Spiced Pumpkin & Barley Soup – VeganMoFo Day 31

It’s the last day of VeganMoFo 2017!! Can you believe it?! It’s always a challenge – I’ve posted 28 days this month which is more than I posted all year (!) and it’s not always easy coming up with ideas to fill the whole month. But so many people have done it, and it just shows how much creativity there is out there. You can check out roundups of this year’s participants on the VeganMoFo website – the final one will be up soon!

Today’s final VeganMoFo day coincides with Halloween, so that was our prompt for the day. I don’t do Halloween, but I decided to make something using an ingredient you may have plenty of…

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Pumpkin! This recipe will be great for all those pumpkins that will go on sale after Halloween. It’s the one you saw in my roasted chickpea recipe – they really do go very well together.

It’s got all lovely wintery spices in – cinnamon and paprika and cloves – and the addition of pearl barley makes it hearty and warming for the cold days (like today! where has this cold front come from?!).

Spiced Pumpkin & Barley Soup


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch ground cloves (be careful – these are strong!)
  • Half a medium sized pumpkin, diced
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 700ml vegetable stock

Directions

  1. Begin by heating the oil in a saucepan, and frying the onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the cinnamon, paprika, and cloves, and cook for thirty seconds.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir well, bring to the boil, and lower the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. The soup is done when the barley is tender, and the pumpkin is melting away to create a nice thick soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Chickpea Tahini Soup – VeganMoFo Day 9

It’s week two of VeganMoFo 2017! That means a different theme – this week’s is “Behind the Scenes” with each day being about something…well, behind the scenes, in your cooking life. Today is about gadgets you can’t live without. Mine would be my immersion blender. Or stick blender, whatever you like to call it. I used to think they were just a gimmick and I was happy with my countertop blender, but then one day my Granny found out that I didn’t have one, was horrified, and bought me one (she reads this blog once in a blue moon – if you’re reading this, thanks Granny!). And it was brilliant!ย So much easier than transferring everything from a pan to a blender, then back to the pan, then washing it all up. The stick blender is easy to wash up and control, you can blend to your desired consistency just by watching it…it’s really good.

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First of all,ย please ignore the giant chip in my bowl. I am so embarrassed about that, apparently I didn’t notice when I was taking photographs. Anyone want to get me pretty bowls for my birthday? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This soup may sound familiar to you, because it’s very similar to my chickpea tahini pastaย recipe, just in soup form. It’s lovely and warming for a cold, cold night – this would be absolutely perfect midwinter when you need to cosy up with a hot soup. I served it with pita bread this time, but if you fancied making (or buying) some freshly baked bread, it would be excellent!

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Chickpea Tahini Soup

  • Servings: 2 large servings
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped,
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tins chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon (approx 3 tbsp)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • salt + pepper to taste

1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent.
2. Stir in the cumin and saute for 30 seconds.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
4. Using your stick blender, or a countertop one if you don’t have one, blend the soup until it’s completely smooth.
5. Return to the heat and warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
6. Serve in bowls with bread!
[/recipe-directions]

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Easy Potato-Carrot Soup – VeganMoFo Day 3

The prompt for Day 3 of VeganMoFo is “What’s your easy cook meal? That you make when you can’t be bothered to cook much?“. Well, for me this is probably seasonal. Ask me on a hot summer’s day, and I’ll say something like a bag of crisps and a bowl of hummus. But now, in the cold wintery weather? My answer is soup. I love soup.

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I also think soup is pretty easy to make. One pot, bung in whatever you like, cook for a while, and there you have it, soup. If you have any vegetables hanging around in your fridge that need eating up – put them in your soup. Bags of frozen veg hogging the freezer? Make them into soup. Add a can of beans or two for some protein. Herbs and spices – so many different varieties – to add flavour. You can, if you’re feeling fancy, blend up the soup to make it creamy!

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For this soup, I kept it pretty simple. Onions and garlic – the base to most of my dishes – fried off, then chopped carrots and potatoes, some dried herbs, a little tomato puree, some vegetable stock, all cooked until nice and tender. I added some white beans towards the end – you don’t want to add them too soon else they can go a little mushy – and cooked until nice and thick. You could easily make a thinner soup with more liquid, but to be honest I like my soups so thick you could almost eat them with a fork. This soup took less than half an hour from start to bowl, and was delicious too!

