Guys it’s already fall! Summer flew by, but I’m not upset about it because fall means cozy sweaters, cute boots, hot yoga, and delicious fall recipes. Speaking of recipes, let’s talk soup. I LOVE soup, but I have never been a great soup creator to be completely honest. That’s why I start simple when it comes to soup 😉
Today for lunch I made a straight up 5 star italian tomato soup. Sounds pretty basic, but there was a flavor explosion going on in my mouth! My kids loved it and slurped up the very last drop. Also the mouth watering tomato herb aroma flowing through the house wasn’t too bad either!
This particular tomato soup is so easy and takes about an hour to make from scratch! Not to mention it’s vegan as well:) Vegan tomato soup… yes please!!!
Vegan Tomato Soup Ingredients:
2 lbs of fresh organic tomatoes (different varieties ensures maximum flavor! I used heirloom and your typical on the vine tomatoes.)
1-2 organic shallots peeled and cut into chunks
2 orgainc garlic cloves peeled and cut into chunks
3 springs of organic thyme, leaves picked from stem
1-2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil
Salt + pepper
½ heaping cup of raw cashews (soaked for at least 2-3 hours and drained)
1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
¼ cup organic basil (fresh)
2- 2 ½ cups of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Steps to Make Your Super Delicious Vegan Tomato Soup:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice your tomatoes. For larger tomatoes slice into quarters and for smaller slice into halves, if cherry tomatoes leave as is. Place your sliced tomatoes on baking sheet.
Cozy up the garlic and shallots to the sliced tomatoes on the baking sheet.
Sprinkle thyme leaves over the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots.
Then drizzle the 1-2 tbsps olive oil over the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots. Add salt and pepper to season the tomatoes. Then place baking sheet in oven for about 30-35 minutes.
While tomatoes are in the oven blend cashews, tomato paste, basil, vegetable stock together. Set aside.
When tomatoes are starting to look wrinkled/roasted and your mouth is watering from the very fragrant tomatoes then go ahead and pull those babies out. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots to the blended cashew mixture and blend on high until your have a smooth puree soup texture. (If you have to blend a few tomatoes at a time due to space in your blender that is perfectly okay!)
Once all blended and smooth go ahead and add the soup to a pot and bring to a simmer. Add in the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste!
I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet and Steve and I have been on a cauliflower kick lately or maybe I should say still! We make this AMAZING creamy cauliflower soup every fall and winter, so it’s not a surprise that it would show up here. The hazelnuts really give this soup a rich, creamy texture. It’s perfect for the cooler fall weather we’ve been having in Bend.
Toasted Hazelnut and Cauliflower Soup Ingredients
1 head of cauliflower, florets only
3-4 large shallots, sliced into 1/4 inch ribbons
2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
4 roasted garlic cloves, minced
7-8 cups of veggie broth
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Easy Instructions for Your Hazelnut and Cauliflower Soup
1. Toast the hazelnuts in the toaster oven or regular oven. Our toaster oven gets nice and hot and it took less than 8 minutes to get them a nice golden color. Be careful not to burn the hazelnuts. Once the hazelnuts are toasted remove the skins by rolling them between your hands. Discard the skins.
2. Heat oil on medium in a large soup pot. Add shallots and saute until soft and then add garlic being careful not to burn the garlic.
3. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and saute for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Now it’s time to add the veggie broth. Start with 5-6 cups. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Depending on how much liquid cooks off you may want to add another cup or two of broth, so your soup won’t turn out like baby food.
5. Once the cauliflower is tender and the broth has simmered down let it cool slightly, then add it to your blender or food processor with the toasted hazelnuts. Blend until the soup reaches your desired consistency. I was able to put the entire batch into our blender, but it might be necessary to blend in batches. (Note: sometimes I like to pre-blend/process the toasted hazelnuts, it seems to give the soup a creamier texture)
As the dog days of summer drag on, nothing beats the heat quite like a tasty frozen treat. Fortunately, fresh fruit sorbets are incredibly easy to make and much better on your waistline than ice cream.
So delicious and so easy to make!
Since all fruit sorbet recipes follow the same basic pattern (1. make simple syrup, 2. add fruit, 3. blend and chill), you can get creative with whatever fruit is in season in your area. For this recipe, I used a a pint of delicious organic blackberries fresh from the Bend Farmer’s Market — the hardest part of this recipe was not eating all the juicy berries before the syrup was ready!
