BASICS, DESSERTS, SALADS, SOUPS, TRENDING

SOUPS: Corn Chowder – Lotsa Vegetable Chowder – Fall Harvest Vegetable Chowder – Sweet Potato Bisque…

Corn Chowder

THIS IS A perfect soup for summer, when bell peppers, corn, and tomatoes are all fresh at the farmers’ market.

SERVES 6

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced small

2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped

3 ears corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1½ pounds tomatoes (about 4 to 5 medium), diced

6 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

¾ cup finely chopped basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Place the onions and peppers in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the corn and garlic, and sauté 5 more minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

2. Puree half of the soup in batches in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. Return the pureed soup to the pot. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper.

VARIATION

You can also make this with leeks instead of onions—substitute 2 leeks (white parts only), diced and rinsed.

Lotsa Vegetable Chowder

Recipe by Judy Micklewright

YOU MIGHT CALL this a “corny” chowder instead, because when I tell my two-year-old that I am making my “Heavenly and Heavily Herbaceous Cauliflower Crowded Chowder,” she cracks up. We always have a large quantity of broccoli and cauliflower stalks hanging around from other recipes. I slice off the outer fibrous side of the stems (all the green part for the broccoli) and chop the stalks into  ¼-inch chunks. If you do not have leftover stems available, you can add more celery at the end of the cooking process, about 10 minutes before the chowder is done, or you can add chayote, kohlrabi, turnips, yellow beets, or fennel. I find the more vegetables in this soup, the better it tastes. If you’re caught with a bounty of fresh thyme and dill, this soup is also a great way of making use of them.

SERVES 4 TO 6

8 small Yukon Gold, white, or russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into ½-inch chunks

½ small onion, peeled and chopped

3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed (about 1¾ cups), cobs reserved

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped broccoli and cauliflower stalks, outer fibrous parts removed and discarded (about ½ pound)

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons chopped thyme

⅛ teaspoon white pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 tablespoons chopped dill

Salt to taste

1. In a large pot, combine the potatoes, onion, corn kernels and cobs, carrots, celery, pepper, broccoli and cauliflower, garlic, thyme, white pepper, cumin, and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

2. Remove the corn cobs and let cool. Remove 1 cup of the soup and puree in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. (If you like a thicker soup, puree 2 cups.) Return the pureed soup to the pot and add the dill. Scrape corn cobs with back of a knife to remove the creamy corn bits from the kernel, and add the bits to the pot. Stir well and season with salt.

Fall Harvest Vegetable Chowder

Recipe by Julieanna Hever

SOOTHING AND SIMPLE, this soup is a great go-to recipe during the colder months for a warm pick-me-up.

SERVES 6

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

6 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

2 small zucchini, diced

2 small yams, peeled and diced

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons thyme

3 to 4 ears corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)

4 cups packed spinach leaves

1. Place the onion, celery, carrots, and ½ cup vegetable stock in a large soup pot and sauté over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

2. Add the zucchini, yams, bay leaves, thyme, and remaining broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Add half the corn and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. Return the soup to the pot and add the remaining corn and spinach leaves. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Stir well and serve hot.

Sweet Potato Bisque

THIS SWEET AND savory soup could almost be a dessert soup, as ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon are spices you find in many sweet potato and pumpkin pie recipes. The onion and garlic temper the sweetness, however, with a savory boost in this comforting recipe.

SERVES 6

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon thyme

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

6 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1½ cups unsweetened plain almond milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Place the onion in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, thyme, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes, vegetable stock, and orange zest and juice and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

2. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. Return the soup to the pot and add the almond milk. Cook an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through, and season with salt and pepper.

Savory Squash Soup

Recipe by Darshana Thacker

THIS DAIRY-FREE SOUP is nourishing, delicious, and surprisingly creamy.

SERVES 4

2½ cups butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced (from about 1 medium)

1 large russet potato, diced (about 1 cup)

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped (about ½ cup)

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

¼ teaspoon dried Italian herb mix, or a pinch each of oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme

Pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

¼ cup green peas

¼ teaspoon lime juice

Finely chopped parsley

1. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the squash, potato, onion, garlic, herb mix, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

2. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. Return the soup to the pot and add the green peas and lime juice. Cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Serve hot, garnished with the parsley.