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Easy Potato Carrot Soup


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 small potatoes (about 400g), diced into bitesize chunks
  • 2 medium carrots (about 200g), cut into half-moons
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic until softened.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, and dried herbs, and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Stir through the tomato puree and stock powder until well mixed.
  4. Pour in water until the vegetables are covered by about 2cm (1 inch). This makes a thick soup, add more water if you want it thinner.
  5. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the drained beans to the soup, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Taste and season, and serve!

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Cheesy Brussels & Potato Soup

Mmm, soup. It’s that time of year here where, sure, sometimes it’s lovely and sunny…but a lot of the time, it’s raining and grey and just miserable. Soup is the best cure for a miserable day! Serve it with some nice bread and it warms you up and comforts you. This soup is made from brussels sprouts and potatoes – perhaps a combination more suited to Christmas leftovers than April showers, but if you cook brussels right rather than boiling them into oblivion, they taste delicious and you’ll want to eat them all year round!

I don’t often post recipes using vegan cheese as a main ingredient, because I know how hard it is to come by, but here in the UK it’s become a lot easier! In a lot of supermarkets – Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, and some Sainsbury’s, Violife cheese is now available. Made from a coconut oil mix, it melts really well, especially in “wet” things like soups, in toasties, mixed through pasta.

I only use a small amount here – 50g in the soup, plus extra shavings on top, but I find a little goes a long way. This cheese is the one to use if you want to feed vegan cheese to non-vegans!

I also roasted the brussels first, giving them a slightly nutty, caramelised taste which really adds to the soup – and makes brussels taste so much better than just plain boiled ones!

Cheesy Brussels & Potato Soup


Ingredients

  • 500g Brussels sprouts, halved (or quartered if large) – I used frozen, defrosted
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 50g vegan cheese, grated – plus extra to top
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon, or use a stock cube
  • salt + pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Chop the Brussels in to halves or quarters, depending on the size (you want them to end up bitesize), and toss in a roasting dish with the chopped garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until starting to turn golden and crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, fry the onion in the remaining olive oil until softened.
  4. Add the diced potato and vegetable stock powder, and pour over water to cover.
  5. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Once the potatoes and Brussels are cooked, add three quarters of the Brussels to the potato pot along with the cheese, and extra water if needed so the vegetables are just covered.
  7. Either using an immersion blender or a regular blender, whizz the soup until smooth.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, and then stir through most of the remaining Brussels.
  9. Serve in bowls, topped with a few roasted Brussels and extra grated cheese. For extra creaminess, stir through a spoonful of vegan cream too!

Carrot & Butterbean Soup – Vegan MoFo Day 26

It’s cold, and rainy, and there’s a snow drift outside your door. What are you going to make with the ingredients you have?


I took this prompt to basically be a mostly “storecupboard” challenge. If I was stuck behind a snowdrift, I wouldn’t be able to get out to go and buy fresh vegetables. So what would I make with only what I always have in the house? If it’s cold and rainy, I want something nice and warming. And tasty of course.

For me, soup was the obvious choice! Soup and garlic bread. I do a “cheats” garlic bread which involves pitta bread (I always have some in the freezer) and vegan butter and garlic cloves (always have those). My soup is one I actually often make when it’s cold and nasty because it’s lovely and thick and warming. And so nutritious too – full of carroty goodness so you’ll be able to see in the dark easily!

This soup uses a LOT of carrots – I used 8 fairly large ones – but this gives it the body it needs, so that it isn’t watery.

You can add more water when you blend if you want it to be more liquid – but I like it thick and warming!

The garlic breads are really easy – I just mix together a spoonful of vegan butter with a chopped garlic clove, and spread it on top of pitta breads. Then whack it under the grill (broiler) and grill until golden brown!

