Good Eats Good Times

I think this is going to be a blog about cooking.

Tag: Soup

(Vegan) Creamy and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup (with ginger and a bit of sweetness, too)

Yup…another soup. I know my soups often have similar ingredients/I make them in similar ways, but they always surprise me in the end with different flavors. This one was particularly delicious (and different) and I won’t be too surprised if I make it again in a few weeks. There are a lot of flavors going on here, but I’m perfectly okay with that.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (medium sized) butternut squash
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3-5 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 inches ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-3 tbsp mimic creme (or choice of milk/cream sub; this would also be awesome with coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp earth balance (I use soy-free)
  • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • curry, paprika, cayenne, chili, cumin, salt, pepper

Prep Time: approx 40-50 mins, Serves 4-5

Peel and cut the butternut squash into smallish cubes. Wash, peel, and quarter the potatoes. Clean and chop the carrots (doesn’t have to be too finely). Set those veggies aside.

Chop the onions, garlic, and ginger and throw them into the bottom a large pot with some olive oil. Sauté them for about 4-5 minutes and add your spices. Start with .5 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of cayenne, 1-2 tsps of paprika and chili, and 2-3 tsps of curry. Add a bit of salt and pepper if you’d like. Let the spices mix with the veggies for another minute, and then throw in the potatoes, carrots, and squash. Add water; you’ll probably come close to filling your pot (but leave some room!).

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pre-blending

Bring the pot to a boil. Whenever you’d like, you can also add the agave syrup, earth balance, mimic creme, tomato paste, and bouillon cube. Let the pot simmer for just about 15-20 minutes after it boils, and your soup should be just about done! At this point I of course taste it and usually add a few more spices as necessary. You should be able to taste a bit of everything: the curry, ginger, a bit of spice, and a bit of sweetness. Delicious.

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Also, as with my other soups, I let it cool and then throw it in the blender (magic bullet for me) so it gets a nice, smooth, creamy texture! Top it with cilantro, some black pepper, and serve.

Carrot, Potato, and Ginger Soup

After the long first day of the winter semester, and with our super-cool friend Emma over, it was the perfect time for my roommate Josh, Emma, and I to cook up this thick, carroty, savory soup. Quick and easy, this soup is a perfect, hearty, vegetarian meal for a winter night.

Not sure exactly where this idea came from, but some of the inspiration came from a Spicy Carrot Soup recipe in Gluten, Wheat, and Dairy Free, a cookbook Josh got me for Christmas. I feel like people often use butternut squash soup for a soup like this, but since we had potatoes lying around the apartment, we decided to make it work. 

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Ingredients: 

  • 8-10 carrots
  • 8-10 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • Approx. 1 tbsp ginger
  • Approx. 1.5 tbsp Earth Balance (or other buttery spread)
  • Approx. .5 cup mimic creme (see Mushroom, Leek, and Potato Soup for more info)
  • 2-3 cubes Veggie Bouillon
  • Spices: cumin, cayenne, chili, salt, pepper

Serves 4-6, makes a BIG pot of soup!!

Prep Time: about 45 minutes (plus time to let the soup cool before you blend it)

First, in preparation, chop the onions and garlic, peel and quarter the potatoes (so they cook quicker), peel and slice (or even chop) the carrots, and peel and chop the ginger.

Sauté them in the bottom of your pot with some olive oil and good helpings of cumin, cayenne, chili, and pepper. After about 5-7 minutes, throw in the potatoes, ginger, carrots and, lentils and cover the mixture with water (at least 6-7 cups, maybe more). Bring this mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

During this time span, add the bouillon, Earth Balance, and Mimic Creme. You probably don’t  even need the latter two, but they are great if you want to add some richness!

Once the carrots and potatoes are nice and soft, the first phase of the soup is done. You can now let it cool for a bit (or throw it out in the snow, as we did).

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After cooling for a bit, the soup is ready to blend. Sadly, we only have a magic bullet in our apartment, and you can imagine the process of scooping the chunky mixture into magic bullet containers is a bit tedious and can get messy, but I think it’s worthy it. 

Anyways, once the soup is nice and blended (but don’t blend too long, since sometimes a few chunks can be nice), it should have a pretty thick consistency and a nice, orangey-beige color. Top with homemade croutons (refer back to my first soup posting for a quick how-to) and fresh cilantro, and the soup is ready to enjoy!

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Photos by Joshua Paul. Follow @jawshuwa

Mushroom, Leek, and Potato Soup

Sometime during this past semester, the idea popped into my head to make a leek, potato, and bacon soup. It turned out pretty well, but the next time I made it I used mushroom instead of bacon (not saying one is better than the other, but the mushroom of course makes it vegetarian/vegan). The main directions I got were from my mom, who texted me to sauté the mushrooms and leek with some spices, to add water and boil the potatoes with spices and bouillon (she did give me the idea to use nutmeg). I don’t think she said much else. Anyways, after experimenting a bit, this is what I’ve come up with. I ended up making it Christmas Eve and my family enjoyed this not-too-heavy, savory, a bit spicy and a bit nutty, soup.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 leek
  • 1 container of baby bella mushrooms
  • 2.5 lbs of potatoes (about half of 5 lb. bag)
  • 1-2 cubes vegetable bouillon (or equivalent)
  • 0.5 cup Mimic Creme (http://www.mimiccreme.com/ cream substitute, or you could use cream)
  • Half a stick or a few tablespoons Earth Balance
  • Spices: chili powder, cayenne, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste

Prep time: about 30 minutes, (plus 1-2 hours of cooling, and then a few more minutes for blending)

Serves: 4-6

First, wash and peel the potatoes and then set them aside. You can also cut them into smaller pieces so that they cook quicker. Then, slice the leek thinly and chop the mushrooms. Throw them into the bottom of whichever pot (it should be pretty large) you’re going to use with some Earth Balance or olive oil. Sauté the leek and mushrooms for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Put the first round of spices in. I use a healthy amount of chili and cayenne, since I like my meals to have a kick, and the nutmeg works really well with the flavors of the mushroom, leek, and potato. Of course, salt and fresh black pepper never hurt either.

Next, plop the potatoes right into the pot and put enough water in to cover them. Bring the soup to a boil and allow for the potatoes to cook until soft. This should take about 10-20 minutes. During this time, add the bouillon and Mimic Creme (made up of almond and cashew cream, I think it adds a nice, thick consistency and a subtle nutty flavor). I would also probably add a bit more of each spice, according to taste, and some more buttery Earth Balance. When the potatoes are done cooking, you can turn the stove off and set the pot aside.

I then wait a few hours (or as long as your patience lasts) and let the soup cool. Then, I scoop it into a blender (will take a few rounds of blending depending on how much you made) and blend it for a few seconds. I wouldn’t blend it too long, since it’s nice to have a few chunks and so that it’s not completely like baby food. You can then heat it up once again, adjusting the consistency and flavor according to your preference. I like mine to have a pretty thick consistency, especially since the soup isn’t too heavy.

When I served this soup to my family for Christmas Eve, I had to add an extra touch. So I took a few slices of Udi’s Gluten Free whole grain bread, cute them into cubes, and threw them into the frying pan with olive oil and salt until they were toasted.

Quick, easy, and savory, homemade croutons are a perfect addition to any soup. Now, the soup is definitely ready to be served! Enjoy!

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