Roasted Beet Borscht

Roasted Beet Borscht
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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This soup may sound difficult or fancy even to some, but it is very simple. If you’re a regular reader of my blog than I’m sure you’re probably noticing a trend of “simple” :0. I like simple flavorful dishes and this is certainly one of them. This soup is like a sweet/sour soup, it is very nutritious and delicious and can be eaten hot or cold. This recipe came about because I was thinking of a good use for the extra vegan sour cream we had in our fridge from Tuesday’s Taco night, I don’t like things going to waste. Feel free to try this soup with a dollop of vegan non-dairy sour cream on top, but it is also fantastic without. A must try. Enjoy your day and weekend everyone celebrating Memorial day here in the states!

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Ingredients:
6 Med.-Large Beets, scrubbed/stems removed
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, chopped
½ Head of Cabbage, sliced thinly (shredded)
2 Russet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
2 Quarts Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Dill
1 Tsp Sea Salt + 2 ¼ Tbsp for Roasting
1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
3 Tsp Sugar
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Directions:
-Heat oven 425 degrees. Roast Beets (Pictured here – I always follow the same directions for roasting my beets). Essentially remove stems from beets keeping about an inch, and then scrub the beets to remove excess dirt. Grab a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap two beets making a bed/pouch. Divide 2 ¼ Tbsp Sea Salt evenly between the three pieces of foil. Add beets and bring up the sides to close. Place on a baking sheet to avoid beet juice from seeping out. Roast for 1 hour then remove and set-aside until cool to the touch, then peel and dice.
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-In a large stockpot, heat Olive Oil over medium. Sauté Onions and Celery for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
-Stir in Cabbage and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Add ½ Quart of Vegetable Broth and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
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-Add remaining Vegetable Broth remaining 1 ½ Quarts and bring to boil. Once boiling add Potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
-Stir in remaining Seasonings: Vinegar, Ketchup, Dill, 1 Tsp Sea Salt, Pepper and Sugar. Simmer for another minute or two to incorporate flavors.
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-While the last two steps are occurring: Open up the Beets from foil package. Peel Beets, I just remove that first thick layer then chop Beets.
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-Just after the last one-two minutes that seasonings are being incorporated. Turn off Heat. Stir in Beets. Stir well to combine and let Borscht stand for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly before serving and for the flavors to finish combining. Enjoy!
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Roasted Beet Borscht

  • Servings: 8-10 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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Credit: VeganRescue.com
Ingredients:
6 Med.-Large Beets, scrubbed/stems removed
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, chopped
½ Head of Cabbage, sliced thinly (shredded)
2 Russet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
2 Quarts Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Dill
1 Tsp Sea Salt + 2 ¼ Tbsp for Roasting
1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
3 Tsp Sugar

Directions:
-Heat oven 425 degrees. Roast Beets (Pictured here – I always follow the same directions for roasting my beets). Essentially remove stems from beets keeping about an inch, and then scrub the beets to remove excess dirt. Grab a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap two beets making a bed/pouch. Divide 2 ¼ Tbsp Sea Salt evenly between the three pieces of foil. Add beets and bring up the sides to close. Place on a baking sheet to avoid beet juice from seeping out. Roast for 1 hour then remove and set-aside until cool to the touch, then peel and dice.
-In a large stockpot, heat Olive Oil over medium. Sauté Onions and Celery for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
-Stir in Cabbage and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Add ½ Quart of Vegetable Broth and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
-Add remaining Vegetable Broth remaining 1 ½ Quarts and bring to boil. Once boiling add Potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
-Stir in remaining Seasonings: Vinegar, Ketchup, Dill, 1 Tsp Sea Salt, Pepper and Sugar. Simmer for another minute or two to incorporate flavors.
-While the last two steps are occurring: Open up the Beets from foil package. Peel Beets, I just remove that first thick layer then chop Beets.
-Just after the last one-two minutes that seasonings are being incorporated. Turn off Heat. Stir in Beets. Stir well to combine and let Borscht stand for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly before serving and for the flavors to finish combining. Enjoy!

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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A few days after coming back from vacation I realized how bare my cupboards were. So I made a soup, it’s my ‘go to’ when I have minimal ingredients or leftovers. Since soup is so simple to make. On Mother’s day my mom was over my aunt’s house, so that is where I made my stop to visit. Just before leaving, my aunt gave me some Calabaza (pumpkin-like squash – tastes similar to butternut squash) that she grew in her garden. Best part was that she already had prepared it – chopped up and frozen, ready for use in freezer bags. She said that she had so many so she gave me at least 3 freezer bags worth, yay! Free food. 🙂 Since I’m not yet ready to venture out to the supermarket I see what else I can find in the pantry and fridge for soup. I’ll list the ingredients just keep in mind that its not an exact recipe since it felt like I was just dumping ingredients as I went 🙂 . This is literally all I had left; I didn’t even have an onion. The Calabaza just broke down during cooking and made the soup very creamy. If you try and make this one, you can add more water if you want more of a soupy soup. All of us really enjoyed this, as is, thick and stew like; it was very hearty. I ate it straight up just in a cup. The kids enjoyed their serving over rice. People say when life gives you lemons – make lemonade. I say when life leaves your cupboards bare – make soup. Enjoy!

