Paris Bistro Soup

Paris Bistro Soup |
Paris Bistro Soup |

I make this soup using the Paris Bistro Bean mix from McClendon’s Select, one of the vendors at farmers markets here in the Valley. It contains many legumes and is a great canvas for a nourishing soup. The recipe is very simple, just ensure that you soak your beans the night before!

  • 1 cup dried Paris Bistro bean mix (you can find something similar at the store), soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced parsnips
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup leeks, cleaned well and sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 quart (6 cups) good quality vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch beet greens, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, parsnips, carrots, leeks, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables lose their crunch. Add the turmeric and cook for one minute, mixing well. Add the bay leaves and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and add the beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Add the beet greens and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are wilted and tender. Turn off the heat and add parsley. Test and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Bon appétit!

Cream of Wild Mushroom

Cream of Wild Mushroom |
Cream of Wild Mushroom |

One of my favorite-of-all-time soup has always been Ina Garten’s famous cream of wild mushroom soup. It called for one stick of butter and two cups of heavy cream! This is one of those things that are hard to veganize. I tried it with almond milk, soy milk, pea milk, but nothing gave me that smoothness I was looking for. At that point, I knew nothing else would do the job as well as coconut milk. So here we are, with a smooth and dairy-free Vegan Blonde version. Adapted from: Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, by Ina Garten

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 small leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 lb. wild mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups homemade mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

In a large Dutch oven, or soup pot, heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown, but not burnt. Bring the heat to medium and add the wild mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Add the white wine, scraping the bottom of the pot and cook for one more minute. Add the broth, the thyme, the sea salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until slightly reduced. Add the can of coconut milk and the parsley. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Heat through and serve.

Bon appétit!

Potato and Leek Soup

Potato and Leek Soup
Potato and Leek Soup |

Potage parmentier, as I knew this soup growing up, is a simple soup of potatoes and leeks that hits all the right notes. It’s savory and a great base for a multitude of other soups. Personally, I like it just as is, with some chives and crispy potato bits. I have to say that it took me a while to be comfortable with soups that are traditionally dairy-based. I had tried this soup with almond milk and could always taste that little “something weird”. After harvesting some potatoes from the garden, my first thought was a potage. And this time, I tried it with a can of coconut milk. Total. Revelation. Oh and using a hand blender makes this a breeze.

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 3 large leeks, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • To serve: chives, green onions, or parsley

Heat the grapeseed oil in a large soup pot or Creuset over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are soft, but not burned, about 6-7 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir well, and cook for 3-4 minutes, just enough to soften them a bit. Add the bay leaves, fresh thyme, vegetable broth, sea salt, and pepper, and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 45-50 minutes. Take off the heat, fish out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and add the coconut milk. Blend using a hand blender, or otherwise transfer to a blender or food processor, and pulse until desired consistency. Serve garnished with chives, green onions, or parsley. Bon appétit!



Alkaline Soup


Alkaline Soup
Alkaline Soup |

Maintaining a balanced internal pH is important for the optimal functioning of the body, and what we put in our belly directly impacts this balance. On one side, you have foods that are alkaline in nature, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, which means that when processed by the body, they form alkaline substances. On the other side of the spectrum are foods like meat and dairy, for example, that metabolize into compounds that are conducive to acidity.

Each single ingredient in this soup is high on the list of alkaline-promoting foods. Also, instead of simmering the soup for a while until the vegetables are cooked, and therefore ripping them of their nutrients, we cut them finely and poach them. This allows to keep the majority of their nutrients and their alkaline-promoting qualities.

  • 8-10 cups vegetable broth (depending on your vegetable load)
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 large leek, sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 celery branches, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch kale, in a chiffonade
  • 1/2 bunch mustard (or collard) greens, in a chiffonade
  • 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric root, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated or minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves

Bring the vegetable broth to a slow boil. Turn off the heat, add all the ingredients except the lime juice and cilantro leaves. Quickly put the cover back on and let poach until desired doneness. I like to keep for a good 20 minutes. Add the lime juice and cilantro leaves and serve. Bon appétit!

PS: This is also a great base for a vegetable soup, to which you can add more spices, some beans, lentils, pasta, etc. The soup, as it is, is a very clean and nourishing soup, but may lack on your usual vegetable soup staples. Make it yours, own it!


Toor Dal with Spinach

Toor Dal with Spinach
Toor Dal with Spinach |

My Mother-in-Law made this soup while at my mom’s house in Montréal, over the summer. I did the measuring of everything as she was going, and noted the steps. I cooked it again this morning and it delivered! Dishes like this Toor Dal offer such warmth and provide the palate with a rich balance of flavors. You get the heat from the peppers, the bitterness from the lime. It makes for something calming, yet vibrant. Check it out for yourself!

