Pea and Tarragon Soup

A lovely, refreshing soup that’s just as good served cold as it is hot. Don’t be scared off by the coconut milk – it doesn’t add much coconut flavour, just a lovely creaminess!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 6-8.
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 stalks celery, diced.
  • 500 g frozen peas (let defrost before adding to the soup).
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (save a bit of the zest for garnish).
  • 2 cans coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock/water.
  • 1 large bunch tarragon, finely chopped (save a few leaves for garnish).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom. Once the oil is nice and hot, add in the onion and garlic.

Fry them off until soft and fragrant, then add the celery. Cook until the celery has softened and the onions and garlic have begun to caramelize slightly.

Next, add in all of the peas, the lemon juice and zest, the coconut milk, and vegetable stock.

Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then toss in the tarragon. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Puree the soup, strain if desired, and serve with a little extra lemon zest and tarragon as a garnish.

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Tomato, Kale, White Bean Soup

A slightly spicy soup with tons of amazing flavour. Inspired by a soup I had at work!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/finely minced.
  • 1-2 tsbp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp chili flakes (add as much or as little as you like, really).
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stripped from the stem, and cut/torn into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped, with the juice reserved.
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 carrots, peeled if desired, sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme).
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in it. When it’s nice and hot, toss in the onion. Cook until it begins to soften slightly, then add in the garlic.

When the onion is soft and translucent, and the garlic is fragrant, add the carrots and celery. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize. Next, add the kale, and cook until it starts to wilt slightly.

Dump in the tomatoes, their juice, the beans, and the tomato paste. Stir well, until everything is combined. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then add the chili flakes and the thyme. Stir well, allowing everything to combine for a minute, then add the vegetable stock.

Bring the whole pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently until all of the vegetables are tender. Season well with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot!

 

 

Potato Leek Soup

One of my favorite soups ever. Super flavorful, it’s chock full of nutrients, and really easy to make!

Prep time: ~30 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/finely minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • 4 large carrots, peeled if desired, sliced into half moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly.
  • 1 large handful herbs (dill, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, whatever you like!).
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in it. When it’s nice and hot, toss in the leek. Cook until it begins to soften slightly, then add in the garlic.

When the leek is starting to become slightly translucent and the garlic is fragrant, toss in the carrots and celery. Reduce the heat slightly, then cook the vegetables until the leek and garlic caramelize nicely, stirring often.

Tumble in the potatoes, then continue cooking, again, stirring frequently. When the carrots begin to soften slightly, add the herbs, stir well, then add the vegetable stock.

Bring the soup to a boil, the reduce the heat, allowing the pot to simmer gently until all the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or normal blender (careful not to splash yourself! I’ve done that so many times), then serve piping hot.

 

White Bean Soup

A soup made from white beans with leeks, carrots, celery, spinach, a squeeze of lemon, and plenty of herbs (thyme and oregano) to make it tasty. Add in some noodles at the end if you want, just make sure you add extra water to cook them with!

Prep Time
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small), sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced/crushed.
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced thinly.
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 large bunch spinach, washed well.
  • 1 small handful each fresh thyme and oregano (or 2 tsp each dried).
  • Squeeze of lemon juice.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. When the oil is hot enough, add in the carrot, celery, leek, and garlic. Stir frequently, and cook until slightly softened.

Next, add the beans, spinach and herbs, and fry with the other vegetables for a minute. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then add all of the vegetable stock.

Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, until the soup is just simmering. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Red Lentil Dhal

A slow-cooked lentil stew of Indian origin, this dish is great to cook in large batches. It can be eaten on its own for a light meal, or served as a side dish or appetizer with other curries and the like. Very tasty, and even better served with naan.

Prep time: ~90 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus some to taste.
  • approx 250 g red lentils, well-rinsed.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled if desired, finely sliced.
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced.
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander (cilantro).
  • 1 tsp ground cumin.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large pot on medium-low heat. Add your onion, garlic, and salt. Caramelize for approx. 40 minutes, until the onion and garlic are very soft and sweet.

about 20 minutes into this, start cooking your lentils in a pot with the stock, and microwave the carrots, bell pepper, and celery in a bowl of water until they start to become tender, about 15 minutes.

When the lentils are ready, add them along with the rest of the vegetables into the onion pot, stirring well to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add your fresh coriander and cumin. Raise the heat slightly, until the soup is gently simmering, and cook for at least an hour.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

Yet another great recipe for fall and winter. I’ve got a long, cold season ahead of me, and I thrive off of soups and stews in the winter. This soup uses brown lentils, which can be kind of bland on their own, with a bunch of other vegetables to add plenty of flavour and nutrition! I recommend serving with bread.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 4 leeks (use the white and light green parts, not the dark green parts), cut into thin half-moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced.
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock.
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • 1 bunch kale (thick stems removed), sliced into strips.
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, removed from the woody stems.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the leeks and celery and cook until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the stock/water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, lentils, kale, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for approx 30 minutes, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.

