Soups are one of my most favorite dishes not just because they are satisfying and delicious but also because they are cost effective, simple, can feed a crowd, make for great left overs and they are healthful!
A few years ago when I was pregnant with Ira we were living in France and I got really into cooking. My neighbor was a chef at a near by restaurant and he taught me a few of his secrets to wonderful soups. The number one tip he gave was to never boil your soups. Instead cook them on low to medium heat for a longer period of time. This saves nutrients AND flavor. It takes a little longer but the end results will be worth it! (Also, many of times, soups are better the next day after the flavors have time to mix).
And the second most valuable tip is add fresh herbs and citruses very last to preserve their freshness and vibrant taste.
I personally do not like to use no oil and little to no salt in my cooking. I also love bold flavors and believe that healthy food at any means should not equal boring or bland!
So when you first start sauteing you onions, add a tablespoon of water in place of oil- easy! I promise you you wont miss it.
I will make another post for cream substitutes etc. You can really make any soup that you love into a healthier and vegan option with the right know hows. If this interests you let me know and Ill share everything that works awesome!
Okay! Here are 6 soups! Feel free to add whatever you like! I also make a tonne extra to freeze or have throughout the week! I usually add more garlic and lemon than I list but I like a lot!
Simple... quick.. healthy ... mouth watering... that's what we're going for here! :)
Vegetable Red Lentil Soup
2 cups small lentils (I prefer red)
2 russet potatoes (chopped)
1 med white onion (chopped)
2 carrot (chopped)
5 celery stick (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped of crushed)
1 ½ bay leaves
1 ½ fresh dill
2cans stewed tomatoes
10 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 bunch fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tsp pepper
salt and pepper to taste or use lemon ( I use lemon)
1) In a large soup pot put a tablespoon of water and add onions, garlic, carrots, potato, and celery. Saute until vegetables are almost tender.
2) Add the diced tomatoes with juice, bay leaves, parsley, lentils and the stock.
3) Bring to a soft boil stirring occasionally until the lentils are soft, reduce heat and simmer
4) add fresh parsley and dill at the very end for most flavor and freshness!
Vegan Leek Potato Soup
5 or 6 large leeks sliced thin (6 cups)
1 large yellow onion sliced thin
1 lb russet potatoes diced
3 T coconut butter (or omit)
4-5 cups vegetable stock (my favorite is the organic better than bouillon )
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste or squeeze lemon
Sweat the leeks and onion for 15 min covered, on med low (don’t let brown)
Add stock and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are soft
Let cool to lukewarm and blend in food processor or blender until smooth
*NOTE an easy way to clean leeks is discard outter tough layer, slice down the middle, and immerse in a bowl of cold water.
Vegan Minestrone Soup
1 cup onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
½ cup cubed carrots
3 -15 oz cans stewed diced tomatoes
6 cups water + 5 tsp vegetable bouillon or just 6 cups of vegetable stock
1 ½ cup cubed yams
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 small pkg chopped green beans
1 bundle of fresh rosemary (consisting of a few stems of rosemary leaves tied up with string or floss or some gauze to prevent the leaves from separating themselves into the soup)
1 tsp dried oregano
2bunch fresh basil
½ tsp sage
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp salt (optional)
½ tsp pepper
1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 bunch fresh parsley
Small pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup cooked pasta ( I prefer corn quinoa based pastas for best texture and keeping it gluten free.
In small amount of water add onion, garlic. When onions are translucent add celery, carrot, diced tomatoes, broth, yams, potatoes, green beans, oregano, sage, chili pwd, salt, pepper. Cook 15 min on simmer.
Stir in garbanzo beans, parsley, basil ,cayenne pepper, pasta. Cook on simmer 10 min!
HOMEMADE VEGETABLE SOUP
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 ½ cups onions, sliced and chopped
2 cups potatoes, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups celery, sliced
2 ½ cups green cabbage, chopped
½ cup lentils
4 oz vegetable soup bullion (8 T)
20 oz crushed stewed tomatoes, canned
¾ oz Italian spice (about 1T)
20 cups water
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the carrots and lentils and let boil for 10 min. Then add the rest of the vegetables (except for the potatoes), the soup bases and spices. Let simmer for 20 minutes then add the potatoes, crushed tomatoes, and mushrooms (and black pepper to taste if desired). Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Garden Carrot Soup with fresh Ginger
2 tsp coconut butter
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups sliced leeks (you can use regular onion as part of the 2 cups )
2 cups chopped yam
1tbsp grated fresh ginger (I used ½ this amount)
2 cups water or broth (I used vegetable broth) (I added a bit more at the end as it was quite thick)
sea salt to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a large soup pot. Saute carrot and leek over medium heat for three minutes, could be longer . I have done it for 10 min. It makes no difference in the taste. Add yam. Cover and cook for 2 mins. Add ginger, pepper, nutmeg, salt, and water or broth. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 mins or till vegs are soft. Cool down before pureeing it.