Category Archives: Soups

Moroccan Soup With Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard

I loved making this soup from The Green Panda’s Kitchen. The story that went with it was just as delightful. It was great fun and inspirational to watch The Green Panda’s group in Kenya put together this beautiful soup outdoors. I’m looking forward to trying that myself during the warmer months here! The flavors on this one are wonderful, and I simplified the procedure a little.



  • Chickpeas, 1 lb., rinsed and cooked until just tender
  • Butternut squash, washed, remove seeds and fibers, cut into 1.5 inch cubes (Don’t peel – I tried this! It really works!)
  • Carrots, 1 lb., washed and cut into medium dice
  • Onions, 1 lb., cut into medium dice
  • Tomatoes, 1 lb., cut into medium dice
  • Swiss Chard, 1 large bunch, remove leaves from stems, finely chopped
  • Garlic, 1 head, peeled and chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Smoked paprika, 1 TB
  • Cinnamon, 1 TB
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch, washed and coarsely chopped
  • Lemon, 1/2 – 1, juiced
  • Cumin, 1 tsp.
  • Coriander, 1 tsp.
  • Salt, to taste (I usually use about 1 TB per gallon of soup)
  • Water to cover


  1. Prepare the chickpeas by rinsing, covering with plenty of water, and cooking covered on low heat until tender (1-2 hours). Check periodically to make certain there is still sufficient water. Set aside with the remaining water.
  2. Prepare the veggies (squash, carrots, onion, tomatoes chard, cilantro) and set aside. Note: you can replace the fresh tomatoes with a 19 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes if you’re in a hurry)
  3. Mince the garlic.
  4. Add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil to a large soup pot. Saute the garlic and onion until softened.
  5. Add the squash, carrots and tomato (or 19-oz. can petite diced tomatoes) and the reserved chickpeas with their water.
  6. Add additional water until all is cover — less for a more “packed” soup, more for a brothier soup.
  7. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until the veggies are tender.
  8. Add the seasonings and lemon juice and check the taste. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  9. Stir in the cilantro and chard.

I hope you enjoy this delicious, aromatic soup.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

It’s Time For A Recipe! Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Andy needs smoothies and smooth soups these days and likes broccoli, so I thought I might try a Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup. I figured I would use coconut milk as the “cream,” but since it’s much thinner than milk and certainly than cream, I decided to add some potato to thicken it. This is a really easy soup to make, simple ingredients, and it was delicious. Andy was very happy. 🙂



  • Broccoli, two large bunches, lots of stem included
  • Onion, Spanish, one large
  • Idaho potato, 2 small or 1 large
  • Coconut milk, 5 cups
  • Water, 5 cups
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Salt, 1 TB
  • Hot paprika, 1/4 tsp.


  1. Prepare the veggies: wash all, then peel and petite dice the potato, petite dice the onion (chunks are ok too since this part of the soup will be blended anyway), and remove all stems from the broccoli and chunk, setting the florets aside.
  2. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a soup pot, add the onion and broccoli and saute briefly.
  3. Add the potato to the pot, and add 2-1/2 cups of water and 2-1/2 cups of coconut milk and stir. Turn down heat, cover and simmer until all is cooked and soft.
  4. Cook the broccoli florets in the remaining 2-1/2 cups of water and 2-1/2 cups of coconut milk in a separate covered pot until soft.
  5. Add the potato, broccoli stems and onion mixture to a high-powered blender (regular blender will work as well). Blend until very smooth, at least 1 full minute. Remove from blender to soup pot. This might take a few loads.
  6. Add the cooked florets with their liquid to the blender (might require a couple of loads). Pulse 5 or 6 times so all is regularly processed but you can still see the green buds.
  7. Add the blended florets to the stem/onion/potato puree in the soup pot.
  8. Season to taste. I usually use 1 TB of salt for a gallon of soup, which is about what this makes. I also used 1/4 tsp of hot paprika.

This soup is along the lines of comfort food, nothing complicated here to make or to eat. It’s very creamy, and the potatoes make it just the right consistency. Enjoy!

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Quinoa & White Bean Soup

This soup, like so many other dishes, began its life with me on Pinterest, where I often go for inspiration. It’s a lovely, brothy soup the first day. The flavor improves with age, and it also thickens, due to the quinoa. By the third day, it is actually more of a light stew. My family loved it that way for a substantial and delicious dinner.

