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
  • Print

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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Hearty Minestrone Soup

Hearty Minestrone Soup (Serves 8 – Large bowls)

When I think of soup I immediately think of my dad. Papi would always make soup in the winter. There was a time that he lived alone and would make large batches of soup, which he’d have for dinner throughout the week and would sometimes take a thermos to work for lunch. I imagine there are thousands of variations of this soup. True to its vegetarian origins this version is truly a hearty Vegan classic. I use organic/non-gmo ingredients in this recipe. This soup will warm your tummy and fill you with a good source of protein and fiber among others nutrients.

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Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large White or Sweet Onion, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, chopped
4 Small Carrots or 2 Large, scrubbed and sliced
1 Large Zucchini, cleaned and chopped
5 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 (15.5 oz can) Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Light Red Kidney Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Garbanzo Beans
1 (28 oz can) Diced Tomatoes
1 (16 oz pkg) Frozen Cut Green Beans
1 (10 oz pkg) Frozen Spinach
2 Tsp + 2 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper, fresh cracked/ground
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper (reduce the amount for less kick)
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Ground Sage
½ Tsp Oregano
½ Tsp Dry Basil
2 Cups Pasta (I used med. shells this time)

Directions:

In a large stockpot (at least 12 quart) heat olive oil and sauté onions let them sweat a few minutes until translucent. Add celery and carrots then sauté about 2-3 minutes. Add 2 Tsp salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic and zucchini and sauté for another minute.

Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, kidney/garbanzo beans and bring to slow boil about 10 mins. Finally, add green beans, spinach, pasta and seasonings (remaining salt, Italian, sage, oregano and basil) continue on a low boil/simmer until pasta is cooked through and green beans are done about 8 minutes. Enjoy!

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Note: This post utilizes canned beans and frozen spinach/green beans, but I have made this also utilizing dried/soaked/cooked beans and fresh spinach/green beans. Substitute canned beans for 1 ½ – 2 cups of cooked beans. For the spinach and green beans I have just thrown in two big handfuls or fresh baby spinach and a bunch of fresh green beans (trimmed and cut in half) in the last few minutes of cooking.