Monday, October 29, 2007

Argentinian Harvest Stew in a Pumpkin Shell

Floralis Generica in Argentina

...I continue with the Alphabet of Ethnic Soup Recipes. ARGENTINA is another "A" country. I looked at the possibility of running a soup recipe from the minute country of Andorra, the perfect tiny tax haven between Spain and France-- but I was unable to find any specifically Andorran soup recipes (although I did find a restaurant in the States named Andora that has been reviewed hundreds of times on-line). If you are Andorran and would like to contribute a vegetarian soup recipe, I would be delighted. In the meantime, back at the ranch in ARGENTINA...

Yes, Argentina is not a country that pops to mind when one thinks of Vegan or even Vegetarian fare. Argentina is renowned for its beef-eating, the average consumption of which is something like 150 pounds annually... My beef-raising brother and his wife went to Argentina just to see their famous wandering herds. They had a wonderful holiday.

It turns out that they DO actually have some marvellous vegetarian restaurants, probably because they have a large cosmopolitan tourist industry and have hopped on the bandwagon with the rest of the Global community (yay!). I'm featuring a really yummy Vegetable stew, an adaptation of a beef stew. If you are a lover of beef, I would be surprised if you were not delighted to find that you don't actually miss the meat in this particular multi-flavoured vegan stew. Enjoy!
1 large Onion, chopped
1 large Porcini Mushroom Cap, cut up
2 Garlic cloves, minced
4 T. Virgin Coconut Oil
1 large Green bell pepper, chopped
2 large Tomatoes, chopped
Celtic Sea Salt, to taste (1 scant teaspoon?)
1 cup Dried Apricots
3 White potatoes, peeled and diced
3 Sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 cups Vegetable broth
1 med Pumpkin
1/4 cup Worcestorshire Sauce
1 16-oz can Whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans organic Black Beans (drained)
1 Medium sized pumpkin

Saute onion, garlic, and mushroom in Virgin Coconut Oil . Add tomatoes, green pepper, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, Apricots, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and broth.

Cover and simmer 1 hour. Meanwhile, cut top off pumpkin and discard. Scoop out seeds and stringy membrane. Brush inside of pumpkin with melted Virgin Coconut Oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and cayenne. Stir sherry, corn and beans into stew and spoon into pumpkin shell. Place shell in shallow pan and bake at 325F 1 hour, or until pumpkin meat is tender. Place pumpkin in large bowl and ladle out stew, scooping out some of pumpkin with each stew serving.
          BC's Sunshine Coast!  You probably can too!  See the article here that describes

         how to do that:  GROW YOUR OWN SWEET POTATOES

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thai Coco-Veggie Soup

From what I've heard, really classic Thai dishes attempt to represent all possible ranges of palate experience with taste and texture: salty, sour, sweet, crunchy, creamy, spicy, cooling! While this is a HUGE challenge for any cook, I think that you will find the following Vegan take-off of a Thai Coconut Veggie Soup achieves this pretty well-- toss in some peanuts before serving to add 'crunchy'. Most of the ingredients you will have in your kitchen already, but there are a couple of surprises that you might want to go out and purchase for your continued foray into the exotic!

Thai Coco-Veggie Soup


* 1 medium, organic onion, diced
* 2 red bell peppers, diced
* 3 cloves organic garlic, minced
* 1 organic carrot, sliced (Rainbow carrots are a great choice)
* 1 can chickpeas or sweet green peas (organic, please)
* 4 tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil
* 1/2 tsp cumin
* 1/2 tsp coriander
* 1/4 tsp cayenne
* 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
* 1 cup coconut milk
* 1 cup organic peanut butter (make your own in the Vita-Mix)
* 1/2 cup vegetable broth
* juice from 3 limes
* 1 scant tsp Celtic Sea Salt
* 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
* 2 drops of  Lemongrass Essential Oil

Sauté in Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO): the onion, peppers and garlic in a large pot until onions are soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the basil and Lemongrass essential oil, and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook over low heat for one hour.

Pour about 1/2 of the soup into the Canister of the Vita-Mix and carefully position the two-part lid. Set to Variable, and beginning with the lowest setting, turn the knob slowly until at the highest Variable setting. Then flip into High until the soup is smooth and creamy (this is where you need to make sure the lid is on securely!.)

Fold the creamy Vita-Mix soup into the chunky soup on the stove. Add the basil and Lemongrass Essential Oil to the soup at this time.

Serve immediately!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Well, the frost is on the pumpkin here... or feels like it is! And HARVEST PUMPKIN SOUP sounds like just the ticket to warm us up in this house...

This recipe is an adaptation of an adaptation. The original comes from Pumpkin, by DeeDee Stovel (Storey Books, 2005). The internet adaptation is found at the site (where you can also make up petititions and support various important social causes). My recipe is veganand made smoother quicker in that whole food whiz-kid, the Vita-Mix The soup is actually chunky because only 1/2 of the original combo is blended in the Vita-Mix.


