Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Simple Leek-Sweet Potato Soup: Low Fat Vegan, Gluten-Free

This recipe for Simple Leek-Sweet Potato Soup is easy to pull together (the only thing you might not have on hand is the leeks or sweet potatoes) and easy to digest-- particularly comforting if you have been over-indulging in rich food over the holiday.  Enjoy!

1/2 C. Water
1 large Onion, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 large Leeks, sliced into rounds
2 heaped tsp ground Cumin
1 thumb-size piece of organic Ginger, grated
1 litre Vegetable Stock or Water
4 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 C/400 ml. of Coconut or Nut Mylk 
Salt, and freshly ground Pepper

1. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring now and then.
2. Add the garlic and leek and cook gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Mix in the cumin and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the grated ginger, then the stock or water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the sweet potato, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is soft. PureeWhirl the soup using a high speed blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
5. Gently reheat the soup stirring in the coconut milk. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

          BC's Sunshine Coast!  You probably can too!  See the article here that describes

         how to do that:  GROW YOUR OWN SWEET POTATOES

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quicky and Easy Green Pea Soup

This recipe is for a quick and easy green pea soup-- no need to buy that dry paste that never really hydrates in your cup when you can have a lovely thermos of home-made soup that you can easily make in the hour before you leave for work (or before you go to bed).  This soup is vegan and gluten-free.

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry dillweed
  • filtered water
  • 3 C. Frozen Peas
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Miso
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 10 freshly cracked Hazelnuts (optional OR 1/2 C. nut milk)
  1. This soup is highly digestible because it doesn't contain any visible fats or oils.  We are adherents to Dr. John McDougall's The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!
  2. Saute the onions, garlic, and dillweed in about an inch of water, boiling for about 4 minutes or so. 
  3. Add in the peas and fresh Thyme (1 leaf of the broadleaf thyme/cuban oregano or perhaps 2 T. of chopped regular fresh thyme), bring to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  4. Add Miso, Salt and Pepper (to taste) to the carafe of your blender.
  5. If using hazelnuts or nut milk, whirl up in the blender with about a Cup of the soup fluid
  6. Add in about 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup to the carafe as well.  Carefully blend until smooth.
  7. Add back into the soup pot and stir together.  My husband really likes this soup a lot!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How To Make Roasted Carrot-Cauliflower Curry Soup with Hazelnuts (Vegan, Glutenfree)

This hearty Carrot-Cauliflower Curry Soup is vibrant with the fragrance and taste and warmth of your own harvested veggies but also with the more exotic flavours of the tropics (curry, coconut, lime).  Roasting the veggies brings out the lovely depth of their wholesomeness.  

Roasting the nuts (hazelnuts are my choice, but the recipe that inspired me called for roasted cashews and toasted coconut as condiments) in your own oven, means that you are avoiding the deep-fat-fried "dry-roasted" nuts that are often the ones you end up with when you buy them already-roasted.  If you have never roasted your own nuts, you are in for a treat!


6 Carrots
1/2 head Cauliflower
1 cup chopped Zucchini
2 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
3 cups Water (or vegetable broth)
1/2 jar of Vegan Pasta Sauce
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 small Lime, juiced
For topping:
roasted Hazelnuts

Chopped Veggies in casserole dish

  1. Start by roasting hazelnuts (or other nuts).  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Shell about a handful of nuts and spread in a roastpan.  Put pan in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, watching that they do not burn.  Pour nuts into a clean teatowel and set aside to steam and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  3. Peel the carrots and garlic cloves, and chop along with cauliflower and zucchini.
  4. Line a casserole dish with parchment paper if you want to cut down on cleanup.  Place carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, and garlic into the casserole dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper. 
  5. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. 
  6. Remove from oven, stir the veggies, and return to oven and continue to roast until the vegetables are tender and lightly charred, about another 25 minutes. 
  7. Meanwhile, bring water and pasta sauce (lazy cook's shortcut) or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. 
  8. Remove the roasted veggies from the oven and stir and set aside briefly.
  9. Stir curry powder into the water/pasta sauce and add the roasted vegetables. Cover and simmer soup until vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Take off the heat.
  10. Blend the soup until smooth.
  11. On a medium setting, whisk the coconut milk and lime juice into soup. Simmer just until warmed through, for about 5 to 10 minutes
  12. Finish the nuts by rubbing them together in the teatowel so that most of their skins rub off.  Chop or grind coarsely and sprinkle on each individual bowl of soup at serving time. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Brown Lentil and Beet Borscht - Gluten-Free, Low Fat Vegan

brown lentil beet borscht
This recipe for Brown Lentil and Beet Borscht is an adaptation of a delicious recipe called Beluga Lentil Borscht from The Great Vegan Bean Book: More than 100 Delicious Plant-Based Dishes Packed with the Kindest Protein in Town! - Includes Soy-Free and Gluten-Free Recipes!  The adaptations I've made are largely based on what ingredients I needed to substitute because they weren't in the house. She provides an option for using oil or not, and a recipe for "Cashew Cream" to serve as a garnish.  There is also an alternate Slow Cooker recipe.

