1 sandwich-sized bag of butternut squash puree (about 2 1/2 cups)
3-4 cups green lentils, soaked overnight or at least for 4-6 hours
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.
Once hot, add onion, salt & pepper, garlic powder, and turmeric powder. Sauté until the onions soften and are fragrant.
Add the rutabaga and stir for about 5 minutes so it just begins to cook.
Add the butternut squash puree and lentils.
Pour water into the pan to just submerge all the ingredients.
Cook until rutabaga is soft, about 30 minutes (I took a piece out and tasted it to make sure there was no crunch left).
Remove from heat and add more water to cool it down (and because it's likely more stew-like than soup-like at this point).
If you have an immersion blender use it to blend the ingredients to make a consistency similar to a bisque (mine was a little bit thicker than one).
If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or regular blender to blend smaller amounts of soup at a time. Make sure it's cooled down quite a bit before doing this, unless you want splattered soup all over your kitchen and potential burns!
Serve with a slice of fresh bread and a dessert of Halloween candy. 🙂
To use other fall vegetables, just substitute the butternut squash and rutabaga and keep everything else the same. You could also substitute red or brown lentils for the green ones, or use coconut oil instead of olive.
To make the butternut squash puree, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside seeds and stringy bits. Place flat-side-down in a roasting pan and pour in about 1/4-inch to a 1/2-inch of water. This helps prevent them from getting too dry. Depending on the size of the squash, roast for 30-50 minutes. A fork should be able to poke right through the skin. Scoop out the “meat” of the squash, let cool, then puree in a blender or food processor to achieve a smooth consistency. Depending on how dry your squash was, you may need to add water. You can use the puree right away or freeze to use at a later date!
I hope everyone has a delightfully spooky and safe Halloween!
Go ahead and give this fall vegetable lentil soup a try. Happy cooking!
Soup has to be one of my favorite meal categories. There are soups for all seasons, unexpected soups, classic soups, warm ones, and cold ones. In the fall, making soup or stew is a great way to use up all of the suddenly-plentiful veggies you have in your fridge.
I believe that making soup from scratch is an art form. It’s very hard to get a soup to come out exactly the same each time you make it. But if you know what you’re doing, each one is a masterpiece in itself.
Can you tell I love soup?!
People often think that they need to have vegetable broth or stock to make soup, but I’ve found this isn’t always the case! If you have a vegan, low or no-sodium broth that you really like, then by all means use it. But if you don’t that’s OK too. If you want to make your own vegetable broth check out this how-to guide on “Oh My Veggies”.
For soups like pho (the largest picture above) where the broth is very important I would follow a recipe like this one. Making a simple miso broth is really easy because it requires only miso paste like Miso Master’s (I get it at Whole Foods) and hot water! For soups with lots of veggies and specific spices, all that matters is the order that you put the ingredients in the pot (I’ll talk more about this below).
You can add all sorts of grains to soup. It’s all about your flavor palette and what you think will go best with the veggies and broth you’ve got on hand. I recommend cooking your grains before adding them in, but if you were really short on time (or dishes) you could just add extra water and cook them in your soup pot with your other ingredients. Here is a great chart with grain cooking times and water-to-grain ratios!
Pasta also falls into this category, just make sure to double check that it’s vegan if that’s what you’re looking for. There are Annie Chun’s Maifun Brown Rice Noodles – which I got at a great price from Thrive Market – in the lower right soup pictured above (that one’s a miso soup). These are great quick-cooking noodles that are a healthier option than ramen!
Legumes and Beans
Legumes and beans add serious nutrition to vegan soups. Lentils, black beans, and split peas are some of my favorites to add in. You should definitely soak them overnight before you use them so that they will cook faster once added to your soup (also to reduce phytic acid if that’s something you’re mindful of). For example, before I go to bed I’ll add some lentils to a pan and add enough water to submerge them, covering the pan with a lid. When I wake up I’ll carefully drain then replace the water. Then right before I’m about to add them to my soup (usually a couple hours before dinner time) I’ll rinse them once more with water.
