soup and such

simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more


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spicy popcorn

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. I love experimenting with different flavorings and toppings. I decided I wanted something spicy, so I came up with this blend. It was pretty tasty and made a nice treat for movie night.

spicy popcorn for movie night

spicy popcorn for movie night

What are YOUR favorite ways to eat popcorn? I need more flavor combination ideas! ~Inge

Spicy popcorn

Prepare ½ cup popcorn kernels using your favorite popping method. In a small bowl in the microwave (or in a small saucepan on the stove), melt 2 tablespoons of butter (or a vegan alternative) with ¼ teaspoon each of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Use less of the cayenne if you don’t want it too spicy. Pour the spicy melted butter over the popped corn. Add salt, if needed. Toss and enjoy!

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smoky red lentil soup

Are you looking for one more hearty soup idea to get you through this last bit of winter? Here is one you might want to try. The recipe comes from Lattes and Leggings, a food blog I only recently discovered but I am thoroughly enjoying all the posts so far. Jen’s vegetarian recipes always look so good and her pretty photos inspire me to make her food.

Anyway, this soup is very tasty and easy to make. I love the little bit of heat the serrano peppers and smoked paprika contribute. The best part is that it only requires a few fresh ingredients. We usually keep everything else stocked in the pantry, so this will be a good soup to throw together on a moment’s notice.

smoky red lentil soup - yum!

smoky red lentil soup – yum!

I’ll list the ingredients and method below, but I didn’t really do anything different than what Jen did, so definitely check out the original recipe here!

~Inge

Smoky red lentil soup
From Lattes and Leggings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 serrano peppers, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups veggie stock
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted, if possible)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Method:

1. Heat oil in soup pot, then add onions and peppers. Cook 3-4 minutes, then add garlic. Stir in tomato paste, salt, smoked paprika, cumin and coriander. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes cook down. During this step, I used the back of a wooden spoon to break down any large pieces of tomato because I generally prefer a smoother tomato texture in my soups rather than large chunks of cooked tomato.

2. Add the red lentils and veggie broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about an hour, until the lentils are tender and have fallen apart. Serve in bowls with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Enjoy!


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hearty kale soup

We made this soup during a snowstorm this week. It was the perfect thing to have simmering on the stove while the wet, icy snow fell outside. Then, we slurped it from bowls while curling up on the futon and watching a mini-marathon of a much-loved TV show.

hearty kale soup

hearty kale soup

I ended up working a lot during the last few weeks and haven’t had a ton of time for cooking. As a result, healthy meals have been kind of hit or miss. When I finally had a small break, I found I was craving a broth-based hearty soup with veggies and greens. I decided on this kale soup from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics. It did the trick!

I tweaked the original recipe a bit by adjusting the amounts of some ingredients. The big change I made was to use smoked paprika instead of regular (sweet?) paprika. Wow! Smoked paprika is amazing. Has everyone else known about this except for me? It pairs perfectly with the kale and chickpeas in the soup. I can’t wait to try adding it to more dishes.

This soup is really, really good. A bowl of wholesome and hearty goodness to get you through this last stretch of winter. It is vegan as is, and the leftovers are even better – so make a big pot this weekend and eat it all week! ~Inge

Kale soup
Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s wonderful Vegetarian Classics

I used smoked paprika, but the original recipe calls for regular paprika. If you can find smoked paprika, go for it! The flavor is out of this world. The leftovers of this soup are delicious, so don’t hesitate to make the entire batch, even if you’re just cooking for one! For the two of us, this was enough to feed us for two dinners, one lunch, and fill two mason jars to keep in the freezer for later.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
10 cups veggie stock
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pound kale (you should have about 10 cups finely chopped)
1.5 pounds small red potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper (don’t be shy)
Method:

1. Heat oil in the largest soup pot you have. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 10 minutes, until onions are soft and start to brown.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring the soup to a boil (raise the heat to do this). Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender enough to spear with a fork.

3. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Remove 2 or 3 cups of the soup and puree in a blender or food processor. Return it to the soup and stir to blend. This extra step adds some creaminess to the soup. This soup only gets better with time, so if possible, make it a few hours in advance of when you want to eat it.