I’m including here the veggies that I used. Any greens are fine, though, and the summer squash and zucchini can be traded out for another high water content veggie.



  • Beans, Great Northern, 1/2 lb. cooked ’til al dente in water to cover (check water periodically and add if needed)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 3 TB
  • Spanish onion, 1, minced
  • Poblano, 1, minced
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Carrots, 3 med.-large, washed and cut on bias
  • Celery, 2 large stalks
  • Seasonal veggies, 2 cups at least, coarsely chopped (I used zucchini and yellow squash)
  • Greens, 1-2 cups rough chopped
  • Tomatoes, 8 Roma, petite diced or 1 28-oz. can petite diced
  • Quinoa, 1 cup
  • Water, 1 quart
  • Vegeta, 4 tsp.
  • Salt, 1 TB
  • Szeged Hot paprika, 1/2 tsp.
  • Thyme, 1 TB fresh (stripped from stems)
  • Pepper, black, freshly ground


  1. Rinse beans and cook in pot with lid in water to cover. Check periodically to make certain water doesn’t cook off. When just tender, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Mince onion and saute in extra virgin olive oil in a soup pot.
  3. Add minced garlic to the pot, and saute a moment longer.
  4. Add carrots and celery cut on bias to the pot and saute until just tender.
  5. Add 1 quart water with Vegeta (soup base) stirred in. If you don’t have a vegan soup base, water is fine — you might just have to use a little more salt.
  6. Add one 32-oz. can petite diced tomatoes (or 8 Roma tomatoes, petite diced)
  7. Add seasonings and 2 cups seasonal vegetables (zucchini and summer squash this time)
  8. Simmer together until flavors well-blended and veggies are all softened.
  9. Add seasonings (salt, hot paprika, thyme).
  10. Add 1 cup quinoa and cook for 15 minutes until done.
  11. Add beans with their liquid (should have cooked down some so it just covers the beans).
  12. At the end of the cooking time, add rough-chopped greens. I used kale in this batch.
  13. Grind in fresh black pepper to taste.

Hope you enjoy this healthy, substantial, delicious veggie soup!

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Potato & Corn Soup

Potato and Corn Soup

I would call this a “chowder,” but it’s not quite thick enough. If you want more of a chowder consistency, stir some cornstarch into water and add it to the soup toward the end of the cooking time. You may need to adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Note: I tried this soup again, and I whisked cornstarch into the coconut milk before I added it. That made the soup thicker and provided a little better consistency.


  • Red potatoes, 5 lb.
  • Carrots, 4 large, sliced on the bias
  • Spanish onion, 1 very large, petite diced (makes about 2 cups)
  • Corn, 3 lb. frozen
  • Cilantro, 1 large bunch
  • Salt, 2 TB
  • Hot paprika, 1 tsp.
  • Water, 3 quarts
  • Coconut milk, 1 quart
  • Red onion, petite diced
  • Green chilis, diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup


  1. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a soup pot.
  2. Petite dice the onion, and add it to the pot to saute.
  3. Wash and slice the carrots on the bias, and add to the pot to saute.
  4. Quarter and slice the potatoes (leaving the peel on) and add to the pot.
  5. Add 3 quarts water to the pot along with the seasoning. Bring to a boil, and simmer the potatoes, onion and carrots until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the corn to the pot and continue to simmer.
  7. Whisk the coconut milk, and add to the soup.  2 cans of coconut milk are almost 1 quart.
  8. Add the chopped cilantro to the soup. Check seasoning and adjust.
  9. Garnish the soup with chilis and chopped red onion.

I’m a big fan of potatoes, especially with the peel on, especially when they’re cooked in some way other than frying. Contrary to the bad rap they get, they have lots of great health benefits.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Beans ‘n’ Greens Soup

Beans ‘n’ Greens Soup


  • Cannellini, 1 lb. dried, cooked (check water during cooking to be certain the beans are always just covered)
  • Garlic, 3 cloves
  • Salt, 2.5 tsp.
  • Hot paprika, 1/2 tsp.
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 TB
  • Broccoli, 2 lb. flowerets
  • Greens, 4 cups coarsely chopped
  • Onion, 1 cup diced
  • Coconut milk, 1 can


