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New Website

25 Sep

Dear All,

Over the last few weeks we have been working on a new website offering some great features such as an alphabetic index, print button, contact me by email and the best of all: the option to add your recipe too!

I hope to switch over within the next two days which might bring some inconvenience. Truly hope you will enjoy it as much as I already do, and can’t wait to receive your first recipe 😉

Have a great day,

Claire

Talk Soup

Talk Soup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Feta and Chives

18 Sep

Serves 4-6

Nothing beats the taste of seasonal produce! Even though peppers are available year-round, they do seem sweeter and are so plentiful in summer. The combination of this soup: the sweet roasted peppers with the tangy, salty feta and chives on top, is utterly delicious.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 red onion, choped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

6 red peppers

5 cups/1.25 L vegetable stock

1 can/400g of Chopped Tomatoes

Salt

Black pepper, coarsely ground

Pinch of ground paprika

Chives, cut into small pieces

50g of Feta Cheese, crumbled

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C. Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast uncovered, turning as needed for approx. 30 minutes until skin is just about blackened on all sides.

Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in paper bag and seal. Let the peppers stand and cool off for 10 minutes.

In the meantime chop the onion, mince the garlic and get the vegetable stock ready. Now that the peppers have cooled off, peel off the skin and remove the top and the seeds.

Heat the olive oil in your stockpot over medium heat,  sauté the onion and when they are about done add the garlic.  Once translucent, add the roasted peppers and the can of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot or puree in batches in your blender.

Return the soup to a clean pan and season to taste with salt, ground paprika and coarsely ground pepper.

When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer and ladle in to bowls.  Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese and chives on top.

Bon Appetite 😉

Moroccan Carrot Soup

11 Sep

Serves 6

A few weeks ago we landed in Marrakech, where the evening temperature was 118F/48C degrees! Needless to say that this chilled soup was the perfect dish to cool down on. It is very easy to prepare and not only a nice starter but also a great, healthy snack in between meals.

Ingredients

3 cups/750ml of orange juice

2 cups/280gr of carrots, washed & finely grated

½  cucumber, peeled & finely grated

1 tbsp. of raw cane sugar

a pinch of cinnamon

Preparation

Wash and finely grate the carrots, peel and finely grate the cucumber and mix together in a bowl. Pour in the orange juice and mix in one tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Refrigerate the soup for at least two hours before serving. The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Bon Appetite 😉

Avocado Soup

20 Aug

Serves 6

Looking for a cool and refreshing summer soup? Then look no further. This velvety smooth and chilled soup is the perfect summer starter. It’s very easy and quick to prepare and allows you to store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados

500 ml/2 cups Chicken stock or Vegetable Stock

Juice of one Red Grapefruit

1 clove of garlic, peeled

2 tbsp. of yoghurt

sea salt

black pepper, coarsely ground

mild chilli powder

Preparation

Cut the avocados in half lengthways and twist to separate into two. Remove the stone and with a spoon, scoop out all the flesh of the avocado.

Place the avocado flesh , chicken or vegetable stock, crushed garlic, grapefruit juice and yoghurt into the blender or food processor.

Purée until smooth, taste and season with salt, black pepper and mild chilli powder.

Refrigerator for a minimum of two hours. Serve chilled and with a colorful garnish on top.

Bon Appetite 😉

Soup of Berries

13 Aug

Serves 6

Summertime and the livin is easy! This soup is a berries explosion and great to serve in the midst of summer. Berries are low in calories, high in fiber and contain lots of vitamins. Now is the time to buy fresh berries or to pick-your-own in the garden or on berry farms. If you can’t buy the berries fresh at this time of year on your side of the continent, check-out the frozen section of the grocery store as a good alternative.

Ingredients

150gr/ 1 cup Blackberries

150gr/ 1 cup Raspberries

200gr/ 1 cup Strawberries

250ml/ 1 cup Red Fruit Juice of your choice

250ml/ 1 cup Vanilla Yoghurt (organic low fat)

Preparation

Wash the berries thoroughly and purée in your blender. Add the red fruit juice and the vanilla yoghurt and turn on the blender for one more minute.

