Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup


The first time I had this lovely winter soup was many years ago, and I haven't had it since.  That is until we were looking for something to do with our autumn decor a few weeks ago -  after freezing 48 cups of pureed pumpkin, we needed to find some pumpkin recipes! 

The sweetness of the pumpkin and coconut milk balances nicely with the curry spices and red pepper flakes.

Those of you averse to coconut milk (which I find hard to imagine, but there are some!) can leave it out completely for a thicker soup, or use a milk or cream substitute instead.  The original calls for a dollop of sour cream, but it's not necessary if you're trying to stay away from dairy.

Don't forget the pumpkin seeds!

Tools needed: 
large saucepan or pot
40 minutes
Pumpkin Soup
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 stick butter or 1/4 cup butter substitute
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz can pumpkin (or 2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk or even better, (coconut cream!)
Sour cream
Chipped fresh chives or cilantro
Toasted pumkin seeds
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter in a large saucepan or pot until the onion is tender.
  2. Stir in the curry powder, salt, coriander and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the broth and mix well. Bring to a gentle boil.
  4. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the pumpkin and coconut milk.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Process the soup in batches in a blender until creamy.  Ladle the warm soup into bowls.
  7. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream (if desired - skip if dairy free) and sprinkle with chives, cilantro and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Kale and White Bean Soup


I couldn't be happier to get back into the swing of green since the sugar-laden holidays with a warm bowl of savory soup!  This is my go-to soup this winter - I saw a version of it in Sunset magazine, then had a bowl of something similar at one of my favorite restaurants, the fabulous Full of Life Flatbread, a couple of weekends ago.  Seems like wintery greens are on everyone's menu!

Keep in mind that you can mix it up by using different kinds of kale - I don't have a favorite, I'm still trying them all.  You can also add some cooked veggies like carrots, squash or potatoes, depending on your taste.  I occasionally usually have mine with a thick piece of toast to dunk in the broth. Mmmm...

Despite the fact that kale is packed with enough vitamin C, A, K and B6 to make it a nutritional powerhouse, not to mention cancer-fighting properities, magnesium, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus (that's a mouthful!); people still can't get past the bitter taste of raw kale.  Not to worry - sauteing for just a few minutes with garlic and onions subdues the flavor, and before you know it,  you'll be be a fan of this queen of greens!


Tools needed: 
large saute pan, large pot
45 minutes
Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup
2 bunches kale (any kind), washed and sliced thinly, crosswise
1 large (or two medium) yellow or sweet onion, peeled and cut into thin strips
~4 tbs olive oil
2 - 2.5 quarts vegetable broth
3 cups cooked white cannelini (white or Great Northern) beans, or 2 15oz cans (rinsed)
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs sage leaves (dried sage is fine, too)
  1. Heat broth in large pot over low heat.
  2. Heat 1-2 tbs olive oil in saute pan to medium heat, add onion and cook until they start to brown, add oil as needed.
  3. Add a bit more olive oil and garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes over medium heat.  Be careful not to burn or brown the garlic.
  4. Add a bit more olive oil and kale and move around the pan until it starts to soften, about 3-5 minutes.  Cover and turn off heat.
  5. When broth is simmering, add beans and other ingredients.  Stir to incorporate ingredients together in broth.  Add more broth (or water) if needed to cover all ingredients. Bring to a simmer again, test greens for tenderness before serving.
  6. Season more to your desired taste.

NOTE: One recipe I came across suggested to remove the ribs and stems of the kale, I usually keep them.  Some varieties might be a little tough for some tastes, so use your discretion.


Winter Vegetable and Greens Sage Soup


I was tempted to name this hearty winter vegetable soup "Bottom of the Fridge Soup", based on its conception:  Boyfriend was fighting a cold a couple of weeks back, and he was craving something warm and soupy for his aching throat.  I just started throwing stuff from the "bottom of the fridge" into a pot, and voila - it was really tasty!  So we've tweaked it a couple of times, but it's vegetabley, soupy, sagey and gosh darn it - downright delicious!  Perfectly suitable for enjoying by a warm, toasty fire this winter!  Enjoy!

Tools needed: 
big pot with lid
1 - 1.5 hours
Winter Vegetable and Greens Sage Soup
2.5 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1-in. pieces, boiled until you can easily insert a fork in them
1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
6-10 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups carrots, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 - 2 cups rice or barley, cooked
6 cups vegetable broth
4 packed cups winter greens, such as kale, collard greens, radish/beet greens, spinach rinsed roughly chopped
2 tbs dried sage (or more, depending on your taste)
olive oil
hot water
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and salt, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft, about 3 - 6 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and another tablespoon of olive oil and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add carrots, sage, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for about 10 minutes, until carrots begin to soften.
  4. Add barley or rice and potatoes, replace lid, and bring to a boil.  Add water or more broth if necessary to cover all the ingredients.
  5. Add greens, mixing in to cover with broth, adding more water or broth if necessary.
  6. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 - 15 more minutes to cook down the greens.  Add more sage or other spices, depending on your tastes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Vegetarian Borscht


After discovering that it was Easter weekend, Boyfriend made the comment, "I miss Borscht."  So I'll be making this for him tomorrow.  I can't wait to try this vegetarian take on a traditional Polish recipe it with him!