There’s no limit to the combinations of vegetables you can add to vegan soup. I’ve got some ideas to share with you to inspire you, though:
Mung bean sprouts
Herbs, spices, oils, and things like garlic cloves and fresh ginger are great additions to vegan soups. But I’d like to let you in on a little vegan soup secret…NUTRITIONAL YEAST!! This is the key to adding delicious umami taste and depth of flavor to a vegan soup. It’s the thing that can take a basic mix of veggies and lentils and turn it into a wholehearted soup. Check out this article on why you should be using nutritional yeast in your cooking.
It wouldn’t be a food post unless I gave you a sample recipe! I made this soup last week with the ingredients from my first CSA of the fall. It’s also the top right picture in the graphic above.
3-4 cups dried green lentils, soaked overnight (see tips from above)
Water to nearly fill pan and submerge the ingredients
Lots of nutritional yeast (this one is up to your personal flavor preference, I used about 1/4 cup)
3-4 stalks worth of beet greens
Choose a large saucepan with a lid.
Heat up the olive oil then add the garlic, onion, turmeric, thyme, and S+P. Stir until the onions soften and everything is fragrant. This is a super-important step because if you just add these intensely flavorful ingredients to the water they won't taste like much of anything.
Now add the carrots and potatoes and stir to season them.
Drain the lentils and add them in.
Pour water into the pan until everything is submerged (you can decide if you want the soup to be more watery or more stew-like).
Bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and let simmer, covered, until the carrots and potatoes have softened, about 40 minutes or so depending on how thickly you've chopped them.
Add more water if necessary, then add the nutritional yeast and beet greens.
Cook until the greens have wilted.
Serve with additional salt and pepper (I usually keep the amount of salt and pepper I put into my soups low so that I can add it to taste at the end...best not to go overboard with either).
Hi everyone! Summer has been crazy so far because I have THREE jobs! I’m crazy, I know. But I made a delicious dinner tonight and I wanted to share it with you.
I’ve been making different versions of this recipe for a very long time! I love sweet potatoes and lots of spices, so why not combine them into a delicious burrito?? It’s hot but not too hot, so know that if you want more heat you should add some more cayenne pepper, jalapeños, or whatever else you like to add for some FIRE!
Just a heads up…this recipe can photograph very nicely, like this:
OR not so nicely if you’re in a rush because you’re STARVING like I was tonight. So please bear with me in my limited pictures of this dish. But here it goes anyway…
Red Bliss Potatoes (3-4 medium sized ones, because they are small to start with)
1 Yellow Onion
2 Bell Peppers (you choose the colors!)
Handful (or more) of Kale
Can of Black Beans
Celery (if you want it for the crunch and flavor)
Coconut oil (you can use one that's processed so it doesn't have a coconut flavor or use one that does, it's up to how you want the flavor to impact the recipe)
Tortilla or Gluten-Free Wraps of Your Choice
For the Seasoning:
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Dice the sweet potatoes, red bliss potatoes, and onion.
Spread them evenly on a baking pan coated in coconut oil (just enough to make sure nothing sticks to the pan) and sprinkle the seasonings on top.
Bake until the potatoes are soft, stirring every 10 minutes or so to equally distribute the seasoning.
Depending on your oven and how thickly you've diced the potatoes I'm guessing this will take 30-45 minutes, but keep an eye on them! Sweet potatoes can quickly take on a "mashed" texture, which is fine if you want it but disappointing if you don't.
While the potatoes and onions are in the oven dice the peppers and chop up the kale and celery, if you're adding it.
Rinse your black beans! Sometimes they are pre-seasoned (with lots of salt!), so I just make it a habit to rinse them with some cold water.
If you're making a side of rice to pair with your delicious burritos, start it now.
Once the potatoes have about 10-15 minutes left, prep a sauté pan with coconut oil.
Cook the beans, peppers, celery, and kale to your desired tenderness. I like my peppers still a little crunchy, but it's all about preference!
When the potatoes and onions are done add them to the sauté pan with the rest of the vegetables and mix everything really well.