Lemony Orzo “Chicken” Soup

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Yum, I love this soup! It is roughly based on a Greek chicken orzo soup I had several years ago. Of course, this soup involves lots of lemons!
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I started off the soup base with some chopped garlic, veggie broth, greek oregano, and lemon juice. While that came to a simmer, I zested and juiced the lemons, which are added at the very end to add a burst of fresh lemon flavor.

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While the orzo was cooking, I added some veggie “chicken” chunks to the soup to absorb all the flavors. Once the orzo was done, it went into the soup along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. I also added a little cornstarch to give the soup some body, and lots of freshly ground pepper. The soup tasted fresh and comforting all at the same time!

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Beans bourguignon

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This is a great dish for a cold (and as it turns out, snowy) winter night! I started off by thinly slicing white mushrooms, and then sautéing them in olive oil until they were browned and juicy.

After the mushrooms were done, they got to hang out on a plate while I made the rest of the stew. I added diced onions, carrots, and red pepper to the pan to soften slightly. Next I added some veggie stock, dried thyme, and tomato paste, and then covered the pot to simmer for several minutes. I skipped the bay leaf last night, having learned from my mom that husbands tend not to enjoy when the leaf ends up in their bowl!

When the veggies were soft, I added red kidney beans and red wine, again letting everything simmer together for a few minutes. Cornstarch dissolved in water makes the sauce thick, and the mushrooms add a little extra “meatiness” in addition to some yummy juices. It was perfect served over some wide noodles and accompanied by a slice of homemade bread. I’m not sure I ever had the beef version of this dish in my pre-veggie days, but I can’t imagine it would be any yummier than this vegan version!

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Tomato bread soup (pappa al pomodoro)

Normally when I make this soup, I use store-bought bread since I don’t have the time to make bread after work. However, since Jon requested this for a weekend, I decided to spoil him and make homemade bread to go in the soup.

Because the bread had to rise, I started it several hours before dinner, mixing together water, yeast, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and salt. I really like the mixture of regular whole wheat flour and the whole wheat pastry flour because it makes the bread lighter and airier but still has the healthiness of 100% whole wheat.

Once the bread had risen, I heated up the oven and a baking stone, then shaped the bread. It went into the oven to bake while I started the soup.

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Of course, the soup started off like all of my meals with diced onion and minced garlic sautéed in olive oil. Once the onion was slightly caramelized, I added in diced tomatoes, a little tomato juice, navy beans, some water, and red wine vinegar. This all simmered together until it was super-flavorful. Then, I used my immersion blender to mix everything together, leaving chunks of tomatoes and beans rather than making a completely smooth soup.

After the bread and the soup were both done, I sliced up cubes of the bread and then ladled soup over them. The bread absorbed the soup while the tomatoes and beans added texture, making it a yummy thick soup, perfect for a weekend dinner.

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Asian peanut noodles with miso soup

We were in the mood for some Asian food this week, so I decided to make this noodle stirfry with a spicy peanut sauce, along with some miso soup.

I started off the soup by simmering some water with ginger and soy sauce. While the water was getting infused with yummy flavors, I cooked the noodles and prepped the veggies. I love lots of broccoli in this dish, along with red pepper, green onions, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and vegetarian “chicken”. The broccoli absorbs the sauce nicely, making it something that even Jon enjoys eating!

I sautéd all the veggies together in some sesame oil. Once the veggies were done, I made the sauce in the pan with fresh ground peanut butter, sriracha sauce, and a little soy sauce, along with cooking water from the pasta to make a creamy spicy sauce. The noodles were finished when everything got mixed together.

I finished the soup by mixing in miso. Once that was dissolved, I put some chopped green onions in soup bowls and then ladled the hot, gingery, miso soup over them. The soup provided a great contrast to the spicy noodles. Yum!

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Pumpkin Soup

A great fall meal is curried pumpkin soup. I started mine off by chopping and then sautéing onions and Granny Smith apples. After these were soft, I added in some curry powder to saute for a few minutes. Next, I added in veggie broth, a little white wine, and canned pumpkin (no, I didn’t use fresh pumpkin although I suppose you could!).

After simmering for about 30 minutes, the veggies were soft and the soup was super fragrant. I used my immersion blender to mix it up to a creamy consistency, then added in some coconut creamer to add an extra creamy touch. It was perfect served with some toasted pumpkin seeds on top!

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Veggie Pot Pie

Yeah! It is fall which means soup season! One of Jon’s favorites is veggie pot pie. I started off the soup filling by sautéing some onions, then adding potatoes and minced garlic. After everything had softened a bit, I added lots of veggie broth, thyme, and, fresh ground pepper. When the soup came to a low boil, I then added the peas and corn, and covered everything to simmer for a while.

While the soup was cooking, I made the pie topping. Normally, I bake the pot pies in the oven with the topping on my mini soup crocks, but I decided to go for a slightly more elegant (and less messy) approach. I mixed up a vegan version of drop biscuits from Joy of Cooking, but made larger versions that would perch on top of the soup.

Once the biscuits were done, the soup was also almost ready. I added some cornstarch to thicken it, plus a little red wine vinegar to add a little sharpness. I ladled the soup into bowls, then perched the biscuits on the top. What a great and comforting fall meal!

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Tomato garlic soup with homemade pasta bits

Jon sure is spoiled! Last night he got homemade soup that included homemade pasta. Of course, he was spoiling me by doing all the cleaning. 🙂

I started off by making the pasta dough in my trusty Kitchenaid mixer. I mixed semolina flour and salt with some olive oil, and then added water until a nice dough was formed. Then, I put the pasta roller attachment on the Kitchenaid and started rolling out the pasta sheets. I was actually making pasta for dinner last night and an upcoming dinner later this week, so the first half of the dough got sliced into long noodles and put aside to dry.

I have often made this soup with orzo, so I decided to slice the rest of the dough into small triangles, squares, and similar shapes. I left the sheets fairly thick, and used my ravioli roller to slice up the dough.

While the pasta bits were drying, I started the soup by mincing lots of garlic…like, really a lot (more than 1 head of garlic!!) and then sautéing the garlic over low heat in a little olive oil. I added in the Aleppo pepper, thyme, and parsley, and then veggie broth, and them left the broth to simmer for about 30 minutes.

When I started the water for the pasta, I also added peas and diced tomatoes to the broth. After everything was cooked and super fragrant, the soup was ready to serve. I put some of the yummy pasta bits in the bottom of each bowl, topping it with the broth. It is a yummy and light soup that doesn’t taste like it has that much garlic in it! Really!

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