soup and such

simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more


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Pinto bean tostadas with lime cabbage slaw

Here is a fantastic summer meal idea when it’s too hot to turn on the oven and you’re tired of eating salad for dinner. That was us last week! So we decided to make some tostadas with an improvised cabbage slaw and a doctored-up can of pinto beans. Everything turned out really tasty, so I figured I’d share the idea here. These aren’t really strict recipes, just ideas for inspiration in your own kitchen during these dog days of summer. Tostadas are fun – make some tonight!

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Pinto bean tostadas with lime cabbage slaw
These aren’t hard-and-fast recipes here, just quick and easy ideas to get you started! Adjust ingredients, amounts, and seasonings to your liking. Make the slaw first and let it marinate in the fridge while you get the rest of the meal prepared.

For the beans:
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
About ¼ cup of diced red onion
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and/or coriander
Juice from 1-2 limes
Fresh chopped cilantro

Heat a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan or deep skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add drained and rinsed pinto beans and whatever spices you are using. Stir everything around and let cook for a few minutes. Add lime juice. Smash up the beans a bit (I use a potato masher) to desired texture. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro, more lime juice (if you want), and adjust seasonings (sometime I add a little salt, depending on how salty the beans were to begin with).

For the lime cabbage slaw:

About 4 cups very thinly sliced cabbage
3-4 scallions or green onions, sliced
Big handful of chopped fresh cilantro
Good pinch of salt
Pinch of oregano
Juice of 2-3 limes

Place the cabbage in a bowl and add a good pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and stir it all up. Let the slaw sit for about 30 minutes so the flavors combine and the cabbage softens a bit. Add as much lime juice as you want/need – we like ours very lime-y!

Assemble the tostadas:

On each tostada shell, spread some of the pinto bean mixture. Top with whatever toppings you’d like: chopped tomatoes, avocado slices, shredded cheese, grilled veggies, chopped onion, etc. Add your favorite salsa or hot sauce then pile on the cabbage slaw! I always add a little extra fresh chopped cilantro to mine. Enjoy!

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asparagus and leek soup {virtual vegan potluck}

I’m so excited to be participating in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck today! Welcome to Soup and Such fellow potluckers! Pull up a chair and let me get you a bowl of soup.

I wanted to try something new for the potluck, keeping it seasonal and simple. I settled on this creamy asparagus and leek soup, thickened with some white beans and flavored very simply with salt, pepper, and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. It is super easy to make, 100% vegan as is, and most importantly, delicious!

Asparagus and leek soup

Asparagus and leek soup

The inspiration for this soup comes from Deborah Madison’s recipe for asparagus soup in her excellent Vegetable Soups. That cookbook is one of my favorites because her flavor combinations are always so good. Having said that, however, I did play around with the ingredients to simplify things a bit. I used leek instead of green onions and white beans instead of potato as a thickener. I just love leeks in pureed soups, so I couldn’t help myself. I took a chance with the white beans, but they worked really well here.

This soup would make a lovely starter for a special meal, but I ended up eating two bowls as an early lunch right after I made it. It was so good! Also, I didn’t have any on hand, but I think homemade croutons would make an excellent topper for this soup. I’ll do that next time.

Happy springtime cooking, everyone! ~Inge

p.s. If you’d like, you can subscribe to Soup and Such and receive an email every time a new post is available. I usually post about once a week. Everything I make is vegetarian and some things are vegan. Subscribe by clicking on the “follow” button at the top right!

 

To visit Eat.Breathe.Balance (the blog that precedes mine in the potlick), click here!

To visit House Vegan (the blog that follows mine in the potluck), click here!

To start at the very beginning of the potluck, click here!

 

Asparagus and leek soup
Inspired by Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups

An important tip: don’t leave out the fresh lemon juice at the end because it really brightens everything up. I even squeezed more lemon juice into my individual bowl of soup. If you’re thinking about adding a fresh herb, that is a good idea! Perhaps some chopped tarragon or basil stirred in at the end? You can also go the extra mile and make homemade croutons as a soup topper.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch of asparagus (about 5 cups chopped)
1 leek (about 2 cups sliced)
4 – 5 cups of veggie stock
1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt + pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in your favorite soup pot over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for about 5 minutes. Then, add the sliced leek and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, if desired.

2. Pour in the veggie stock. You’ll probably use between 4 and 5 cups of stock. Use less stock if you like a thicker soup, more if you like a thinner soup. Once you add the stock, bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add the white beans and turn off the heat.

3. Puree the soup. I used my trusty immersion blender, but you could also do it in batches in a regular blender.

4. Put the pureed soup back on the stove, keeping warm, and stir in the juice from half of a lemon. Taste the soup and decide if you want more lemon, salt, and/or pepper. Enjoy!


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white bean dip with pita chips

white bean dip with homemade pita chips

white bean dip with homemade pita chips

This recipe is a superstar in our kitchen. Simple to make and tasty to eat. In a food processor, puree cannellini beans with lemon juice, garlic, and a little parsley. Stream in some olive oil. That’s it!

This dip comes from one of Giada’s lovely cookbooks. I discovered the recipe a few years ago and immediately added it to the regular rotation of party food at our house. Everyone we’ve shared this dip with has loved it, especially when accompanied with homemade pita chips. Don’t skimp on making the chips – they are so good!

Are you having an Oscar-viewing party on Sunday night? This dip would be an excellent addition to your spread. Cheers! ~Inge

White bean dip with homemade pita chips 
From Giada De Laurentiis

If you have leftovers, this dip makes an excellent spread on veggie sandwiches. A nice change of pace from hummus. Also, play around with the spices on the pita chips. In addition to (or in place of) the oregano, I’ve used paprika, cumin, and/or za’atar. It’s all good!  

pita breads, cut into triangles
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing the pita
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or other dried herb)
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons pepper
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove

To make dip:

In a food processor, combine beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually mix in 1/3 cup olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Taste a little to see if you need to add more lemon juice, salt, etc.

To make pita chips:

Cut pita bread into triangles and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush the triangles with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. I like to pour some oregano into the palm of my hand and then crush it a little before sprinkling. This step helps release some of the flavor and aroma of the dried spice!

Bake the pita triangles at 400 degrees for about 5-10 minutes. Check them after 5 minutes so you can monitor how crispy they get. I like mine on the softer side.