Green Minestrone

Original recipe from Food & Wine

So much flavor for such a simple soup! I wanted something broth-y that could take the place of chicken soup for my under-the-weather husband. This fit the bill perfectly. Lots of healthy greens and veggies, too.   

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 quart no-chicken broth (I used 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon, plus 4 cups water)
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup ditali or other small pasta
1/2 pound baby Swiss chard (about 3 cups)
1 pound baby spinach (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, broth, water, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

3. Add the Swiss chard and spinach and bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and the pasta is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the Parmesan.

Servings: 4

♫ Music Pairing: Beautiful Skin – Harsh Distractions

A gorgeous song from 2000 on the GSL LP, Revolve.

Green Minestrone

Original recipe from Food & Wine

So much flavor for such a simple soup! I wanted something broth-y that could take the place of chicken soup for my under-the-weather husband. This fit the bill perfectly. Lots of healthy greens and veggies, too.   

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 quart no-chicken broth (I used 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon, plus 4 cups water)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ditali or other small pasta
  • 1/2 pound baby Swiss chard (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound baby spinach (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (optional)

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, broth, water, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

3. Add the Swiss chard and spinach and bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and the pasta is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the Parmesan.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Beautiful Skin – Harsh Distractions

A gorgeous song from 2000 on the GSL LP, Revolve.

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

Original recipe from Everyday Food
I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since February. Terrible! To be fair it’s been a busy year full of planning, celebrations, and silly diets that didn’t help me lose any weight. This month I married my best friend and favorite person in the world to cook for. I feel happy and ready to get back into cooking delicious homemade meals that will hopefully be posted here on a more regular basis. Last night I made this chili because we had seven (!) cans of black beans in the cupboard and I wanted something quick and satisfying. I served it with a salad of mixed greens, lemon cucumber, celery, carrots, and a simple shallot vinaigrette.  
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
4 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
4 tablespoons shredded Mexican blend cheese (optional)
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Directions
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 2 cups water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.
Servings: 4
♫ Music Pairing: Swans – Mind/Body/Light/Sound

This year I also finally sold all of my CDs. I had a large collection from many years working at record store. One of the best things about getting rid of them was becoming reacquainted with music I hadn’t listened to in ages. The Great Annihilator is a Swans album that my mom sent to me while I was away at college in 1995. It’s still so, so good.

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

Original recipe from Everyday Food

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since February. Terrible! To be fair it’s been a busy year full of planning, celebrations, and silly diets that didn’t help me lose any weight. This month I married my best friend and favorite person in the world to cook for. I feel happy and ready to get back into cooking delicious homemade meals that will hopefully be posted here on a more regular basis. Last night I made this chili because we had seven (!) cans of black beans in the cupboard and I wanted something quick and satisfying. I served it with a salad of mixed greens, lemon cucumber, celery, carrots, and a simple shallot vinaigrette.  

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Mexican blend cheese (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 2 cups water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Swans – Mind/Body/Light/Sound

This year I also finally sold all of my CDs. I had a large collection from many years working at record store. One of the best things about getting rid of them was becoming reacquainted with music I hadn’t listened to in ages. The Great Annihilator is a Swans album that my mom sent to me while I was away at college in 1995. It’s still so, so good.

Mashed Potato Soup

Original recipe from Gourmet

I made this dish for our supper club’s decades theme. It is a surprisingly flavorful soup and is very quick and easy. What a great way to use up leftover potatoes! Use whatever mashed potato recipe you like.

Ingredients

½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 small rib of celery including the leaves, finely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
2 cups no-chicken broth (such as Imagine)
¼ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
2 ½ cups mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon white  vinegar
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Directions

In a large saucepan cook the onion, celery, and carrot in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the broth and the rosemary, and bring the mixture to a boil. Whisk in the potatoes, a little at a time, bring the soup to a boil, whisking, and stir in the vinegar, the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 4

♫ Music Pairing: Bjork – Crystalline (Omar Souleyman Version)

Omar Souleyman is the ultimate music to cook by.