Tools needed: 
large pot
30 minutes
Vegetarian Borscht
1 pound beets (beetroot), peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 medium onions, sliced into half-moons
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3/4 pound white cabbage, cut thinly into shred
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper
Sour cream (use vegan sour cream or omit for vegan soup)
Finely chopped parsley or chives (optional, for garnish)

1. Peel and cut the onions, carrots, and beets (alternatively, shred the carrots and beets using the shredding blade of a food processor) and sauté over medium heat in the olive oil with a pinch of salt in a large soup pot. Reserve a small amount of beet to grate and add near the end to enliven the color. 2. In the meantime, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. When the vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes), add the shredded cabbage and the hot stock. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. With a few minutes left, add the reserved grated beet. 3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then squeeze in the lemon juice, aiming for a pleasing but subtle sour taste. Serve with freshly grated black pepper, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped parsley, if desired.About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.

Blake Royer, Paupered Chef,

Cucumber Avocado Soup


So simple.  So delicious. 

Tools needed: 
food processor or blender
2 minutes
Avocado Cucumber Soup
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2 cucumbers, roughly chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pit removed
1 tablesnpoon chopped fresh dill or cilantro, depending what you prefer (optional)
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Blend everything together until creamy.  Top with the chopped tomato and a sprig of fresh herbs.

Carrot Ginger Soup


Got a juicer?  If not, I'm really sorry, but you had to have seen this coming.  This soup is deliciously light and cool on a hot summer day.  More cold soups and raw food recipes to follow.

Tools needed: 
15 minutes
Ginger Carrot Soup
2 cups carrot juice
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbs ginger juice
fresh black pepper

Mix all ingredients.  Chill before serving.  Add pepper to taste.


Broccoli-Potato Soup with Greens


This soup may be a bit hearty for spring, but it's so quick and easy to make, how hot can your kitchen get in 20 minutes?

Tools needed: 
large saucepan or pot
20 minutes
Broccoli-Potato Soup
2 medium or 4 small red potatoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
14 oz. vegetable (or chicken) broth
3 cups small broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups milk (plain soy milk works if you want reduce the dairy without affecting the flavor)
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (I've also made with sharp cheddar for a different flavor)
2 cups of greens such as curly endive, chicory, romain, escarole or spinach
  1. In a large saucepan combine potatoes and broth.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for 8 minutes.  Mash the potatoes slightly. 
  2. Add broccoli and milk, bring just to simmering.
  3. In a medium bowl toss flour with chees; gradually add to soup, stirring chees until melted.  Season to taste with black pepper.  Divide among shallow bowls.  Top with greens and additional cheese.

Broccoli-Arugula Soup


I've been sampling some of the recipes from the detox menu on Gwyneth Paltrow's site.   This soup is light, but filling and so delicious!  I'm looking forward to more refreshing recipes now that summer seems to have arrived to stay.

Tools needed: 
food processor or blender
20 minutes
Broccoli-Arugula Soup
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2/3 pound)
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp each coarse salt and coarse ground black pepper
3/4 cup arugula
1/2 lime
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and saute for just a minute or until fragrant.
  2. Add the broccoli and cook for four minutes or until bright green.
  3. Add the water, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover.  Cook for eight minutes or until the broccoli is just tender.
  4. Pour the soup into a blender or food processor and puree with the arugula until quite smooth.  Be very careful not to overflow, you may have to blend in two batches.
  5. Serve the soup with a bit of fresh lime juice squeezed on top.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup


This soup tastes like an indulgence, but is actually quite healthy.  You'll swear it has cream in it, but it is deliciously dairy-free.  Boyfriend and I ate the whole batch for dinner the other night, but I think if you were using as an appetizer before a meal, you could serve up to 6 people.

Tools needed: 
food processor, large pot
1 hour
Cauliflower Soup
2 tbs. olive oil, divided into two parts
2 medium onions
About 1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken broth if you're not vegetarian)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large head cauliflower
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tbs. minced chives
1 tbs. finely chopped flat leafed parsley

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and salt, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft - about 5 - 8 minutes.
2. Add garlic and wine.  Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 3 - 5 minutes.
3. Stir in cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is very soft, 20 - 25 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining tablespoon of oil, chives and parsley to infused oil while soup cooks.
5. In 3 batches, puree soup in a blender until very smooth, 2 - 3 minutes each batches.
6. Stir together and season to taste with pepper and salt.
7.  Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle olive oil on top.

2-6, depending on whether you use as an appetizer or meal

Tom Ka Soup


This soup is a luxurious meal for the ease of cooking and cost per serving. As our budget has been tight recently, Boyfriend and I figured we could make this soup for around $2 per serving, and feel like we were having an exotic meal in our favorite Thai restaurant!

30 minutes
Tom Ka Soup
4 tbs fish sauce
1 12 ounce can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
2 cups water
2 sprigs lemongrass
1 lime, juice of
4 garlic cloves, chopped (or more to taste)
1 8-ounce package of silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp red chili paste (or more to taste)
1 tbs grated fresh gingerroot
2 heads of baby bok choy, chopped
1/2 cup shrimp (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish, optional)
1 kaffir lime leaf (optional)
1/4 cup Thai basil (for garnish, optional)
  1. Throw everything in a pot and boil for about 10 minutes. Save the shrimp and bok choy for the last 2-3 minutes.
  2. Garnish and serve as is, or with rice or noodles.

20 minutes to make, 10 minutes preparation.  This soup can be made vegetarian by replacing the fish sauce with salt to taste, using vegetable broth, and leaving out the shrimp.

4-6 servings
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