Plant-Based Soup Swap: 2nd Annual

Plant-based cooking seems to leave a lot of people perplexed – what is plant-based cooking? How boring is a soup with just plants in it!? What about THE MEAT!?!?!?!?!

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Well, let me tell you, plants and veggies are so much more than boring! Vibrant, nutritious, scrumptious, spicy, crunchy, flavorful, bright, tasty…I could go on and on.

My girlfriend invited me to a soup swap a few years back, where people brought homemade soup, told a bit about how they made it, then exchanged them with friends. Brilliant! Last year, I put my own veggie twist on it and held my first plant-based soup swap.

Last year’s Plant-Based Soup swap was such a hit, I knew I had to have another one. This year I threw the invite out to new friends, family and I myself whipped up two delicious soups for the occasion.

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This year, we had 4 beautiful ladies, 5 beautiful, home-made, plant-based soups. Below are the recipes. Enjoy!

4 Bean Veggie Chili

1 onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrots chopped
Saute’ olive oil till onions are are clear

4 cans trio of kidney beans
2 LG cans roasted tomatoes
2 caned green chilies
2 cans drained black beans
1 can chick peas
2 tabs dark chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes
Heat and enjoy!

Chunky Tomato Soup

I used this recipe – but altered it to make it plant-based by using homegrown tomatoes, coconut milk and veggie broth.

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Spicy Thai Noodle Soup

This soup turned out great, just not as thick as I thought. I bet if you added another can of coconut milk with some sriracha,  it would pop! It was still delicious though – only thing I altered was not adding the sprouts.

Quinoa Peanut Soup

Ingredients

2 tsp canola oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of quinoa
4 cups of veggie broth
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup of natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Tabasco
Ground pepper to taste

Preperation

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook, stirring until soft. Stir in garlic & cook for 30 seconds. Stir in carrots, potatoes, and quinoa, then add broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is cooked and the veggies are tender (about 18 minutes). Stir in red pepper and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until it is combined into the broth. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, hot sauce and pepper.

 

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Stir-Fry City!

Veggie Stir-Fry
Veggie Stir-Fry

Keep in simple and whole with stir-fry! There are a million variations on stirfry – use this template to get you started, and tailor to your personal preferences and to what’s available in season!

 

Stir-Fry

1-2 Tbsp high smoke point oil (coconut, grapeseed, canola, or peanut)

1 small red onion, cut into slices

2 carrots, peeled and sliced or julienned

1 yellow pepper, cut into large chunks or strips

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

1 package sliced white or portobello mushrooms

Optional protein additions: 8 oz tempeh or 14oz tofu (drained and pressed), cut into cubes*

2 cups cooked brown rice or grain of choice (quinoa, buckwheat, millet)

 

In a rush? Simply purchase a large bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, and skip all the produce prep work! Frozen vegetables are essentially equal to fresh vegetables when it comes to nutritional value!

 

Easy stir-fry sauce options:

Lemon Stir-Fry Sauce

¼ cup lemon juice plus 1 tsp lemon zest

¼ cup vegetable broth

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp sweetener (sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup, stevia)

 

Soy-Sesame Stir-Fry Sauce

¼ cup vegetable broth

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tsp rice wine (or other) vinegar

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

1 tsp sweetener (sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup, stevia)

 

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry Sauce

¼ cup vegetable broth

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp cider, balsamic or rice vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp hot red pepper flakes

 

In a rush? Pick up a bottle of pre-made stir-fry sauce from the grocery store. Beware of hidden animal product ingredients, however, including fish and oyster sauce and extracts. Try the Simply Asia stir-fry sauce pouches – most are free of animal products.

 

Heat oil in a large pan; if using tempeh or tofu*, add first and stir-fry until golden brown and crisp on the outside (about 7-10 minutes; see tofu tips below). Add onion and carrots, and saute until softened (about 5 minutes). Add peppers and broccoli, and stir-fry for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, and stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add stir-fry sauce of choice, and mix to combine and coat all vegetables/protein. Serve over hot grain of choice.

 

*Tofu tip #1: If you’re going to use tofu in your kitchen, I highly recommend investing in a TofuXpress (tofuxpress.com). This simple gadget will press and drain your tofu in just a few short minutes – no more stacking heavy books or pans on your tofu and wasting roll upon roll of paper towel to drain and press your tofu. The best $40 you’ll ever spend!

*Tofu tip #2: After draining and pressing tofu, coat with cornstarch or arrowroot powder (a whole food alternative to corn starch) before frying. This will result in a crisper, firmer texture.

*Tofu tip #3: Freeze your tofu! Put the whole package in your freezer, and remove the day before you plan to use to allow it to thaw. Then proceed as normal, draining and pressing before use. Freezing gives the tofu a more spongy-firm and “meat-like” consistency, taking away the ‘sliminess’ that some people find texturally unappealing.