Mashed Potato Soup

Original recipe from Gourmet

I made this dish for our supper club’s decades theme. It is a surprisingly flavorful soup and is very quick and easy. What a great way to use up leftover potatoes! Use whatever mashed potato recipe you like.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small rib of celery including the leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • 2 cups no-chicken broth (such as Imagine)
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 2 ½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon white  vinegar
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Directions

In a large saucepan cook the onion, celery, and carrot in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the broth and the rosemary, and bring the mixture to a boil. Whisk in the potatoes, a little at a time, bring the soup to a boil, whisking, and stir in the vinegar, the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Bjork – Crystalline (Omar Souleyman Version)

Omar Souleyman is the ultimate music to cook by.

Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas
Original recipe from Donna Klein’s The Tropical Vegan Kitchen
I love looking through food blogs and websites and I am constantly bookmarking new recipes to make. I even came up with a somewhat silly, but useful Excel spreadsheet that I can sort by type of dish, season, etc. But as much as I love checking out recipes online, as well as in books and magazines, I always find that the best recipes are the ones recommended to me by my friends. My #1 advisor is my friend Sarah. She is always sending me suggestions and I know that a Sarah-approved recipe is going to be good. She created our Ladies Supper Club, plus she and I have a lot of similar taste and dietary preferences. Sarah sent me a link to this recipe back in April and I made it four days later. It is crazy delicious, as are most soups involving both coconut milk and curry. Sarah added chard and zucchini in her version and upped the spices. As she noted, this is a great customizable recipe that you can easily change up to fit your needs.
Ingredients
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth (I used no-chicken bouillon cubes + water)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
¾ cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions
In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Servings: 4
Similar soups previously featured on Chalibu:
Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Harira
Summer Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Beans
♫ Music Pairing: Gang Gang Dance – Glass Jar
I love all eleven plus minutes. EPIC.

Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas

Original recipe from Donna Klein’s The Tropical Vegan Kitchen

I love looking through food blogs and websites and I am constantly bookmarking new recipes to make. I even came up with a somewhat silly, but useful Excel spreadsheet that I can sort by type of dish, season, etc. But as much as I love checking out recipes online, as well as in books and magazines, I always find that the best recipes are the ones recommended to me by my friends. My #1 advisor is my friend Sarah. She is always sending me suggestions and I know that a Sarah-approved recipe is going to be good. She created our Ladies Supper Club, plus she and I have a lot of similar taste and dietary preferences. Sarah sent me a link to this recipe back in April and I made it four days later. It is crazy delicious, as are most soups involving both coconut milk and curry. Sarah added chard and zucchini in her version and upped the spices. As she noted, this is a great customizable recipe that you can easily change up to fit your needs.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (I used no-chicken bouillon cubes + water)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • ¾ cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Servings: 4

Similar soups previously featured on Chalibu:

Music Pairing: Gang Gang Dance – Glass Jar

I love all eleven plus minutes. EPIC.

Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta, and Scallions 
Original recipe from CHOW
This soup is surprisingly hearty and flavorful.    
Ingredients
¾ cup quinoa
8 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and small dice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
3 cups thinly sliced spinach leaves 
4 ounces feta cheese, small dice (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
 
Directions
1. Bring the quinoa and the 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the white outer casings on the quinoa have popped, revealing translucent little beads, about 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Strain the quinoa through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl. Measure the quinoa liquid and add water as needed to make 6 cups; set the quinoa and cooking liquid aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to soften, adjusting the heat as necessary so that the garlic doesn’t brown, about 3 minutes.
 4. Add the reserved cooking liquid and half of the scallions and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
5. Add the cooked quinoa, spinach, and remaining scallions and simmer until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Servings: 4
♫ Music Pairing: Ford & Lopatin – Joey Rogers
Undeniably the #1 uber-jam off the new album, Channel Pressure, from the group formerly known as Games.

Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta, and Scallions

Original recipe from CHOW

This soup is surprisingly hearty and flavorful.    

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and small dice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 3 cups thinly sliced spinach leaves
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

1. Bring the quinoa and the 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the white outer casings on the quinoa have popped, revealing translucent little beads, about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Strain the quinoa through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl. Measure the quinoa liquid and add water as needed to make 6 cups; set the quinoa and cooking liquid aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to soften, adjusting the heat as necessary so that the garlic doesn’t brown, about 3 minutes.

