Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash lends a lovely color and flavor to this soup. Coconut milk makes the soup creamy without the cream, and the red curry paste provides a touch of heat. This would be a good first course for an Asian-themed meal.

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs. fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
32 oz. vegetable broth
13.5-oz. can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. red curry paste (or to taste; you can use sambal oelek instead, but it’s not as authentic)
Fresh lime juice (optional)
Fresh or dried cilantro for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss butternut squash chunks with olive oil and place on a greased baking pan or a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake the squash until tender (about 40 minutes).

2. Heat the olive oil in a large stewpot over medium heat. Saute the onions until softened. Don’t brown them; add a little broth to the pan if they start to brown. Add the ginger, garlic, and salt; cook for an additional minute or two. Add the vegetable broth and squash chunks; heat thoroughly. Stir in coconut milk and sambal oelek.

3. If you have an immersion blender, use it to puree the soup in the stewpot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth.

4. Divide soup among serving bowls. Drizzle a teaspoon of fresh lime juice over the soup in each bowl. Garnish with fresh or dried cilantro if desired.

broccoli rice soup

broccoli rice soup
This soup tastes creamy (without the cream).

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
4 cups broccoli florets
1 cup soymilk or coconut milk
1 tsp. dried basil
Pinch Hungarian paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large stewpot. Sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and rice. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is tender (about 20 minutes).

2. While the rice cooks, steam the broccoli florets until they’re tender (but not mushy).

3. Allow the rice mixture to cool a bit, and then ladle into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Process the rice mixture with the broccoli florets. Return the soup to the stewpot and stir in milk and spices. Heat through and serve. Serves 4.

winter minestrone

winter minestrone
If you’re experiencing post-holiday blues and you’re still facing weeks of winter weather, try focusing on one really good thing about winter: big pots of hot soup. This one incorporates the best of winter’s produce offerings.

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 carrots, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp. thyme
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 can cannellini beans, undrained
1 cup small pasta shapes (we used spirals)
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups kale leaves, washed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a stewpot over medium heat. Sautè the onion 5 minutes or until transparent. Add celery and garlic; stir to combine. Stir in the carrots, turnip, and potatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add spices, vegetable broth, and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

3. Add beans, pasta, and tomato paste. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook over medium heat until the pasta is tender.

4. Stir in the chopped kale and cook for about 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

asparagus “cream” soup

asparagus "cream" soup
Asparagus is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It has been cultivated around the world for centuries, dating as far back as ancient Egypt. What’s the secret to tender asparagus? Using a paring knife, cut a half-inch off the bottom of the stalk. If it cuts easily, it will be tender. If it resists cutting, try again a half-inch higher until you find the place where it can be sliced easily.

This soup is light, healthy and tasty. It’s great for a spring lunch or light supper. Try topping it with spicy croutons, and maybe a dollop of soy sour cream.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced (about 2/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz. cans vegetable broth
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 bunches of medium-size asparagus (about 7 cups, when chopped into 1-inch pieces)
1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
6 to 8 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk

1. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is transparent (about 5 minutes). Add broth, carrots, celery, and asparagus. Reduce heat. Simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes.

2. Add spinach, mushrooms, parsley, and salt. Simmer another 30 minutes.

3. Turn off heat and add soy milk; stir. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with croutons and a dollop of soy sour cream (if desired).

south of the border soup

south of the border soup

Make sure you use red and yellow bell peppers for this soup. The colors contrast beautifully with the brilliant green cilantro for a festive dish. If you prefer vegan chowder, stir in 2 cups of your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk after your soup is ready. Heat through and serve.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth, divided
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
6 cups water
2 Tbs. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4-5 medium), peeled and diced
2 cups frozen corn
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies, undrained
1 14-oz. can pinto beans, drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large stewpot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil until the onion is translucent. Add the bell peppers. Stir in 1/4 cup vegetable broth, flour, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and water. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Add potatoes and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir in frozen corn, green chilies, pinto beans, and cilantro. Cook for about 5 more minutes until ingredients are heated through.

