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Recently I realized that I don't make many simple pureed vegetable soups. I love the idea of having them around for a light meal, and I have a whole list of pureed parsnip, beet, carrot, and tomato soup recipes in my favorites folder. But I find myself opting out of making them more often than not because they almost seem too light, if that's possible. If, for the same amount of effort, I can make something more substantial or that will stretch over to the next day's lunch or dinner, I'll almost always choose that instead because I am a strong believer of the cook once, eat twice rule.
So this recipe is my attempt to turn a simple vegetable soup into a substantial meal. By using peas (a legume that acts like a vegetable) and cashews, this soup is hearty enough with good fats and protein while still being light, which was what I was going for here. And the mint chimichurri is essential for the soup, so don't even think about skipping it. It elevates and brightens. The suggested servings listed in the recipe depend on whether the soup is served with anything else. I love making quick flatbreads, so that was my choice, but this recipe will serve fewer if eating it alone.
And yes, if you were wondering we are back from our holiday, and I am excited to share some pictures, thoughts, and inspired recipes from our time away in the coming posts. Stay tuned, and in the meantime I hope you enjoy this soup!
Roasted Cashew and Green Pea Soup with Mint Chimichurri
- Knob ghee (or butter/coconut oil)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red chili, chopped
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 4 cups (600 gr) frozen peas
- 3 cups (750 ml) water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (85 gr) cashews, roasted
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Mint chimichurri, to finish (recipe below)
- Heat soup pot over medium heat. Add ghee, garlic, chili, and cumin, stir, and cook until fragrant (~1 minute).
- Add peas, water, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add roasted cashews, simmer for 5 minutes, covered, then remove from heat and puree with a hand (immersion) blender until smooth*.
- Add lemon juice, taste, and adjust for seasoning. Ladle into bowls and top with mint chimichurri.
* Soup can also be blended in a standing blender
- 1 bunch mint, stems removed (~ 1/2 cup, tightly packed)
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic
- Few pinches crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Drizzle honey
- Place all ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until smooth, taste, and adjust for seasoning.
For all of you tempeh fans, this one is for you. Tempeh slices are roasted with asparagus in a sweet and smoky maple-chipotle marinade and then topped with a coconut milk-based sauce flavored with lime , cilantro, and chili. The flavors of this dish are bright and bold and the coconut sauce is way more than a mere garnish so be liberal when serving, as it helps bring the whole dish together.
If you are not familiar with tempeh, it is made from whole fermented soybeans and is minimally processed. This fermentation process allows the beans to bind together in cake form and retain much more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than that of other more processed soy products. Fermenting soybeans also makes the beans more digestible and may provide beneficial bacteria for our gut health, depending on the starter culture used. Tempeh is sweet and nutty when roasted, has a nice bite, and stays together well when sliced, making it suitable for roasting or grilling.
This is an appropriate recipe to share now, as we have just begun a long-awaited tropical vacation where we'll be enjoying lots of coconut and tempeh. I plan to take a little break from posting for a week or two, but I miss being away from you guys for too long so I will look forward to returning to share new inspiration!
Maple-Chipotle Tempeh and Asparagus with Coconut-Lime Sauce
- 1 package tempeh, preferably organic (~ 7 oz or 200 gr)
- Maple-Chipotle Marinade (recipe below)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- Coconut-Lime Sauce (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
- Slice tempeh and place in a medium baking dish. Pour over half of the maple-chipotle marinade and turn tempeh over to coat both sides with sauce. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime prep asparagus. Remove woody ends, and cut on a diagonal into 2" slices. Add to remaining marinade and toss to coat.
- Remove tempeh after 10 minutes, add asparagus and marinade to the baking dish, evenly distributing asparagus around the tempeh. Return to oven and bake another 8-12 minutes (depending on how thin your asparagus are).
- Serve tempeh and asparagus over your choice of grains and/or beans*, and liberally top with spoonfuls of coconut-lime sauce.
* I used leftover brown rice and mung beans. Quinoa, black, rice, or couscous would also be nice options.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Few splashes tamari (or soy sauce)
- 3 tsp. maple syrup
- Heaping 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (or smoked paprika + few pinches cayenne)
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, taste, and adjust to your liking.
- 1 cup coconut milk (225 ml carton)
- Handful cilantro, with tender stems
- 1 thin green onion (white + green parts), roughly chopped
- 1 small clove garlic
- Zest + juice from 1/2 juicy lime
- 1 red chili (or jalapeno, to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Add all ingredients to a mini food processor (or use an immersion/hand blender) and blend until smooth.
Beet season is wrapping up here in Switzerland, but I could not in good conscience make these nachos without sharing the recipe with you. The beets, when roasted until crisp, are nutty and sweet and provide the perfect contrast to the tang and spice of the black bean salsa. If you are a local reader and cannot find beets (because I probably bought the very last one - don't ask how I know that!), then sweet potato chips would be the perfect substitute. In fact, I wish I had thought of this while I was at the store.
My husband declared this black bean salsa the best of three worlds. When we can't decide on guacamole, salsa, or black bean salad, we'll combine the three and have everything in one. This is the result and it's super tasty. And leftovers (if you have any) make the perfect lunch the next day; wrap up in a tortilla or flatbread, spoon over brown rice or quinoa, or eat as a black bean salad with spinach or kale.
Serves 4-6 as small bites/appetizer (2 as main)
Notes: If you cannot find beets, use sweet potato chips instead.
- 1 large beet (or several small ones)
- Coconut oil (or ghee/butter)
- Sea salt
- Black Bean and Avocado Salsa (recipe below)
- Heat oven to 325 F (162 C).
- Wash and, if organic, scrub beet with a vegetable scrubber. Otherwise peel skin if not organic. Thinly slice beet using the thin blade of a mandolin. Alternatively, slice as thinly as possible with a sharp knife, keeping in mind the slices will inevitably be thicker/uneven and need to cook longer.
- Place beet rounds on a large parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet (you may need to cook in two batches),
- brush with melted coconut oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until beets turn light brown, ends curl up, and begin to dry out. Remove from oven and immediately transfer beets to a wired cooling rack. They will crisp up as they cool.
- Just before serving, top beets with salsa, and enjoy!
Black Bean and Avocado Salsa
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 small red onion, finely diced (or spring onions for a milder flavor)
- 1 red chili, thinly sliced (or jalapeno)
- 1 ripe but firm avocado, diced
- Handful cilantro, chopped
- Feta, crumbled (to taste)
- Add lime juice and next four ingredients (through salt) to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.
*Beet chips inspired by Dishing Up The Dirt