Spicy Veggie Soup

Spicy Veggie Soup

Veggie soup is always such an easy, flexible meal to throw together and it’s especially nice because you can basically make it with any veggies you have in the fridge. I really nailed it with this combination of vegetables and spices but you can easily swap out anything I used for another veggie you may have laying around.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This recipe makes a ton of soup so I would anticipate to have a lot of leftovers if you make it. The good news is, it keeps really well in the fridge and re-heats nicely because I didn’t add any noodles or rice directly into the soup when cooking. I would highly recommend making noodles, rice or quinoa on the side and adding them in when you reheat the soup. That way, they won’t get all soggy and break down in the fridge.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI made this last Sunday and we had it for lunches and dinners throughout the week. It’s a very hearty soup and isn’t super brothy, which I prefer because it’s more filling. It was amazing with a bit of pesto and vegan cheese or nutritional yeast on top.

Spicy Veggie Soup (Prep Time: 30 min. Cook Time: 30 Min. Serves: 8)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced or one can diced tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 4 small yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 3 cups, kale cut up, stems removed
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked noodles, rice or quinoa (optional)
  • Pesto sauce, vegan cheese or nutritional yeast for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, head olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for a few minutes until they start to sweat and soften a bit. About five minutes.
  2. Add in garlic, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and sauté two or three minutes until tomatoes cook down a bit.
  3. Add red and green peppers, and leek and sauté one or two more minutes.
  4. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add potatoes, asparagus, and both cans of beans.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft. About fifteen minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in kale and basil.
  7. Pour over cooked rice, quinoa or bullion and top with pesto, nutritional yeast or cheese. Enjoy!

For broth I use vegan bullion and dilute it according to the package’s instructions, it tends to be much cheaper.*

My Favorite Marinara Sauce

This weekend, Josh and I did a belated Valentines day dinner. Last year for Valentine’s day I made us a a non-vegan Italian dinner but since we switched to a plant-based diet this year, that was no longer an option. Pasta 1.JPGI did some digging around and found The Minimalist Baker’s Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Ups. They are filled with a tofu based, vegan ricotta and nestled in marinara sauce. I cannot recommend her recipe enough, and if you are looking to make a delicious, date-night meal I would highly suggest trying it. I pretty much followed her recipe exactly but I served the roll-ups with pasta and a salad I did make my own marinara sauce.

Pasta 2.jpg

Marinara is a simple recipe in terms of ingredients but, for it to taste best, it does need to simmer for a while. The longer you cook it down, the more the flavors come together. If I have time, I will even make the sauce the night before I need it and put it in the fridge overnight. It’s honestly surprising how much more flavorful it gets as you let it sit.

It is one of my favorite recipes and I’ve been making it for years. Every time I make Italian food, this is my go-to sauce and I am really excited to share the recipe.

Ingredients (Prep Time: 10 min. Total time: 40 Min. Serves: 5):

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 29 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (coconut sugar or agave would work also)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add in garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant and garlic softens.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Stir and let simmer for at least 25 minutes (up to an hour if you have time)* stirring every once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Stir in chopped basil and parsley and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Put this sauce on whatever your heart desires, dip bread in it, have it plain with pasta, or use it for a fancy schmancy date night meal.

*The longer you can let the sauce simmer the better. If I have time, I will let it simmer for an hour. It lets the sauce thicken and the flavor develop.

 

Turmeric Mango Smoothie

Last night, I found a perfectly ripe mango that I completely forgot about in the fruit bowl on my fridge. I threw two bananas in the freezer and went to bed excited try out a new smoothie recipe for breakfast. Yes, I lead a very exciting life, I know. Anyways, the smoothie turned out to be delicious. The mango was so sweet and frozen bananas made it perfectly creamy.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

What really made it unique and flavorful was turmeric. Turmeric is aromatic and smells a bit like spicy orange. It has a pungent, earthy taste, is sweet and bitter at the same time, and pairs really well with ginger. It’s also known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties as well as a slew of other health benefits, so I try to throw it into recipes as much as possible. I also try to take a turmeric supplement whenever I remember, but I’ll save that for another post.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This smoothie makes for a filling, treat-like breakfast. It is naturally very sweet, I threw a date in mine but you can absolutely leave it out and it will still be delicious. I also love to throw flax seeds in everything because they are essentially flavorless but are full of heart-healthy fats and fiber. If you don’t have any on hand you can omit them as well. The recipe below makes 2 large smoothies.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Turmeric Mango Smoothie (Total time: 7 Min. Serves: 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Mango, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 bananas, cut up and frozen
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk (I used cashew)
  • 1 date (omit if you want it less sweet)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 5 or 6 ice cubes

*Optional toppings: hemp seed, coconut flakes, granola, and natural peanut butter all go great with this!

Instructions

  1. Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until well incorporated.
  2. Enjoy!