Pass the mixture of berries, juice and yoghurt through a sieve to remove the hard bits. Discard the hard bits that remain in the sieve. Chill the soup  of berries for a minimum of 2 hours before serving. This soup is perfect to make a day in advance and can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Bon Appetite 😉

Soba Miso Soup with Edamame, Shiitake & Tofu

31 Jul

Serves 3

Last week we moved to a new house, the fourth time since 2008. I love the exciting live we life, love the house but with a family of five, it’s quite a schlep!

To make sure we get the right nutrition in hectic times, this vegetarian soup is perfect. It truly is a superfoods soup containing lots of protein, minerals and vitamins. It’s not only healthy but simple delicious too.

So if you are busy but still want something good: this is the answer. Enjoy.

Ingredients

3 bundles of soba (buckwheat) noodles

1 tbsp. of sesame oil

2 shallots, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp. of ground ginger

3 cups/ 750ml Dashi  Stock

2 tbsp.  White Miso

½ block of firm Tofu, diced

2 Green Onions/Scallions, finely sliced diagonally

1 Carrot, thinly sliced

1 cup/ 155g frozen or fresh Edamame

100g /6 Shiitake Mushrooms, cut into big chunks

2 tbsp. of Soya

Preparation

Set a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the sesame oil and heat for 1 minute. Sauté the shallots and when they are about done add the minced garlic.  Once translucent add the sliced carrot and one teaspoon of ground ginger. Toss the ingredients until the carrots are covered with shallot, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes.

Add dashi stock to pot and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat, and add the edamame, shiitake mushrooms and tofu. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook until tender. Drain with a colander and run under cold water, set the noodles aside.

Scoop out one ladle of soup and dissolve 2 tablespoons of miso in it by whisking it to a smooth consistency.  If you try to dissolve the miso in the soup directly, it might clump together.

Once the miso is dissolved return it to the broth and simmer for a few minutes. Be careful not to boil the soup after adding the miso.

Season the soup with some soya. Divide the soba noodles among the bowls, ladle soup on top and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetite 😉

Miso Soup

16 Jul

It’s Miso time! Being surrounded by wonderful Japanese friends, I have been inspired to cook many different Japanese dishes. Soup is one of the vital components of a Japanese meal and is served with nearly every meal in the day.  I have been over the moon with Miso soup: so easy to prepare and so versatile. It has a rich taste and great nutritional benefits.

If you will visit your local Asian/Japanese store, you will be able to find many different types of Miso. White miso, red miso and a blended type of miso. The darker the colour, the longer the fermentation process, the stronger the taste will be. My favourite is the white miso which has a light and slightly sweet taste.

To make miso soup you will be needing dashi as well. Dashi is a very popular basic stock which is used in many different Japanese recipes. Dashi  is often made of seaweed, vegetables and fish flakes and sold in jars or sachets. If you like to avoid fish in your miso, you can buy a vegan dashi.

Today I would like to start with the traditional miso soup, which has been a favourite in Japan for many centuries. Next week will move on to a more rich and hearty miso and hope you will join the miso experience!

Ingredients

1 L  Dashi  Stock

3 tbsp.  White Miso

½ block of firm Tofu, diced

2 Spring Onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp. Wakame (dried seaweed)

Preparation

Soak 1 tablespoon of Wakame in cold water and let it soak for 4-6 minutes. Heat 1 liter of water in a pot and add the dashi granules/powder. Bring the dashi stock to boil.

Once boiling reduce the heat, add the diced tofu and drained wakame and simmer for a few minutes on low heat.

Scoop out one large ladle of soup and dissolve 3 tablespoons of miso in it by whisking it to a smooth consistency.  If you try to dissolve the miso in the soup directly, it might clump together.

Once the miso is dissolved return it to the broth and simmer for a few minutes. Be careful not to boil the soup after adding the miso: it can become gritty, kills the aroma and some say, healthful enzymes.

Top with a sprinkling of spring onions and serve hot or cold.

Bon Appetite 😉

Broccoli & Stilton Soup

9 Jul

Serves 6-8

Indulge yourself with this delicious Broccoli and Stilton soup. As some of you may know by now, I love to cook delicious yet healthy and low-fat soups. This soup does not qualify for the lowest in fat ever but the calories are definitely worth it! The Stilton cheese gives the soup such a rich flavour but is not overpowering and somehow brings out the best of the broccoli too. If you can’t find Stilton cheese, free to buy another blue cheese instead.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 white onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 heads of broccoli, about 600g, roughly chopped

4 sticks of celery, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

1.5 L vegetable stock

1 tsp of dried thyme

150g Stilton cheese (blue cheese), crumbled

Preparation

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in your stockpot. Sauté the onions and when they are about done add the garlic and the teaspoon of dried thyme.  Once translucent add the roughly chopped broccoli, celery pieces and diced potato. Stir gently, then cover with a lid and allow to sweat for 5 – 10 minutes.

