White Bean Miso Soup with Citrus

White Bean Miso Soup

You must try this White Bean Miso Soup recipe recipe at some point. Because at some point, it will be just what your body needs. Let me explain.

I first tried this soup during a baking class at Natural Gourmet Institute. After hours of baking and sampling, baking and sampling and more baking and sampling, the class was on a collective sugar buzz. Knowingly, the chef had made this miso soup to counterbalance the sugar. Satisfying, grounding and nourishing, the miso soup quickly became more popular than the baked goods. Ying and Yang. It worked. So, for these reasons, miso soup is comforting, not just on a cold day, but is generally a welcome treat on its own and especially after overconsumption. Continue reading

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup The most festive and celebrated of gourds, pumpkins, enjoy a near celebrity-status in our apartment. By late September, the scouting begins, first for prospective jack-o-lanterns, then centerpieces and window adornments. Sadly, by early November, the carved ones have been decommissioned and the uncarved ones start giving hints that our time together is coming to a close. Their skin, once bright orange, leathery and taut, begins to dull and wrinkle. Their bodies soften, losing their denseness and familiar “thump” when tapped. Clearly, none of them will make it to Thanksgiving. Soup must be made. Continue reading

Black Bean Chipotle Bisque

Chipotle Bleack Bean Soup

It’s soup and sweater time! This soup, like one of my favorite sweaters, is warm, dark, and comforting —with a little sass. In this version, I added some coconut milk to make it even creamier and cozier. Rich in protein and fiber, it tastes like an indulgence, but it’s not. Bring on the cold. I’m ready.

The chipotle pepper really sets this recipe apart from other bean soups, providing a hint of heat and smokiness. The dried peppers can be found in the ethnic section of most larger grocery stores. You can create your own chipotle powder by simply grinding the dried peppers in a spice or coffee grinder. But, remove the seeds first if you want more smokiness than heat.

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Raw Avocado Green Soup

 

Blended Green Soup

I’ve never, not once, considered ordering a cold soup off a menu, much less making one at home. In a word, they seemed B-o-r-i-n-g. Note the capital ‘B’? How could a cold soup possibly be satisfying? Gazpacho gets a pass once a year. Otherwise, not part of my cooking / dining repertoire. Next! Continue reading

Lentil and Spinach Stew with Roasted Garlic

Lentil Stew

Lentil soups are known for being both comforting and simple. These terms describe this lentil stew recipe as well. That is until you add the final additions. Roasted garlic and balsamic vinaigrette transform plain-Jane legumes into a dinner party-worthy dish. As my mother would say “hold the phone”! This is my new favorite lentil recipe. Continue reading

Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup

Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup

This recipe is, of course, a healthy make-over of the classic full dairy Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It is a perfect after work soup recipe; fast, easy and nutritious. Yet, you will find yourself thinking “I can’t believe it’s not cheddar!”

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‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’ Giveaway for National Nutrition Month

TVFBWelcome to the virtual book tour for THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page. I am proud to take part in this event, which celebrates Registered Dietitians and National Nutrition Month. Keep reading to find out how you can win a copy of Karen’s latest masterpiece!

Don’t be fooled by the title. This is not a book solely for vegetarians. This is a book for anyone who wants to enjoy a greater range of plant-based whole foods, anyone who wants to improve their health, anyone who tends to go “improv” in the kitchen. It is for anyone tired of the same salad or steamed vegetables. Continue reading

Vegan Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower SoupCurried Cauliflower Soup was the last thing on my mind when she started talking. But, I soon became riveted, with recipe inspirations running rampant. In fact, she had me at ‘vegetables’.

The setting was the Q & A session following the opening of the 2014 International Food Blogger’s Conference in Seattle. An attendee asked the keynote speakers, James Beard Award-Winning authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg what they thought would be the hottest new trend in food. In the spirit of ‘everything old is new again’, Karen declared simply, ‘vegetables!’ She then went on to discuss her latest book ‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’.

I was already a fan of their previous book, “The Flavor Bible,” a book which could not be named more appropriately. It is not a cookbook. There are no recipes. Rather, it is an invaluable compendium of alphabetical listings of foods that are paired together. Perfect for free-form cooks, those of us who like guides more than recipes.

After purchasing it, the book quickly became indispensable. It was like an old friend I could ask for ideas when pondering how to made a dish more distinct, or even where to begin. So, when I saw the dynamic duo in the hotel lobby during a conference break, I made a bee-line to them. I stood a bit star-struck among a small group chatting with them. As they had recently become vegetarians, my work as a nutritionist gave us common ground for an albeit short, but rewarding conversation. I then trailed off from the group satisfied.

Fast forward two months and three thousand miles away to New York City. I discover that Barns & Noble was hosting a “Flavor Bible” book signing with Karen and Andrew moderating a panel of chefs discussing vegetarian cuisine. When I approached them to get my book signed, imagine my surprise, shock really, that they remembered me! These two are really something special. They were so kind and sincere to all the panelists, so grateful for the leadership they had shown in vegetarian cuisine and such gratitude to their supporters. My only regret about the event is never downloading my book signing photo with them off their website! I can’t find it now.

Back home with my “Flavor Bible(s)”, the original and the vegetarian version, I set to work improv-style in the kitchen. The result is this simple curried cauliflower soup recipe. My intention was to create something very flavorful and nutritious, with enough fat and protein to make it somewhat hearty. Want to take the comfort food factor up a notch? Simply add  extra cashew cream. You can also add more garbanzo beans for more protein and heartiness.

I have tried roasting the cauliflower first. But, I didn’t notice enough difference to merit the effort. But, it simply might be that any subtle flavor doesn’t really stand up to the garam masala, a great addition if you like your curry a little on the hot side. Omit it if you don’t.

To get the most health benefits from this soup, use fresh cauliflower, not frozen. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Then, let sit for about 40 minutes before cooking, one of the strategies outlined in a prior post about gaining the benefits of raw crucifers even when cooked. This recipe also supports improved bioavailaiblity of the curcumin in the curry powder, as detailed in another prior post.

CURRIED CAULIFLOWER SOUP

Serves 6-8.

Curried Cauliflower Soup Ingredients

CURRIED CAULIFLOWER SOUP INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup almond or rice milk
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (or one 16 ounce bag, frozen)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups (1 15 oz can) organic coconut milk
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup chickpea croutons for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cover raw cashews with filtered water and let sit refrigerated for at least 45 minutes. Then, drain off the water, add the almond or rice milk and blend until smooth.

  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and salt. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Then add the curry powder and garam masala (if using) and stir to cover the onions and garlic thoroughly.

  3. Add the chopped cauliflower, then cover with the broth and bring to a simmer. Let cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes.

  4. Remove from the heat and add the garbanzo beans and coconut milk.

  5. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup, or process in blender in batches.

  6. Stir in the lime juice, adjust salt, if needed, and serve warm topped with chickpea croutons.