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stew

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

Hey there blog fam. It’s been awhile.

I’m unsure how nearly an entire year has gone by without a single new recipe post, but I assure you that my kitchen has remained equally as active as I’ve been over these past few months. A lot of impromptu meals have replaced calculated ones, but cooking is still happening daily. I’m hoping to start livening up this blog again as we move into winter.

Someone hold me to that.

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

First up is this vegetable-loaded soup, perhaps inspired by a little too much holiday feasting. If you’re like me, and turn into a cookie monster whenever sweets are in sight, you may need this just as much as I do.

Farro and White Bean Vegetable Soup

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Moosewood’s Gypsy Soup

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

There are some recipes I ate as a kid that just don’t hold up as well anymore. Whether it’s that my tastebuds have changed, my learned knowledge for seasoning makes them seem bland, or that pasta isn’t always synonymous with perfection anymore, I could name a few of these meals.

This soup isn’t one of them. Since I was little, it’s been an annual autumn meal and remains a favorite to this day. Something about its combination of spices, herbs and seasonal veggies make it to be what I consider one of the best soup recipes out there. And I say this amidst prime-time season for creamy butternut squash, lentil, and the million of other options coming into abundance right now.

This “Gypsy Soup” from Moosewood simply kills it.

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

Moosewood is a vegetarian restaurant up in Ithaca New York that’s been firing food since the 1970s. They’ve cultivated quite an abundance of cookbooks under their name, including the hand-written original where this recipe comes from.

You may wish to consider doubling the recipe. It’s an easy one to eat all week, or for freezing and pulling out on nights where you just need something warm.

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

Serve alongside fresh-out-of-the-oven cornbread, or a warm, crusty bread. You could also pour it over a nutty grain, like millet.

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Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Fifteen baguettes later, I’ve arrived home to Philly after a two week excursion in France and Belgium. There was a serious amount of baguette action on this trip. And brie, and pastries, and bottles of wine, and poorly accented bonjour’s and bon appétit’s. You can expect a food-related post on my trip soon. First, however, I need to sort through my 1,000 photos, memories and jetlag, stalk the chef I met on Facebook, and remind myself life will be okay without cute French boys on every block. I also need eat some greens and whole grains. And grab this soup from the freezer.

Wanting to clean out my refrigerator, I whipped this up just before heading to France.  It was literally the perfect light and veggie-packed meal I needed before jetting off to a foodie haven of artisan cheeses and pistachio macaroons. Luckily, some soup still remains waiting for me…waiting for my detox of daily croissant consumption. I admit, the thought of saying farewell to that makes me want to cry.

Oh well. Oatmeal simmers away, energy-restoring smoothies whiz in the blender, and breakfast and life goes on — with or without pain au chocolats. On the bright side, I’ve come home to ridiculously lovely weather in the midst of my favorite season. For that, I will continue to ride my life high. Come home in the winter, on the other hand, and I’m sure this would not’ve been the case. Good thing its springtime. Cheers to that. I also stumbled home to my tax return in the mailbox yesterday afternoon. After Paris, it needn’t even be mentioned I’m cheersing to that too.

Minestrone Soup

If the thought of soup and warm temps makes you want to slap me and proceed to go flag down the ice cream man, well, then bookmark this one for later. But considering it’s still May and sweat-drenching days have yet to arrive, I’m going to argue on behalf of this meal. This minestrone is certainly not a hearty, gut-warming winter stew. Rather, it’s a light soup, fit for a wide range of seasons, and packed with tons of nutrition. Given what was in my fridge the day of its creation, this also happens to be heavy on the green beans. If green beans aren’t your veggie of choice, feel free to add in a handful of spring greens or any other seasonal ingredient that might sound good to you.

Make this minestrone a meal by simply serving it with a slice of crusty bread and a side salad. That’s what I’ll be doing — baguette on the side, pretending I’m still in Paris. Au revoir.

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Kale, Seitan and Bean Soup

I’ve been experimenting with making homemade seitan lately. It’s surprisingly easy and definitely cheaper than buying it from Whole Foods. (Luckily it requires wheat gluten, still necessitating a trip to my local Whole Foods. AKA, I still get to be a grocery store nerd and spend my time window shopping through the aisles.) Once I refine the seasonings and simmering broth, I’ll write up a seitan post.

In the meantime, I’ve devised this soup, inspired by a batch of homemade seitan that erred slightly on the salty side. Rather than let it go to waste, I decided to give it a good rinse and throw it in a soup. Hence why I leave you to decide your own dosage of salt for this one.

The soup was also sparked by some beautiful dinosaur kale that I picked up on one of those habitual Whole Foods outings. I had to justify my liquid Kombucha spendings with something of actually substance, so I went for the kale. It builds a nutrient-rich, colorful base for this hearty soup/borderline stew. For a warming winter meal, serve with a slice of warm, crusty bread or corn bread. And since I’m on the whole “free PR for Whole Foods” roll today, let me add that the WF vegan cornbread is pretty darn good.

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Vegan “Beef” Stew with Quinoa


Not wanting to venture out of my apartment this past bitter-cold, cloudy Saturday, I decided to get in the kitchen and whip up something toasty. I was craving something warm, something fragrant, something hearty. I wanted a meal whose aromas and flavors would fill my little Philly apartment with extra cozy comfort.I settled on making a vegan rendition of beef stew, bringing back memories of cloudy afternoons spent in London pubs, with robust meals lining the menus. I replaced the standard meat in this recipe with seitan, braising it with vegetable broth, which allows the veggie alternative to really soak up all of the flavors melding next to it in the pot. I also added one of my favorite, protein-rich grains, quinoa, to give the stew a little extra special bulk. I hope this vegan stew brings as much comfort to your home as mine.

Vegan “Beef” Stew with Quinoa

-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-1 carrot, sliced
-1/3 green bell pepper, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 bay leaf
-8 oz. seitan beef strips
-1 cup vegetable stock
-2 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
-2 tsp. thyme
-1/2 tsp. sage
-2 Tbsp. ketchup, optional
-1 dried red chili pepper (You can substitute red pepper flakes, to taste)
-2 cups cooked quinoa
In large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers, and carrot. Saute 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili pepper, and bay leaf, and saute another 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir in spices, ketchup and Worcestershire. Add seitan, and saute 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are tender and stock is evaporated, stirring as needed (30-45 minutes). Remove bay leaf. Toss in quinoa. Serve with a drizzle of tobassco, if desired.