hello… veganmofo? are you there? have you forgotten about me…. perhaps, with this ridiculous lack of posting. but here i am! and i have returned bearing gifts of beautiful vegan soups for the cool weather.
nothing says instant autumn like moving from sea-level to 1500ft… it’s so freakin’ cold up here in makawao– and we are taking full advantage of soup and sweaters. and trust me, i mean really cold, not just wimpy Hawaii cold- this is serious: socks and fleece pullovers while sleeping, fuzzy sweaters all day long, and sometimes the kitten hides under the covers because even she is cold! but I am not complaining, because there is lots of charming stuff too: layering dresses with jeans and sweaters and scarves, frosted glass panes, the joy of a warm oven, the coziness of a warm blanket. and soup. lots of soup.
when i am eating alone i make the easy miso soup for a quick lunch, and when the boyfriend cooks for dinner he often makes some version of earth soup– made with dark and warming miso for our wintery weather. other quick and yummy soups i sometimes make are the pumpkin miso soup, and the easy lentil soup with greens. but i’ve been creating new soups too!
pretty roasted red pepper and pumpkin soup
(makes 4+ servings)
this was the best soup i’ve ever made! it is inspired by the chef at our veggie market, although i used all fresh vegetables instead of canned pumpkin and peppers and used my own homegrown sage. this is totally fresh goodness! prep the veggies the day before to save some time, or just spend a lovely, leisurely day in the kitchen.
3 cups kabocha pumpkin, or other sweet squash, skinned and chopped
1/2 cup shallots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup onions, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium red peppers, diced
1 medium white potato, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne
2 tbsp + 1 tsp honey or agave
handful of fresh sage leaves (about 1/4 cup chopped), or 1 tsp dry rubbed sage
2 cups veg broth
1/4 cup soymilk (or other milk)
1-2 tsp sesame oil
skin and chop the pumpkin and the potato- the skin on kabocha is edible much like a potato, but would not be very tasty in the soup, i don’t think. add to a big pot with enough water to cover and boil for about 15-20 minutes (see note below). while the pumpkin/potatoes are cooking, slice the shallots, onions, garlic, and red pepper and place in a big bowl. add the olive oil, salt, peppers, and 1 tsp honey and toss until veggies are well coated. bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and add the rest of the honey/agave and sage. toss again, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the sage is wilted. it should smell delicious just as is!
when the veggies are finished cooking (pumpkin should be fork-soft, and the peppers and onions should be starting to blacken and sizzle!), add back to the big bowl with the 2 cups broth. in small batches blend in your food processor until very smooth, then transfer to a cooking pot to simmer. add the soymilk and sesame oil, then bring blended soup to a simmer over medium heat, then turn to low and cook for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. add more salt/pepper/cayenne to taste. this soup keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is great over rice, with leftover lentils, or with greens for a very tasty quick lunch.
*note* you could also bake the pumpkin/potato mixed together with the other veggies, but i am working with a small countertop oven (for now), so i had to boil for lack of space/time. i think roasted would be even better than boiling, although you might have to add a bit more broth or milk to make up for some lost moisture in the pumpkin.
easy red lentil soup
(makes 4+ servings)
hearty, healthy, and delicious. this makes a great easy lunch or dinner. sorry, no photo here. unfortunately, the soup is not entirely photogenic! the orange peel makes a bright aftertaste to the earthy lentils.
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
½ cup sliced onion
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp orange peel (optional but surprisingly delish)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or ½ tsp dried ground ginger)
2 cups broth (or simply more water)
¼ cup soymilk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp dark miso
pinch each cayenne, black pepper, caraway and nutmeg
boil the lentils in the water until soft, about 15 minutes; while the lentils are cooking saute the onion and garlic until browned (add the fresh ginger too, if using)- about 15 minutes. add the cooked onions, garlic, broth, peel, and herbs & spices to the lentils and simmer for 10 minutes longer at very low heat. serve with brown rice and steamed greens (of course!), or maybe some nice garlic bread and sauteed veggies.