Tangy, spicy + creamy broccoli soup (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

This chunky blended soup will surprise you with its depth of flavor—honest! There’s a hint of dairy-free cheesiness from the nutritional yeast and vinegar-based hot sauce (to avoid spicy heat, try just vinegar). An immersion/stick blender is very handy for blending the soup right in the pot. Inspired by a post on the Connoisseurus Veg blog.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • potato, chopped
  • sweet pepper, chopped,
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • vegetable broth
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped, or canned diced tomatoes
  • raw cashews
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • unsweetened plain plant-based milk (such as soy milk or almond milk)
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • vinegar-based hot sauce
  • turmeric
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • broccolini or broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • miso
  • fresh cilantro or fresh parsley, chopped
Method
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, potato, sweet pepper, and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. Add broth, tomatoes, and cashews and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, stir in the garlic.
  2. Using an immersion blender right in the pot or transferring the soup in batches to a blender (and then back into the pot), blend until mostly smooth. Stir in the milk, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, turmeric, a few grinds of pepper, and the broccolini. Bring to a simmer and cook until the broccolini is tender, about 7 minutes. Ladle some soup into a heatproof measuring cup with a spout, whisk the miso into the liquid until dissolved, and pour the miso mixture back into the pot to reheat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, stir in the cilantro, and serve.
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Saucy chickpeas, mushrooms + veggies with pita crisps (vegan)

For the sauce, this dish uses mushroom broth created by soaking chopped dried mushrooms in hot water and almond meal or ground almonds to thicken and flavor the sauce. If using dried chickpeas, soak them and cook them separately. Feel free to use any vegetable in place of the cauliflower and any greens for the kale. Consider substituting olives, capers, or hot sauce for the salt.

Ingredients
  • dried mushrooms, chopped
  • hot water
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • brown rice
  • cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • almond meal or ground almonds (optional)
  • kale, center ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • cooked dried or canned chickpeas (see note above)
  • minced garlic or garlic powder
  • chile powder
  • turmeric
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • slivered almonds
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • whole-wheat pita, cut into triangles and toasted until crisp
Method
  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and add hot water to cover. Set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms and the brown rice, stir, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms start to brown. Add the soaked dried mushrooms with their soaking liquid plus enough water to cover. Cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until the rice is almost done. Stir in the cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork and the rice is soft, adding more water as needed. Stir in the almond meal, kale, and chickpeas. When the kale is soft, stir in the garlic, chile powder, and turmeric. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle into individual bowls, top with almonds, parsley, and pita triangles, and serve.

Peanut-vegetable stew with fresh herbs (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Ground roasted peanuts thicken this stew and, surprisingly, add a layer of flavor complexity more than a peanut taste. For nutty goodness, add more roasted peanuts to individual bowls when serving. No need to purchase specific vegetables and herbs because whatever is in your fridge works in this very forgiving dish.

Ingredients
  • dried chiles (such as chipotle, guajillo, and/or chile negro), stemmed
  • roasted unsalted peanuts
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • onion, chopped
  • brown rice, preferably quick-cooking rice or regular rice soaked for a few hours and drained to shorten cooking time
  • mixed vegetables of choice (such as mushrooms, zucchini, daikon, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, celery, and beets), chopped
  • turmeric
  • minced garlic or garlic powder
  • greens (such as beet greens, chard, kale, collards, and/or cabbage), chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh herbs of choice (such as parsley, mint, dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and/or thyme), chopped
Method
  1. Cut the chiles into strips using scissors and seed if desired. Place in a heatproof bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside.
  2. Grind the peanuts for a few seconds in a spice grinder or blender (if you grind longer, you’ll get peanut butter!). Set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften. Add the rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add the chiles and their soaking water. Add the chopped vegetables and the ground peanuts, cover, and cook until softened, adding additional water as needed. Add the turmeric, garlic, greens, and black pepper, cover, and cook until the greens are cooked the way you like.
  4. To serve, spoon the stew into individual bowls and sprinkle with herbs.

