Tangy Tomato Soup

July 06, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Other

Summertime, when the living is easy…and so is this recipe. Chop tomatoes, a nice spicy pepper and an onion. Toss it all in a blender, and you’re good to go.

This recipe came from a cookbook that I’ve had for a while. I got it from a now defunct Indian Spices and Appliances store that was walkable from my house. They swore they were going to re-open when a new condo development kicked them out. About ten years later, they haven’t returned. I continue to remain hopeful that someday they’ll be back, but, at least I have this great cookbook to remember them by.

This is a perfect recipe for summer.  I made this on a day where it was over 100 degrees outside, so I can speak from experience. This chilled soup is cooling and the slight spiciness is very refreshing.

Tangy Tomato Soup
from Summer Cookery

  • 1 lb tomatoes, well washed
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small pepper/capsicum, de-seeded
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

Chop the tomatoes and the pepper into quarters

Put all the ingredients into the container of an electric bender…

and blend smooth.

Check seasoning and chill. Serve garnished with black pepper, freshly ground.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

January 25, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This tomato soup is smoky, flavorful and, best of all, creamy…and, the surprise is, it’s vegan.

Pair this with a grilled cheese sandwich, on some really good sourdough bread, and you’ve got a perfect stomach-warming meal on a cold day.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup
by Megabeth

  • 12 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat baking sheet with a small amount of olive oil. Place tomatoes, cut size up, onion and garlic on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top of the tomatoes, onion and garlic and add salt and pepper to taste.

Roast vegetables for 40 to 45 minutes. Flip tomatoes halfway through cooking. Keep an eye on the onions as they may cook faster than the tomatoes.

While vegetables are roasting, soak cashews in one cup water or vegetable broth.  Place in blender, and puree until smooth. Pour into saucepan.

Place roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic in the blender with the basil. (If you have a small blender, divide in half.) Once blended, add to cashew puree in sauce pan.

Then stir in nutritional yeast.

Add more freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Chilled Cucumber and Yogurt Soup

July 25, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Other

Entertaining with Cranks. Yes, that’s the name of this cookbook that I almost overlooked at a library book sale. It’s not until I saw the teeny-tiny subtitle, “Creating Sensational Meals the Vegetarian Way” that I knew I found something good. My edition is from 1987.

The original Cranks was a London vegetarian restaurant that expanded into a chain. However, due to some financial difficulties and eventual buyout only one remains in Devon. The Crank brand also lives on with a line of sandwiches, prepared meals, sauces and breads.

This is a neat little cookbook. The recipes are geared towards feeding guests but are easy enough to make for yourself on a weeknight after work. It’s a small cookbook, but they pack a lot into it from finger foods and entrees to biscuits and drinks. If you are getting ready to have people over, they give you the preparation and cooking times separately in case you need to prep ahead of time.

There is a centerpiece of photos that, although now a bit dated looking, do show several recipes at once in a nice little spread.

This recipe came out really really good. I modified it slightly from the original below by using greek yogurt and left out the lemon juice (as the greek yogurt already has a slightly acidic taste.) I would also either peel the cucumbers or consider straining the soup after it’s had a chance to chill a bit. I had a lot of little pieces of cucumber skin, that my blender couldn’t quite catch, that took away from the smoothness of the soup. Otherwise, this is a phenomenally easy soup to make.

Chilled Cucumber & Yogurt Soup
Entertaining with Cranks

  • Large cucumber 1
  • Tomatoes 1 lb (450 g)
  • Natural yoghourt 1 pint (Note: I used 2 cups greek yogurt.)
  • Tomato juice 1/2 pint (1 cup)
  • Lemon rind, finely chopped 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice 1 teaspoon (Note: If using greek yogurt, consider leaving out.)
  • Salt and freshly group pepper
  • Cayenne pepper, pinch
  • Paprika 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic clove, crushed 1
  • Parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon
  • Chives, chopped 2 tablespoons

Preparation time 10 – 15 minutes
No cooking required

Cut some thin slices of cucumber, allowing 3 per portion, and reserve for garnishing. Chop the remainder.

Combine all the ingredients in a blender goblet or food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Chill thoroughly. Serve garnished with cucumber slices.

Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Cannellini Salad

June 19, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Cookbook Chronicle Challenge, Salads, Side Dishes

New Vegetarian Cuisine features “250 low-fat recipes for superior health” and is compiled by Linda Rosensweig and the food editors of Prevention magazine. My edition is from 1994. That said, this cookbook touts healthy eating and food choices using vegetarian cooking to bring the point home.

There is an interesting section that debunks myths that seem to come straight from my conversations with people when they find out that I’m a vegetarian – how do you get protein?, don’t you risk anemia?, what about calcium? The editors provide extensive answers with facts and sources. The next chapter then dicussus the vegetarian diet as a weapon against disease. The subsections go over various diseases and conditions (arthritis, cancer, diabetes, etc.) and how elements of the vegetarian diet can ease symptoms. Finally, the editors discuss how to make the transition to a vegetarian diet.

The recipes in the cookbook generally take up only one page and are not complex. They provide tips and hints for each recipe along with nutrition information. There are some color photos of final dishes but they are lumped together in four sections. Fortunately, they put the page numbers along with the photos so it’s easy to track down each recipe represented.

The index is thorough and includes not only recipe titles and ingredients but also nutritional keywords as well as diseases and conditions discussed in the cookbook. There’s also a little symbol that appears if the recipes is good to “make ahead.”

The recipes are simple to make but don’t skimp on uniqueness and flavor. In fact, this cannellini salad was bursting with a unique, almost smoky, taste.

Cannellini Salad
New Vegetarian Cuisine, Linda Rosensweig and the food editors of Prevention magazine, 1994

  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • spinach leaves

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, parsley, sage, pepper, tomatoes, and the reserved tomato soaking liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.

Place the beans in a large bowl. Add the tomato mixture, toss gently to mix. Serve warm or chilled on the spinach.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

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