 4. Add the reserved cooking liquid and half of the scallions and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

5. Add the cooked quinoa, spinach, and remaining scallions and simmer until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Ford & Lopatin – Joey Rogers

Undeniably the #1 uber-jam off the new album, Channel Pressure, from the group formerly known as Games.

Broccoli-Edamame Soup with Jumbo Goat Cheese Croutons 
Original recipe from Vegetarian Times
This is a great soup to make any day of the year. I used Redwood Hill Farm’s Bucheret that I bought at Sacred Wheel Cheese and Specialty Market for the croutons, but you can also omit the cheese entirely and have tasty garlic croutons instead.    
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 pound broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced 
8 1/2-inch-thick slices from baguette
Olive oil to brush the baguette slices
1 clove garlic
4 ounces aged goat cheese, thinly sliced (8 slices), optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté 10 minutes. Stir in ½ cup broth, scraping bottom of pot to lift off any brown bits. Add remaining 5 ½ cups broth, edamame, broccoli, and minced garlic. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake 6 minutes, or until crunchy on both sides. Remove from oven, and rub the baguette slices with the garlic clove. Arrange cheese (if using) over toasts. Return to oven, and bake 6 minutes more, or until cheese has softened.
3. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until creamy. Serve each bowl of soup with l – 2 croutons in the center
Servings: 4 - 6
♫ Music Pairing: Mogwai – Letters to the Metro
It’s been a while since a Mogwai song really struck me like this one.

Broccoli-Edamame Soup with Jumbo Goat Cheese Croutons

Original recipe from Vegetarian Times

This is a great soup to make any day of the year. I used Redwood Hill Farm’s Bucheret that I bought at Sacred Wheel Cheese and Specialty Market for the croutons, but you can also omit the cheese entirely and have tasty garlic croutons instead.    

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 1/2-inch-thick slices from baguette
  • Olive oil to brush the baguette slices
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 ounces aged goat cheese, thinly sliced (8 slices), optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté 10 minutes. Stir in ½ cup broth, scraping bottom of pot to lift off any brown bits. Add remaining 5 ½ cups broth, edamame, broccoli, and minced garlic. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake 6 minutes, or until crunchy on both sides. Remove from oven, and rub the baguette slices with the garlic clove. Arrange cheese (if using) over toasts. Return to oven, and bake 6 minutes more, or until cheese has softened.

3. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until creamy. Serve each bowl of soup with l – 2 croutons in the center

Servings: 4 - 6

Music Pairing: Mogwai – Letters to the Metro

It’s been a while since a Mogwai song really struck me like this one.

Green Soup with Ginger

Original recipe from 101 Cookbooks

This soup might look scary, but it is actually delightful.  Plus it makes you feel super healthy!  Heidi includes exact measurements with her recipes (which I love), and while I usually like to measure out everything, I feel that soups are the exception.  I say go with your gut and it will most likely turn out delicious.  Speaking of Heidi, are you as excited as I am about her new book?

Ingredients

1 large yellow onion 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 large sweet potato 
1 large leek, white and light green parts 
1 bunch spinach 
1 large bunch green chard 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger 
2 cups vegetable broth
2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
Directions

1. Chop the onion and cook it slowly in the olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, stirring now and then, over low heat until it is soft and golden, about half an hour.

2. Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potato and put it in a large soup pot with 4 cups water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Wash the leek, spinach, and chard, chop them coarsely, and add them to the pot, along with the chopped ginger.

3. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender. Add the caramelized onions. When the vegetables are soft, add the vegetable broth.  Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender until it is smooth.

4. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste, and correct the seasoning with additional salt or lemon juice.

Servings: 4

♫ Music Pairing: Lil B  – Connect the Dots

From his awesome new Angels Exodus mixtape.  SWAG!

Lil B’s How to Cook Video

Green Soup with Ginger

Original recipe from 101 Cookbooks

This soup might look scary, but it is actually delightful.  Plus it makes you feel super healthy!  Heidi includes exact measurements with her recipes (which I love), and while I usually like to measure out everything, I feel that soups are the exception.  I say go with your gut and it will most likely turn out delicious.  Speaking of Heidi, are you as excited as I am about her new book?