Curried Squash and Apple Soup

APPLES AND WINTER squash are the vegetables of the fall harvest, and the tart Granny Smith apple is a perfect balance for the earthy squash. Soup and a hearty salad make an easy, satisfying meal. Add dried cranberries and a few chopped walnuts to the salad for a beautiful, seasonal presentation.

SERVES 4

1 medium onion, peeled and diced small

1 large winter squash, acorn or butternut, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice (about 6 cups)

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 cup unsweetened apple cider

3 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

Pinch cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Place the onion in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are browned. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the squash, apple, curry powder, cider, vegetable stock, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. If necessary, return the soup to the pot to reheat. Season with salt.

Chestnut Soup

A FEW YEARS ago my friend Elizabeth served this soup for Christmas dinner, and she made it vegan for me. I thought I had died and gone to soup heaven! It was creamy without any dairy, and full  of flavor without a lot of complicated ingredients. This is a recipe you have to try.

SERVES 4

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1½ tablespoons minced sage

1 tablespoon minced thyme

1 bay leaf

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

4 to 5 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

One 15-ounce can chestnut puree

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Place the onion, celery, and carrot in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender and starting to brown. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the sage, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, and vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat and whisk in the chestnut puree. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the chopped parsley.

Mushroom Barley Soup

PORCINI MUSHROOMS ADD an earthy richness to any dish—they’re well worth their slight expense. If you can’t find cremini mushrooms, use button mushrooms instead.

SERVES 4 TO 6

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons minced thyme

2 teaspoons minced rosemary

2 bay leaves

5 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked for 30 minutes in 1 cup of water that has just been boiled

3 cups cooked barley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the onion, carrots, celery, and cremini mushrooms in a large pot and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and cook for another minute. Add the vegetable stock, porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add the cooked barley and cook another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

TOASTED SPICES AND chipotle peppers give this soup its smoky flavor, and the orange juice and zest really brighten it up. Serve this soup with Whole-Grain Corn Muffins and a salad.

SERVES 4

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, toasted

1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground

1 dried chipotle pepper, halved, toasted in a dry skillet for 2 to 3 minutes, soaked in cool water for 15 minutes, and chopped

1 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

4 cups cooked black beans, or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the onion and green pepper in a large pan and sauté over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander, and chipotle pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, orange zest, beans, and enough water to cover the beans by 3 inches. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Split Pea Soup

SWEET POTATO AND smoked paprika give a twist to this otherwise everyday split pea soup. The sweet potato almost melts into the soup, giving it a creamy texture, and the flavors are even better the next day. You could also add spinach or mustard greens to this recipe for even more whole-food health benefits.

SERVES 6

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons minced rosemary

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1½ cups split peas

6 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the onion, carrot, and celery in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, paprika, sweet potato, split peas, and vegetable stock and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the peas are tender, about 50 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Lentil Soup with Cauliflower, Potatoes and Spinach

THIS SOUP HAPPENED by accident one day when I happened to be making two different soups at the same time: Lentil on one burner, and Cauliflower, Potato, and Spinach on another. I added some ingredients meant for one soup into the other pot—but as so often happens with cooking “mistakes,” it worked out well. The cauliflower, potatoes, and lentils all add a creaminess to the soup as it cooks, and the smooth texture is especially pronounced if you serve it the next day.

SERVES 8 TO 10

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste

½ teaspoon turmeric

Pinch ground nutmeg

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup green lentils, rinsed

2 large waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch dice

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets

6 cups finely chopped spinach leaves

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Place the onions in a large pot and sauté over medium for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the bay leaves, curry powder, turmeric, and nutmeg and cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the lentils and 6 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and cook until the lentils are tender, about 15 more minutes.

2. Stir in the spinach, cilantro, and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Ful Nabed (Egyptian Fava Bean Soup)

THIS POPULAR EGYPTIAN bean soup is made with fava beans (also known as broad beans), which are native to North Africa. If you can’t find them, use chickpeas or any other bean. The mint and lemon really bring the soup to life.

SERVES 4 TO 6

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 bay leaves

1 large tomato, finely chopped

6 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth

3 cups cooked fava beans

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

Salt to taste

1. Place the onion, carrot, and celery in a large pot and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, bay leaves, and tomato and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and fava beans and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

2. Add the cayenne pepper, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and mint. Cook for another 5 minutes, and season with salt.

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