Carrot and Tomato Cashew Bisque with Old Bay Croutons

I feel like the title of this recipe is explanation enough, so I’ll just say that this bisque reminds me of ordering a cup of crab stew or lobster bisque in little mom and pop restaurants growing up. We no eat crustaceans or dairy anymore, and that’s not an issue at all with this creamy and delicious vegan bisque!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 (14 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water, adding more as needed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Old Bay crouton recipe follows
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Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring, until vegetables have softened. Mix in the flour and continue stirring until incorporated and flour begins to brown.
  2. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Make the cashew cream while that cooks. Add cashews (softened if not using a high powered blender*), water, and nutritional yeast to a blender, and blend until very smooth.
  4. Add the cashew cream to the pot after 20 minutes, then simmer another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf. Allow the mixture to cool some.
  5. Pour the soup into your blender in batches until the whole pot is smooth and creamy.* Add freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste. Ladle into bowls after making these Old Bay croutons, toss some on top, and enjoy!

For the Old Bay Croutons:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Slice up half a baguette into crouton-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Mix together 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder. Toss croutons in the butter and spice mixture, add to a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, stirring/flipping halfway through.

Notes:

*Soften cashews by soaking in water overnight, or soaking in hot water for 20 minutes.

*Unnecessary, but potentially interesting side note: I am lazy and don’t want to add multiple cups of hot liquid to a blender or wait for the whole pot to cool, so I’ll sometimes use an immersion blender instead to get things as smooth as possible. Then I’ll take 1.5 cups out, let it cool a bit, blend that until completely smooth, then stir it back into the pot. The texture achieved by this is similar to rustic lobster and crab bisques I had before going vegan, so I really like it.


Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Tomatoes & Kale

I figured now is the perfect time to share one of my absolute favorite soup recipes, what with COVID-19. Most if not all of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry and fridge/freezer, and they all have long shelf lives. And it’s one-pot. Aren’t those always the best kinds of recipes? Anyways…

Stay safe y’all (and make this hearty soup while you’re self-quarantining)!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • thumb of ginger (about 2 tablespoons), minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • 1 (14 oz) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 – 3 cups vegetable broth, depending on desired thickness
  • 2 cups packed kale*
  • Fresh cilantro, optional
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

* You could also use frozen kale.

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Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion and carrot with a pinch of salt for 5 – 7 minutes until soft and beginning to brown.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, crushed red pepper, and tomato paste. Cook 1 – 2 minutes until fragrant, then stir in lentils.
  3. Pour in tomatoes, coconut milk, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 – 40 minutes until the the flavors have melded, and the lentils are cooked and soft.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in kale, cilantro, lemon juice and season to taste with salt (if needed) and fresh ground pepper.


Brazilian Coconut Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

Before going vegan, there was this dish I really liked called Brazilian Shrimp Soup. I loved the creaminess of the coconut milk and heartiness of the rice and tomatoes. I realized that the shrimp in the dish wasn’t even the best part for me, and thought “duh – who needs shrimp anyways?!” Chickpeas are way cooler. (insert sunglasses emoji)

This vegan version is so

tasty

creamy

hearty

and animal-free! Yay!

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The chickpeas add a delicious crunch and savoriness to this soup.

They make it heartier and healthier, too, of course!

I totally recommend serving the soup with some crusty bread to soak up all that creamy, tomatoey goodness.

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15 minutes prep time – 35 minutes cook time – Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used half a red and half a green for color)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (15oz, no salt added)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz, no salt added)
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2-3 cups of vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • The juice of half a lemon (about a 1 1/2 tbsps)
  • Green onion, chopped (to add on top at the end)

For the chickpeas:

  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a couple cracks of fresh ground pepper
  • optional: cayenne pepper to taste (I added a couple dashes)
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Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté for a few minutes. Then add the bell pepper and cook for another couple of minutes until the onions are translucent and soft. Next, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about a minute).
  2. Add the rice, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let it cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is done.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Finish by adding in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences.
  5. Serve in bowls and top with the roasted chickpeas and green onions. And some crusty bread if you’re so inclined!

For the chickpeas:

  • Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to a parchment lined baking sheet (you could also use a silicon mat).
  • Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt, fresh black pepper, and ground cayenne pepper.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to stir halfway through to ensure they’re evenly cooked.

Notes:

You’ll want to put the chickpeas in the oven around the time you’ve reduced the heat from a boil for the soup.

Adapted from JoCook’s Brazilian Shrimp Soup Recipe


The Yummiest Black Bean Soup

Y’all… I love black bean soup. It’s so perfectly

creamy,

spicy,

and hearty.

My mother would make it fairly often growing up and I always loved ordering it out at restaurants, so it’s a dish that has been with me for a while! I’ve tried out so many different recipes over the years and I’ve finally found my own way of making it that I like best.

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Come to mama. See how pretty those red onions on top are?

Ready for the pot! Yes, that is my compost scrap bowl. Yes, I thought it was pretty.

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So colorful! Time to add in the beans, broth, and cumin. Then let that baby simmer!

This soup is so flavorful and filling, and I love having it whether it’s hot or cold out. Serving it over some rice (perhaps some cilantro lime) is also a good way to bulk this meal up and add some lovely texture.

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The soup after using my immersion blender.
I suppose I’m in my blue period or something.

And voila! Topping this soup with some fresh red onion is probably my favorite thing to do. I love the contrast in flavor of the raw onions and the cooked ones, and they add a really nice crunchy texture! You could also top with some fresh cilantro, which I would’ve done if I wasn’t out.

It stores well, too, and becomes even more flavorful overnight in the fridge! So this is the perfect recipe to make a lot of and eat throughout the week. Anyways, here’s the recipe:

Creamy, tangy goodness!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: 40 minutes – Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • Half of 1 large red onion, diced (reserve a bit for topping later)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color would be good, but I like using red)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (any neutral flavored oil, like avocado would be fine)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 cans (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • The juice of 1 lime (about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar can be used in place of it)
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Instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the bell pepper, cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the jalapeño and garlic, and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the black beans, vegetable broth, and cumin. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.
  6. Add in the lime juice and salt.
  7. Use an immersion blender, a hand masher, or transfer about 2 cups of the soup to a blender, then re-add to soup. You want it blended just enough to get that creamy texture, while still having some visible pieces of beans and veggies floating about.
  8. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences. Serve on its own or over some rice, and top with reserved diced red onion. Some cilantro would also be great!
  9. Enjoy!

Notes:

If you like things a little spicier, add in 1/4 tsp (or more) of red pepper flakes when you add in the lime juice. (I do this!)

A cup of corn would also make a yummy, colorful addition to this soup!