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 large bunch green chard
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Chop the onion and cook it slowly in the olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, stirring now and then, over low heat until it is soft and golden, about half an hour.

2. Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potato and put it in a large soup pot with 4 cups water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Wash the leek, spinach, and chard, chop them coarsely, and add them to the pot, along with the chopped ginger.

3. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender. Add the caramelized onions. When the vegetables are soft, add the vegetable broth.  Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender until it is smooth.

4. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste, and correct the seasoning with additional salt or lemon juice.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Lil B  – Connect the Dots

From his awesome new Angels Exodus mixtape.  SWAG!

Lil B’s How to Cook Video

Corn and Quinoa Chowder
Original recipe from Vegetarian Times
I’ve loved corn chowder since I was little.  Now I have a healthy version I can easily make at home, year-round (but especially during the summer).  The quinoa adds protein and deliciousness.  Good stuff!

Ingredients
    3/4 cup quinoa
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
    2 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
    1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
    4 small shallots, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
    4 cups vegetable broth
    2 cups plain soymilk
    1 large red bell pepper, diced
    3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
    1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
Directions
1. Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.

2. Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add broth and soymilk, and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender.

3. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
Servings: 6
♫ Music Pairing: HEALTH  – We Are Water
I think the 100% terrifying music video directed by Eric Wareheim was what got me super into this song.

Corn and Quinoa Chowder

Original recipe from Vegetarian Times

I’ve loved corn chowder since I was little.  Now I have a healthy version I can easily make at home, year-round (but especially during the summer).  The quinoa adds protein and deliciousness.  Good stuff!

Ingredients

  •     3/4 cup quinoa
  •     1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  •     1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  •     2 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  •     1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
  •     4 small shallots, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  •     4 cups vegetable broth
  •     2 cups plain soymilk
  •     1 large red bell pepper, diced
  •     3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  •     1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Directions

1. Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.

2. Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add broth and soymilk, and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender.

3. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

Servings: 6

Music Pairing: HEALTH  – We Are Water

I think the 100% terrifying music video directed by Eric Wareheim was what got me super into this song.

Buckwheat-Black Bean Soup

Original recipe from Vegetarian Times

Fast and satisfying.  Soup is the best!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil 
¾ cup chopped onion 
¾ cup chopped red bell pepper 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
¼ cup kasha or buckwheat groats 
1 teaspoon. chili powder 
2 cups vegetable broth 
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 
1 cup grated carrots 
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels 
1 bay leaf 
¼ cup chopped cilantro 
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Directions

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic, kasha, and chili powder, and sauté 3 minutes more. Stir in broth, beans, carrots, corn, bay leaf, and 2 cups water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until kasha is tender. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Servings: 4

♫ Music Pairing: Games – Shadows in Bloom

Games

Video

Buckwheat-Black Bean Soup

Original recipe from Vegetarian Times

Fast and satisfying.  Soup is the best!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup kasha or buckwheat groats
  • 1 teaspoon. chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic, kasha, and chili powder, and sauté 3 minutes more. Stir in broth, beans, carrots, corn, bay leaf, and 2 cups water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until kasha is tender. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Games – Shadows in Bloom

Games

Video

Roasted-Tomato and Eggplant Soup

Original recipe from Martha Stewart

This is some amazing soup. Usually I hate tomato soup, but I had a feeling this one would be different. With roasted carrots, tons of garlic, eggplant, chickpeas, and curry, this is not Campbell’s.

Ingredients

3 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise 
½ pound carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
10 garlic cloves 
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
Coarse salt and ground pepper 
1 ½  pounds eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch chunks 
1 can (15 ½ ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
2 teaspoons curry powder 
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro 
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with racks on top and bottom.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together tomatoes, carrots, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer, with tomatoes cut sides down.

3. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss together eggplant, chickpeas, curry powder, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer.

4. Place both sheets in oven (tomato mixture on top rack). Roast until tender, tossing mixtures halfway through, about 45 minutes.

5. Using tongs, peel off and discard tomato skins. Puree tomato mixture (including juices) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large pot. Stir in eggplant mixture; thin with 3 to 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with cilantro.

