Happy Friday & DOUBLE Happy St. Patrick’s Day, folks!
Today’s post isn’t so much a recipe just me sharing a delicious recipe I made recently and I wanted to share. This was one of those off the cuff recipes that could have gone either way and though it might not look great, it was hearty and delicious and oh so satisfying.
I love to experiment with soups and this one turned out better than I expected which means we can ALL expect a repeat recipe sometime soon.
If you’re curious about how to make this soup, think of it like this: hokkaido squash soup with Ramen noodles and oven roasted curry cauliflower.
This week has been crazy hectic for me and I hope my weekend includes writing and relaxing, and of course a delicious celebratory St. Patrick’s day vegan feast!
So there’s this Romanian soup and it’s called Ciorba de Burta, and my husband used to love it. When we lived in Los Angeles there was one Romanian restaurant and they served it every single day. I used to (and still do) call it brain soup, but it’s not made of brains.
…Or so he says.
Anyway I won’t bore you with the details of Ciorba de Burta, only to say that recently we went to Bucharest and decided to enjoy a vegan lunch before we headed back home.
We’ve been to this place, Vyro, before and it is fantastic. It is a completely vegan restaurant and they also serve raw vegan food, which is pretty damn good too.
My point, and I’m getting to it right now, is that this place served a full on vegan ciorba de burta and it was fantastic.
How do I know?
I don’t, not really. There was a creamy mushroom soup on the menu and I was like, “Yum, that sounds delicious. I’ll have that.” When it arrived at the table, my Hubs recognized the scent, the look and everything else, as Ciorba de burta.
We shared it, because of course we did.
It was fantastic.
So delicious that he insisted I attempt to make it at home, which I totally did.
One of the best things about cold weather is that you get to eat tons and tons of soup! It also means that I get to break out my slow cooker but this is not a slow cooker recipe. In fact, I would call today’s vegan soup recipe a sheet pan soup if that makes sense?
This is going to be a quick post because I am totally in the zone with Indigo’s story, which is book 2 in the Green St. Girls series if you’re interested. Shameless plug, I know!
Anyway I digress, this creamy vegan sheet pan soup is healthy and delicious but it is also super easy to make. I know I say that often, but I promise this is one of those do it and forget about it until later vegan recipes.
Grab your sheet pan and your fresh herbs and let’s get this vegan soup recipe started!
It’s that time of year again when every home cook, recipe blogger and pretty much everyone else you know is touting their favorite soup recipe. Right?
If you’re sick of it, I’m sorry, because I am now that cook, that blogger and even that friend. It’s soup season y’all and you know that means I have another vegan soup recipe for you today.
Because soup is good for your body and your mind. The right soup (ahem, a vegan soup) is packed with colorful vegetables that are rich in necessary vitamins and minerals. Deficient on a particular nutrients? Add a handful of a particular vegetable to the pot. And you don’t have to get fancy about it, start with your basics: onion, garlic and celery. Build from there.
This recipe came about because I had a couple handfuls of turnip greens, three small turnips and I really wanted a hot bowl of soup. So instead of making regular turnip greens, (check out my other greens recipes here, here and here), I decided to drop them into a soup. With noodles, because of course with noodles.
So, let’s gather our kitchen tools, our vegetables and make some vegan autumn soup.
With fall upon us and autumn weather barreling in like she owns the place, our house become a soup kitchen, quite literally. Just this month alone, we’ve probably had soup about 7 out of 10 days because yeah, we love soup that much.
But cooking–and eating–so much soup means you have to keep it fresh or else someone (by someone, I mean me) will start complaining about having repeat dishes. That means scouring vegan blogs, recipes that can be veganized, making fusion soup recipes and tweaking old favorites. It can become a lot if you let it.
I refused to let it because soup is just a warm cold weather salad, right?
All right, maybe that’s a poor comparison but they are both low in calories, high in nutrients and full of vegetables, which is basically a bowl full of goodness.
I don’t always post a lot of vegan soup recipes because the photos hardly ever (cough, cough, never) turn out great. But soup, at least my soup recipes, would be perfectly categorized in my ugly but delicious category.
Anyway this vegan soup recipe isn’t my own, it’s from Will Yeung who had some really great Asian style vegan recipes. I follow him on YouTube and this Hot & Sour Soup recipe has become a favorite since he posted it.
The list of ingredients, at first glance, may seem overwhelming but once it’s all chopped up, I promise you it’s easy peasy…ish.
