Creamy Roasted Vegetable Chowder

5 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups sliced carrots
1 lb asparagus cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 bag frozen corn (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth
2-3 cups soy/rice/almond milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Place 1/2 of potatoes and the onion in a large soup pan with about 1 inch of broth.  Boil and then reduce to a simmer.  While that is cooking, toss remainder of vegetables – except  corn – in olive oil and spread on baking sheets.  Salt and pepper lightly.  Place in oven at 450* and turn over once in a while to prevent burning.  When potatoes in pan are very tender, remove from heat and blend with an immersion  blender or hand mixer.  This should create something close to mashed potatoes.  Add the remainder of the broth and stir. Begin adding soy milk (or other) until consistency of chowder base is reached. Add nutritional yeast (optional) and stir.  Return to very low heat to simmer.  If you end up with a base that is too thin, you can thicken to taste with corn starch or potato starch.  When vegetables are close to done, add corn and continue baking until cooked through.  After vegetables are done roasting, add to creamed potatoes/broth mixture.  Adjust seasoning and serve!

Warm Food for the Snow Shovelers – Soup and Muffins

My loving spouse and 4 of the six children (oldest wasn’t here and youngest wasn’t forced into it) went out this morning to shovel several inches (8? 10?) of snow off of our walk, drive, cars, etc. So, while they were out, I did what I always do when someone goes out to shovel – I cooked. Today, it was cherry banana muffins (to go with hot chocolate right after the shoveling) and putting on a big pot of navy bean soup for dinner. By request, I post the recipes for both here!

Cherry Banana Vegan Muffins  

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
2/3 cups raw sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/3 t salt
1 cup water
1 t vanilla extract
6 T vegan butter (or oil)
3 ripe bananas
1 cup diced fresh cherries

Mix dry ingredients in bowl and gently toss in chopped cherries (be easy here or you’ll turn your muffins pink).  Mash bananas and add remainder of wet ingredients and mix.  Combine wet and dry ingredients gently.  Place in muffin tins with or without cupcake papers and bake at 350* until done (this took about 25 minutes for me).

Navy Bean Soup     

Ingredients
1 lb dry navy beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
3 large carrots or 2-3 cups baby carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, diced
8 T of veggie bullion mix
(or 8 cubes if using cubed)
8 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in large pan and cook on high until boiling vigorously and then lower heat and cook on medium until tender.  Age of beans will impact how long this takes, so give yourself plenty of time.  If they get done too early, you can always refrigerate and gently reheat.  When the beans are near done, you may also wish to add a couple cups of grain to complete the protein – barley or rice are good options.  I did this one tonight with arborio rice (which had not been added yet in the image above).  If you do not have any veggie bullion, add 1.5x the vegetables, and some minced garlic or garlic powder, tumeric, and a little more salt.

Both of these are very easy, though the bean soup does take a little time.  And, they are pretty perfect for a snowy day!

Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

Ingredients

3 cups fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin
(or 1 large can prepared pumpkin)
1 can coconut milk
1 onion
2 T olive oil
1 T red pepper flakes
4 T vegetable broth powder
2 T curry powder
6 cups water
1/4 cup garbanzo (or other) flour
sea salt to taste

Process

Saute onions in olive oil with ginger, red pepper, salt, and curry.  When soft and somewhat carmelized, add flour and stir until smooth.  Add vegetable broth powder and mix in. Slowly add water and bring to a boil, stirring frequently (it should start to thicken up).  Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Add pumpkin and stir smooth.  Let simmer slowly until about 5 minutes before you are ready to serve.  Add coconut milk and stir.

Serve with fresh bread.  Delicious and has a nice bite!