Creamy Sunchoke Soup

Creamy Sunchoke Soup
Creamy Sunchoke Soup | veganblonde.com

Helianthus tuberosus is a species of sunflower native to Eastern North America. Its tuber, called sunchoke, sunroot, or mistakenly Jerusalem artichoke, is cultivated widely across the temperate zone. It is believed that the sunchoke helps in the control of blood sugar. Unlike most tubers, sunchokes store their carbohydrate as inulin rather than as starch. Either way, I love how you can handle them just like a potato, but they give you that nice sweet and nutty flavor. In this creamy soup recipe, the sunchokes really shine since the preparation is so simple and straightforward. Enjoy with garlicky croutons or crispy sage, or both!

  • 1 1/2 lb sunchokes
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise and then thinly crosswise
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Sea salt and pepper

Peel and chop the sunchokes into coins. In a soup pot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, the garlic, the thyme, and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté until very soft, but not browned, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary.

Add the sun chokes and the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sunchokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk, heat through, and turn off the heat. Discard thyme sprig. Mix with an immersion blender or blend in a blender. Serve warm in soup bowls, garnished with garlicky croutons and crispy sage.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram or Facebook. Bon appétit!


En français…

Crème de topinambours

Le topinambour (bot. Helianthus tuberoses) aussi appelé artichaut de Jérusalem, truffe du Canada ou soleil vivace, est une plante vivace de la famille des astéracées, dont l’espèce appartient au même genre que le tournesol. La racine de la plante forme des tubercules riches en inuline, un sucre simple. Comme le système digestif ne transforme pas l’inuline en monosaccharides, cette dernière aide dans la gestion du diabète. Dans cette recette simple et pratique, les topinambours volent la vedette. Servez la soupe garnie de croutons à l’ail ou de sauge croustillante. Ou des deux!

  • 1 1/2 livre de topinambours
  • 1 c. à soupe d’huile de pépins de raisin
  • 2 poireaux, nettoyés, la partie blanche et vert pâle seulement, tranchés sur la longueur, et tranchés mince sur la largeur
  • 4 gousses d’ail, émincées
  • 1 branche de thym frais
  • 3 1/2 tasses de bouillon de légumes
  • 1 boîte de lait de coconut
  • Sel de mer et poivre, au goût

Peler et trancher les topinambours en rondelles minces. Dans une grande casserole, faire chauffer l’huile à feu moyen. Ajouter les poireaux, l’ail, la branche de thym et de généreuses pincées de sel et de poivre. Sauter doucement jusqu’à ce que l’oignon soit translucide, environ 15 minutes. Si les légumes ont tendance à coller, baisser le feu.

Ajouter les topinambours et le bouillon de légumes. Porter à ébullition, réduire le feu, et mijoter jusqu’à ce que les topinambours soient tendres, environ 15 minutes. Ajouter le lait de coconut, réchauffer, et retirer du feu. Retirer la branche de thym. Utiliser un mélangeur à immersion pour réduire en purée ou passer au mélangeur. Servir chaude dans des bols à soupe, garnie de croutons à l’ail et de sauge croustillante.

Si vous essayez cette recette, n’hésitez pas à laisser un commentaire, afficher une photo ou partager la recette en utilisant #THEVeganBlonde sur Instagram ou sur Facebook. Bon appétit!

Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup

Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup
Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup | veganblonde.com

The days are shorter, the nights are colder. Must be winter. Yes, even in Arizona. Mornings show up at 35-36° and it takes me time (and sun) to warm up. Oh hey, I’m a bit like my garden! But seriously, this soup will warm your bones. It’s not spicy, unless you make it, so the kids really ask for more (little trick for the kids: serve it on rice!). I usually enjoy my adult serving over a bed of spinach or fresh kale from the garden.

