Category Archives: Soups

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.

SPLIT PEA SOUP WITH BARLEY
Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “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.

VEGETABLE SOUP
Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Mexican-Style Veggie Soup

Mexican-style Veggie Soup
Mexican-style Veggie Soup

I had a lot of CSA veggies to process this week, including quite a few tomatoes that were overly soft, green beans, carrots, onions, Savoy cabbage and red cabbage. This was a wonderful and delicious way to use them all and more.

This soup is very forgiving. I didn’t have enough beans to prepare the original recipe, so I added in more Pozzole and cabbage instead. Use whatever you have that seems to fit with the profile.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Red onion, 2-3 medium-large, finely diced
  • Garlic, 8 cloves, minced
  • Oregano, 1 TB
  • Salt, 1 TB
  • Carrots, 6-8 small-medium, sliced on the bias
  • Green beans, 16 oz., tipped and cut into 1″ pieces
  • Tomatoes, 8-10 medium, petite diced
  • Pozzole (whole hominy), 1 lb. dried
  • Water, 3-4 quarts, including hominy cooking water
  • Chipotle chiles, 2.5-3 TB, minced or blended
  • Avocado, Red Cabbage, Cilantro, Lime Slices (garnish)

Instructions

  1. Cook the Pozzole, and set aside in cooking water.
  2. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a large soup pot.
  3. Dice and add the onions and garlic, followed by the green beans and petite diced tomatoes.
  4. Drain the pozzole, reserving the cooking water. Add pozzole to the pot, and measure the water, adding enough more to make 3-4 quarts depending on how veggie-filled you like it.
  5. Cook until all is blended and the beans are soft.
  6. Serve garnished with avocado, red cabbage, cilantro and lime slices.

You might like a little more salt — or a little less chipotle. This makes a slightly spicy soup.

Friends, participating in a CSA is a great way to be part of changing the nature of our food supply mechanism in this country, to impact the environment positively, and to enjoy some amazing, organic veggies. I want to write more about my experience later, but right now I’m busy enjoying myself!

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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Things I made with my CSA veggies this week

Oh, I love summer, and I love my CSA! My food tastes so much better when I work in the fields for it and contemplate what I want to do with all those gorgeous veggies! Here are a few items from this week:

Salad ... with my beautiful greens, tomato, cucumber, beets, green onion, avocado ... and always dressed with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and sometimes freshly ground black pepper.
Salad … with my beautiful greens, tomato, cucumber, beets, green onion, avocado … and always dressed with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and sometimes freshly ground black pepper.
This one was a delicious surprise. I made one of my favorite bean dishes, Navy Pea Beans with chopped red or green onions, lots of fresh dill, extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and a bit of hot paprika. This time I topped it off with squash – patty pan, zucchini, summer squash, roasted with olive oil, salt and smoked paprika.
Ratatouille Soup with chunks of eggplant, zucchini squash, patty pan squash, summer squash, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, mixed greens, oregano, basil, salt and hot paprika.
Ratatouille Soup with chunks of eggplant, zucchini squash, patty pan squash, summer squash, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, mixed greens, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and hot paprika.
One of our favorite dinners, varied by available veggies. A stew of tomatoes, onion, patty pan squash, zucchini, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano on a bed of edamame pasta (sometimes I use black bean pasta). I added some chopped greens on top this time but often add a lot of them into the stew.
One of our favorite dinners, varied by available veggies. A stew of tomatoes, onion, patty pan squash, zucchini, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano on a bed of edamame pasta (sometimes I use black bean pasta). I added some chopped greens on top this time but often add a lot of them into the stew.
Cabbage steaks. Yum.
Cabbage steaks with a little sauce. This one was a mustard sauce. Vegan pesto is good. Chipotle Just Mayo is good. Yum.

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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Here comes the Gazpacho: It must be summer

Gazpacho - using equipment you have at home.
Gazpacho – using equipment you have at home.

This week my CSA box included lots of tomatoes and cucumbers, so of course I made Gazpacho. I used to make huge quantities of this wonderful cold, summer soup to serve from my food trailer at festivals — such a great, healthy and delicious treat while you’re out enjoying the fair and something really unique among all those grease-laden fried offerings and sugary commercial products.

In my cafe, I had a Robot Coupe, which was great for petite dicing all the veggies. It made a beautiful Gazpacho, and I’ll try to include a picture here. I no longer have the Robot Coupe and don’t want to dice such large amounts by hand, but I found my food processor worked perfectly well as long as I pulsed each veggie separately to get a nice, even texture.

