Archive for the 'soup' Category

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

I promised I would do something with all the strawberries we bought, but instead I’m writing about soup. It’s a GOOD soup though, one of the best I’ve ever had! I think the mustard and croutons really make it… but more on that in a second.

Somehow this week flew by without me once removing my camera from the bag I keep it in. Between getting things wrapped up at school (grades are now turned in! 5 more days of work) and going to the gym every day (our new gym is a billion times more appealing than our old gym), I just didn’t get around to making anything blog-worthy. I actually made this soup a few weeks ago, but debated sharing it because it was almost June and it really didn’t seem like a seasonally-appropriate choice.

I know a lot of the country is hot and humid right now, but the Bay Area is much colder and wetter than normal, so it’s definitely still soup weather. I know things aren’t too different in the Pacific Northwest, because in the last week or two, I’ve noticed a LOT of facebook status updates about how ridiculously late Spring is to arrive, and “this is the LAST year I’m putting up with Portland weather…who wants to move to Arizona/Hawaii/Florida with me!?”

So here we are, on June 4, with soup. It is one of those rich, creamy soups that seems like it should be full of heavy cream, but is actually full of cauliflower, potato, and cheese. There’s a little mustard, both in the soup and on the croutons, which really enhances the flavor. The croutons are a MUST – a perfect, crunchy contrast to the creaminess of the soup.

(from Super Natural Every Day) <– If you haven't bought it yet, you're missing out!

A decent sized chunk of whole grain bread (6 oz), cut or torn into 1/2″ pieces
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
a few pinches of sea salt

2 tbsp butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
one large potato, peeled and diced (1/4″ cubes)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard

To make the croutons, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl, then spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until the croutons are crunchy

To make the soup, melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the shallots and onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until they soften. Sprinkle with a little salt, then add the potato, garlic, and vegetable broth.

Cover and bring to a low boil, cooking for about 8 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the cauliflower and stir well. Cover and cook another 5 or 6 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Add the cheese and mustard and stir well.

Puree with an immersion blender, and add salt to taste. Add a little more broth or water if the soup is too thick.

Serve topped with croutons and a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Black Bean Vegetable Soup

I never really found black bean soup appealing. It didn’t look good, it never really tasted good (unless it was topped with so much cheese and sour cream you couldn’t really tell what it was), and I never felt any kind of urge to make it until this recipe.

My throat has been sore pretty much since we got back from Portland and yesterday it was so bad I took the day off work. I felt really guilty leaving the kids with a sub, but since I feel a lot better today, I guess it was worth it. Instead of supervising labs and timing the mile run, my day can pretty much be summed up by this picture:

It’s awesome to be reading a book I actually want to read again, instead of forcing myself to keep reading something I have absolutely no interest in (no, I never finished Everything is Illuminated…I gave up).

So after a highly thrilling day of downing Chloraseptic drops, drinking tea, and falling asleep every 20 pages, I knew I needed a healthy dinner that wasn’t very demanding to cook. This was perfect, and it’s really healthy, too. Cumin, paprika, and oregano are the only spices, but with the vegetables sauteed in the first step, there’s an amazing warmth and depth of flavor. I’m a convert – I LOVE black bean soup now.

And today, I might even try to run again since my weekly total currently stands at an impressive 4.2 miles!

(adapted from Veggie Belly)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped finely
1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups water
Salt to taste
chopped tomato, red onion, and green onion for garnish

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.

Stir in the spices, beans, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the soup has thickened.

Serve topped with chopped tomato, red onion, and green onion.

Indonesian Corn Chowder

Is this really Indonesian? I’m not sure. Is it good? YES. (And I’m just calling it Indonesian Corn Chowder because Healthy Hedonist did.)

Before we get to the recipe though, I have a really important topic to discuss: Lunch.

I am a total leftover person. I think I inherited it from my mom, who has lived on leftovers for lunch my whole life. I actually get really disappointed if Mike and I finish everything I’ve cooked for dinner because WHAT am I supposed to do about lunch!?