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 3 carrots, in small dices
  • 1 medium onion, in small dices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2″ piece of fresh turmeric, pounded
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (1/2 small can)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth (depending how thick you want the soup)
  • 1 cup sprouted lentils (red lentils would also work here, but might need to cook slightly longer)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cups greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard) (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (optional)

In a soup pot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, turmeric, bay leaf, and thyme, and stir well. Add generous pinches of salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and golden, about 15 minutes. If the vegetables stick to the bottom, lower the heat a little. You want everything nice and caramelized, but not burnt.

Add the tomato paste and mix everything well. Let the tomato paste cook for a good 5-6 minutes, stirring most of the time. You want the tomato paste to become a rich, dark red in color and have a sweet aroma.

Add the coconut milk, lower the heat and scratch the bottom of the pan nicely. Let the base of the soup become creamy and luscious, while simmering slowly for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and the lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat. If using, add the 2 cups of greens and sambal oelek, and stir well.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram or Facebook. Bon appétit!


En français…

Soupe crémeuse aux tomates et lentilles

Les journées sont courtes, les nuits sont froides. Mais oui, c’est l’hiver, même en Arizona. Les matins se pointent en affichant les 2 ou 3 tristounets degrés, et disons que ça me prend du temps me réchauffer. Mais c’est que je suis comme mon jardin, on dirait bien! Blague à part, cette soupe vous réchauffera les os. Elle n’est pas piquante, ce qui fait que les enfants en redemandent. Je la sert sur du riz vapeur pour eux. Je profite pendant ce temps de ma portion adulte, servie sur un lit d’épinards ou de kale du jardin.

  • 1 c. à soupe d’huile de pépins de raisin
  • 3 carottes, en petits dés
  • 1 oignon moyen, en petits dés
  • 4 gousses d’ail, émincées
  • 1 bout de curcuma frais de 2 pouces, écrasé avec le rebord d’un couteau
  • 1 feuille de laurier
  • 1 branche de thym
  • 3 oz de pâte de tomates (la moitié d’une petite boîte)
  • 1 boîte de lait de coconut
  • 3-4 tasses de bouillon de légumes (moins de bouillon pour une soupe plus épaisse)
  • 1 tasse de lentilles germées (les lentilles rouges peuvent être utilisées, mais le temps de cuisson doit être ajusté)
  • Sel de mer et poivre
  • 2 tasses de légumes verts (kale, épinards, bette à carde) (optionnel)
  • 1/2 c. à thé de sambal oelek (optionnel)

Dans une grande casserole, chauffer l’huile à feu moyen-élevé. Ajouter les carottes, l’oignon, l’ail, le curcuma, la feuille de laurier et le thym, et bien mélanger. Ajouter de généreuses pincées de sel et de poivre. Baisser le feu à moyen et cuire, en brassant souvent, jusqu’à ce que l’oignon soit tendre et doré, environ 15 minutes. Si les légumes ont tendance à coller, baisser le feu. Les légumes doivent être tendres et caramélisés.

Ajouter la pâte de tomates et bien mélanger. Laisser la pâte de tomates cuire pendant environ 5 à 6 minutes, en brassant. La pâte de tomates doit devenir un rouge foncé et développer un arôme subtilement sucré.

Ajouter le lait de coconut en grattant bien le fond de la casserole. Baisser le feu et laisser le mélange devenir crémeux, tout en mijotant, environ 3 minutes. Ajouter le bouillon de légumes et les lentilles, et porter à ébullition. Réduire le feu et mijoter doucement jusqu’à ce que les lentilles soient cuites, environ 5 à 6 minutes. Retirer du feu et ajouter les légumes verts et le sambal oelek, si désiré, et bien mélanger.

Si vous essayez cette recette, n’hésitez pas à laisser un commentaire, afficher une photo ou partager la recette en utilisant #THEVeganBlonde sur Instagram ou sur Facebook. Bon appétit!

Paris Bistro Soup

Paris Bistro Soup | veganblonde.com
Paris Bistro Soup | veganblonde.com

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 | veganblondes.com
Cream of Wild Mushroom | veganblondes.com

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 | veganblonde.com

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 | veganblonde.com

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 | veganblonde.com

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.