This recipe makes 8 servings, which means most of us can put it away to fully savour again on another day.  I freeze mine but it would be wonderful as a home-canned soup!  Now, on with the recipe:


  • 1 big organic roasted potato, chopped
  • 2 small organic carrots, roasted, chopped
  • 3 medium beets, roasted, peeled, chopped
  • 1 T. water or broth
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. caraway or fennel seed (I only had fennel)
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • leaves from beets, chopped (optional)
  • 6 cups water for cooking
  • 2 bay leaves (remember to remove before serving!)
  • 1 jar organic pasta sauce (containing tomato)
  • 2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Top with perogies
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Chop and roast the potato, carrots and beets for about 25 minutes in a heavy covered pot (clay or whatever)
  • Saute the Onion for about 5 minutes in the small quantity of water in a large pot.  Add in the garlic and seeds for an additional 1 minute
  • Combine the roasted vegetables with the onion/garlic/seeds in the pot, add the cooking water, bay leaves, and lentils and cook until tender (about 20 minutes)
  • Add the pasta sauce and dill and cook for about 15 more minutes, or until dill is rehydrated
  • Boil up some perogies (store-bought, or your own)
  • Before serving add apple cider vinegar, pepper, and salt.  Remove the bay leaves.
  • Top each individual bowl with perogies
You might also like this recipe: GLUTEN FREE DUMPLINGS/ PEROGIES
Gluten-Free Perogies (Dumplings) to go with the Borscht

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kuri-Apple-Coconut Soup : Gluten Free, Vegan

I think you'll love this.  I grew these little Japanese Squash (Kuri) this year and really like their starchy, mild-tasting flesh.  It blends well.  A high rotation blender like Vitamix or Blendex is a great investment at this time of the year (or if you are into smoothies at any time of the year, for that matter.)


    1 medium Kuri Squash, scrubbed and steamed until soft -- Scoop out seeds
    1 large Granny Smith Apple, diced
    1 medium Onion, diced
    2 tsp. grated fresh Ginger
    4 cloves Garlic, chopped
    2 C. apple juice
    14 oz / 400 ml Coconut Milk
    5 C. water (with about 1/4 C. Apple Cider Vinegar incl) (adjust as desired)
    2 tsp Salt
    Pepper, to taste

**additional ingredients that I added:
        2 C. cooked brown rice and beans (from fridge)
        2 T. Turmeric
        2 T. Curry Powder


Steam the entire squash (skin and all).  Remove the seeds and ends, but keep the skin and pulp around the skin. Sauté the apple and onion in boiling Water for about 5 minutes to soften. Add ginger and garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Add the remainder of the ingredients at this time and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and cook until everything is soft, approximately 30 minutes.

Whirl up  in a blender or food processor. Grate black pepper on top.

This is such a lovely, comforting, delicious soup-- I think you'll love it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kuri Squash Curry Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Our son gave us some kuri squash seeds this Spring and what we have today is a rich, creamy delightful kuri squash curry soup.

  What is Kuri Squash?

  is a smallish (5-10 pounds) hard-shelled, teardrop-shaped, bright red-orange 'winter' squash that takes about 100 days to mature after flowering. It originated in Japan. I find the flesh to be a sort of cross between a pumpkin and a yam, quite dense and starchy. It creams up beautifully in the Vitamix to a smooth, silken soup that doesn't require anything to 'thicken' it (so, yes, any soup you make with it can be gluten-free!)
Radiantly beautiful Kuri Squash
Kuri Squash

  Kuri Squash Curry Soup Recipe

A friend at our Church is famous for his delicious curry pumpkin or carrot soups. I have attempted to replicate the flavour he achieves, but I suspect he might use some oil (which I have not) and perhaps even butter, maybe even chicken broth. This recipe is low-fat vegan , so, sorry, no butter, no chicken soup, but, of course, you are free to make your own adjustments.

  • 1 Kuri Squash, cubed and boiled or steamed whole in something like 1 Kuri Squash, cubed and boiled or steamed whole in something like the Instant Pot 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, (which is what I did)
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tsp. organic Curry Powder
  • Dash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt crystals
  • 3-5 C. Filtered Water
  • Small amount of Almond (or other non-dairy) Mylk

  • Set cooked Squash aside
  • In medium-size sauce pan, cover onion and garlic with water, add spices, vinegar and sugar and cook over medium heat until the water boils, and then turn to LOW,  cover with lid, and cook for a few minutes until the onions and garlic are soft.
  • Stir  in Salt and Sugar
  • Combine the cooked Squash and the Onions-Garlic either in a Vitamix Canister, or by blending with a wand in a large pot.  Blend until smooth and silky.
  • Serve in individual bowls with a swirl of nut mylk (or other non-dairy mylk of choice).  Roasted pumpkin (squash) seeds are a nice crunchy, yummy garnish.  Corn muffins, fresh alpine bread, hunks of baguette-- all go nicely with this nurturing soup.