I’m assuming there are two camps: the I-pack-last-night’s-dinner-in-Tupperware camp, and the sandwich camp. My dad is most definitely in the second group, because while my mom eats leftovers, my dad eats PB & J

Which camp do you fall into? If you don’t eat leftovers or a sandwich, then what do you do for lunch?! (I realize lots of people buy lunch…but that’s not going to happen for me).

One other brief detour, and then I PROMISE we’ll get to the soup. See these shoes?

I got them FOR FREE! Somehow, a few weeks ago when we were volunteering at a trail race, I ended up getting a certificate for a free pair of La Sportiva Mountain Running Shoes. Since I have a 50K coming up far too soon, trail shoes seemed like a fairly crucial investment, so I ordered these and today was my first time running in them. Pretty they are not, but they are super comfy. Maybe not 31 miles comfy, but I’m pretty excited about them!

OK, back to the topic at hand.
I like this soup for several reasons:
1. It’s good (obviously)
2. It’s vegan (yay!)
3. You get to make a bouquet garni (very few things make me feel like a chef, but making a bouquet garni definitely does.)

It’s not a boring bouquet garni either. This one has cilantro stems, lemongrass, ginger, and Thai chiles. Yes, please! And don’t worry if you can’t handle spicy food, the Thai chiles really don’t add any heat.

(adapted from The Healthy Hedonist)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 small stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb bag frozen corn, divided
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut into 3″ pieces
4 thin slices ginger
12 cilantro stems
2 Thai chiles, halved lengthwise
4 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp lime juice
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until soft (about 10 minutes).

Add the garlic and about 3/4 of the corn and cook for about 4 more minutes.

Stir in the water and 1/2 tsp salt.

Put the lemongrass, ginger, chiles, and cilantro stems in the middle of a piece of cheesecloth and tie securely into a bundle. Drop into the soup, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.

Remove the lemongrass bundle and discard it. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.

Stir in the remaining corn. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Stir in the lime juice, then ladle into bowls and top with diced tomatoes.

To make a complete dinner, I served this with a big bowl of salad with peanut dressing. In the salad was some thinly sliced cabbage, grated carrot, chopped fresh spinach, diced tomato, and cubes of pan-fried tofu. Drizzle with peanut dressing.

Peanut Dressing:
3 cloves smashed garlic
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup PB
6 tbsp warm water

Blend all ingredients together, adding additional water if necessary.

Chorizo black bean soup

The first time I ate chorizo, I was staying with a host family in a tiny town in Spain. Every night after work (and before they ate dinner at about 10:30 PM), they put out bread, manchego (and other similar cheeses) and chorizo. I instantly fell in love with the salty, spicy cured sausage and was really bummed to discover how hard it was to find at home. I wanted to make paella for my family the way I learned how to in Spain, but all I could find was Mexican chorizo, which isn’t the same at all. Although I was not a fan of it at first, I came to love it even more than the Spanish variety.

When I gave up meat a few months ago, I wanted to steer clear of imitation meat products (like soy nuggets and fake lunch meat), but when I saw Soy Chorizo at Trader Joe’s, I had to give it a try. I don’t plan on eating it often, but I LOVE the stuff, and it really does look and taste a lot like the real thing (but without a bunch of random pig parts). I recently bought a package to put in breakfast scrambles, but I wanted to use some in a real recipe. Black bean soup isn’t normally my favorite, but with chorizo, it takes on a whole new flavor that’s totally irresistible. I love how easy this is to put together, and with a salad it’s a nice, light meal.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lg onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
6 ounces Soy Chorizo (or regular…your call)
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained (about 2 cans)
2-3 cups vegetable broth
lime wedges and fresh chopped cilantro, for serving

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute until soft (about 4 minutes). Add the chorizo, salt, and cumin and cook, stirring, another 5-6 minutes.
Stir in the beans and 2 cups of broth and simmer for about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, pulse a few times (so it’s partly but not completely pureed). Salt to taste, and add more broth if you’d like your soup a little thinner.
Serve with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

Southwestern Pinto and Roasted Vegetable Soup

When we moved into this house back in December, Mike bought a GIANT bag of pinto beans. Since I didn’t think I really liked pinto beans, I thought it would just be that thing that is still sitting there when it’s time to move out (whenever that may be), and we’d laugh about how he thought we’d go through that many beans. I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about that now though.