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew

  • Servings: 8-10 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: VeganRescue.com

Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Canola Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I was even out of Olive Oil, sheesh)
3 Russet Potatoes, peeled & chopped
3 Carrots, peeled & chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 (14.5oz) Can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
2-3 Cups Calabaza
1lb dry Brown Lentils, picked thru and rinsed
10 Cups Water
Salt/Pepper/Cayenne Pepper/Celery Seed/Garlic Powder/Oregano to Taste
5-6 Lacinato Kale, stem removed/chopped

Directions:
-Heat Oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the Potatoes and Carrots; let them go for about 3-5 minutes. Add Garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
-Stir in Tomatoes and Calabaza (see note above – Calabaza tastes similar to a butternut squash. It’s a squash – like a pumpkin). Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes then add Lentils and Water.
-Bring to boil. Cover then reduce heat to simmer for about 30-45 minutes until Lentils are cooked. (I cooked for 45 minutes for creamy perfection).
-Add Seasoning to Taste. Then stir in chopped Kale. I let this stand for about 10 minutes before serving. (One it would be too hot to eat right away anyway and Two it allows some heat to get thru the Kale without killing the darn thing during the cooking process. That’s why I add it last). I do the same with spinach and over veggies a lot in soup too.
(I used about 2 Tsp Celery Seed, Cayenne Pepper depends on how much heat you enjoy. Also, if you have Goya Adobo Seasoning that would probably work great here instead of individually adding Pepper, Oregano, Garlic powder etc. or even an Italian seasoning would be nice).

S…Spinach Soup

Spinach Soup
(Serves 4) – Vegan, Gluten-Free
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Happy Earth Day! – This is an older recipe of mine, but with Earth Day today plus today is “S” for the A-Z Blog Challenge so I was thinking Green and thought of this Spinach Soup.
There are various reasons for adopting a Vegan lifestyle. Helping to save the planet, I’ll say is a pretty good reason.
On Twitter today (Earth Day) I posted a quote. I wanted to share some great Native American wisdom. “Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money” –Cree Indian Proverb. Think about it.

Ingredients:
1 (16oz pkg) Frozen Spinach Whole Leaves, steamed
3 small white Potatoes, boiled
3 Cups Water (use water from boiled potatoes)
1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (Almond/Coconut)
½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
½ Tbsp fresh ground Pepper
1 Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
¼ Tsp ground Nutmeg
½ Tsp Cumin
Directions:
-While the potatoes are boiling, I steam the Spinach.
-Blend all ingredients together. Garnish with Olive Oil and Sriracha. Enjoy!

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Gazpacho!

Chilled Gazpacho with Watercress
(Makes about 12 Cups) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw
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I’m celebrating “G” today with Gazpacho a tomato based cold soup. This version is delicious, light and airy. Although it doesn’t have that bright ‘red’ color as some which could be because I do not use tomato juice which is commonly added. I wanted as close to nature and raw as possible with this recipe. It’s packed with lots of flavor and you can taste the freshness. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 Red Pepper, seeded/chopped
1 Green Pepper, seeded/chopped
1 Hothouse Cucumber, chopped
½ Red Onion, chopped
1 Celery Rib, chopped
½ Serrano Pepper, seeded/chopped
5 Basil Leaves, chiffonade
5 Tomatoes, chopped (I use Hot House or Vine Ripened)
3-4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lime
½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp course ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
1 Cup Watercress
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Avocado for garnish, optional

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Directions:
-Combine all ingredients in food processor, blender or high powered blender (Vitamix, Ninja or Nutribullet) depending on consistency you prefer. I typically blend the first 9 ingredients first to combine then blend in the remaining. Chill for a couple hours then enjoy!

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Potato and Leek Soup

Potato and Leek Soup

Vegan/Gluten-Free (Serves 6)

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We really enjoyed this soup it is a simple weeknight dinner, pair with a sandwich or roll. The thyme permeates throughout this soup and evokes memories of Thanksgiving for me. This soup is hearty and velvety without the cream, warm your tummies and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Earth Balance (Vegan Butter)
1 bunch of Leeks (4), sliced
5 Garlic cloves, minced
8 Gold Potatoes, peeled/diced small
8 Cups Water
1 bunch fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp fresh ground Pepper

Directions:

-Remove and discard roots from Leeks, then continue slicing white parts only. I include a bit of the light green section also.
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-Place the leeks in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cool water. *Leeks are very gritty and hang on to a lot of dirt between their layers, rinse them well.
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-Heat butter in soup pot over medium heat. Sauté leeks for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and potatoes to leeks and heat through.
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-Add water and fresh thyme then bring to boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
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-After 30 minutes remove thyme stems from soup. Let the soup cool slightly.
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-Blend in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender if you have one. I leave some chunks also.