3. If making chowder, add soy milk and heat through. Serve with warm tortillas, tortilla chips, or a green salad. Optional: Mexican beer with a lime wedge.

black bean soup

The sun-dried tomatoes are a tasty addition to this hearty soup.

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dried, not in oil)
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 15-oz. cans black beans
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Put sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Add enough boiling water to completely cover the tomatoes. Cover the dish and set aside.

2. In a large stewpot over medium heat, sautè the onion and garlic in the canola oil until the onion is translucent. Stir in the green chilies, cumin, broth, and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Chop the softened sun-dried tomatoes and add to the soup. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the black beans and cook for 5 minutes.

3. If you have an immersion blender, use it to puree about half of the soup. If you’re using a blender or food processor, process about half of the soup and return to the pot. Add salt and stir.

4. Serve with tortillas and a side salad (or maybe some tortilla chips).

living tree energy soup

Thanks to Living Tree Community Foods for providing this recipe.

The inspiration for this soup comes from several sources, including an excellent booklet, Nature’s Healing Grasses. It was written some 30 years ago by H.E. Kirschner, a physician who healed people afflicted with serious illness by putting them on a simple regimen: They would prepare a “green drink” at least once a day. It consisted of several greens, including “weeds” like malva, purslane, and lambs-quarters, as well as cultivated greens like parsley, placed in a blender and blended with pineapple juice.

I call it an “energy soup” because in my experience, it is easily digested and has the effect of enhancing one’s aliveness and well-being. We’ve been preparing “energy soup” at Living Tree Community for over a decade. We serve it at every meal. Here’s our basic recipe:

3 carrots, sliced thinly or diced
2 beets, sliced thinly or diced
1 apple or cucumber (in season), diced
Chopped parsley, celery, kale, collards, arugula, endive, spinach, cabbage, cilantro, chard, and lettuce (your choice)
Avocado
Lemon juice

Put the mixture into a blender. Add spring water or freshly made carrot juice. If you want to supercharge the drink, add a handful of wheatgrass. Blend into a thick, smooth “soup.” Serve immediately.

Variations: Grind some flax, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or chia seeds in a seed mill or coffee grinder and toss it in, or add a chopped apple.

creamy potato soup

Cold nights require a great soup recipe. This one fits the bill.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4-5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk or coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried sage
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and potatoes for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and vegetable broth and cover pot. Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes).

2. Add soymilk or coconut milk and spices. Cook until heated through. Use your favorite method to puree the soup: blender, immersion blender, or food processor. You can also mash the potatoes with a potato masher for a chunkier soup. Serve with some crusty bread.

hungarian bean soup

Making a big pot of soup chockfull of vegetables is a weekend ritual around here, and Hungarian Bean Soup is a favorite.

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 cups vegetable stock (if you prefer, use vegetarian chicken-flavor broth)
2 bay leaves
1 14-oz. can pinto beans, drained
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large stewpot. Sautè celery, onion, carrots, and garlic until vegetables begin to soften (about 10 minutes).

2. Add vegetable stock; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; add bay leaves, cover, and simmer until celery is soft (about 30 minutes). Add pinto beans, paprika, oregano, and basil. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaves and serve with sides of salad and/or crusty peasant bread.

mushroom barley soup

My mother usually made a crockpot of barley soup when the weather was especially frigid (and in Upstate New York, that was often). This vegan barley soup, which uses dried shitakes for an extra flavor dimension, will warm you up right down to your toes.

4-5 dried shitake mushrooms
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 large carrot, diced
12 oz. white mushrooms
8 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. thyme
Pinch of Hungarian paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped

1. Place the shitake mushrooms in a bowl; pour boiling water over them. Cover the bowl and let the mushrooms soften for about 45 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and pour the soaking water through a cone coffee filter to remove any sediment. Reserve the strained liquid. Dice the shitakes.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large stewpot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, celery, onion, and carrot until the onions are translucent. Add the white mushrooms and shitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

3. Add 8 cups of water, the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, barley, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Partially cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add remaining spices; cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley softens (about another 30 minutes).