You know how TV chefs and know-it-all cooks always tell you not to boil your vegetables? They say that because when you boil your veggies most of the nutrients end up in the water that you inevitably discard.
Well that’s the basic premise behind my waste free vegan broth. That and the fact that you get double usage out of your fresh herbs and vegetables by hanging on to the leftover bits and bobs to make a delicious and flavorful broth that you can use for pretty much anything that requires water.
Ways To Use Vegan Broth:
*Risotto *Soup starter *Ramen noodle broth *Deglaze pan (perfect for oil free vegan cooking) *Water for rice/bulgur/couscous *In place of oil in cooking
There are so many ways you can use this waste free vegan broth and the best part? If you cook regularly or even semi-regularly you will have an endless supply of homemade vegan broth. If you think you don’t have time for that, check out my Slow Cooker Waste Free Brothrecipe.
If you’ve been following this blog for the past year or two or three (has it been 3 years already?) then you’ll know that the town where I live in Romania, Ploiesti, has very VERY limited options when it comes to vegan food. I mean, sure, you can eat anywhere if you don’t mind eating a basic salad, French fries and other items on the ‘side dishes’ list. But if you want something to satisfy your appetite? Well, look outside Ploiesti.
Things have gotten better here, at the grocery store anyway. But everywhere else we’ve gone like Constanta, Cluj and Sinaia have all had incredible options for vegans.
So, imagine my surprise when I decided to torture myself by seeing if there were any new vegan options in Ploiesti because I was feeling a little sluggish and I hadn’t been outside for a few days and I was in the mood for some yummy vegan food on a sunny terrace. And guess what pops up?
It’s in the city center which was nice–except for the traffic–and the place was great. This was our experience.
One of my favorite things to is travel to new places and explore new cultures, history and art. I love to see how people live all over the world and whenever I can find time I like to go pretty much anywhere that has a few items of interest.
My partner and I had been planning a trip to the Danube Delta and then COVID struck and we postponed it. Twice.
But we finally got there and we took a rather circuitous route, starting with Constanța to see the port and the Black Sea, which is a place my husband and his family often spent summers when he was a kid. The day was nice and warm and we walked around the city before taking in the Museum of History and Archeology which was incredible. There really is a lot of Roman history to be found in Romania, in addition to the Austrian and German influences found throughout their history. It was a wonderful day of sun and history and exploration.
So we started with Constanta and if you don’t know it is the birth place of tennis player Simona Halep and actor Sebastian Stan! Just a little bit of fun trivia for ya.
Yeah, I know you’re probably bored of my obsession with putting noodles in everything from Bolognese to Ramen with Gravy and all the other ramen or Asian noodle recipes I’ve posted, like my Curry Ramen.
If you’re not in the market for yet another Ramen recipe, leave out the noodles in favor of rice, bulgur, barley or even quinoa if that’s your jam because we all know what my jam is.
It’s soup season and here in Romania the weather has just taken a turn for the worse, which means I am totally upping my soup game.
Because there are vegetables available now that weren’t a month or two ago, which means I have more options. This soup is kind of like your basic chicken noodle soup only not at all basic, because it’s got sass and ginger and tons of nutrients and flavor, two things I require of all my meals.
Don’t worry, I don’t plan on boring you with the details. If you know how to make soup, this will be quick and easy and (relatively) painless.
You know how it is when you find something you’ve been searching for a long time to get and then you find it and you use it and use it like it’s going out of style? Welcome to my life since one–just one–of the local grocery stores in Ploiești finally started to stock beluga lentils. Again.
One time, a long, long time ago, back when I still lived in the United States and had access to Food Network and all of my favorite professional chefs and cooks, I stumbled upon a recipe called Mulligatawny Stew (Enjoy my Southern Style Vegan Black Eyed Pea & Spinach Stew recipe). Now I’m not sure if the original or authentic version uses black lentils but this version did and I’ve been in love with them ever since. It’s a weird thing that happens, ya know? You don’t think about beluga lentils ever and then you have them and learn about them and now they’re all you think about.
I like to call it the red car effect. You don’t notice how many red cars there are on the road until someone tells you a piece of useless trivia about just how many there are, and now it’s like every other car is a red car.
Go figure, right?
Once again, welcome to beluga lentils.
Black lentils are the sturdiest of all the colors of lentils, even more so than the green ones which have a longer cook time and a more of a bite. they are delicious and because they are so hearty, they soak up more flavors which makes them absolutely perfect for soups and stews. So you already know, both by title and this super long intro, just what I did with them this time around.
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