Papa’s Fagioli Soup

My father’s fagioli soup recipe. Great for cold winter days when you want something really warm and hearty. This soup is full of vegetables, and has very little fat, so it’s quite healthy! Goes great with bread to sop up the juices.

This dish can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta.

Prep time: ~40 minutes
Gluten-free (if using gluten-free pasta)
Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced.
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 400 g pasta/gluten-free pasta (traditionally, ditalini or elbow macaroni, but farfalle works well too).
  • 1 small handful fresh herbs, chopped (basil and oregano work nicely).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the onions, and saute for 2 minutes. Then add your garlic, and saute until both the onions and garlic are soft and fragrant. Toss in the green pepper and celery, and cook until they begin to soften. At the same time, place your sliced carrots in a large bowl filled with water, and microwave for a few minutes, until they start to become tender.

Add the carrots to the pot, along with all the vegetable stock. Next, add your beans and the tomatoes (with all their juice). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until everything is soft and nicely acquainted. Then add your pasta, along with a few cups of boiling water, to prevent the pasta from sucking up all the liquid.

When the pasta is just cooked, add the herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for another minute or two, then serve. Enjoy!

Vegan Gumbo

Gumbo is an incredibly delicious soup. Full of all sorts of vegetables and spices, you’ll never get tired of it! This soup freezes well, so I like to make a big vat of it and freeze it for future dinners. In my family, we’ve always served the gumbo over a bed of rice. This soup is also great served with cornbread!

This dish can be gluten-free if you substitute brown rice flour for the all-purpose flour in the roux.

Okra’s kind of a funny vegetable. When cooked, it lets out a gooey, gelatinous substance. In the gumbo, this doesn’t have much of an impact, apart from maybe thickening the soup a little bit, but if you stir-fry or steam some sliced okra, you’ll see the sticky stuff! Okra is a popular health food, since it’s high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. It’s is also known for being high in antioxidants. Okra is also a good source of calcium and potassium.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free (if modifying the roux)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of rice per person eating the soup.
  • 5 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped.
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped.
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil.
  • 4-5 tbsp flour/brown rice flour.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes.
  • 1 box/bag frozen sliced okra.
  • Cajun seasoning to taste.
  • 3 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (see recipe below).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Vegan Worcestershire sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce/gluten-free soy sauce.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp dried ground ginger.
  • 1 tsp ground dry mustard.
  • 1 tsp onion powder.
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • black pepper.

Cooking Instructions:
For the Worcestershire sauce:
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the sauce if desired. You can keep this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
For the Gumbo:
Combine 5 cups of stock, half of the chopped onion, half of the chopped pepper, and half of the chopped celery in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are boiling, it’s time to make a roux out of the olive oil and flour. First, get a large skillet, and heat the olive oil on medium heat. When hot, toss in the flour, and stir until combined (a whisk works well for this).
Once the flour and oil form a paste, turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir frequently, around every ten seconds, to prevent the roux from burning. If you see black specks appear in the roux, you’ve burned some of the flour, so toss it out and start over.
Once the roux takes on a nice brown color, a little bit darker than peanut butter, it’s done. When the roux is done, add the remaining onion, pepper and celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the roux/vegetable mixture to the boiling vegetables. Add the tomatoes, okra, Worcestershire sauce, and Cajun seasoning, reduce the heat, and simmer an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While the gumbo is simmering away, it’s the perfect time to put on some rice. Long grain rice works best with this soup. If using a rice cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, rinse the rice to remove excess starch, then place in a large pot with twice as much water as rice, a splash of oil, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and let all the water absorb into the rice.
Spoon some rice into the bottom of your bowl, then ladle the gumbo over top. Serve piping hot, and enjoy!

Death Pasta

So named because it is incredibly filling, and eating too much will leave you in a food coma. Another recipe I learned from Amr (Elaine’s boyfriend). Very delicious, despite the dangers of overindulging in this dish, and sort of like a vegan pasta bolognaise. Also quite healthy! This dish can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta.

Prep time: ~40 minutes
Gluten-free (if using gluten-free pasta)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, cooked.
  • 1 can beans, drained and rinsed (black beans are best, but use whatever beans you like!)
  • 400 g pasta/gluten-free pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced.
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced.
  • 1 large onion, chopped.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed.
  • 1 can tomatoes, pureed.
  • 2 tsp Baharat (see Spices for the recipe!).
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to taste.
  • 1 small handful fresh basil, shredded, or 1 tsp dried basil.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Next add the garlic, and cook until both onions and garlic are soft and fragrant.

Add the carrots and celery, and cook with the lid on until the carrots begin to soften. Next, toss in all the lentils, and give it all a good stir. Add in the tomatoes and Middle Eastern spice mix and stir well.

Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in the basil, beans, red pepper flakes or hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir and let simmer for as long as you want, but at least until the carrots are thoroughly cooked.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain, and toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Serve hot, and don’t eat too much! Seriously, don’t eat too much.