I’m not sure why I was anti-pinto, but this recipe changed that. It’s a little time consuming because of the dicing and roasting of vegetables, but that part is so, so worth it. The flavor that roasting adds makes this soup. I cooked dried pintos because I have millions of them, but I’m sure 2 cans, rinsed and drained, would work well. I also kept the amount of liquid fairly low, so this was more like a stew than a soup, but of course, that part is flexible and you can add as much broth as you’d like.

(adapted from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld)

1 zucchini, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 ear or corn
1 fresh poblano chile, stem and seeds removed, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
3 cups pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tsp New Mexico chile powder
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cups vegetable broth

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the kernels off the ear of corn. Toss the zucchini, red onion, poblano, and corn kernels with 1 tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto two Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheets and roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or heavy soup pot. When hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden. Add the chile powder and oregano, followed by the beans and broth and stir well. Add the roasted vegetables, and simmer until everything is heated through. Add salt to taste, then serve.

Cucumber-yogurt Soup

Reading The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber has made me crave Middle Eastern food in a way I never have before. It’s a memoir about growing up with an American mother and a Jordanian father (who loves to cook and eat), and I can’t read a chapter without wanting to make all the recipes she includes. This doesn’t happen to be from her book, but it’s from a great Middle Eastern cookbook that Mike checked out along with the memoir (I should just send him to the library for me from now on – I think he’s better at picking books I’ll like than I am!)

This recipe comes from Iran, and it’s perfect to make as the days get hotter. It’s incredibly quick and simple, and would make a nice light dinner with the addition of salad and bread.

(adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden)

Serves 2-3
2 cups plain yogurt (I used nonfat)
1/3 cup sour cream (I used low-fat)
1/3 cup cold water
salt and pepper
1/2 English cucumber, grated
2 finely chopped green onions (green parts only)
a few mint leaves, chopped, for garnish

Beat the yogurt and sour cream together until smooth, then stir in the water, cucumber, and green onions.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh mint to serve.

Onion Soup

I love French onion soup. Not the way I love tomato soup (for the nostalgia) or vegetable soup (because it’s healthy). French onion soup is just on a whole other level.

There’s just one problem: beef broth. The handful of recipes I’ve tried have all called for it, and back in my meat-eating days, I didn’t think twice about using it. I just kind of assumed that onion soup without beef broth wasn’t worth eating, so I hadn’t bothered to make a vegetarian version of it.

But a nagging craving got the best of me and I figured that even if it wasn’t worth eating, enough cheesy toast on top would at least make it tolerable, so I forged ahead with a new recipe which happens to call for beer instead of the wine I usually use. I can get behind that.

If you eat meat, I don’t see any reason to use vegetable broth… beef broth does give the characteristic flavor onion soup lovers crave. But if you’re vegetarian, don’t worry, this has everything you’re looking for, even without the beef broth. Win-win!

(adapted from McGuires Irish Pub Cook Book)

Serves 8

1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tsp salt, divided
a pinch or two of freshly ground black pepper
4 large onions, thinly sliced (I used a mix of red, white, and yellow)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable (or beef) broth
3 cups lager
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 bay leaves
8 slices wheat bread
8 slices Swiss cheese

Toss the onion slices with the flour, 1 tsp of salt, and black pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven and add the onions. Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, about 40 minutes.
Stir in the broth, lager, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, allspice, bay leaves, and other tsp of salt. Simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, removing the lid a few times to stir. Taste and adjust seasonings.
A few minutes before you’re ready to serve the soup, place the cheese slices on the bread and heat under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Ladle the soup out into bowls, then top with the bread and cheese to serve.

Trinidad Corn Soup

I love how so many things in life just seem to work out. I have to admit, when I signed up for Adopt-A-Blogger #4 I was a little skeptical. After all, how do I qualify as a mentor? Yeah, I’ve been doing this for over a year, but I’d hardly call myself a blogging pro. What would I have to contribute? What if the adoptee thought I was lame?

