Creamy Tomato Soup


I recently subscribed to a vegan meal service called Purple Carrot. I have done meal services in the past and for one reason or another I decided they weren’t for me. Changing up your diet to plant-based can definitely have its challenges in the beginning and the biggest challenge for me is that I often feel stifled in the kitchen. I find myself making the same meal over and over again so I thought incorporating a meal service while I adjust to eating vegan again would be a good idea.

So far I am really liking Purple Carrot. They have introduced me to some new products that I didn’t know about and even if I don’t end up continuing with them after a while I will have learned some great recipes. Tonight’s meal was a home run! It is a healthier version of the classic canned tomato soup and grilled cheese that you ate growing up. Going forward I will always make my tomato soup like this even if I do add dairy back into my diet eventually. It was so yummy. When it says two servings it really is only two smaller bowls of soup so I recommend doubling the recipe if you like to have seconds or are feeding more than two. If you’re interested in trying out purple carrot to add some more plant-based meals to your diet they do offer $20 off your first week.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 5.5 oz coconut milk
  • 1 ancient grain roll
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ¼ oz fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp vegan parmesan
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F to warm bread in step 4. Peel and chop the garlic. Peel and roughly chop the shallot.
  2. Place a large pot over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped garlic and shallot and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cashews, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and ¼ cup water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer soup for 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully pour the soup into the blender and blend until smooth. Season tomato soup with salt and pepper.
  4. Halve the ancient roll lengthwise and toast directly on the rack in the oven until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Halve the avocado, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh. Once the bread is toasted, spread the avocado onto the toasted bread, and top with hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Slice the seeded avocado toast. Hand tear the basil leaves. Divide the creamy tomato soup between large bowls. Top with basil and parmesan and serve with seeded avocado toast on the side.
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    (taken from http://www.purplecarrot.com)

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Vegetable soup


I really like always have a prepared homemade soup in my house. It’s nice to have something you can quickly grab when you get hungry. Some week nights I am too exhausted to make dinner so I’ll just eat whatever prepared soup I have in the fridge and toss together a fresh salad. I am also really lucky that my two year old absolutely loves this soup so I feel really good knowing that he’s getting his nutrients in! I go pretty heavy on the carrots because my little guy LOVES cooked carrots, but you can add less if you’d like. You can also add some noodles to make this dish a bit more filling!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion- diced
  • 4 large carrots- diced
  • Olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups of chopped celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic- minced
  • 2- 15.5 oz cans of great northern beans -rinsed and drained
  • 1- 15.5 oz of diced tomatoes with basil
  • 32 oz organic veggie broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • few sprinkles of: cumin, paprika and chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of adobo
  • 5 oz of pre-washed organic baby kale

Steps:

  1. Start by washing and dicing all the veggies. In a medium sized sauce pan drizzle olive oil and turn on medium to high heat. Add the onions. Let cook for a about 5 minutes and add the garlic, carrots, celery.
  2. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika, chili powder, adobo, beans and parsley. Add the tomatoes and broth. Cover and let cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes or the until vegetables are fork tender.
  3. Turn off from heat and stir in the baby kale.IMG_3160IMG_3168

Easy lentil soup


Last night I had a serious carb craving and made this easy soup to try to satisfy it.  I just ate it again for dinner tonight and it is so yummy. I never measure with spices so I usually just sprinkle, taste and add more if I think it needs it. I will try to be more mindful of how much I am actually using going forward. This soup didn’t have a ton of broth, my husband said it reminded him more of a chili which he liked. Extremely filling and easy to freeze! Also I use mostly organic ingredients especially when it comes to produce, but I don’t always label that in the recipes because that is up to you. Hope you’re all having a good week!

Ingredients:

  • 4 yellow carrots- peeled and chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery- chopped
  • Grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup of brown lentils
  • 1 medium sweet onion- diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used the pre-minced kind because I was feeling lazy)
  • 32oz box of organic veggie broth
  • 1 28 oz can of organic diced Roma tomatoes  (this is all I had a smaller can would work great too)
  • Handful of spinach
  • Chili powder
  • Adobo
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Start by drizzling some grapeseed oil over a medium sized saucepan over medium to high heat. Place the onions in the skillet and let cook for 5-7 minutes or until they start turning clear.
  2. Add the garlic and spices (chili powder, adobo, cumin, salt and pepper) stir well and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the diced carrots and onions and let simmer for a few more minutes. IMG_3097
  4. Add the broth, tomatoes and lentils, stir, reduce heat to meat low, cover and let cook for 25-30 minutes or until the veggies and lentils are cooked through. Add a handful of uncooked spinach to each hot soup bowl you serve.IMG_3105IMG_3107IMG_3115

 