Organic Blackberry Sorbet Recipe
Ingredients (4 servings)
1 cup water
2/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 organic lemon
1 pint (16oz) organic blackberries
Make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and pour in a large mixing bowl.
Rinse the blackberries and add to the mixing bowl. Let the blackberries steep in the hot simple syrup for about 10 minutes.
Using a hand mixer, blend the berries and simple syrup into a puree. Squeeze the juice of the half lemon and stir into the mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour.
Start up your ice cream maker (I used a Conair Cuisinart 1.5-quart ice cream maker, which is the perfect size for this recipe). Pour the blended mixture into the ice cream maker. After 10-15 minutes of churning, the sorbet should be ready to go; check the consistency as the sorbet solidifies to get the perfect texture.
Scoop out the sorbet and serve, or store in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 weeks.
The flavor of Jamu, especially when it hasn’t been sweetened much, is an acquired taste for sure. Jamu packs an intense turmeric punch… made even punchier with fresh ginger added to the mix. On top of the basic ingredients you can add other spices for flavor or for Ayurvedic purposes. I like to add black pepper and cayenne to mine, and sometimes cloves. Jamu’s main ingredient, turmeric, is rich in curcumin, a fantastic anti-inflammatory. Combining turmeric with black pepper (which contains piperine) helps our body absorb the curcumin. Want to learn more about the amazing benefits of turmeric? Check out this article at AuthorityNutrition.com.
Just a few ounces of Jamu each day is enough and should be thought of as a natural medicine, so you don’t want to overdo it… although I’ve definitely guzzled it down on more than one occasion and survived.
Here is a simple Jamu recipe to follow:
7-10 inches turmeric root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3 inches fresh ginger, peeled
3 T. tamarind paste
juice from 2 limes or 1 1/2 lemons
1 T. honey or 1 cup of pineapple juice
1 liter of water
Cayenne, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
In a large pot on medium high heat add water and turmeric. Once the water begins to boil turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 18-20 minutes.
Add the ginger and tamarind paste and simmer for another 4-5 minutes.
Allow mixture to cool. Once mixture has cooled add the turmeric mixture and honey to your blender in batches (just a warning: if your blender is plastic it will be stained yellow afterward). Blend until smooth.
Using a fine mesh strainer you will strain the ingredients over a bowl to separate the solids from the liquids. You may need to use a spatula to press some of the moisture out of the solids. Discard the solids.
Add citrus juice, cayenne and black pepper to your mixture. Stir, taste and adjust… maybe add more sweetener if you feel like you need it… maybe dilute it with some extra water.
Poor mixture into glass jars, seal them up and store in the fridge. Jamu will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
I love this time of year for all of the wonderful produce we have available at the Farmer’s Market and this is one of my favorite salads. This is a recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook. I’ve made this recipe so many times I’m not sure how different it is from the original, but it is so delicious and easy. These days I need as simple as possible… otherwise I likely wouldn’t feed myself.
Farmer’s Market Salad (Serves 4)
2 ears of corn, husked
2 bell peppers (your choice, but I like red and yellow best)
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1/3 inch slices
1/3 cup garden fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
juice from 1/2 lemon
3 T. olive oil
1.5 T balsamic vinegar
1-1.5 t. honey
2 t. stone ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Serve with sliced baguette.
Prepare your dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a medium size bowl and whisk until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Turn grill onto high heat. Brush corn with a little olive oil and grill. Grill until each side is marked. Set aside. Once cool slice the corn from the cob and put in the bowl with the dressing.
Grill peppers next using high heat until the skins are blistered. Brush with olive oil as necessary. Once cool remove the skins and seeds. Slice the peppers into 1/4 inch thick strips. Add the peppers to the dressing and stir gently.
Allow the corn and peppers to sit in the dressing for 15-30 minutes. Add the basil just before serving.
On a large plate or medium sized platter lay out your heirloom tomatoes and top with the corn and pepper mixture. Garnish with any extra basil leaves and dig in!
Abby was raised in a small town in Arizona. She started her professional career in Marketing, but her nag for cooking, holistic health, and crafting was always her true passion. She, her husband, and two rad kids moved to Oregon in 2015 to pursue a more fulfilled life that targeted their interests to be able to spend more time outdoors with Mother Nature. Being surrounded by nature is Abby’s natural realm. She loves to hike, play chef, read and expand her library, keep up on her green thumb, paint, practice yoga, kayak, bike, and regularly stops to smell the flowers. Follow Abby on Instagram @gaiagals