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas), rinsed well
  • 5 cups water (plus more, if needed)
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced finely
  • 1-2 serrano peppers, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach (hard stems removed)
  • Lime juice, to taste (I usually use a whole juicy lime)

For the tempering:

  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves (optional, but nice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional, but nice)

In a large pot, bring the toor dal and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer until the peas have lost their crunch, but still needing additional cooking, about 20-30 minutes. Then add the onion, tomatoes, serrano peppers, turmeric, salt, and 2 more cups of water. Cook for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the onion is cooked through, and the peas are soft. Add the spinach and heat through over low heat for 5 minutes. While the spinach is cooking, make the tempering.

Heat the grapeseed oil up to almost the smoke point. Add the garlic and spices, making sure they sizzle on contact with the oil. Some will pop. This can take 1-3 minutes depending on your pan and oil used. Don’t burn the garlic, just a golden touch. Add the tempering to the dal. It will make a sound! Stir well, while heating gently for a few minutes. Add the lime juice, taste and adjust. Bon appétit!

PS: you can switch out the spinach for pretty much any other vegetable you want. Vegetables such as chayote, squash, chard, even cucumbers are sublime in here! Just add them earlier, shortly after the onion, tomatoes and peppers. Cook until you like their consistency.

Green Split Pea Soup

Pea Soup
Green Split Pea Soup |

A few weeks ago, at the Farmers Market, McClendon’s, a 25-acre organic farm in Peoria, AZ, was selling some green split peas. There was also a lady giving away samples of a green split pea soup, but it was made with ham hocks, just like my mom used to do. Despite the fact that I couldn’t taste McClendon’s version, the memories were haunting me. I remember eating split pea soup around the Easter holidays, my mom using leftover ham to put together her smoky deliciousness.

My taste buds, at that point, were screaming for pea soup. During my childhood, yellow split peas were used, but the result is just the same with green split peas. The use of smoked paprika and liquid smoke is imperative in order to get the smokiness. Don’t be shy, get some liquid smoke from the grocery store or from Amazon. It is becoming easier and easier to find.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, in small dices
  • 1 large carrot, in small dices
  • 2 celery ribs, in small dices
  • 1 red bell pepper, in small dices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4-5 drops liquid smoke
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups dried green split peas, well rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cup sweet potato, cubed
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • To garnish: minced spring or green onion, minced parsley, dusting of smoked paprika, lemon wedges

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir well, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, but not burnt, stirring occasionally.

Add the smoked paprika, oregano, and liquid smoke and mix well. Add the broth, split peas, bay leaf, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the peas and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes of simmering, add the sweet potatoes.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove the soup from the heat and add the juice of half a lemon. Serve the soup garnished with the spring onions, parsley, and smoked paprika. Bon appétit!


Coconut Green Spring Soup

Coconut Green Spring Soup
Coconut Green Spring Soup |

This is it. It is now Spring in Arizona. The fruit trees are starting to bud, the seeds are sprouting. And this weather inspired this refreshing Green Spring Soup. The flavors in the soup, based on coconut milk, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, scream nice weather. You could use other vegetables that cook somewhat quickly, as this soup is ready in a heartbeat! Longest thing is mincing and chopping. I served my soup over some ramen noodles, but any type of Asian noodles would work here. Ramen, soba, pad thai noodles, all good choices! I hope you enjoy this soup as much as my family did!

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, soft part only, minced
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ lengths
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thin into half moons
  • 3 heads baby bok choi, stems and leaves separated, stems diced and leaves torn if too big
  • 5 cups vegetable broth or mushroom stock
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons green curry paste
  • 4 cups shiitake mushroom caps, sliced about 1/4″ thick
  • 2 limes, cut into quarters
  • 1 jalapeño chile, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 10 oz package Asian noodles (soba, ramen, pad thai), cooked according to package directions
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • To garnish: fresh cilantro, fresh basil, mung bean sprouts, and toasted peanuts

In a soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass, and sauté for 2 minutes, while stirring.

Add the asparagus, zucchini,and bok choi stems, and cook, stirring, 3 more minutes.

Add broth, coconut milk, green curry paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and add mushrooms. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.

Add the bok choi leaves and turn off the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with the juice of half a lime and add the chile.

To serve, put some noodles in a shallow bowl. Top with some soup and garnish with cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, toasted peanuts, and lime quarters. Bon appétit!