Carrot & Butterbean Soup


Ingredients

    for the soup:
  • 8-9 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock
  • boiling water
  • salt & pepper
  • for the garlic bread:

  • Pita breads (as many as you like)
  • 1-2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan until translucent.
  2. Add the carrots and seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the tomato puree and stock powder, stir, and pour over the boiling water until it just covers the carrots.
  4. Cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes until carrots are soft.
  5. Meanwhile make the garlic bread. Mix together the butter and chopped garlic and spread on top of the pita breads. Put under a preheated grill for approx 3-5 minutes until the top is golden and bubbling.
  6. Add half the butterbeans and cook for two more minutes.
  7. Either transfer soup mixture to a blender, or use a hand blender, and blend until smooth.
  8. Back in the saucepan, mix the remaining butterbeans with the blended soup and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  9. Serve in bowls with the garlic bread!

Roasted Vegetable Soup & Seeded Soda Bread – Vegan MoFo Day 23!

Today’s prompt is “Autumn Equinox Eats”. I will admit, I don’t know much about the Autumn equinox – sure you hear about the summer/winter equinoxes, but not the Autumn one. Turns out, the Autumn equinox is smack bang in the middle of Summer and winter, and is the day when the day and night are the same length, balancing each other out. Which is pretty cool, really.

I still didn’t really know what food to make though. But, looking into it, the sort of food/celebrations people have for the Autumn equinox seem to be pretty similar to what I’m used to as “harvest” food. Here, around this time of year, churches and communities will celebrate the Harvest, holding harvest festivals and lunches full of seasonal food. Fresh baked bread, soups, etc are all in abundance.

That being said, I decided to make some easy bread and a nice roasted vegetable soup. I had some squash left over from yesterday’sย risottoย and I went to Leicester market and picked up a few bags of vegetables. I had potatoes, carrots, peppers, courgette, mushrooms, tomatoes, and squash all roasting. You can use whatever you have – it’s all about being seasonal and celebrating the flavours available to you.

I made three trays of roasted vegetables, but probably only used about half of them in this soup. I froze the rest to use another day – having roasted vegetables in the freezer makes for some really easy meals!

For the bread, I didn’t have time to make one that needed to rise so I decided to go with a soda bread! Quick and easy, soda breads don’t need kneading, or rising, and pretty much just come together then get thrown in the oven. Rustic looking, they fit well with the harvest theme. I put a handful of mixed seeds in mine – you can get bags of seeds from supermarkets. My recipe also has oats for that extra rustic taste!

Bread before baking

Bread after baking!

Roasted Vegetable Soup with Seeded Soda Bread


Ingredients

    for the bread:

  • 650g plain flour (or use a mix of plain/wholemeal)
  • 110g oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 25g vegan butter
  • 400ml milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • for the soup:

  • Mixed vegetables (I used carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, potatoes, peppers, and courgette), diced, approximately 4-5 cups worth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp stock powder/1 stock cube
  • boiling water

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
  1. First make the bread. In a jug, mix together the lemon juice and milk. Set aside (it will curdle, that is good).
  2. Mix the flour, oats, bicarb, salt, and seeds in a large bowl.
  3. Rub the butter in with your fingers, and then slowly pour in the milk mixture.
  4. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix or it will not rise! Shape into a rough circle.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and score a large cross through the middle of the dough.
  6. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped, and is golden brown.
  7. Next, make the soup. Spread the vegetables on baking trays evenly – you don’t want them layered up.
  8. Put the vegetables in the oven for 20 minutes, after which remove them and stir so they do not stick to the bottom.
  9. Put the vegetables back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until they are soft and starting to blacken.
  10. Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan until softened.
  11. Add the roasted vegetables and tomato puree and mix.
  12. Stir through the stock powder, and pour over the boiling water until it just covers the vegetables.
  13. Cook for a couple of minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
  14. Using a hand blender, blend the soup until almost completely blended. Leave a few chunks of vegetables whole. Alternatively pour into a stand blender and blend.
  15. Serve hot in bowls with the bread and butter!

Borlotti Bean Soup – Vegan MoFo day 3

I suppose this recipe could have gone into yesterday’s category too, as we had it when I was a kid too. It’s originally based off a Delia Smith recipe – my mum, being a huge Norwich City FC fan, is also a huge Delia fan. But, I figured since it’s vegan already,ย and it really is very quick and easy (it’s our go to “I can’t be bothered” meal), it would fit in today’s a lot more.