1 4 cups freshly-baked pumpkin or yellow squash chunks (bake seeded pumpkin/squash at 400F until tender, then peel and chop coarsely)
1 cup cooked organic brown rice, organic quinoa, or millet (set aside after cooking)
1 large leek, cleaned, white parts chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 celery root, peeled and chopped
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and chopped
7 cups organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon crumbled fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Celtic Sea salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Dash of nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup organic apple cider vinegar

1. Gently steam the leeks, onion, celery root, and apples in a large soup pot with 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth until soft, about 10 minutes.

2. Add remaining stock and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add ginger, sage, thyme, salt, turmeric, nutmeg, and a few grinds of pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.

3. In the cannister of the Vita-Mix, add about half the soup with the cooked rice/quinoa/millet. Secure the two-piece lid and process on Variable Speed, starting at lowest, and gradually, steadily, turning the knob to the highest level. Flip over into HIGH and process until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the cider vinegar. Soup should be slightly chunky. Gently heat, but do not boil.
Serves 8- this is an excellent soup to serve at a Fall dinner party or to take to a potluck!
**The use of the word "whirled" is meant to indicate a soup that is fully to partially made up using a Vita-Mix. To learn more about this amazing Whole Food Machine (10-Appliances-in-One), click here.

***Sign up for your FREE Whirled Soup Newsletter, delivered to your email address 3 X a month-- try 3 recipes not posted in this blog! (Look in the left margin to sign up). FACEBOOK Friends-- please click on the ORIGINAL ARTICLE at the top of this Note to arrive at the Whirled Soup blog and register for the newsletter.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A is for Azerbaijan

Soup is the food that makes itself known in every culture. I'm guessing that soup came to be because there was a shortage of some edibles and a profusion of others... combined they made a "just right" meld of nourishment and flavour.

AZERBAIJAN is a republic at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, and Iran.

The people of Azerbaijan come from a diversity of cultures and the climate zones in the country range through seven of the nine possibilities, from areas where it gets about as cold as it can, to the sub-tropical. In the past, there were many people living past 100, attributed largely to their healthy diet. They ate meat, but usually just small quantities two or three times a week. They used raw honey as a sweetener, and most of their consumption of dairy products came in the form of yogourt. In the former Soviet Union, they were famous for their wonderful fruit and vegetable crops. The Russians introduced a more "western" lifestyle and introduced grains, flour, bread, and sugar into the Azerbaijani diet.

The soup recipe I have chosen is an adaptation of a classic Azerbaijani vegetable soup called Dovga. I am a vegan, but will occasionally eat a little dairy (organic yogourt or butter)and yogourt is a mainstay of the region and its cooking. The recipe on-line contains egg, flour, and mutton, all of which I have left out. The wonderful combination of savoury herbs in this soup make up for any anxiety one might feel around the lack of meat, or for vegans, the inclusion of yogourt.

I have used the Vita-Mix to "heat" the herbs and yogourt, thus preserving the precious enzymes and lactobaccilus. The Vita-Mix "cooks" food through the friction of its high-power motor, moving up to 250 mph! It does not heat above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, so the precious nutrients are not destroyed and the flavours are delightfully blended.

This is not a pristine "RAW VEGAN" meal by any means-- besides the yogourt, I have included a small amount of pre-cooked Quinoa (you can use the classic rice)and topped the soup with organic canned peas (on sale at Edible Island, and cheaper than frozen organic peas). We dipped-- and cleaned up our plates with-- warmed pita bread.

All in all, this soup was a pleasant blend of Russian and Middle Eastern influences. Here is how I put it together:

Cook on the stove:
1/2 C. Quinoa (or Rice)in 1 1/2 C. water. Set aside.

Combine in the Vita-Mix Cannister:
2 Small Yellow Onions, cut up
1 Green Onion, cut up
1 Celery Rib, cut up
2 T. Fresh Mint Leaves
4 T. Fresh Cilentro
2 C. Fresh Spinach Leaves
1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt (or to taste)
Pepper to taste

Position double lid on Vita-Mix securely and whirl above greens, vegetables,and salt/pepper, beginning with Lowest Variable Setting and working gradually up to highest Variable Setting, then flipping over into High, until they are well blended and quite warm (about 4+minutes).

2 C. Organic Yogourt
3 Heaping Tablespoons of Cooked Quinoa (or Rice)

Blend until smooth and warm.

Pour into bowls and add a couple of tablespoons of cooked organic green peas (or other legumes of choice), to each bowl. Enjoy with a warmed pita.

Related sites:
Alphabet Reversals
Making Sense Of Post-Soviet Alphabet Soup
**The use of the word "whirled" is meant to indicate a soup that is fully to partially made up using a Vita-Mix. To learn more about this amazing Whole Food Machine (10-Appliances-in-One), click here.

***Sign up for your FREE Whirled Soup Newsletter, delivered to your email address 3 X a month-- try 3 recipes not posted in this blog! (Look in the left margin to sign up). FACEBOOK Friends-- please click on the ORIGINAL ARTICLE at the top of this Note or here to arrive at the Whirled Soup blog and register for the newsletter.