Pour in your stock and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Then purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot or puree in batches in your blender.

Return the soup to a clean pan and stir in the crumbled Stilton cheese. I like to serve the soup when the cheese has not completely dissolved yet but if you do, you can always use a hand blender for a few seconds.

Season the soup with some freshly ground pepper and serve with a warm and crusty piece of bread.

Bon Appetite 😉

Mom’s Great Gazpacho Soup

3 Jul

Serves 4-6

The first time I ate this delicious soup was over 25 years ago. At the time my mom made this soup it was a very exotic dish. Growing up in a family where all my ancestors originate from a different country our meals were not typically Dutch, but still this Gazpacho was something else! A soup which we ate cold and then garnished with all sorts of different toppings ourselves was special and very festive. The recipe of the soup is very simple, and to me it is perfect just the way it is. Please, choose ripe and flavourful tomatoes which are warmed to room temperature before you use them. The dicing of the garnish does require some time. If you’re a bit short on time, I would say go for the home-baked croutons (I promise you: after trying these you will never want them any other way) and garnish the gazpacho with some fresh basil. This amount of tomatoes yields 1.5L of soup or in my case after tasting 1.25L…. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Ingredients

2 Kg plum tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime

3 cloves garlic, puréed with garlic press or minced

2 tsp. clear honey

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

3 tsp. ground paprika

1 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Garnish

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

½ red pepper, ½ yellow pepper & ½green pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ cucumber, diced

6 slices of regular white bread – for croutons (preferably a day or two old)

(basil)

Preparation

Wash the tomatoes thoroughly. Cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove it once the skin starts to peel, approx. 30 seconds. Place the tomatoes in the bowl of ice water and leave it there for a few minutes. Once the tomatoes have cooled off, you will be able to peel off the skin very easily.

Purée all the peeled tomatoes with a hand blender or regular blender. Pass the tomato purée through a sieve or a strainer to remove all the seeds. Stir in the tablespoon of olive oil, juice of the lime, the teaspoons of ground paprika and honey. Add the purée of the 3 cloves of garlic by using a garlic press or chop very fine with a knife. Season with sea salt, coarsely ground pepper and the leaves of the thyme. Chill in the fridge for a least three hours or even better, chill overnight. Please, don’t chill the soup with ice cubes as it will dilute the beautiful flavour.

To make the garnish, finely dice the onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper, cucumber and hard-boiled egg.

For the croutons, preheat your oven to 375 F or 190 C degrees. Cut the slices of bread into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes. Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil, sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper and toss until well mixed. Spread the bread cubes in a singly layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Keep your eye on them, to make sure they don’t burn, and turn to brown all sides evenly. Once golden brown, remove from the oven and let them cool.

I like to serve the gazpacho without the garnish. Instead, I place all the different kinds of garnish on the table and let everybody make their own creation.

Bon Appetite 😉

Chilled Mango Soup

19 Jun

Serves 4-6

Try this fantastically easy recipe for Chilled Mango Soup! This delightful dessert turns out silky smooth and rich-tasting without being too high in calories. It makes a perfect dessert for all age groups and if served with some TLC this simple dessert becomes a very elegant dish 😉

Ingredients

2 large Mangoes, peeled and diced

2 dl (1 cup) Mango juice

Juice of 1 Lime

2 tsp. clear Honey

Garnish:

Greek yoghurt

Fruit in-season

Fresh mint leaves

Preparation

Peel the mangoes and dice all its flesh. Place the mangoes, mango juice, 2 teaspoons of honey and juice of 1 lime into a blender or a food processor. If you don’t have one of these kitchen appliances, place all ingredients in a bowl and use a hand blender.

Cover and purée the ingredients until smooth. If it turns out a bit too thick, you may want to add a bit more mango juice. Do make sure the soup does not get too thin.

Chill the soup for minimum two hours. You can make this soup up to two days before serving.

When ready to serve, garnish with some Greek  yoghurt, fruit of your choice and fresh mint leaves.

Bon Appetite 😉