5. Stir in chopped parsley right before serving.

jill’s african vegetable soup

Jill’s mom made this African Vegetable Soup for Jill’s stepfather. Now when Jill makes this soup, the aroma of the spices always makes her think of him.

1 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups water
1 28-oz. can tomatoes, undrained, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 small zucchini, diced
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stewpot. Add the onions, celery, and sweet potato and cook until onions are translucent.

2. Add remaining ingredients except for zucchini, garbanzo beans, and macaroni. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Stir in remaining three ingredients. Cook, partially covered, over medium heat until the macaroni is tender. Serves 6.

minestrone

There are many versions of minestrone; this is one of our favorites. Feel free to substitute in-season produce.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped,
2 zucchini, sliced
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth or water
1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 16-oz can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup cut green beans
salt to taste

1. In large stewpot, heat olive oil. Sauté onion until semitransparent.

2. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, cabbage, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Add remaining ingredients; simmer another 30 minutes.

bettina’s antioxidant vegetable soup

The beets give this low-calorie, energizing soup a deep fuschia color. If you like, add a cup of small pasta shapes to this soup during the last 10 minutes of simmering.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, diced
5-6 cups vegetable stock
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 beets, peeled and diced small
2 large potatoes (white or red), peeled and chopped
1 cup green beans, trimmed and halved
1 14-oz. can kidney beans
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup Bragg’s amino acids
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over low-medium heat. Add onions; cover and cook until onions are soft (about 10 minutes). Add garlic, celery, and green pepper; stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened.

2. Add stock, carrots, beets, potatoes, and green beans. Increase heat to bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine and heat through.

tortilla soup

This soup is perfect for a weeknight because it’s ready in about half an hour.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. lime juice

Tortilla chips for topping

1. Heat canola oil in large saucepan. Sauté onion until translucent. Stir in zucchini slices; cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, broth, soybeans, and tomatoes. Cook until zucchini is soft.

2. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Ladle into soup bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips. Serves 4.

thai soup in an instant

Sue submitted this abbreviated version of a wonderfully flavorful recipe from her cousin Ellen. If you’re really in a hurry, substitute 1 tsp. onion powder for the diced onion. You can also vary the amount of jalapenos to your taste.

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 14-oz. can black beans, pureed
1 14-oz. can vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can pure pumpkin
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2-3 Tbs. jalapenos, diced, or 1-oz canned
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. prepared minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a soup pot; heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

john’s authentic spanish gazpacho

“Of course everyone in Spain calls his or her recipe ‘authentic’ gazpacho, but they’re all different,” says John from Phoenix (part of Sue’s extended family). John’s recipe has received rave reviews from every person who’s tried it, so we’re dubbing his version authentic! This delicious raw-veggie recipe is not only healthy, but it’s also quick. Just throw everything in the blender.

If you like raw onion, feel free to add more. English cucumbers are long, skinny cucumbers with few seeds; you can substitute another type if you wish. If you like your gazpacho hot and spicy, use less tomato juice and more spicy vegetable juice or Bloody Mary mix.

1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
36 ounces tomato juice or vegetable juice
12 ounces spicy hot vegetable juice or Bloody Mary mix

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltines

1. Reserve a few tablespoons of zucchini, bell pepper, and cucumber for a garnish. Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender except olive oil and bread crumbs. If your blender has a small capacity, process in batches. After everything is purèed, add olive oil and bread crumbs to blender (this adds a nice texture to the soup). Mix well.

2. Serve ice cold in chilled bowls, and top with a dollop of vegan sour cream and reserved chopped veggies.

bean and pasta soup

Ruth created this winter wonderland of pasta and beans with a spicy tomato-based sauce. We’ve all tried this dish and loved its color and flavor. It’s satisfying and perfect for a cold winter day.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 cups vegetable stock
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups Gemelli pasta

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Stir and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients except pasta; then increase heat to high. When soup begins to boil, stir in pasta and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with a salad and artisan bread.

This soup will thicken while in the refrigerator, so add water or broth when reheating leftovers.

taste of provence soup

This soup began as plain ol’ potato soup. It changed along the way, thanks in part to the Herbs de Provence spice blend brought back by a friend from a trip to France.