Tomatoes for Gazpacho ripening in the summer sun.
Tomatoes for Gazpacho ripening in the summer sun.

GAZPACHO (I doubled this recipe, which made about 4-5 quarts)

  • Red bell peppers, 3 medium, petite diced or chunked and pulsed in food processor
  • Cucumbers, 3 medium, petite diced or pulsed in food processor
  • Plum tomatoes, 6-8 medium, petite diced or pulsed in food processor
  • Red onion, 2 medium, pulsed in food processor
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Tomato Juice, one quart cold
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 cups
  • Sea salt, 1 tsp.
  • Oregano, 1/2 tsp.
  • Basil, 1/2 tsp.
  • Wine vinegar, 2 TB
  • Tabasco sauce, 1 tsp.
  • Szeged hot paprika, 1 tsp.
  • Lemon juice, 2 TB
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch, chopped

Run the veggies through a Robot Coupe on a small dicing blade, maybe 3/8″ — or pulse each veggie separately to a coarse but even consistency in a food processor. Place in a bowl or other receptable. Add the tomato juice, extra virgin olive oil, onion, garlic, seasonings and cilantro. Chill thoroughly until ready to eat. I prefer to make it one day in advance — the plum tomatoes thicken to a wonderful consistency.

Gazpacho if you happen to be the proud owner of a Robot Coupe with a petite dicing blade.
Gazpacho if you happen to be the proud owner of a Robot Coupe with a petite dicing blade.

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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Cold Summer Soups

Cold Cucumber Soup, upper right
Cold Cucumber Soup, upper right

You’re right, those aren’t all cold soups in the picture. In the Cafe, we used to serve two hot soups every day — Veggie Chili (upper left) and Red Lentil Soup (lower center). I tried and tried not to make them during the summer, but people still wanted them.

We also offered a Soup of the Day, and in the summer, it was often a cold soup. Two of our favorites were Cold Cucumber Soup and Cherry Soup. Here’s the Cold Cucumber Soup for those cucumbers that will soon start pouring in from the garden, and the Cold Cherry Soup follows.

VEGAN ALERT: These soups aren’t vegan. I haven’t yet found a happy replacement for *Labne, which is very thick. I’m sure vegan milk replacements would work, but I’ll have to redo the recipes one of these days to adjust for the thinner, sweeter milks.

COLD CUCUMBER SOUP

  • Cucumbers, 8, peeled and seeded
  • Onion, 1
  • Labne or Greek Yogurt, 1-2 cups
  • Salt, to taste

Boil the onion and cucumber until soft, puree and chill. When completely chilled, whisk in *Labne or Greek Yogurt, and salt to taste. When I made this soup, I preferred to use Labne and generally used the full two cups. Garnish with petite iced tomatoes, cucumber and chopped mint.

Cold Cherry Soup
Cold Cherry Soup

COLD CHERRY SOUP

  • White Grape Juice, 1 can frozen
  • Dried cherries, 1/2 cup
  • Almonds, 1 cup blanched
  • *Labne or Greek Yogurt, 1-2 cups
  • Fresh sweet cherries, 1 lb.

Add twice the required amount of water to the grape concentrate (6 cans). Bring to a boil with the dried cherries. Boil the almonds separately in water for 10 minutes, and peel them (or start with blanched/peeled almonds). Puree the almonds with some of the soup, chill all, and whisk in the Labne or Greek yogurt.

You can strain out the dried cherries to make mixing in the yogurt easier, then add them back. You can also cook the dried cherries in just 2 cups of grape juice, which will make it easier to chill the soup.

Garnish with pitted Sweet Cherries, cut in pieces.

*Labne is a Middle Eastern Yogurt “Spread”. One of the brands most often available locally (in the dairy section) is Dana. It is thicker than Greek yogurt, rich and creamy.

A few dishes I made with my CSA veggies

These are some things I made during the last week with the veggies from my CSA, sometimes a few additional things. I don’t always note quantities…they’re kind of simple, pinch and toss type dishes.