  1. Cook the beans in water to cover — keep checking to be certain the beans remain barely covered throughout. When tender, set aside with their liquid.
  2. Add garlic to food processor, and pulse until minced.
  3. Add salt, hot paprika and wine to processor.
  4. Add beans with their liquid to the processor. Pulse until desired consistency — you can even leave some beans showing. In the picture here, I pulsed until the mixture was uniformly gravelly.
  5. Move the bean mixture to a soup pot.
  6. Add extra virgin olive oil to a different pot. Saute petite diced onion for a few moments. Add the broccoli flowerets, continuing to saute. Finally add the chopped greens.
  7. When the onion, broccoli and greens are tender, move the mixture to the food processor and pulse until uniformly gravelly.
  8. Add the veggie mixture to the bean mixture in the soup pot. Check seasoning and adjust.
  9. At serving time, garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Green Potato Soup

Green Potato Soup

Once again, I started with a Pinterest recipe but made so many changes that it’s virtually unrecognizable. This Potato and Kale Soup ended up with both kale and spinach in it, and if I had had other greens in the house, I would have used them. My soup also has quite a bit more texture, the way I like it, which involved a few extra steps but nothing onerous…and changes in seasoning. Here’s the result:


  • Potatoes, 5-6 medium or about 5 cups peeled, quartered and sliced
  • Carrot, 1 large ground or about 1 cup
  • Celery, 1-2 large ground or about 1 cup
  • Onion, 1/2 large Spanish, petite diced or about 1 cup
  • Garlic, 1 clove minced
  • Greens (I used half kale and half spinach), 4-5 big handfuls or about 4-5 cups coarsely chopped
  • Salt, 2-1/2 tsp.
  • Hot paprika, 1/4 tsp.
  • Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp.
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2 TB
  • Potato water, 5-6 cups (save one cup out to add in if needed at the end)
  • Coconut milk, 1 14-oz. can


  1. Wash and prepare the veggies. Petite dice the onion, mince the garlic, cut the carrot and celery into smallish pieces and saute in the olive oil until soft.
  2. Place the softened veggies in a food processor and pulse until uniformly grainy. Remove from the processor to a crock pot.
  3. Quarter the peeled potatoes, then cut into 1/8″ slices. You should have about 5 cups. Cover with water to cook until barely soft. Remove about 1/4 of the potatoes (keeping the cooking liquid) and place in food processor. Run the processor until the potatoes make a smooth paste. Add the paste to the crock pot with the veggies.
  4. Remove the remainder of the potatoes (keeping the cooking liquid) and place in the crock pot.
  5. Measure 5 cups of the potato cooking liquid into the crock pot, and stir all together.
  6. Place the chopped greens into the food processor and pulse until evenly minced but not pureed. Add to the crock pot.
  7. Add seasonings (salt, hot paprika and nutmeg), and cook until flavors meld and veggies are soft.
  8. Stir in the can of coconut milk.
  9. Use remaining cup of potato cooking liquid to adjust soup consistency to what you like.

I made croutons by cutting up some left over homemade spelt bread, sauteing it in a bit of extra virgin olive oil until dry and browned in spots. I added some salt and nutmeg to the croutons.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Iraqi-Jewish Beet Soup with Kubbeh (Marak Kubbeh Adom)

Marak Kubbeh Adom – Iraqi Jewish Beet Soup with Kubbeh

I found this recipe as I find so many wonderful ideas in Pinterest. I was going to leave out the sugar since I never use any, but the beets were a little older and not as sweet as I like them, so I just followed the recipe, which makes a slightly sweet and sour soup. Dumplings were a bit firm. I’ll want to experiment with that a little next time.

Soup Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup or to cover the bottom of the pot
  • Garlic, 4 cloves minced or 1 TB
  • Beets, 5-6 large peeled, roughly chopped
  • Tomato paste or puree, 4 TB
  • Sweet paprika, 2 TB
  • Salt, 2 tsp.
  • Hot paprika, 1/2 tsp.
  • Water, 8 cups
  • Sugar, 2 TB
  • Lemon, juice of 1

Wash and prepare the veggies. Saute onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Add the roughly chopped beets and seasonings (except the sugar and lemon juice), and cook until the beets are soft. Alternatively just chunk the beets and pulse the broth with veggies and seasonings in a blender when soft. Add sugar and lemon juice at the end of cooking time, check seasoning and adjust.