Servings: 4

♫ Music Pairing: Drake feat. Lil Wayne – Miss Me

This is super good anyway, but talking about wanting to marry Nicki Minaj elevates it to a new level in my book.

Video

Roasted-Tomato and Eggplant Soup

Original recipe from Martha Stewart

This is some amazing soup. Usually I hate tomato soup, but I had a feeling this one would be different. With roasted carrots, tons of garlic, eggplant, chickpeas, and curry, this is not Campbell’s.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
  • ½ pound carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 ½  pounds eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 can (15 ½ ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with racks on top and bottom.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together tomatoes, carrots, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer, with tomatoes cut sides down.

3. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss together eggplant, chickpeas, curry powder, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer.

4. Place both sheets in oven (tomato mixture on top rack). Roast until tender, tossing mixtures halfway through, about 45 minutes.

5. Using tongs, peel off and discard tomato skins. Puree tomato mixture (including juices) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large pot. Stir in eggplant mixture; thin with 3 to 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with cilantro.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Drake feat. Lil Wayne – Miss Me

This is super good anyway, but talking about wanting to marry Nicki Minaj elevates it to a new level in my book.

Video

Summer Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Beans

Original recipe from the kitchn

It’s not the right season for this, but I’m still trying to finish up with my archives.  Maybe bookmark it for June?  

I think I should mainly just make big pots of soups and stews all the time. These are my favorite kinds of dishes. They taste and feel good. This recipe was supposed to relate to summer farmers markets and I did end up getting most of the ingredients from the Old Oakland market. This is relatively fast to make and the results are superb.

Ingredients

1 large onion, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 zucchini, diced small
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced thyme
1 bay leaf
3-5 cups vegetable broth
½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups of corn kernels (from 2-3 ears of corn)
3 cups cooked pasta
2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) cooked cannellini beans 
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Directions

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large dutch-oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are translucent but not brown. Add the carrots, leeks, zucchini, and another healthy pinch of salt, and cook until they have softened. Stir in the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf, cooking just until the garlic is fragrant.

2. Pour in the broth, adding extra water to cover as needed, and bring to a rapid simmer. Add the green beans. Cook until the green beans are cooked through but still firm. Stir in the corn, pasta, and cannellini beans. Simmer until all the ingredients are warmed through. Taste, season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve.  Top with cheese if using.

3. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week.

Servings: 6 - 8

♫ Music Pairing: Foals – 2 Trees

This Foals album is brilliant and totally underrated.  

Video

Summer Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Beans

Original recipe from the kitchn

It’s not the right season for this, but I’m still trying to finish up with my archives.  Maybe bookmark it for June? 

I think I should mainly just make big pots of soups and stews all the time. These are my favorite kinds of dishes. They taste and feel good. This recipe was supposed to relate to summer farmers markets and I did end up getting most of the ingredients from the Old Oakland market. This is relatively fast to make and the results are superb.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 zucchini, diced small
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 cups of corn kernels (from 2-3 ears of corn)
  • 3 cups cooked pasta
  • 2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) cooked cannellini beans
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan (optional)

Directions

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large dutch-oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are translucent but not brown. Add the carrots, leeks, zucchini, and another healthy pinch of salt, and cook until they have softened. Stir in the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf, cooking just until the garlic is fragrant.

2. Pour in the broth, adding extra water to cover as needed, and bring to a rapid simmer. Add the green beans. Cook until the green beans are cooked through but still firm. Stir in the corn, pasta, and cannellini beans. Simmer until all the ingredients are warmed through. Taste, season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve.  Top with cheese if using.

3. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week.

Servings: 6 - 8

Music Pairing: Foals – 2 Trees

This Foals album is brilliant and totally underrated. 

Video

Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Original recipe from the kitchn

I rarely use my Crockpot, mainly because I have trouble finding slow-cooker* recipes that sound healthy/delicious/vegetarian. This one totally fit the bill and was easy, easy, easy. Plus it gave me an opportunity to try out a lot of new knife skills from my Kitchen on Fire class.  I’m convinced that any dish involving curry powder and coconut milk has a good shot at being fabulous.   

