Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Mom’s Oatmeal Potato Soup with “Meat”balls

When I was a little kid, my Mom didn’t really make chicken noodle soup.  My Mom made the good old Russian standby: oatmeal potato soup with tiny little pork meatballs.  I love the fluff out of that stuff, in the way that you love only your Mom’s cooking.

With the weather turning cold, I’ve been in the mood for soup.  So I decided to make a quick Americanized veggie version of my Mom’s Russian classic.


Makes 3 entree-sized servings

3 small potatoes, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 shallots, sliced (I ran out of onions, you can use anything from that family)

1 32 oz. box of veggie stock

2 handfuls of oatmeal (I used Irish but just about anything will be great.  I think Scottish will be awesome)

2 Italian fauxsages, broken up into chunks (I bought Trader Joe’s brand in a hurry and didn’t notice they aren’t actually vegan, they have egg whites in them… ugh!  but you can totally find a vegan version of them!)

How I Made It:

Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in your soup pot on medium high heat.  Saute the shallots a couple of minutes, until they start getting golden.  Add the carrots, saute for a minute.  Add the chunks of meatless sausage.  Saute according to package directions, until they get some color on them. Throw in the oatmeal.  Stir to coat with oil.  Throw in the potatoes and immediately pour in the stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  Enjoy with a little bit of parsley garnish.

If You Hate Meatless Meats:

I know some people prefer not to consume these things.  Totally understand.  You can obviously make this without, but then you’ll need to throw in some spices that are usually found in Italian “fauxsage”: fennel, anise and black peppercorns.  I’d actually use fresh fennel and saute it along with the onion/shallot/leek you’re using and throw in the other spices at the same time as your oatmeal, giving them a chance to develop before you drown them in stock.


Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes

I was really excited about that White Bean Stew I read about in Food & Wine.  So I made it.

Sorry that there are no picture (again! I’m a really terrible food blogger).  But it was really similar to that Savannah Navy Bean Soup I made a little while ago so you can get the point.

I did the recipe a little bit differently than Joe recommends.  I used spinach, not Swiss chard.  I also didn’t blanch my greens separately.  Instead, I heated up the oil in the pot, added the garlic and red pepper flakes, and then dumped in the spinach.  I added the spinach in two parts, letting the first half wilt down before I added the second.  This way, the garlic fully permeated the spinach, it was delicious before I added anything else.  Then I added the tomatoes, brought the mixture to a boil, added the beans and simmered for 8 minutes.  Voila!  Just salt and serve (we had it with some toast).  Granted, we ate the whole batch as two servings, not four, but it was still a fairly healthy dinner.  Next up, I share my bean cooking experience!

Potato and Leek Soup


I had some leftover veggie stock and I was just itching to make something with it.  So I decided to try my hand at potato and leek soup.  I’ve tried this classic French dish mostly as vichyssoise, that is chilled and with tons of dairy dumped in.  But I was sure that there was no need for that so I decided to make a vegan version.  Mark’s version is on page 106.

Ingredients I Used

2 Tbsp EVOO

3 Russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice*

4 medium sized leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced*

4 cups veggie stock (I had exactly this much left over, amazing!)

salt and pepper for seasoning

How I Made It

Mark advises heating up the oil, then dumping in all the vegetables at once.  This didn’t make sense to me.  I’m not a professional but I knew this would make the potatoes stick and the leeks would take much longer to cook.  So I put the leeks in first, sauteed them while stirring about 5 minutes and then added the potatoes just before adding the stock.  I cooked the whole deal, covered, at a simmer for half an hour.  It looked like this when it was done:


I was expecting company for dinner that night so I turned off the flame and let the pot sit on the stove, until just before serving.  Once I knew my guest was about to arrive, I put about half of the soup in the blender, pureed and returned to the pot.  I turned the flame to the lowest setting on the burner to warm it back up but that’s about all I did.  Unfortunately, because this was for company, I didn’t get a chance to photograph the final product, but it was silky and creamy without any additions of dairy.  So, completely vegan!  We ate it with a simple garden salad that I dressed with Mark’s Vinaigrette dressing (p. 762-63: I used white wine vinegar) and drank delicious Brooklyn Brewery Local 1 Ale. If you had the non-vegetarian version of this soup, I’d say that the only difference is that it is a bit darker in color since my stock was so dark from the mushrooms and the soy sauce.  But other than that, I couldn’t tell the difference. Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese and Savannah Navy Bean Soup

Grilled Cheese and Savannah Navy Bean SoupThis is kind of a one-off post because the recipe doesn’t come from Mark’s book.  Savannah Navy Bean Soup is an adapted recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant Lowfat Favorites, and I got it on a recipe card from my bean purveyors, Cayuga Pure Organics.  Cayuga Organics adapted it, and then I adapted it.  So this is like a 3rd degree removed from Moosewood original.  The grilled cheese sandwich is something I’ve been messing around with for a while and I will talk about my tips for making great grilled cheese a little later.

Savannah Navy Bean Soup

Ingredients I used

2 small onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups of st0re-bought vegetable stock

1 bunch fresh spinach

2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

4 cups cooked white beans (you can use 2 cans if you want, just rinse them off really well)

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 Tbsp light brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground allspice

Couple of dashes of hot sauce

2 cups cooked white Japanese rice

How I Made It

I drizzled some olive oil into the bottom of a big soup pot, and cooked the onions and the garlic for a little bit.  Then I added about half the stock and cooked that for 15 minutes with the lid on.  Then I added the clean, chopped spinach, tomatoes, beans, remainder of the stock, vinegar, sugar, allspice and hot sauce.  I let it simmer for another 15 minutes.  I stirred in the rice and cooked for 5 minutes more.  I didn’t salt because I wasn’t sure how salty my beans were and how that would impact the flavor of the soup. That’s it!  It’s so simple and so delicious and it is already vegan.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ever since we became vegetarians, grilled cheese sandwiches have become a regular meal at our house.  We’ll eventually transition away from dairy, but for now, we’re enjoying them.

Ingredients I used

  1. Bread Alone Peasant Bread: bought presliced at the Greenmarket but it’s also available at a lot of different stores in New York
  2. a really good quality extra sharp aged cheddar cheese: I use Bobolink cave-ripened cheddar that I get at the Greenmarket.  I love Bobolink because they treat their cows really well: they have an 18-year old cow, Sarah, in their herd! (and many others almost as old)
  3. lots of unsalted butter: right now I use “really hard to find except at the Greenmarket” Ronnybrook butter

How I Made It

Put a non-stick skillet that will fit your bread on low-medium heat and let it preheat empty while you slice the cheese (about 3 minutes).  Some people recommend that you grate your cheese but I disagree: when you grate the cheese and try to pile it onto the bread in the skillet, it goes all over the place, melts around the bread and the moisture it releases makes the bread all mushy.  I say take a nice serrated knife, and cut even slices. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Use the room-temp butter and spread it on one side of each pieces of bread: the outer sides when it makes a sandwich.  I know you can figure this out.  Place one slide, buttered side down in the pan, arrange your cheese on top, cover with the other slice of bread, butter side up, and leave it alone for 3 minutes.  Flip, and do 3 minutes on the other side.  Resist the urge to peek and move the bread in the skillet.  I promise, it’s not burning, it’s just crisping up nicely.

Making It Vegan:

I’ve never made this vegan but I’ll try soon and report back.  I’ll just swap out the cheese for vegan cheese and use margarine instead of butter.  Although, this soup is equally delicious with a plain toasted slice of bread so no substitutions are necessary if you want to remain a purist.