Kubbeh Ingredients

  • Semolina, 4 cups
  • Water, 2 cup
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Rice, Brown Basmati, 3 cups cooked (about 1 cup dried cooked with 1 tsp. salt)
  • Mushrooms, Crimini, 1 lb. quartered and pan roasted
  • Lemon, juice of 1/2-1 squeezed, about 3 TB
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp.
  • Za’atar, 1-1/2 tsp. (this is what I usually use for this filling – for this particular recipe, I substituted 1 TB ras al hanout)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup

While the soup broth is cooking, prepare the Kubbeh shell with the Semolina, water and salt. Be very light with the stirring, and let the mixture sit until the water is fully absorbed. It should be soft but not sticky. Roll into good-sized balls.

For the Kubbeh filling, prepare the rice with 1 tsp. salt and some of the extra virgin olive oil. Toast the ras al hanout in a pan, then add the quartered mushrooms and pan roast them in a little more of the extra virgin olive oil. Add the mushroom mixture to a food processor with the rice, seasonings, lemon juice and a bit more of the extra virgin olive oil. Pulse mixture until gravelly throughout.

Flatten the Semolina balls, depressing in the center, and add a heaping tsp. of Kubbeh filling to the depression. Bring edges up around the filling and roll into a filled ball. When all the balls are rolled and about the same size, add to the simmering soup. Bring back to the simmer, cover, and continue to simmer until the dumplings are done. Handle the Semolina shell as little as possible while processing.

This Iraqi-Jewish beet soup was a delightful change from another favorite beet soup, for which I just cook up some peeled, chunked beets with a lot of chunked onion and some peeled, fresh ginger pieces, a very little salt and a bit of hot paprika — and run through a high-powered blender.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup with Barley
Split Pea Soup with Barley

I’ve made split pea soup for many years, both green and yellow. When I make Green Split Pea Soup, I like to use potatoes, which I dice and add toward the end of the cooking time so they don’t completely dissolve.  Last week I didn’t much want to brave the cold so started thinking about what I could make with things I had on hand. I had just cleaned out and reorganized my bean, seed and nut cabinet so knew I had green split peas, check. Onions, check. Carrots, check. Vinegar, check. Cilantro, check. Seasonings, check. Potatoes, check.

Only I didn’t have the potatoes I was sure I had. I didn’t find that out, though, until the soup was almost ready. I went to get the potatoes to prepare and throw in for the final cooking and found not one. I thought…I wonder how barley would taste in that instead? That was something else I noticed I had plenty of in my cleaned up and reorganized cabinet. I cooked up a cup of dried barley and added it — and yes! It was delicious. Going forward I’ll use it instead of potatoes.


  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Green split peas, 2 lb.
  • Garlic, 4 cloves minced (1 TB)
  • Spanish onion, 1 large, petite diced
  • Carrots, 4 large, petite diced
  • Celery stalks, 4 large, petite diced
  • Water, 12-16 cups
  • Salt, 1 TB + 1 tsp.
  • Cumin, 1 TB
  • Turmeric, 1 TB
  • Hot paprika, 1 tsp.
  • Vinegar, 6-8 TB
  • Barley, 1 cup cooked in 4 cups water
  • Cilantro, 1-2 large bunches, chopped (sometimes I also use, or use instead, chopped kale or spinach or chard)


  1. Wash and prepare all the veggies and the garlic.
  2. Add the olive oil to a soup pot, the garlic and onion and saute until soft. Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute.
  3. Add the split peas, 12 cups of water, salt, cumin, turmeric, hot paprika and vinegar. Stir to mix all well.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer until soup is done. I like to still see peas a bit, not have them totally disintegrated.
  5. Add the cooked barley to the soup, and adjust liquid and seasoning. If you cool the soup, you may have to do this again since the barley continues to expand and makes the soup thicker.
  6. Add the chopped cilantro and simmer for a couple more minutes.

Easy peasy and delicious.

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Packed Veggie Soup Keeps You Warm & Healthy In Winter

Veggie Soup
Veggie Soup

Finally I’m getting back to cooking, writing and teaching after some election recovery time.  Speaking of recovery, lots of folks around me are getting sick at this time of year, and the heat was off in two locations I frequent, one of them my home. It inspires me to make a delicious, healing, HOT veggie soup to keep us warm and well.

The soup is flexible — go with veggies you have on hand. Speaking of that, I always keep a bag of frozen organic peas and a bag of frozen organic corn around. You never know when they’ll be just the right addition to a dish or bowl.

These measurements were for a big pot, a 3 gallon pot. I always make enough soup to share with everyone in my life.


