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Soups for the Season

The autumn harvest brings the perfect ingredients for making delicious, creamy soups, and with the cooler weather coming on, knowing how to make a delicious soup can be an invaluable way of keeping warm from the inside.

As with salad dressings, using a blender really expands your options, especially when it comes to making soups with a creamy consistency. Blending some steamed squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and/or white potatoes can provide the basic foundation for a huge variety of delicious soups, the extent of which is only limited by your selection of other veggies and seasonings.

We like to add a little nut butter to our blender mix, along with sautéed garlic and onion and/or powdered garlic and onion, and tamari/herb salt. (The following recipes call for cashew butter, because it adds a delicious creaminess without changing the flavor too much. But if you don’t have cashew butter, you can try replacing it with tahini. Tahini isn’t as pricy, but it does have a slightly bitter flavor, so if you’re using it as a substitute for cashew butter, it’s wise to use a little less than the recipe calls for.)

Blend the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy (the nut butter really adds to the creaminess), and then pour it into a pot containing veggies such as garlic, onion, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms, sautéed in the order listed.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have too many tomatoes, you can do something very similar with those. Simply cook up all your soft tomatoes, and throw them in a blender along with a little tahini, herb salt and nutritional yeast, and you’ll find that it’s a delicious base for a creamy tomato soup that can be poured over cooked onions, zucchini, mushrooms and even cooked sweet corn if you like it that way. (Try stirring in a little grated vegan cheese… Yum!)

But for those who are more comfortable with specific recipes than general tips and techniques, the following pages contain a variety of options.

Enjoy… And stay warm!

These recipes have been reproduced from Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm, which includes all sorts of tips to help make the transition to veganism easy and delicious.

Autumn Harvest Soup
serves 5-6

1 Tbsp. oil (optional)
1 large onion
1-2 cloves garlic
3 carrots (2 sliced, 1 grated)
1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 butternut (or sweet squash), cubed
1 tsp. sea salt
6-7 cups vegetable stock or water
2-3 Tbsp. tamari
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. herb salt such as Herbamare
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper

1. Dice onion and garlic and sauté in oil or water. Add sliced carrots, potatoes, squash, and sea salt to pot with enough stock (or water) to cover vegetables by an inch. Let simmer on low heat until vegetables are soft.
2. Remove 1/3 of the cooked vegetables with a strainer and blend with remaining stock (or water) until creamy. (Use less liquid for a thicker soup).
3. Add the remaining seasonings and blend again. Return mixture to soup pot and simmer for 10 more minutes. Season to taste.

Delicious served immediately and even better when reheated the next day.


 

Mushroom Barley Soup
serves 5–6

3/4–1 cup barley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small onions, diced
4 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 Tbsp. tamari
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
5 Tbsp. cashew butter
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt, to taste

1. Cook the barley in a big soup pot (one cup dry barley to three to four cups water). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until barley is completely cooked.
(This will make a hearty soup. For a thinner soup, use only 3/4 of a cup of barley.)
2. Remove barley from the pot. In the same pot, sauté garlic, onions, then mushrooms.
3. In a blender, blend 1 1/2–2 cups water with tamari, yeast, cashew butter and seasonings. Pour this into the soup pot.
4. Cover the blades of the blender with some cooked barley. Add water to cover the barley and blend to a creamy consistency. Add 1–2 more cups of water to the blender and blend. Pour this into the soup pot.
5. Add the remaining cooked barley to the soup pot. Simmer for 25–30 minutes. (If soup sits for a while, the barley will absorb some of the liquid and thicken the soup. To remedy this, add more liquid and seasonings.)


 

Creamy Potato Soup
serves 6–8

3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. water
2 large onions, diced
6 cups potatoes, cubed
2 cups carrots, sliced
6 cups water
2 Tbsp. cashew butter
1 Tbsp. herb salt such as Herbamare
2 Tbsp. tamari
1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill weed, chopped

1. In a blender, blend garlic with oil and water. Pour into a soup pot.
2. Sauté the onions in this garlic oil. When the onions are partially cooked, add the potatoes then the carrots. Add two cups of water and cover. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring frequently.
3. In a blender, blend two cups of water, cashew butter, herb seasoning, tamari and one cup of cooked potatoes from the pot. Blend well. Pour back into the soup pot.
4. In a blender again, blend one cup of the cooked potatoes and two cups of water. Pour back into the pot. Add sea salt to taste, dill weed, pepper and fresh dill. Simmer for 15–30 minutes. Serve.


 

Minestrone Soup
serves 5-6

2 cups cooked beans of your choice
1 large onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced & halved
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp. parsley
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
7-8 oz. pasta ribbons, spirals or shells
1/4 cup tamari or substitute
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. dill weed
1/2 Tbsp. herb salt such as Herbamare
1/2 tsp. black pepper
fresh basil leaves, a handful

1. Prepare beans. Drain and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized soup pot, sauté the diced onion and celery. Add the carrots. When they partially soften, add the zucchini.
3. In a blender, blend two cups of water with the tomato paste, parsley, yeast, oregano, onion and garlic powder. Return to the pot. Simmer for a while.
4. Cook pasta separately, until tender. Do not overcook. Rinse and drain.
5. Take half a cup of cooked carrots from the pot and place in the blender with 1 1/2 cups of water. Blend until creamy. Continue adding to the blender 1 1/2 cups of water, along with tamari, sea salt, dill weed, herb seasoning and pepper until thoroughly blended. Pour back into the pot.
6. Add fresh basil leaves to the soup pot. Add one to two more cups of water to the pot. Stir and simmer. Just before serving, remove basil leaves and add the pasta ribbons.


 

Creamy Vegetable Soup
serves 5–6

1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. oil or water
4 medium carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, cubed
2 Tbsp. tamari (or to taste)
2 celery stalks, sliced
6 cups water or stock
2–3 tsp. herb salt such as Herbamare
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. fresh dill
1/4–1/2 cup cashew butter
2–3 cups assorted vegetables (peas, broccoli, zucchini, etc.)

1. Sauté onion and garlic in oil or water. Add carrots and potatoes. Stir and add two cups water and the tamari. Simmer. Add celery when vegetables begin to soften.
2. When vegetables are soft, remove half of the potatoes and carrots and blend in a blender with two cups of water, the remaining seasonings and cashew butter.
3. Return blended liquid to the pot and add assorted vegetables and two cups of water. (Add more or less water depending on desired consistency.)
4. Let simmer for 15–20 minutes until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. This soup is even better when it sits for a few hours, if you can wait that long!


 

Thai Coconut Soup
serves 5-6

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. oil or water
4 large carrots, sliced
1 large potato, cubed
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp. unrefined sweetener (optional)
2 tsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
herb salt such as Herbamare (to taste)
2 Tbsp. tamari
1-2 tsp. curry powder (mild or hot)
1/2 cup peas (defrosted if frozen)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2-3 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped

1. In oil or water, sauté onion with the garlic and ginger. Add the carrots and potato. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the vegetables and let simmer.
2. In a blender, blend two cups of cooked carrots with one cup of stock. Add coconut milk and remaining ingredients except peas and chives. Blend again. Add this to the pot when vegetables are beginning to get soft, approximately 20 minutes. Add the peas at the end. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until flavors blend. Garnish with chives.