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices (I prefer Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
10 ounces baby spinach
1 cup coconut milk
Directions

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

2. Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in ¼ cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour this onion-potato mixture into the bowl of your slow-cooker.

3. To the slow-cooker, add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell pepper, cauliflower, tomatoes with their juices, the pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come half-way up the sides of the bowl; add more broth as necessary. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH.

4. Test to make sure your veggies are tender.  Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid for 1 minute to allow the spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.

*This recipe is also easily replicated in a Dutch oven. Pre-heat your oven to 350-degrees and do all the steps in your Dutch oven. Cover and cook for two hours or until the vegetables are tender.

Servings: 8 - 10

♫ Music Pairing: Big Boi feat. Cutty - Shutterbugg

Another gem from this year.  It has “summer jam” written all over it.  I saw today that it was nominated for a Grammy.

Video
        

Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Original recipe from the kitchn

I rarely use my Crockpot, mainly because I have trouble finding slow-cooker* recipes that sound healthy/delicious/vegetarian. This one totally fit the bill and was easy, easy, easy. Plus it gave me an opportunity to try out a lot of new knife skills from my Kitchen on Fire class.  I’m convinced that any dish involving curry powder and coconut milk has a good shot at being fabulous.   

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices (I prefer Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

2. Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in ¼ cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour this onion-potato mixture into the bowl of your slow-cooker.

3. To the slow-cooker, add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell pepper, cauliflower, tomatoes with their juices, the pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come half-way up the sides of the bowl; add more broth as necessary. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH.

4. Test to make sure your veggies are tender.  Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid for 1 minute to allow the spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.

*This recipe is also easily replicated in a Dutch oven. Pre-heat your oven to 350-degrees and do all the steps in your Dutch oven. Cover and cook for two hours or until the vegetables are tender.

Servings: 8 - 10

Music Pairing: Big Boi feat. Cutty - Shutterbugg

Another gem from this year.  It has “summer jam” written all over it.  I saw today that it was nominated for a Grammy.

Video

        

Harira

Original recipe 

Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup.  It is served as a meal during Ramadan.  I came across this vegetarian version while searching for something to make for my Ladies Supper Club.  Our theme that month was African food.  Although many of the ladies live in an area with a large amount of Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants, trying to cook this cuisine was new to most of us.  I have made this soup many times now.  It is quite easy and the leftovers freeze well.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil 
1 ¾ cups yellow onions, diced 
1 garlic clove, minced 
2 cups water 
2 cups vegetable broth 
½ cup dried lentils 
½ cup tomato puree 
¾ teaspoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix 
1 teaspoon turmeric 
1 teaspoon sweet paprika 
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 
½ cup frozen lima beans, thawed 
1/3 cup celery, minced 
¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped 
¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped 
1 teaspoon tomato paste 
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 
8 lemon wedges
Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until onions are translucent (5 minutes). Add the next 9 ingredients (through pepper) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in lima beans and next 5 ingredients (through garbanzo beans) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with lemon wedges.

Servings: 8

♫ Music Pairing: Jay Electronica – Exhibit C

Jay really shines on this track from late 2008.  Expect to hear more from him since he just signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label.

Harira

Original recipe

Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup.  It is served as a meal during Ramadan.  I came across this vegetarian version while searching for something to make for my Ladies Supper Club.  Our theme that month was African food.  Although many of the ladies live in an area with a large amount of Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants, trying to cook this cuisine was new to most of us.  I have made this soup many times now.  It is quite easy and the leftovers freeze well.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups yellow onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 1/3 cup celery, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 lemon wedges

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until onions are translucent (5 minutes). Add the next 9 ingredients (through pepper) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in lima beans and next 5 ingredients (through garbanzo beans) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with lemon wedges.

Servings: 8

Music Pairing: Jay Electronica – Exhibit C

Jay really shines on this track from late 2008.  Expect to hear more from him since he just signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label.

