THIS POST IS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! AS MY BROTHER MATT SAYS “SOUPY HEAVEN”…
As the cooler weather approaches, my family starts to crave hot hearty soups, and they have their favorites. Although there are some amazing soup recipes on this site such as Ellen’s Vegan Tortilla Soup, Hearty Healthy Veggie Soup and Pumpkin Black Bean Soup, I believe that there are 5 essential vegan soup recipes which everyone needs to help them get through the colder months of the year. Of course, these recipes are great for any time of the year too!
Tonight I made my favorite Italian Minestrone Soup from one of my “go-to” vegan cookbooks, Cooking The Whole Foods Way by Christina Pirello. I have never been disappointed by any of the recipes I made from this wonderful cookbook, and this includes Christina’s recipe for this awesome hearty soup. I love the way she recalls her dad sitting at the head of the table while enjoying it, with a heel of bread in one hand, a spoon in the other, and intent on not leaving a drop behind. Mmmm!
VEGAN ITALIAN MINESTRONE
From Cooking The Whole Foods Way by Christina Pirello
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 1/4 cup each dried chickpeas, kidney beans and white beans, sorted, rinsed well and soaked together 1 hour
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- Sea salt
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 to 3 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- Generous pinch dried basil
- 4 cups spring or filtered water (I use about 6-8 cups for a thinner soup)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup tiny pasta (orzo, acini, pasting), cooked al dente and rinsed
- Several leaves broccoli rapini, diced
- Drain beans, discarding soaking water.
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion and a pinch of salt and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add celery, tomatoes, carrot, basil and a generous pinch of salt.
- Cook, stirring, until coated with oil.
- Add beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Season with salt to taste and simmer 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaf.
- Stir in cooked pasta and rapini, simmer 1 minute to cook rapini and serve hot.
- *Note: You can choose to cook the pasta separately so it wont get too mushy, or you may cook it in the broth (but soup will be much thicker)
What would life be without a delicious, satisfying bowl of Lentil Soup? I live on this soup during the fall and winter months, and it always makes me feel so healthy. Some people make this recipe using sweet potatoes, but I think it’s much more delicious with Yukon Gold potatoes. It’s your choice!
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 2 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut up into chunks (whatever size chunks you prefer)
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (but not too thin)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound baby carrots
- 5 sticks of celery, chopped (whatever size you prefer)
- 3 vegetable bouillon cubes (I am partial to the Rapunzel brand vegan bouillon cubes with no added salt)
- 1 bay leaf
- 6-8 cups of water (depending upon how thick or thin you prefer your soup)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat up the olive oil in a soup pot. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions turn clear.
- Then, add the potatoes, celery and carrots to the pot with the onions and garlic. Stir, add the lentils and cover the whole mixture with water. I used about 6 cups of water, but you could use more or less depending upon how thick you like your soup.
- When the mixture reaches boiling, add the bouillon cubes and bay leaf.
- Then, reduce everything to a simmer and place the lid loosely over the pot. Simmer until the potatoes and lentils are soft, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent sticking. This should take approximately 30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve with some hot, crusty bread.
Everyone loves a delicious bowl of Split Pea Soup, don’t they? But who needs the gross ham that’s traditionally found in it? Not me! This super simple vegan version from the Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson and Bart Polenza is much more delicious, and no animals were harmed to make it.
From The Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson and Bart Polenza
- One 16-ounce package of split peas
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- Several pinches of each of the following fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme and oregano
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Put 12 cups of water into a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the split peas, onion, carrots, celery and herbs. Stir and bring to a boil again.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the peas and vegetables are tender, about one hour.
- Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.
This Classic Mushroom-Barley Soup is “hands-down” my family’s favorite. This is a recipe from Nava Atlas’ wonderful website Veg Kitchen. If you recall, my Easy Vegan Apple Strudel recipe also came from Nava’s site. This hearty soup is a must-try, no joke!
Serves: 6 to 8
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 3/4 cup raw pearl barley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
- 10 to 12 ounces mushrooms, any variety, sliced (see note)
- 2 cups rice milk, or more or less as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden.
- Add 6 cups water, followed by the celery, carrot, barley, bay leaves, bouillon cubes, and seasoning blend. Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until the barley and vegetables are tender. Stir in enough rice milk to give the soup a slightly thick consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley and dill.
- Allow the soup to stand for 30 minutes off the heat before serving. The soup thickens quite a bit if it is refrigerated.
- Add more rice milk as needed and adjust the seasonings; heat through as needed.
- *NOTE: Use any of white, baby bella, cremini, shiitake, or oyster mushrooms, or a combination.
Dashi is a basic broth which is so easy to make, and has become a staple in my home. You can add any type of noodles to a hot bowl of dashi, including soba or buckwheat noodles, but my kids love udon noodles the best. I think it’s because they’re thicker than the others, but I’m not quite sure. Anyway, I think that just about everyone loves bowls of “noodle-y” stuff because noodles are so much fun to eat. This is a simple standard recipe which you’re sure to love!
BROWN RICE UDON NOODLES IN HOT BOWL OF DASHI
- 2 (8.8 oz.) packages of Eden brown rice udon noodles
- 10 cups of water
- 1 (0.75 oz.) bag of dried organic shiitake mushroom slices or 10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
- 1 (6-inch) piece of kombu, rinsed
- 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- One chunk of ginger root
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Prepare the udon noodles as directed on the package, drain and rinse them in cold water. Set aside.
- Pour 10 cups of water into a stock pot and add the rinsed mushrooms and kombu. Bring water to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While stock is simmering, add grated ginger into the pot. After 20 minutes, strain out the mushrooms and kombu. When kombu cools, thinly slice it up into little pieces and add it back into the broth. Add the tamari and toasted sesame oil.
- Place the noodles into serving bowls and ladle the hot broth over the noodles.
- Garnish with scallions.
There you have it…my 5 favorite essential vegan soup recipes which I believe everyone should have to enjoy throughout the fall and winter, as well as any time of the year!
Get cookin’ everyone, and enjoy!