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.