 

Onion soup with white beans + cabbage (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian)

Probably the last wintery soup recipe, as spring ingredients are starting to appear at the farmers’ market. For easier peeling of cipollini onions: trim the tops and bottoms, soak the onions in hot water for a few minutes, slip off the outer skin, and chop.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • bay leaves
  • fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
  • cipollini onions or onions of choice, chopped
  • green garlic, white and light green parts, thinly sliced or garlic cloves, minced
  • leeks, white and light green parts, halved and sliced into half-moons
  • fresh tomato, chopped, or tomato paste (optional)
  • cabbage, cut into 1-inch dice
  • cooked white beans, rinsed if canned
  • super-firm tofu, cubed (optional)
  • fennel seeds
  • caraway seeds
  • dried chipotle flakes or red pepper flakes
  • miso or your vegetable broth mix of choice
  • hot water
  • fresh or dried oregano
  • fresh parsley
  • black pepper
Method
  1. In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the bay leaves and ginger and cook for a minute. Stir in the onions and cook for a minute, then turn down to medium-low, and cook until very soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and leeks and cook until softened. Raise the heat to medium, add the tomato, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato breaks down and creates a sauce. Add the cabbage, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage wilts. Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in the beans, tofu, fennel, caraway, and chipotle flakes, and cover.
  2. Meanwhile, put the miso in a small heatproof bowl. Add a small amount of hot water and whisk until the miso is well combined into the water. Pour the miso mixture into the soup. Taste the soup broth and, if needed, repeat to add more miso. Remove from the heat (do not let the soup boil after you add the miso).
  3. Remove the bay leaves. Season the soup with oregano, parsley, and black pepper and serve.

Zucchini stewed with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers + spices (gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Here’s a salute to summer zucchini. For a main dish, add a large quantity of the vegetables to serve over your favorite grain or pasta; for a first-course soup, add more juicy tomatoes. Instead of the mix of spices listed, use any spice mix or grill rub that you enjoy.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • red onion, chopped
  • sweet peppers, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • chopped fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes with juices
  • kosher salt
  • zucchini, sliced into thick rounds
  • super-firm tofu, cubed (optional)
  • mixed ground spices (such as cayenne, caraway, cumin, coriander, and garlic powder)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley
Method
  1. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms in one layer and cook, without stirring, until browned. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in the onion, peppers, and chile, cover, and cook until softened. Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook until the tomatoes are cooked through. Add the zucchini and tofu, cover, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is soft. If the mixture becomes dry, add a splash of water.
  2. Stir in the mixed spices and cook a minute longer. Season with salt to taste and a few grinds of pepper, sprinkle with the parsley, drizzle with some olive oil, and serve.

Creamy cauliflower-corn chowder with kalamata olives + miso broth (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian)

It might be a little late for fresh peas at the farmers’ market, but frozen work fine, along with fresh or frozen corn. This summer, consider freezing fresh ears of corn to make this chowder anytme—just steam or microwave the frozen ears in the husk for a minute or two, shuck the ears, cut the kernels from the cobs, and add to whatever you’re cooking.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • cauliflower, coarsely chopped
  • white miso
  • hot water
  • fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • fresh or frozen peas, snow peas, or sugar snap peas
  • pitted kalamata olives (optional)
  • thinly sliced green onions (optional)
  • hot-pepper sauce (optional)
Method
  1. Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Stir in the cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower is soft. Add a splash of water, if needed, to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the corn and continue cooking, covered.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heatproof glass measuring cup, whisk the miso a teaspoonful at a time into a cup or two of hot water until the miso is fully integrated to make a broth. Pour the broth into the soup pot.
  3. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the soup to your desired creaminess. Return the soup to a simmer. Add the peas and cook until heated through.
  4. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with olives, green onions, and hot-pepper sauce.

Green garlic, leek, mushroom, asparagus + potato soup with fresh herbs + almonds (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

April and May bring all of the fresh alliums—green garlic, spring onions, and leeks—which meld perfectly with baby shiitake mushrooms, potatoes, and a variety of just-cut fresh herbs. Leftover brown rice adds some heft, and cauliflower offers its cruciferous-vegetable health benefits. To increase the soup’s nutrition even more when serving, consider adding shredded kale leaves to the bottom of each bowl (the hot soup will wilt the leaves so you don’t need to cook the leaves separately).