7-8 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup broccoli florets
1 can creamed corn
1 lb. chard, washed and chopped
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence spice blend
2 tsp. salt

Peel and chop potatoes, carrots, and onion and place in large soup pot. Add vegetable broth, and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add broccoli and creamed corn, lower heat, and simmer another 10 minutes. Add chard, spices, and salt. Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. Add additional water or broth if desired.

Serve with a loaf of crusty French bread, sliced diagonally into large chunks, and pretend you’re having dinner on the south coast of France.

one-pot pasta pronto

Did you know that “pronto” is Italian for “quick”? After a hard day of work (or maybe a weekend shopping spree), this one-pot pasta dish makes a satisfying supper.

2 15-oz cans crushed Italian-flavored tomatoes
1 15-oz can vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 cups rotini pasta
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a large stewpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve with a green salad and fresh Italian bread, and maybe a glass of Chianti.

roasted red pepper soup

Roasting the red bell peppers results in a sweet, slightly smoky flavor. Accompanied by a salad and crusty peasant bread, this soup makes a great light supper.

2 large red bell peppers
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
4 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1. Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in quarters; trim and discard seeds. Place quarters on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for about 10 minutes or until skin blackens and peppers soften. Place peppers in a paper bag. Roll the top of the bag over to seal, and set aside for about 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a stewpot over medium heat. Sautè the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for about 7 minutes. While the vegetables cook, peel the blackened skin from the roasted bell pepper quarters and coarsely chop. Add peppers to stewpot, along with vegetable stock. Add tomato paste and spices and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Use your favorite method to puree the soup: blender, immersion blender, or food processor. Heat for an additional 5 minutes. Ladle soup into serving bowls.

spicy red lentil soup

If you enjoy Indian food, you’ll love this spicy red lentil soup. We’ve replaced the yogurt that is traditionally used in Indian cuisine with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream. Delicious! Look for lentils in the bulk foods section of your natural foods store.

1 cup dried red lentils
5 cups vegetable stock
3 Tbs. Tofutti’s Better Than Sour Cream
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Diced red bell pepper for garnish

1. Stir lentils and vegetable stock together in a soup pot; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook until lentils are tender (about 25 minutes).

2. Combine about 2 cups of lentils and broth with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream in a blender. Process until smooth. Return to soup pot and combine with remaining ingredients. Cook until heated through. Serve with a garnish of diced red bell peppers.

tomato florentine soup

“Florentine” can be roughly translated as “in the style of Florence,” and dishes with this name in the title often contain spinach. Bring the style of Florence to your table with this tasty soup.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
5 cups vegetable broth
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2/3 cup uncooked small pasta shapes or orzo
1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh basil, finely chopped

1. Heat oil in a large stewpot over medium heat. Sautè onion and celery until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add pasta shapes. Cook about 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook until pasta is done. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and basil, and stir to combine. Ladle into serving bowls.

split pea soup

As with most soups, this one tastes best on the second day.

1 16-oz. package green split peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
2 14-oz. cans vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. ground savory

1. Carefully sort through peas and rinse. Place peas in large stewpot with onion, carrots, and broth. Add enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water when necessary to keep peas covered.

2. Add salt, pepper, and spices. Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 1 hour. Stir often and occasionally add water to prevent soup from becoming too thick. Remove bay leaves and serve.

vegetable grain soup

Before you prepare this soup, check your cupboards for tiny leftover amounts of grains, barley, lentils, etc. and feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand for the ingredients listed below.

2 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart water
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, bring the broth, water, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the barley, lentils, split peas, and dried mushrooms. Continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

2. Add the potato, zucchini, tomatoes, and spices and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Serve hot with a rustic bread.

spicy coconut soup

Fans of Thai food, rejoice! This colorful soup is quick and easy.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp. red curry paste (read labels; the Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste is vegan) or more to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 12-oz. bag baby spinach leaves, larger leaves torn and stems removed

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until onion is translucent but not browned (about 5 minutes). Add red curry paste, broth, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add zucchini and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add spinach leaves and cook until leaves are wilted. Serve with a cool salad.