Stir-fry with Bok choy, green beans, red bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, lots of onion, fresh ginger root, salt and a bit of soy sauce.
Stir-fry with Bok choy, green beans, red bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, lots of onion, fresh ginger root, salt and a bit of soy sauce.
Fast food on a night I didn't feel like cooking - edamame pasta with marinara, Bok choy , onions.
Fast food on a night I didn’t feel like cooking – edamame pasta with marinara, Bok choy , green onions.
Miso Soup - 1 TB miso and 1/2 tsp. soy sauce to 1.5 cups water (I think I made a soup of about 6 cups). I sauteed onion and Bok choy stems first, then prepared the liquid/soup in the same pot. When it was hot, I added cut up Bok choy leaves and tofu squares. Checked the seasoning, added a little pepper and topped it off with green onions.
Miso Soup – 1 TB miso and 1/2 tsp. soy sauce to 1.5 cups water (I think I made a soup of about 6 cups). I sautéed onion and Bok choy stems first, then prepared the liquid/soup in the same pot. When it was hot, I added cut up Bok choy leaves and tofu squares. Checked the seasoning, added a little pepper and topped it off with green onions.
Corn and potato chowder. Saute chopped onion in extra virgin olive oil, add some cut up carrots. When soft, add lots of cut up potato and organic corn. Cut up greens come in at the end when finished cooking. I think I might have used kale or maybe a mix of kale and Bok choy for this, but any tender greens are fine. It was simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and I happened to have some fresh marjoram as well.
Corn and potato chowder. Saute chopped onion in extra virgin olive oil, add some cut up carrots. When soft, add lots of cut up potato and organic corn. Cut up greens come in at the end when finished cooking. I think I might have used kale or maybe a mix of kale and Bok choy for this, but any tender greens are fine. It was simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and I happened to have some fresh marjoram as well.
Lots of delicious sauteed onions and Bok choy stems, sauteed tofu squares, Bok choy greens at the last minute and a bit of soy sauce. Mmmm...mmm...good!
Lots of delicious sautéed onions and Bok choy stems, sautéed tofu squares, Bok choy greens at the last-minute and a bit of soy sauce. Mmmm…mmm…good!
As usual, I sauteed lots of chopped onion in some extra virgin olive oil, added a bit of carrot, then 1 cup of red lentils and 6 cups of water, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. curry...pan roasted some cauliflower and added it when the lentils were done, then collard greens at the very last moment. Topped it with some garlic "sprouts" (I forget what you call them).
As usual, I sautéed lots of chopped onion in some extra virgin olive oil, added a bit of carrot, then 1 cup of red lentils and 6 cups of water, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. curry…pan roasted some cauliflower and added it when the lentils were done, then collard greens at the very last moment. Topped it with some garlic “scapes.”

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, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Tuscan Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • Cannellini beans, 1 lb., rinsed, cooked ’til just soft in water to cover
  • Spanish onion, 1 lg.
  • Celery, 4-6 stalks
  • Carrots, 4-6 lg.
  • Summer squash, 2
  • Zucchini, 2
  • Kale, Lacinato, 4-6 leaves
  • Plum Tomatoes, 8, or one 28-oz. can petite diced
  • Tomato paste, 3 oz.
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4-1/2 cup
  • Salt, 1 TB.
  • Hot paprika, 1 tsp.
  • Garlic, fresh, 1 TB.
  • Basil, fresh, 1/2 cup chopped (or to taste)
  • Water, 1-2 quarts, as needed for consistency

Instructions

  1. Rinse and cook the beans in water to cover. Start with 3-4 times the volume of water to beans, bring to boil, turn heat down to simmer, and cook ’til barely soft. Check water to be sure beans remain covered.
  2. Cover bottom of soup pot with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add minced garlic and chopped onion to oil and sauté briefly.
  4. Add bias cut celery and carrot to pot and continue to sauté.
  5. Quarter the zucchini and squash lengthwise, then cut across in 1/2″ slices. Add to pot with other veggies and sauté.
  6. Add petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste and one quart of water, salt and hot paprika to pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until veggies are barely al dente.
  7. Add the chopped kale and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  8. Add beans with their liquid to the soup, and continue to simmer to let flavors blend, adding more water as necessary to bring soup to desired consistency.
  9. Add basil, check seasoning and adjust … And done!

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

Dutch Oven Dinner 1/8/2016.

cauli_kale_dill
Cauliflower, Kale & Dill Soup

So here’s another easy thing I like to do: pureed soups. So easy. So good. So healthy.

I just chunked an onion and put it into my Dutch oven, then a cauliflower broken up (2-3 pounds), 5 or 6 large leaves of kale cut into pieces, 1/4 cup of fresh dill, 2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. Szeged hot paprika. I added 2-1/2 cups of water, turned on the heat, brought it to a boil, turned down the heat to simmer, put the lid on the Dutch Oven and cooked it until everything was soft. Then I whizzed it in my VitaMix, and voila! Soup. I garnished it with a bit more chopped dill and a squirt of extra virgin olive oil.

My little dog, Rafi, likes to lick out my dish after I finish. The soup is Havanese-approved.