Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison is one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I owned. It was a gift in .. 1996, I think. And even now as a vegan I use it on a regular basis.
This time I cracked it open for a lentil soup variation, Lentil Minestrone. The only veganizing the recipe requires is to replace the parmesan with a vegan version, or just omit it. This soup straddled the line between a minestrone and a straight up lentil soup. It hinted at Italian seasoning without the obvious oregano and basil. I’m always a fan of something that cooks in one pot and can be a meal in a bowl. With lentils, pasta and a nice veggie assortment this one meets my meal in a bowl needs.
This is only slightly less lazy than eating peanut butter out of a jar with a spoon. And of course I forgot to take a picture of the end result. That’s how lazy I was that day. But I do like to share good food that doesn’t take a bunch of prep so here ya go.
You’ve seen these right? They’re pretty cheap, less than a dollar certainly.
These are great to keep around for quick meals. Throw in some frozen veggies or tofu or shredded lettuce, cabbage, etc. and you can make it pretty filling.
I also keep these in the freezer for quick sides to Asian dishes. Trader Joe’s has some vegan ones, I think. You can usually find a few varieties at any Asian grocery that are vegan.
So, combine these things. Throw a few of these into your soup while it’s cooking. I tried it with the curry version and it was delicious!
World Feast Vegan has been sitting around unused for too long. So I fixed that by trying this Golden Cauliflower Dal Soup. I always seem to have a glut of red lentils around here and needed a way to use some up. This seemed perfect.
The cauliflower is roasted. You can see the little char spots on it floating in the soup. It’s an extra step but gave it a nice edge over other similar soups I’ve made. I also added a sprinkle of asafoetida (hing). It was no chore to destroy every last bit of the leftovers as lunch.
Our friends Taylor and Beth have been getting non-vegan bahn mi at Lee’s Bakery for a while. They started asking about a vegan version and they said they could do that. Apparently, the menu changed about a week later.
Let’s look at that a little closer.
Yes, that says “vegan soup.” So you can get the tofu bahn mi, just ask that mayo be left off, and a pho-like soup or a half sandwich and soup combo. We whipped together earth balance and veganaise and brought it with us for the sandwiches. I like the soup broth better than the Pho 96 one. It isn’t flavored with 5-spice powder. But it doesn’t have all the fake meats Pho 96 uses. Which is okay with me.
Our first visit, I did the half sandwich and soup combo. A half sandwich is about 6″ long.
And they have two sizes of the soup. This smaller one comes with the combo. Smaller, not small. Full of veggies, rice noodles, tofu, yuba, and sprinkled with green onions and fried onion. You also get a plate of sprouts and cilantro to add.
The combo is $6.95, a whole tofu bahn mi sandwich is $3. I sure wish this was closer in town.
Harmony Vegetarian has been around for a long time. I think I’ve been going here since I moved to Atlanta in 1998. They have an extensive menu with all sorts of fake meats. I’m a big fan of the Kung Pao Chicken, sometimes I’ll get one of the veggie fish dishes, but this night, hanging out with the awesome Saluzzis of Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe fame, I was craving soup. Right, so, I make soup at home and apparently haven’t had enough so I’ve got to eat it out too. Wait, I’m skipping ahead. First I started off with a Chinese Pizza (scallion pancake.) Harmony’s is full of extra-fried goodness. If someone told me they deep-fried these, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Now, back to that soup. Not just any soup, but Ham Noodle Soup. Smoky ham, broccoli, carrots and noodles in broth. In a huge bowl. I always have leftovers. Yay! Okay, so there’s a weird quirk about ordering this. You might think you’d find it under “soups” on the menu. You would be wrong. It’s in the back of the menu under “noodles.” There are other noodle soups there too if you aren’t into the ham.
Oh, what’s this? Soup? I can’t stop! Things are really busy around here lately and I have no imagination when it comes to food. A bowl of soup and some toast is awesome when you’re in a hurry. I still had an asston of white beans left, so I tried out this Classic Tuscan White Bean Soup from Vegan Italiano. It was simple and hearty. Made a really satisfying meal. To get my veggies covered off, I tossed in some kale. You can almost never go wrong by tossing mild greens into a soup.
Apparently I’m really excited about Fall and Fall foods. My last photo upload into wordpress was pretty much all bowls of food. Soup, stew, chili. Maybe I’ll get them posted before Vegan Mofo starts so I don’t have to rename the blog “Look at this bowl of crap I’m eating!”
Dried beans have been on sale at Kroger so I stocked up. They’re not that useful unless you cook them. So I soaked and slow cooked a pound of white beans. Now it’s time for a white bean party. The internets told me about this recipe for French White Bean and Cabbage Soup. I just realized when I looked up the recipe for the link that I totally forgot the parsley and liquid smoke. It was good anyway, but I have one more serving left so I’ll add those goodies and see if it becomes Next Level. This is the kind of soup that might make a good stand in for the traditional sick day chicken soup. Nice and brothy with just enough potato and bean for it to be reasonably filling. That grilled cheese with Daiya on the side helped with that also.
Oh yeah, I’m working on getting my blogroll back up. I lost it when I switched hosts and am trying to recreate from my Google Reader feeds. I’ll probably go up in pieces so consider it a work in progress.
The weather finally broke here. I think we had a record number of 90+ degree days in Atlanta this year, or close to it. Now that we’re done with that and can even occasionally open the windows, it’s officially the beginning of soup season. Digging around in my MacGourmet recipe box, this recipe for Golden Curried Pea Soup looked appealing. It’s from Nava Atlas’ Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. The barley makes it extra filling. It matures nicely in the fridge. I finished a whole recipe of it on my own by taking it for lunch and never got bored of it. You’ll see some green in there. I had some kale all cleaned and chopped up so I threw it in. It worked nicely. I also occasionally stirred in some garam masala when I felt the need for a little extra spice kick.
Saturday afternoon I’d planned on going grocery shopping. But I had a headache and decided to wait until Sunday. Oh, what’s for dinner then? After rooting around in the cabinets a bit, I came up with this concoction. Start with some ready to eat rice and an instasoup.
Let’s see, a vegetable would be good. How about some frozen green beans? Sure! So, a little rice in the bottom of the bowl, some vegan broccoli cheese soup, next and green beans. I did add some nutritional yeast to the soup because I could. Oh, and sprinkled parm on top.
It was actually really good. And made enough that I had some for lunch as well.
A lovely bean soup from dried beans doesn’t necessarily mean long hours on the stove top. A pressure cooker will deliver it in about 20 minutes. Lentils are even faster. And it makes risotto super easy. No stirring!
When I’m going to cook beans, whether in the slow cooker or the pressure cooker, I plan ahead and put them in to soak in some water at least 8 hours. If I’m not going to use right after soaking, I just stick them in the fridge until I need them.
If you’re looking for a guide to ease you into pressure cookery, Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure is a great choice. And I think most recipes are either vegan or easily vegan. It comes with handy cook time charts for various beans, grains and vegetables so you can speed up your favorite dish once you get comfortable with pressure cooking.
This is the Tarragon Scented White Bean Soup from this book. In this case, navy beans. It made a great weeknight Fall meal.