Meatless Monday! Carrot Coriander Soup

Seasoning becomes extraordinarily important when you’re not dousing your food in oil, butter, salt or sweet sweet sugar. It’s amazing how a small amount of fresh basil or ground coriander can radically transform a meal from “meh” into “wow!” But as important as seasoning is, for the sake of my wallet and my increasingly crowded spice cupboard, sometimes I don’t want to buy a whole jar of, let’s say…dried marjoram for one recipe. Did you know that you can buy spices in bulk in the amounts that you need them from MOM’s Organic Market? Certainly makes it more affordable to try out new recipes and to learn about new spices and herbs!

 

All that to introduce this week’s Meatless Monday recipe and to ease your concerns: You don’t have to buy the whole $4.99 jar of marjoram or coriander to try this recipe if you don’t have those spices in your kitchen! Pick up what you need at MOM’s or another grocer with bulk spices, and enjoy…

 

Carrot Coriander Soup

Ingredients:
2 medium sized onions, chopped
3 Tbsp ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 Tbsp marjoram
4 large carrots, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped (you can peel off or include the skin. The skin gives extra nutritional oomph but your soup’s texture will be slightly less silky unless you have a very fancy blender)
8 cups vegetable stock (or a mix of stock and water)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp sea salt (or more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock and your taste)
Optional: Pinch of cayenne pepper
Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Directions:
• Cook the onions over medium heat, adding about a tablespoon of water to keep the onions from sticking and repeating as needed for 10-12 minutes, or until onions are golden
• Add the coriander, garlic and marjoram to the onions and cook for 1 minute
• Add the carrots and sweet potato and cook for 1 minute, covering them with the onion and spice mixture
• Add the stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until carrots are soft
• Puree using a hand blender or your super fancy blender
• Season with cilantro, salt and cayenne pepper, if you’re using it, and garnish with pumpkin seeds


Weeknight Meal: Yam and Chickpea Stew with Indian Spices

I pride myself on throwing together great weeknight meals in record time, and one I whipped up Wednesday ranks high up on the list. It came together quickly, but you'd never know it with the complex layers of flavors! This hearty stew uses mostly pantry basics (okay, fresh ginger isn't always on hand, but you can substitute ground ginger in a pinch), making it a new weeknight classic in our house.
 

   Serves 4-6

 

Serves 4-6


Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped (any type)
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of the knife and minced
2 medium yams (about 1.5 lbs), cut into half inch cubes
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced (you can sub 2 tsp dried ground ginger)
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can diced unsalted tomatoes with their juice (look for a BPA-free can)
2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (or one can drained and rinsed)
2 cups water
Sea salt to taste
Optional: Pumpkin seeds as garnish


Directions
1. Cook onion and garlic over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until very soft. Stir occasionally and continually add just enough water to the pan to prevent the onions and garlic from sticking.
2. Add the ginger and spices and cook for another minute, until ginger is fragrant.
3. Add the yam and stir to coat the vegetables with the spices. Cook for another minute or two as you stir
4. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the beans and the water.
5. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.

This 20 minutes of cooking time is a great time to throw together a green salad!

6. Salt to taste when the yam is completely tender.

You can either serve the soup chunky like this, or you can puree about 2 cups of the soup and stir it back into the pot for a creamier texture.

Grounding Root Vegetable Soup

We have how many more weeks until spring?! As far as I can tell, there is only one redeeming quality about winter: Winter is excellent soup weather! I love a hearty soup, but I don’t want to feel heavy and ready to hibernate. And with my schedule, I need a recipe that won’t require me to chop 60 different vegetables!

The grounding energy of root vegetables makes them an excellent choice for a soup this time of year, and this recipe is a great opportunity to use some of those mystery vegetables you’ve been eyeing up in the produce section, namely turnips and rutabagas. These root vegetables are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber, and they have a surprisingly sweet flavor and a creamy texture.

 

Ingredients

1 large yellow, white or sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Medium/Large turnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks (about 1 or 1.5 lb after peeling)

3 Med/Large rutabagas (about 1 or 1.5 lb after peeling)

7 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Ingredients for the optional garnish:

½ onion

1 clove garlic

2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Directions

  • In a large pot, cook onion and garlic over medium high heat, continually adding just enough water to keep the onion and garlic from sticking. If you’re making the Brussels sprout garnish, cook the onion and garlic in the same pot.
  • After about 8 minutes, onion should be soft and golden. Remove a scoop of onion and garlic and put into another pan for the garnish
  • Add the chopped turnips and rutabagas to the soup pot and stir well with the onion. Cook on med-high heat for about 5 minutes, adding water if needed to keep vegetables from sticking
  • Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are completely soft
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the garnish: Bring the pan with the cooked onion and garlic to medium high heat, add the sesame oil and Brussels sprouts. Saute for about 5-8 minutes, or until sprouts are crisp tender. Finish with a sprinkling of the rice vinegar and set aside.
  • When vegetables are completely tender, use an immersion blender to puree the soup, and season to taste.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the Brussels sprouts.