  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 1 TB minced
  • Onion, 1 lg. Spanish, petite diced
  • Carrots, 10-12
  • Celery, 5-6
  • Green beans, 1 quart, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Summer squash, 3 small-med., 1/4-1/2″ dice
  • Frozen organic corn, 1 cup
  • Frozen organic peas, 1 cup
  • 5-6 Idaho potatoes, washed and cut into 1/4-1/2″ dice
  • Greens, 1 Qt., cut up
  • Salt, 3 TB
  • Oregano, 1 TB crushed
  • Hot paprika, 1-2 tsp. (1 tsp. will be plenty of warmth for many)
  • Basil, fresh, 1/2 cup minced
  • Rosemary, 1 tsp. crushed
  • Cannellini beans, 1/2 lb. pre-cooked
  • Diced tomatoes, two 32-oz. cans
  • Water, 4 Qt.


  1. Wash and cook the Cannellini beans, keeping extra cooking water when done. While the beans are cooking, prepare the rest of the soup.
  2. Wash and prepare all veggies except the potatoes. Set aside the cut greens to add at the end of cooking.
  3. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a 3 gallon pot.
  4. Saute the minced garlic and petite diced onion for 10 minutes. Add the green beans, celery, carrots, summer squash and zucchini. Cook and stir briefly. With all veggies added, they should come up to about 1/3 of the pot.
  5. Add salt and seasonings, stirring in with veggies.
  6. Add the two cans of diced tomatoes or about 15 fresh petite diced tomatoes.
  7. Add the 4 quarts of water, stir and bring to a low bowl, then reduce heat to simmer and cover pot to cook.
  8. Halfway through the cooking, wash and prepare the Idaho potatoes, leaving the peel on. Add the cut up potato with the Cannellini beans and their cooking water to the pot as well as the frozen peas and corn, and let all continue cooking.
  9. When the soup is done, flavors melded and all veggies cooked, add the greens and cook slightly.

Now enjoy, and stay warm and healthy this winter!

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Potato & Leek Soup

Potato & Leek Soup
Potato & Leek Soup

This one is a work in progress. I used to make all my “cream” soups with Labne, a Middle Eastern yogurt spread, a delicious, pure product (just compare the ingredients label with the one on cottage cheese, and you’ll see why I say that!). I love Labne, and I also really like making it at home — basically a 48-hour yogurt with whole milk and half-and-half. It’s one of the things that has been difficult to give up as I work my way into veganism. It’s especially difficult now that I have the possibility of a beautiful, raw milk available through my CSA. I would love to see how that yogurt comes out. But I digress.

OK, so I made the Leek and Potato Soup the same way I always did — but used coconut milk/cream instead of that beautiful, thick, creamy Labne. It was good but a little thinner and less rich than I like it. Next time I do this as a vegan soup, I’ll use less water and either no cream, vegan or otherwise, or I’ll try a different type of vegan cream to see how that works.

This is a very good base for lots of veggie soups. Shredded or sliced zucchini would be good in here. Shredded or sliced carrots would be nice too.


  • Potatoes, 12 Idaho, sliced (I quarter the potatoes lengthwise, then run them through the slicing blade of the Cuisinart)
  • Leeks, 4 large, quartered lengthwise, washed, then sliced thinly across
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 6 TB
  • Salt, 1 TB +
  • Hot paprika, 1 tsp.
  • Water, to barely cover the veggies
  • Labne or vegan substitute, 1 pint
  • Garnish – This time I used a little sage because I happened to have some in my CSA box this week


  1. Add extra virgin olive oil to large soup pot.
  2. Slice leeks lengthwise, wash out the dirt, then slice thinly across the leeks. Add to soup pot and saute.
  3. When leeks are slightly reduced, add the sliced potatoes.
  4. Add water to barely cover the potatoes and leeks.
  5. Add salt and paprika, and cook until the potatoes are barely soft.
  6. Remove some of the liquid and stir into the Labne (or vegan cream).
  7. Pour the Labne (or vegan cream) back into the soup while stirring.
  8. Garnish.

Folks, this is exciting, being part of the food movement. Come on out and see what we’re doing at Bob’s Fresh and Local — or better yet, join with us!

If you’d like more information about the CSA, please visit Bob’s Fresh and Local (produce) and All Grass Farms (livestock, chickens, milk and cheese).

For more, visit my blog,, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.