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simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more


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Curried cauliflower and potato soup

Curried cauliflower and potato soup

I am crazy about this soup. I get really excited when I have plans to make it. I refer to it as my Saturday night soup. I think that’s because about two years ago I stuck a post-it note that said “Saturday” with an arrow pointing to this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks. I do this sometimes to keep track of what I want to cook when during a given week. Anyway, that post-it note stayed there for a long time and I would chuckle every time I opened the book to check the list of ingredients for the soup. I do seem to always make this soup on a Saturday night. It’s a nice weekend soup, and having a bowl of soup to reheat for dinner on Sunday night when you’re busy getting ready for the week is a nice break from the kitchen. So, perhaps this will be your Saturday night soup, too. Although, you might have more exciting lives than me, and in that case, it would make a good any-night-of-the-week soup.

Goes really well with a dollop of yogurt and toasted pita wedges – yum!

Cool autumn air has started to arrive in Chicago, and this soup was a nice way to welcome it. It was a good season opener soup. Have you started your soup season yet?

~Inge

Curried cauliflower and potato soup
From the excellent Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon tumeric
A few dashes of cayenne
1 medium-sized cauliflower, cut into small pieces
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups veggie stock
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Plain yogurt (optional, for topping)

Method:
1. Heat butter and oil in large soup pot. Add garlic and onions, sauté about 10 minutes. Then add red pepper and celery, cooking for about 5 more minutes.

2. Sprinkle on all of the spices and cook (stirring constantly) for a few minutes. Add the cauliflower pieces and potato. Stir everything to make sure the veggies are coated with the spices.

3. Add the stock and salt, stirring to scrap up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.

4. Remove the soup from the heat. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) and puree about half of the soup. I like to make it pretty smooth with some chunks of veggies still intact.

5. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Ladle the soup into bowls and add dollops of yogurt (optional). You can use plain yogurt or dress it up by making a little garlic-lemon-chopped herb yogurt mixture. Toasted naan or pita bread goes really well with this soup.

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tofu noodle soup

There were some sniffles around here last weekend. That meant lots of tea with honey, some much-needed rest, and a big pot of tofu noodle soup. This is our go-to homemade soup when someone is feeling under the weather. It’s super easy, so you can make it without too much thinking, a necessary requirement when you’re sick, right? Plus, there’s tofu for protein to keep up your strength. This is the vegetarian’s version of chicken noodle soup. It’s a gentle soup, nothing aggressive, perfect for healing, restoring, and slurping while under blankets in front of the TV.

cozy tofu noodle soup

Here’s my ingredient-splattered copy of this recipe I keep tucked into my kitchen notebook. The method is so simple, I just keep a list of what goes in the pot and how much. I’m very flexible on the veggies. I always stick to the carrot-celery-onion combo as a base and then I toss in whatever else is in the fridge. This time I added some chopped yellow squash and green beans. The green beans were especially tasty.

the recipe

Tuck this recipe away for the next time you’re feeling a little run down. It’s a good one to know about. I hope you all have a wonderful (and healthy) start to your week! ~Inge

Really easy tofu noodle soup
Adapted from this recipe on allrecipes.com

As mentioned, I often add 1-2 cups more veggies to this soup, depending on what’s in the fridge. This recipe is a good base, so feel free to change up the veggies and use what you like or what you have. Also, I typically use dried spices for this soup (with the exception of fresh parsley). If you’re thinking of using fresh herbs instead, you should do it. I’m sure it would taste even better. 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped carrots
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups sliced celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-12 cups veggie broth
1 container of tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
2 cups egg noodles
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon each of poultry seasoning, dried thyme, rosemary, and marjoram
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1-2 tablespoons water

Method:

  1. Melt butter in large soup pot. Add veggies and cook about 10 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil.
  2. Then add tofu, spices, and noodles.
  3. Mix cornstarch with water in small bowl and stir into soup.
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add fresh parsley right before eating. Enjoy and feel better!