But of course, I worried excessively for absolutely NO reason, because I was matched with Wizzy of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Punch. Not only are her pictures gorgeous and her writing witty and eloquent, but her recipes are unique and she lives in Trinidad! Since I’ve never been to or eaten food from the Caribbean (except for a Cuban restaurant years ago), it was pretty much a perfect match. Of course, I feel like I’m learning far more from her than I am offering in return, but I’ve been loving our emails back and forth.

I will undoubtedly make quite a few recipes off her site, but this one caught my eye immediately because Mike has been dying to go to Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago since before I knew him. You should probably take a look at her pictures because they are much better than mine, but trust me, this soup is fantastic. The yellow split peas make it thick and hearty, and how can anyone turn down dumplings and sweet corn?

(adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Punch)

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 cup yellow split peas
8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, left whole
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
6 ears corn, cut into 2inch pieces
8 dumplings
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
black pepper

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
whole milk

Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Add the celery, thyme and chives and cook an additional five minutes.

Stir in the stock and split peas. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer partially covered for about 55 minutes, or until the split peas are very tender. Puree with an immersion blender. Add the habanero, potatoes, carrots, and corn and simmer for another 20 minutes, until potato is soft. Stir in the cilantro. If the soup is too thick, stir in a little water until it has a desired consistency.

While the soup is simmering, make the dumplings: Toss the flour, salt, and
cayenne together, then gradually stir in enough milk to make a stiff dough. Knead until smooth, then roll into a thin log and cut in 1″ lengths. Drop them into the soup after the potatoes are cooked through, and wait until they rise to the surface.

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.


A new development since we returned from Asia is Mike coming grocery shopping with me every week. I definitely don’t mind it, I just had to get used to walking every aisle no matter what was on the list, and random surprises ending up in the cart. Like a 6 pound can of hominy (but that’s okay because it was on sale for $2.18) So what does one do with a 6 pound can of hominy? Make posole of course!

Posole traditionally starts with a whole lot of pork, which obviously wasn’t going to happen here. But that doesn’t mean meat-eaters should feel left out, because you can easily serve shredded chicken or pork for them to stir into their soup. The garnishes are pretty essential to an awesome posole experience. I didn’t have any fresh radishes and didn’t want to go to the store just for them, but they are typically included on the plate of garnishes, so I listed them in the recipe.

(adapted from A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa)

1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 dried ancho chiles, stem and seeds removed
1 dried guajillo chile, stem and seeds removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 fresh poblano pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups hominy (drained)
salt (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

shredded Jack cheese
diced white onion
thinly sliced cabbage
diced radishes
wedges of lime

Before you begin, place the dried chilis and boiling water in a small bowl and cover for 20 minutes to soften them. The puree them with their soaking liquid and set aside.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and poblano and cook another 5 minutes.

Stir in the cumin, oregano, vegetable broth, hominy, and pureed chiles. Simmer partially covered for 20-30 minutes. Salt to taste, then stir in the fresh cilantro and cook another 3-4 minutes (at a simmer).

Ladle into bowls and serve with garnishes.

Tomato Soup

As a kid tomato soup meant two things: Campbell’s and cheese nibblets. I don’t know how many cans of Campbell’s soup I ate growing up, but I’m guessing it’s in the thousands. Tomato was my favorite, followed closely by cream of asparagus and cream of celery. Cheese nibblets are really just little cubes of cheddar cheese (always Tillamook) that were an absolute necessity. I don’t know why we called them nibblets, but I still won’t eat tomato soup without them.

I recently decided that since I’m such a strong advocate of making things from scratch, it was time for me to make my own tomato soup instead of opening a can of Campbell’s. This is a quick, easy tomato soup with a little hint of creaminess. After a long cold run last weekend, it was absolutely perfect.

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup veg broth
1/4 cup whole milk
salt and pepper
1-2 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in small dice

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft (about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, tomatoes, and vegetable broth and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the milk and season to taste with salt and pepper, then puree with an immersion blender. If the soup is too thick, add a little more vegetable broth. Sprinkle with diced cheese to serve.


Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Don’t miss a post!

Contact me!

I love getting email: catesworldkitchen at
Super Natural Recipe Search
wordpress visitor counter