Green Lentil Soup


IMG_1632After finally getting my little man down for a nap I felt like I needed to regroup after having an overall defeating day. Having a toddler that refuses sleep can be one of the most frustrating things as a momma because you know they so badly need it! Plus let’t be honest we can use the break!! Anyways SOUP has always been a go to for me my entire life. I consider it a meal and love all soups. I find it so comforting to the soul and even when I am personally super sick I will still take the time and energy to make my own homemade soup, because there is something about the whole process of cooking it yourself that I find nourishing. I needed to find some comfort today during the stormy afternoon so I pulled everything I had out in my fridge and pantry and came up with this soup. It was simple, easy and delicious. I’ll drain the broth out for my son and let him eat this over brown rice for a heartier meal!

Ingredients:IMG_1619 (1)

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 2 small sweet onions (or 1 large)
  • 1 cup of small whole green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh would be better- didn’t have any)
  • 32 oz. box of organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce  (add as little or as much as you’d like)
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper -diced
  • Grapeseed oil (olive oil is fine too)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (spice trick- I like to pour the spice in my hand and rub together to awaken the flavor)

Steps:

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  1. Start by coating a medium to large sauce pan in oil and adding the diced onions over medium heat.  Saute onions for about 5 minutes or until they turn clear.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, red pepper, garlic and tomatoes. Add in the pepper, cumin, adobo, chili powder and parsley. Lower heat to medium low and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cumin
  3. Add the vegetable broth, water, Frank’s (If you like spice) and lentils. Cover over low heat and let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it starts boiling too much I like to leave a little crack in the lid for some airflow.
  4. Add in the diced zucchini and squash, stir and turn the heat up to medium- let cook for another 25 minutes or until zucchini and lentils are cooked through. IMG_1624IMG_1627

 

Summer Zucchini Minestrone


This easy soup recipe is the perfect way to incorporate fresh local veggies during the summer season.
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Ingredients:

  • 28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4-5 small zucchinis, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 large vidalia onion
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 3 fresh cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups of organic spinach
  • 1.5 teaspoons of organic chicken soup base
  • 3-4 cups of filtered water
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of organic cannellini beans

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Steps:

  1. Start by taking a medium sized sauce pan and coat the bottom with olive oil, turn heat on medium and add the onions, basil and parsley stirring frequently for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes (if they are whole cut them into bite sized pieces first), beans, water, salt and pepper and the soup base.
  3. Cover the pan and let simmer over medium to low heat for 30-35 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parmesan and red chili flakes.

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Pumpkin Ginger Carrot Soup


Yesterday I went to Niagara Produce and stocked up on vegetables. I realized as I was leaving that I may have been a tad overzealous when it came to the amount of carrots I bought, so I was on a mission to make an entree out of them.  I received a Vitamix for our wedding and thought what a perfect time of year to make a carrot pureed soup in that.  I added the pumpkin since it’s Fall and this soup was delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger- peeled and minced (you can add more if you like a bite) 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. chunks
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • pinch of curry powder
  • pinch of cumin
  • 2 bay leafs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sugar in the raw (sprinkle on top to serve)
  • nutmeg (grate on top to serve)

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot  over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; saute for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, water, carrots, cumin, curry powder, bay leafs and pumpkin to the pot and heat until boiling.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor (I had to do mine in two batches)
  6. Season  salt and pepper, nutmeg and sugar  to taste.   SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Spicy Red Lentil Soup


Wegman’s always has such a great variety of soup. A few years ago I tried their spicy red lentil chili and was blown away! To my delight they had the recipe online and I have been making this soup ever since. The recipe calls for some things I don’t cook with like cornstarch and butter so I have made my own adjustments to make this soup healthier and easier to make. You really don’t need to add a thickener to this soup because the lentils expand so much it makes the soup thick on it’s own. Also always remember that food is customizable so for the tobasco and seasonings you can alter them according to your tastebuds! I added a few drop of the tobasco in each bowl I served because I happen to love spice. This large pot of soup costs under $10.00 to make and its so filling, cant beat that 😉

Ingredients:

Sorry about my kitty's head
Sorry about my kitty’s head
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 large Tbsp Earth Balance spread
  • 1/2 cup white onion- diced
  • 1 cup scallions- finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery -diced ( I throw the leaves in for flavor)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves- diced (I love garlic you can add less if you’d like)
  • 1 medium tomato- cored and diced
  • 1 large green pepper -finely diced
  • 1 large carrot- peeled and finely diced
  • 6 cups veggie stock (you can make your own or use store bought)
  • 1 Tbsp Tobasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp  turmeric (“few sprinkles”)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (“”)
  • 1/2 tsp  chili powder (“”)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (one sprinkle)
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Start by pouring the veggie broth into a large pot along with the lentils over medium to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring ocasioanlly and turn heat down to medium low and cover loosely.photo 2
  2. In a seperate skillet add the earth balance spread over medium to high heat let melt, add the scallions and onions and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes, add the garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the finely diced carrots, celery, peppers and tomatoes into the skillet and let cook down for 7-8 minutes over medium heat, stirring freqeuntly.photo 3
  4. Pour the veggie mixture into the pot with the lentils. Add your spices; tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the tobasco
  5. Stir all of the ingredients together, let cook over medium to low heat, loosely covered for about 40 minutes, stirring ocasioanlly. photo 4photo 5

