Arpril 2012
Volume 11 Issue 4

Featured Recipes


This month I am featuring some tasty original soup recipes.  The first 4 recipes are by Veronica Patenaude.  She has a website with hundreds of low fat vegan recipes and I highly recommend that you visit her site and try out some of the delicious recipes she has created.  Veronica is a self taught at home chef and food enthusiast who focuses on promoting an oil-free and low fat vegan approach to a whole foods plant based diet and lifestyle.  She honed her skills in the kitchen day after day from testing oil-free raw and vegan recipes out on her husband, family and friends.  These are some of her favorite soups from her online book Comfort Soups to Keep You Warm.  The first part of this book also contains detailed instructions on how and why to cook low fat healthy and delicious vegan foods.

Tuscan Roasted Tomato Chickpea Soup

By Veronica Patenaude

This is one of my absolute favorite soups inspired by the flavors of Tuscany in Italy.  It’s so rustic and flavorful, even those already not in love with chickpeas will declare their love for this soup!

Serves 6

7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon dried rosemary OR ¾ tablespoon fresh
¾ teaspoon dried thyme OR ¾ tablespoon fresh
1  28 ounce can fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
3  15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 5 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 Herbamare or sea salt to taste

Sauté onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme in 1 cup of the broth over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.  Add more broth if necessary to keep from burning.  Add tomatoes, chickpeas and remaining broth.  Take out 4-5 cups of the soup mixture and blend in a Vitamix or food processor until just barely chunky. Add blended soup back to pot, add balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until chickpeas are tender.  Season to taste with pepper and Herbamare or salt.

Hint:  Herbamare is a seasoning mixture that contains sea salt and various herbs.  It can be found at most natural food stores or ordered on Amazon.  If you don’t have it, use sea salt to taste, or a seasoning mixture without salt, if you prefer.

Indian Dal Soup

By Veronica Patenaude

This is by far the best dal soup I have ever had in my life.  This soup is mild, very aromatic and filling.  I make double batches of this soup regularly.  It goes that quickly!

Serves 6-8

8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 large onion, minced
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 ½ teaspoons roasted ground cumin
2 ½ teaspoons roasted ground coriander
¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ to ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water (as necessary to thin, if needed)
Herbamare or sea salt to taste (see hint in first recipe)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Place 1 cup of the broth in a large soup pot.  Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, dry sauté the onions, garlic and ginger in a large non-stick skillet until browned and then add this to 1 cup of the broth in the soup pot and heat to bring out more flavors.) Add the remaining broth, lentils and all the seasonings (up to the tomato paste).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender and falling apart.  Stir in the tomato paste and whisk until well combined.  If you like a thinner dal, add a bit of the water until the consistency is the way you like it.  Add Herbamare or salt and pepper to taste.  Taste and adjust other seasonings as well, such as the cumin and paprika.  The flavor should be complex and very savory.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Hints:  Look for roasted cumin powder and roasted ground coriander for more complexity in flavor. If you can’t find it, the regular ground varieties will do. Use cassia cinnamon (not Ceylon) for best flavor results.

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

By Veronica Patenaude

The roasted garlic and cauliflower make this soup simple but sophisticated at the same time.  I know you will love it.

Serves 6

2 heads garlic
1 large head cauliflower, inner core removed and cut into large florets
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 leeks, cleaned and diced (white and light green parts only)
1 large potato, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
1 large carrot, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Herbamare or sea salt to taste (see hint in first recipe)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut off tops of garlic heads and wrap the whole garlic heads in parchment paper and aluminum foil. Place the garlic in the oven and roast for 45-55 minutes.  Spread cauliflower florets onto a large shallow roasting pan.  Add about 1 cup of water to the pan, place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.  Remove both from oven and let cool.  Remove garlic heads from their wrapper and invert over a bowl and squeeze well to remove all of the roasted garlic.

Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth to a large soup pot.  Add the leeks, carrots, potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.  Add the remaining broth, the cauliflower and the roasted garlic.  Cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes until the cauliflower is very soft.  Process the soup in batches in a Vitamix or food processor until very smooth. (Do not over-blend or it will become too thick and starchy.) Pour mixture into another soup pot.  Add the almond milk and heat through. Season to taste and serve hot.

Hints:  Wash the leeks well to remove all the bits of dirt that sometimes cling to them.  The cauliflower may be steamed instead of roasted, if desired.  Roast the garlic in advance to make sure it is cool before squeezing from the papery bulbs.  To garnish the soup with cooked cauliflower, set some aside before adding the remainder to the pot.

Vegetable Bean Barley Soup

By Veronica Patenaude

This is another one of my favorites because it is so hearty.  The beets add a great dynamic to the soup and release some natural sweetness into it. 

Serves 8

2/3 cup dried pearl barley
10 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 medium golden beets, chopped in ¾ inch cubes
2 cups mushrooms, diced
1  16 ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil OR 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano OR 1 teaspoon dried
2 cups sliced fresh greens (chard, collards, kale, cabbage, or spinach)
1  15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked beans)
Herbamare or sea salt to taste (see hint in first recipe)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Sprinkle of garlic powder (optional)
Sprinkle of onion powder (optional)

Rinse and soak the barley while you are prepping your ingredients. (If you pre-soak the barley for a few hours, cooking time will be reduced.) Drain.
Place the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, beets, mushrooms and 4 cups of the broth in a large soup pot.  Cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are softened slightly.  Add remaining broth, drained barley, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes until barley and beets are soft.  Add greens (unless using spinach) and beans, season to taste and cook for 5-10 minutes.  (If using spinach, add it and heat through at the end of cooking time.)

Hints:  For a gluten free soup, omit the barley and use rice, quinoa, millet or add extra beans.

Jeff’s Red Lentil, Mushroom, and Cabbage Soup

By Jeffrey Adams

Jeffrey Adams is the head of an organization called HeartBeats for Life-GA: A wellness support group for those interested in adopting a healthy lifestyle to prevent and/or reverse disease. There are group meetings every month in the Southwest Chatham Library in Savannah, GA.  Jeff provides food for the people that attend the meetings so everyone participating can taste delicious healthy food.  This recipe was served at the April meeting and the people insisted that Jeff send me the recipe because they all loved it!! 

Serves  6-8

2 cups water
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth.
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 sweet onion, chopped fine
4 medium carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed, skin left on and diced
3 cups cabbage, shredded (1/2 large head)
1 pound Portabella mushrooms, diced
3-4 teaspoons dried sage
½-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce (or Braggs Aminos)
12 ounces fresh or frozen corn
1  28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

In saucepan or soup pot, combine water, red lentils and a splash of vegetable broth, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are very soft. While that is cooking, in another pan place remaining broth with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes, cook until potatoes are just barely done, but still firm, then add cabbage, mushrooms, sage, pepper and soy sauce, cook an additional 5-8 minutes, add corn, tomatoes, and cooked lentils, stir well, cook an additional 5-8 minutes. Serve with some crusty whole wheat bread…enjoy!


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