So if you hadn’t already guessed, today’s category is “Quick, Easy & Delicious”.

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It may not be the most photogenic meal – soup rarely is, especially when, like me, you have chipped bowls to serve it in! One day, I will have a giant kitchen with pretty cutlery….let me dream eh?! But it is tasty, warming, and only takes half an hour max to make!

Now, you can make variations of this because I realise not everyone can get borlotti beans. Often, if we can’t find them, we replace them with white kidney beans (also called canellini beans) and it tastes just the same! Pasta wise, feel free to use what you have. Slightly smaller pasta does work better – so macaroni or similar would be good – but I’ve used penne and fusilli in the past too and it works great!

borlottibeans

I always serve mine with garlic bread because, who doesn’t love garlic bread? If I don’t have any in the freezer I just make my own – finely chop a garlic clove, mix in a bowl with a spoonful of butter of your choice, and spread over a slice or two of bread. Put it under the grill (broiler, I think, in America) for a few minutes until it goes golden and toasted!

Borlotti Bean Soup


Ingredients

  • 180g pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 heaped tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp stock powder, or 1 stock cube
  • 1 can borlotti beans, drained
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Boiling water

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, fry the onion and garlic until softened.
  2. Add in the herbs, stock powder, salt and pepper & tomato puree and mix well.
  3. Stir through the beans, and, with a fork, mash about half of them.
  4. Stir in the pasta, and then pour over the boiling water until it just covers the pasta.
  5. Let cook until the pasta is done, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with garlic bread!

Simple Supper: Pea & Garlic Soup

So this meal may not be the prettiest. Bright green soup? Well, I don’t know if green is the most appetising colour, but it’s certainly tasty. And healthy! It’s actually packed full of protein and is pretty low calorie to go with that!

So while it may not look the prettiest – give it a go! The peas lend a slightly sweet taste but the garlic keeps it a nice and warming supper!

Pea & Garlic Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 650g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp boullion powder/1 stock cube, crumbled
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. Fry the onion and garlic until softened.
  2. Stir in the frozen peas and stock powder, and pour over water until it just covers the peas.
  3. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the peas are thoroughly cooked.
  4. Either use a stick blender, or transfer the soup to a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  5. Season well with salt and pepper and serve!

Moroccan Chickpea & Lentil Soup

So, yesterday was a looong day and I just wanted to rest when I got home. My husband volunteered to make dinner, which is awesome because I felt like being lazy! This is a recipe we usually make in winter time because it’s pretty hearty but it’s certainly starting to feel more like autumn here.

Don’t overdo it on the cinnamon in this recipe – too much and it starts tasting a bit like dessert – but it’s definitely needed to give the “Moroccan” hint. I can’t even remember where we got this soup recipe from – my mum makes it and puts batches in the freezer to have for lunch during the winter so I guess I got it from her sometime!

Moroccan Chickpea & Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml passata
  • 100g red lentils
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • Salt & Pepper

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Directions

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan until softened.
  2. Add the spices and seasoning, and cook with the onion for a couple more minutes.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, passata, lentils and stock, stir, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add in the chickpeas, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with bread or pittas

Easy Leek & Potato Soup

This soup is one I grew up eating. It may be simple but it’s definitely delicious – one to make over and over again. We went on a long walk yesterday and this soup was perfect to fill us up afterwards!

Simply chop three leeks:

And three potatoes (no need to peel!):

Combine them in a saucepan with some salt, pepper, and vegetable stock, cook for 10 minutes or so, and blend! And there you have it, some tasty soup ๐Ÿ™‚

Easy Leek & Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 medium leeks, chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped,
  • 1 tsp stock powder/1 stock cube crumbled
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. Saute the leeks a little in some oil until they start to wilt. Season with salt & plenty of pepper.
  2. Add the chopped potatoes and stir through.
  3. Stir through the stock powder or crumbled stock cube.
  4. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the leeks and potatoes.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to push a fork through.
  6. Either transfer to a blender, or use a stick blender (my favourite) and puree the soup until smooth.
  7. Serve and enjoy!