-Add salt and pepper – serve up and enjoy!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup (Serves 4-6)
Vegan/Gluten-Free

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I was inspired to create this soup after a story my husband shared with me upon coming home from work just the other day. While at work a man sparked up a brief conversation with him in passing…“The gentleman at 58, retired, had a degenerative eye condition where he was losing his sight. He didn’t name the condition but mentioned how the doctor wanted to put him on medication. Instead, he began to eat a bag of carrots a day until he miraculously rejuvenated his eyes back to 20/20; he doesn’t even need glasses anymore. Since his vision was restored, he went from a bag a day to now a bag a week. The man added that the bible teaches that one must Eat to Heal.”

So what’s up doc? While I cannot prove the validity of the stranger’s story I was certainly intrigued. Seems logical…carrots are great for you! They are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotenes. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which is important for immunity, eye health and promotes healthy skin. This carotenoid is also found in sweet potatoes, another ingredient in this soup. Along with the antioxidants and beta-carotenes, sweet potatoes are a good source of Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Iron, Vitamin C and D. The coconut milk in this recipe helps make it velvety smooth. Additionally, it is a good source of Iron, Potassium and Protein. This feel good soup would not be complete without ginger to spice things up. Great for immunity, digestion, blood circulation and it is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties.

As I listened intently and relished every word of Seth’s encounter, it truly made me re-evaluate my relationship with the frequently underrated Carrot…the star of this recipe. Thanks again to my hubby, the great narrator, for sharing that story.

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Ingredients:

1 ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 stalks of Celery, chopped
1 medium white Onion, chopped
10 Whole black Peppercorns or ½ Tbsp
2lbs of Carrots, peeled/chopped
1 medium Sweet Potato, peeled/chopped
2 cans Coconut Milk, divided
2 Cups Water, divided
1 (2inch piece) Fresh Ginger, peeled
½ Tsp Garlic powder
½ Tsp Curry powder
½ Tsp Salt

Directions: – One Pot Meal

-Heat Olive oil over medium heat. Sauté Celery, Onions and Peppercorn for about 5 minutes.

-Add Carrots and Sweet Potatoes and continue sautéing stirring occasionally for another 7-9 minutes.

-Add 1 can of Coconut milk plus 1 cup of Water. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until Carrots and Sweet Potatoes are tender.

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-In Batches: Add soup mixture to blender (about 2 ladles at a time). Blend until smooth adding remaining Coconut Milk and Water to blender to help thin mixture during blending. I blended entire recipe in three batches.

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-Add fresh Ginger during blending process. Note: You may grate the ginger first before adding to blender also.

-Once soup has been blended, return to pot. Bring to slow boil and add remaining seasonings.

-Reduce heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes before serving. Add a drizzle of Sriracha for added heat, optional. Enjoy!

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Corn Chowder – I smoked it!

Vegan Corn Chowder
(Serves 6-8) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

My husband and daughter both especially enjoyed this soup. He said, “Best corn chowder ever” and she just devoured it. Towards the end Jasmine tipped that bowl to get the last drop and when she came up for air she asked for more. My son enjoyed it also but it was a little too kicked up for him. You can certainly tone down the spice level to your liking. The smoked paprika and liquid smoke in this soup take it to another level and compliments well with the heat which is tamed by the coconut milk, in my opinion. You can enjoy this soup year-round with frozen organic corn or try fresh local corn when it’s in season (I would use 8-10 ears).
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Smoked Corn Chowder

  • Servings: 6-8 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: VeganRescue.com

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Quarts Vegetable Broth
2 Tsp Liquid Smoke (vegan friendly)
2 (16oz pkgs) frozen Sweet Corn
½ Tsp Smoke Paprika
¼ Tsp Curry Powder
½ Tbsp Salt
1 Scallion (Green Onion), chopped
¼ Cup Nutritional Yeast
½ Cup Coconut Milk

Directions:

-In a large stockpot heat olive oil and sauté onions a few minutes until translucent.
-Add garlic cloves and red pepper flakes heat through just for another minute.
-Add vegetable broth, liquid smoke, paprika, curry, salt and corn, bring to a boil and them simmer until corn is tender about 8-10 minutes.
-Add scallion, nutritional yeast and coconut milk then simmer for 5 minutes.
-Pour half the soup into a blender or use stick/immersion blender and puree until smooth yet chunky.
-Add a little sprinkle of smoked paprika before serving. Enjoy! 


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