Creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup

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I really love the taste of these scrumptious little tubers. Sweet, fragrant, nutty in flavor, and delicate in texture. They were first cultivated by the Native Americans (way before this new vegetable was introduced to Europeans). Italians call it girasole – sunflower. And indeed, it is a type of sunflower. It is believed that the name Jerusalem artichoke came from the way of southern Italian pronunciation – [ʤiraː’zul]. There is no real connection to the ancient city of Jerusalem (but who knows!).

Jerusalem artichoke plant. Image: Annette van der Swaluw
Sunchokes (another name for Jerusalem artichokes) have a lot of health benefits. The phyto-nutrient profile is comprised of fiber (non-starchy carbohydrates), antioxidants,  minerals (potassium, copper and iron), and vitamins C, A, E and B-group. It is a very healthy and tasty vegetable to eat!

Now let’s make the soup.

Serving: 3-4

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs sunchokes (pealed and cut)

1 medium onion (chopped) – save a small amount of finely chopped onion for serving

2 garlic cloves (chopped)

4 c veggie broth (+ extra if needed)

2 tbsp vegan butter (or oil of choice)

1/4 c raw hazelnuts

1/4 tsp dry oregano

sea salt, crushed black pepper to taste

balsamic vinegar & fine olive oil for garnish

In a soup pot sauté onion and garlic in vegan butter (oil) for couple of minutes without browning. Add veggie broth and sunchokes and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 25-30 min or until sunchokes are soft.

In a mean time we are going to roast hazelnuts. Heat up a pan on a med-high heat. Without adding any oil roast the nuts until skins start coming off. Always shake the pan so no hazelnuts would get burnt. This should take a few minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool off. When nuts are cool to touch chop them and set aside.

Once soup is ready move it to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add salt if needed. Add more warm broth if the texture is too thick.

For serving, place on the bottom of a bowl little pinch of raw onion, and a generous spoonful of hazelnuts. Pour soup on top. Sprinkle with black pepper, oregano, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

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Egyptian lentil soup (vegan)

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Lentil soup. I love red lentils. I find them particularly tasty. And I adore the vibrant golden color that they have. Lentils came a long way along with humans. The first mentioning of us eating lentils dates back 13,000 – 9,500 years ago. Paleolithic and Mesolithic caves in Greece, then Syria, Palestine, Turkey, and the many other sites in the Middle and Near East. Aristophanes said “You, who dare insult lentil soup, sweetest of delicacies.” (Source: www.cliffordawright.com). Lentils been used to make soups, porridge, breads. It is such a versatile food that is also loaded with protein, fiber and micro nutrients. It tastes even better when heated the next day!

In this recipe I use Egyptian spice called dukkah. It is a mixture of toasted nuts, sesame seeds, herbs and salt. It is also great to just add it to olive oil and dip fresh bread in it. But today we are going to use it to make soup.

Yield: 4- 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (diced in small cubes)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Spice:

  • 2 tbsp Dukkah (oven roasted hazelnuts, almonds, coriander, cumin, sesame seeds, salt)

Recipe how to make this aromatic spice could be found here.

Heat up olive oil in a large pot. Saute onions until golden and soft. Add garlic, carrots and all the spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Now add tomato sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add broth, water and lentils. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat let let simmer for about 25-30 minutes. While cooking you may need to add more water to reach the desired consistency. Add lemon juice at the very end. That’s pretty much it. Garnish with micro greens, cilantro and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Vegan turmeric carrot ginger soup

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We are almost at the time of Spring Equinox. The time of change when spring claims its power over the winter. Lately I particularly enjoy cleansing uplifting foods. Vibrant colors makes my heart sings. I went to my local farmers market yesterday morning and picked up some really nice hearty carrots, onions, micro greens mix, and a whole bunch of other veggies, and apples, of course. I’m so happy to see anything  green being sold at this time of the year. Micro greens are great, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – exactly what we need more of right now!

Here is how to make this cleansing soup:

Serves: 6 people

Time: 45 min

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4-5 cups of veggie broth
  • 2-3 tbsp of fresh grated ginger
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • Celtic sea salt to taste (if the broth is not salty enough)
  • 1/3 cup of plant milk if desired
  • 2 tbsp of vegan butter (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
  • High quality olive oil for garnish
  • micro greens for garnish

Peal carrots and chop them into 1/2 inch chunks. Peal onion and cut it chunky too. Heat up a saucepan on medium heat, add your oil of choice, put onions in, sauté for couple of minutes until fragrant, now add turmeric powder. Sauté for another few minutes until golden. Add carrots and saute together for 10-15 minutes. Then add your veggie broth, and extra salt if needed, and cook for another 10-15 minutes until carrots become softer. Don’t over cook them! You want your carrots still little hard not mushy.

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The next step is to blend it all together with fresh grated ginger. After blending return your soup to the saucepan on a low heat, add butter and plant milk for extra creaminess. Turn off the heat before the soup start boiling. Voila! Serve with a sprinkle of micro greens, few drops of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!!

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