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • baby shiitake mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, or button mushrooms, chopped
  • spring onions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • leeks, white and light green parts, sliced
  • potatoes, cubed
  • cauliflower, cut across into steaks
  • asparagus, bottom ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
  • green garlic, white and light green parts, chopped
  • cooked brown rice
  • minced fresh mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of turmeric
  • prepared mustard of choice
  • thinly sliced green onions, for garnish (optional)
  • slivered almonds, for garnish (optional)
  • pitted olives of choice, for garnish (optional)
Method
  1. Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Stir in the onions and leeks and cook until softened. Stir in the potatoes, cauliflower, and water just to cover. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the asparagus, garlic, and rice and cook until the asparagus is done the way you like it.  Stir in all of the fresh herbs, a few grinds of pepper, and the turmeric. Season to taste with mustard.
  2. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with green onions, almonds, and olives.

Polenta soup with potatoes, greens + herbs (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

The packaged precooked polenta that comes in a log thickens this healthy, quick, and comforting soup. If you add red beets as part of the chopped seasonal vegetables, the soup will turn pink, unless you use varieties that don’t bleed, like golden or Chioggia beets.

Ingredients
  • avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • onion, chopped
  • potatoes, sliced
  • jalapeño or serrano chile, sliced (optional)
  • chopped seasonal vegetables (such as carrots, celery, fennel bulb, cauliflower, and beets)
  • kosher salt
  • chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
  • packaged precooked polenta, sliced and cubed
  • greens (such as chard, kale, collards, or beet greens), stems removed and leaves finely sliced
  • herbes de Provence or fresh or dried rosemary and thyme
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly ground pepper
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms in one layer and cook, undisturbed, until sizzling and browned. Move the mushrooms to the side of the pot, add the onion and potatoes, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Stir in the chile and chopped vegetables, season with salt, cover, and cook until the vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes become saucy.
  2. Add the polenta and water just to cover the contents of the pot. Cover and bring the soup to a simmer. Let the polenta cook for a few minutes so that it softens, then mash the polenta against the side of the pot. Cook until the polenta is well integrated into the soup and the vegetables are cooked through.
  3. Stir in the greens until wilted. Then add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Creamy broccoli soup with shredded coconut (gluten-free, vegan)

The coconut oil and coconut shreds give this blended broccoli soup a tropical flair, and the potatoes give it creamy heft. You will need an immersion blender or a regular blender to blend the soup.

Ingredients
  • coconut oil
  • onion, coarsely chopped
  • potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • jalapeño chile, chopped (optional)
  • kosher salt
  • broccoli florets and stems, coarsely chopped
  • unsweetened coconut shreds
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil leaves, slivered, or homemade or store-bought pesto
  • sliced toasted almonds
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, potatoes, and chile, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown.
  2. Add water to just cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
  3. Stir in the broccoli and cook until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender, whirl the soup until smooth but still chunky.
  4. Stir in the coconut shreds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil, top with almonds, and serve.

Zucchini soup with sugar snap peas + potatoes (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

This bright green blended soup is downright delicious. With late spring comes the end of sugar snap peas and fresh dill and the beginning of zucchini, peppers, and potatoes. This version (inspired by a recipe in Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen) combines them into a rich, sweet, and smooth success story. Ladle the soup over brown rice, pasta, or rice noodles or enjoy it on its own.

Ingredients
  • olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
  • red or yellow onion, chopped
  • yellow potatoes, chopped
  • Padron or Anaheim peppers, chopped
  • zucchini, chopped
  • kosher salt
  • sugar snap peas
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • fresh dill, chopped
  • black pepper
  • hot-pepper sauce (optional)
  • chopped green olives (optional)
  • green onions, sliced thinly, for garnish
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Stir in the potatoes, peppers, zucchini, and a sprinkle of salt and cook until vegetables begin to soften and brown a bit.
  2. Meanwhile, pull the strings off the sugar snap peas and thinly slice the pods. Add the peas to the pot along with filtered water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are completely cooked. Stir in the garlic and dill.
  3. Blend the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or transfer in batches to a standard blender. Reheat the soup, if needed, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and more dill. Ladle into bowls, add hot-pepper sauce and olives, if using, and garnish with the green onions.