Vegetable Stock


I normally just buy organic vegetable stock pre-made at the store, but yesterday after looking at all of the fresh produce I had I decided to make my own. It’s so easy and its great to freeze to have on hand when the recipe calls for it! I ended up using the vegetables for our dinner afterwards. I diced the veggies then added some barley, lentils, cabbage and kale to my dish with about 3 cups of the veggie broth.  When making a basic vegetable stock, you want something with a fairly neutral savory flavor. Some recipes recommend adding salt and other spices, but unless you know how you’re going to be using the broth , it’s better to add those flavors when you are making the actual dish. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic

Steps

  1.  Roughly Chop All The Vegetables: Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables and give them a rough chop. You don’t even need to peel them first unless you really want to. Throw all the vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them plus a few extra inches of water
  2. Cover with Water and Simmer: Cover the vegetables with enough water that you can easily stir them in the pot. Less water means that your stock will be more concentrated; more water makes a lighter-flavored stock. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot and a few wisps of steam on the surface, turn the heat down to medium-low
  3. Cook for One Hour or So: This isn’t an exact science, but one hour is generally enough time to infuse the water with vegetable goodness. If you need to take it off the heat a little early or don’t get to it until a little later, it will be fine. Give it a stir every now and again to circulate the vegetables
  4. Strain and Store Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour the stock through. Divide the stock into storage containers, cool completely, and then freeze.

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Curried Ginger Red Lentil and Quinoa Soup


I started a ten day Kundalini yoga workshop on Tuesday night. It begins at 4:30 am in Buffalo so I have been setting my alarm at 3:15 am. It’s only been three days, but so far I am seeing incredible changes in my body and mental state. I have not had the desire to eat meat and have been eating vegan the past few days and feel seriously incredible. I highly recommend this soup for anyone, the smell filled up my whole house and was truly divine. The lentils, quinoa and chickpeas jam pack this soup with protein. I had it  again for lunch today and feel so full but in a good way, not the I need to go nap way. I hope you enjoy, happy hump day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large organic carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 3 organic cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 lb red lentils
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 (28oz) can organic diced tomatoes
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15oz) can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of tabouleh (Optional: I went to Pita Gourmet for lunch and had a side of it, so I threw it in)

Steps:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, carrot and celery, sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder, sauté for about a minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, tabouleh  and bay leaves.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5.  Add chickpeas and quinoa, heat through.  Season with salt and pepper, and red chili flakes (if you like spice) to taste and adjust seasoning as needed. unnamed (1)

Vegetable Rice Medley


Yesterday I drove to Pennsylvania to spend the night at Splash Lagoon with my dad, brother and his friends. The hotel room had a full kitchen so I decided to make a quick stop to Wegman’s to cook something nice for my daddy.  I was inspired by a greek stuffed peppers recipe I found, but completely changed it around. If I do say so myself this is one of the best meals that I have ever come up with, and I highly recommend trying this dish out!

  • 2 15.5 oz cans organic great northern beans or small white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 10 oz bags of frozen long grain brown rice
  • 2 lemons squeezed
  • 5 peppers (orange, red and yellow- cut the top off, take the seeds out and wash)
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill (amount depends on your preference)
  •  1 bunch fresh curly parsley (amount depends on your preference)
  • Garlic sea salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups organic vegetable broth
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 oz can of organic tomato paste
  • 2 organic zucchinis (yellow and green) chopped
  • 1 large white onion (diced)
  • 1 pt organic cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 8oz packet of organic baby bella mushrooms

Steps:

  1. Start by preheating oven to 350, add the peppers upright and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the veggie broth into a large skillet, add the onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Take the peppers out of the oven and cut into bite sized pieced and add into the pot.
  4. Add the garlic sea salt, pepper, lemon, tomato paste, beans, dill, and parsley. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Heat up the rice in the microwave (2 minutes per bag) *I use this frozen rice to save time on weeknights, and the only ingredient in it is the rice, so I’m not compromising convenience for health. However if you prefer to cook the rice, feel free!
  6. Add the rice into the pot, uncover and turn heat up to medium, cook for 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy! unnamed