beans for the gigantes (just like I did in the Veganomicon Greek Dinner).

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Below: Lentil and Spinach Salad. Very tasty, with caramelized leeks. A lot of leeks, though, so make sure you like an oniony flavour.

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Below: Green Lentil Soup with Cumin and Lemon. You can really taste the lemon and cumin in this one, and it’s really good.

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Below: Black Bean and Squash Soup. This could be my favourite one in the bunch. Instead of jalapenos, I used a bit of heirloom habanero, which has earned its own future Vegan MoFo entry.

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I’ve also made the big-batch Pickle Soup, which is a Polish-inspired vegetable-barley soup with, yes, some minced pickle added. I can’t find a picture of it, and right now it only exists in frozen form, in my freezer! It’s tasty, but frankly it’s a little too subtle for me to be altogether excited about it making such a big batch. That’s my nasty review. But overall, I really love this book. As you can see, it makes you want to make soup, over and over!

Written by phdelicious

November 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

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Lentil Soup

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Lentil soup from Nonna’s Italian Kitchen. This is still one of my favourite cookbooks, for so many reasons. And this is a very good soup. Not as flavourful as the Sicilian Style Split Pea Soup from that book, but a very good soup nonetheless.
I’m looking forward to Vegan Month of Food in November! Hopefully this will get me back on some kind of daily-posting track.

Written by phdelicious

October 5, 2010 at 2:56 am

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Quinoa Corn “Chowder”

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See, I was serious about trying to make everything out of Viva Vegan!. This was hearty and tasty, though a little more johnny-one-note than most of the recipes in this book, when you’re eating a huge bowl of it. I didn’t eat it with any of the suggested garnishes, so I think that would be the ticket. Avocado, cilantro, peanuts, onions? Next time, yes.

Written by phdelicious

October 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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