Matzo Ball Soup
Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen
One of the only things I was worried about missing when I stopped eating poultry was matzo ball soup.  I was used to devouring bowls of it in Jewish delis and I’ve certainly never seen a vegetarian version on any menu.  But it turns out that matzo balls are super easy to make and they taste just as good (and better!) in a veggie broth.  I was excited that Deb’s recipe for the balls (not the broth) included vegetarian options.  I suggest using Imagine’s Organic No-Chicken Broth if you’re going to use store-bought stock.  If you make your stock from scratch, be sure to use veggies that will give a lighter taste and appearance.
Ingredients
Matzo Balls
½ cup matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons seltzer 
For soup
2 quarts vegetable broth, preferably Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth
1 carrot, thinly sliced
A few sprigs of dill
Directions
1. Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Bring 1 ½ quarts of well-salted water to a brisk boil in a medium sized pot.
3. Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet. Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes.
4. About ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, bring prepared broth to a simmer with the sliced carrot in it. Ladle some soup and a couple matzo balls into each bowl and top with a couple snips of dill. Eat immediately.
Servings: 4
♫ Music Pairing: Suicide – Keep Your Dreams
I will keep eating matzo ball soup forever.

Matzo Ball Soup

Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen

One of the only things I was worried about missing when I stopped eating poultry was matzo ball soup.  I was used to devouring bowls of it in Jewish delis and I’ve certainly never seen a vegetarian version on any menu.  But it turns out that matzo balls are super easy to make and they taste just as good (and better!) in a veggie broth.  I was excited that Deb’s recipe for the balls (not the broth) included vegetarian options.  I suggest using Imagine’s Organic No-Chicken Broth if you’re going to use store-bought stock.  If you make your stock from scratch, be sure to use veggies that will give a lighter taste and appearance.

Ingredients

Matzo Balls

  • ½ cup matzo meal
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons seltzer

For soup

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth, preferably Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • A few sprigs of dill

Directions

1. Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Bring 1 ½ quarts of well-salted water to a brisk boil in a medium sized pot.

3. Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet. Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. About ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, bring prepared broth to a simmer with the sliced carrot in it. Ladle some soup and a couple matzo balls into each bowl and top with a couple snips of dill. Eat immediately.

Servings: 4

Music Pairing: Suicide – Keep Your Dreams

I will keep eating matzo ball soup forever.

Winter Minestrone 
Original Cooking Light recipe 
I made this a year ago when the weather was starting to turn cold.  The fennel and squash make it extra delicious and special.  I recommend adding more water and/or broth.  To make it vegan, simply omit the cheese or use something like Daiya.
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ cups cubed peeled acorn or butternut squash (about 1 medium)
¾ cup diced zucchini
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup diced fennel
1 cup water
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium veggie broth
5 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup uncooked ditalini (very short tube-shaped pasta)
2 ½ cups chopped Swiss chard
½ cup rinsed and drained canned Great Northern Beans
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated asiago cheese
Directions
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, basil, oregano, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender.
2. Add squash and next 3 ingredients (through fennel); sauté 5 minutes.
3. Stir in 1 cup water, broth, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
4. Stir in pasta; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add chard; cook 3 minutes.
6. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pepper. Serve with cheese.
Servings: 6
♫ Music Pairing: David Sylvian – Darkest Dreaming
Taken from 1999’s Dead Bees on a Cake, this song by the former singer of the band Japan is good for a cozy night indoors.

Winter Minestrone 

Original Cooking Light recipe

I made this a year ago when the weather was starting to turn cold.  The fennel and squash make it extra delicious and special.  I recommend adding more water and/or broth.  To make it vegan, simply omit the cheese or use something like Daiya.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ¼ cups cubed peeled acorn or butternut squash (about 1 medium)
  • ¾ cup diced zucchini
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup diced fennel
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium veggie broth
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup uncooked ditalini (very short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 2 ½ cups chopped Swiss chard
  • ½ cup rinsed and drained canned Great Northern Beans
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated asiago cheese

Directions

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, basil, oregano, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

2. Add squash and next 3 ingredients (through fennel); sauté 5 minutes.

3. Stir in 1 cup water, broth, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

4. Stir in pasta; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add chard; cook 3 minutes.

6. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pepper. Serve with cheese.

Servings: 6

Music Pairing: David Sylvian – Darkest Dreaming

Taken from 1999’s Dead Bees on a Cake, this song by the former singer of the band Japan is good for a cozy night indoors.