Sometimes, people fall into a vegetable soup rut. Tomato, broccoli, butternut squash, potato and round and round these same soups you go. If your soup game is starting to feel a little tired, know that there is hope! With a little creativity, you can make unbelievable soups from vegetables you may never have considered "soupy" before! Have a look at these warm, cozy recipes and prepare for the best winter ever!
1. ParsnipsForget carrots! A little spice, a little sweet. Perfect. Rustic Parsnip Soup 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups) 1/2 pound sunchokes, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup) 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped 2 teaspoons garam masala 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning 2 cups water 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk or unsweetened coconut cream 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice freshly ground pepper farro, barley or brown rice, cooked (optional) Garnish topping 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon walnut oil 1 small Bosc or d’Anjou pear, diced 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon salt freshly ground pepper In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the parsnips, sunchokes and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garam masala, cumin, turmeric and salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the water, vegetable broth and coconut milk or cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Purée the soup in a blender until very smooth. Pour the soup into a clean saucepan and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. To make the topping, heat olive oil under low heat, add the walnuts and cook and stir until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and lemon juice. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and toss with the walnut oil. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the pear, parsley and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with the topping.
2. Spaghetti SquashLove slurping noodles? Try this low-cal solution! Vegan Spaghetti Squash Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
For the homemade vegan pho broth:
- 1 yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 shallot, peeled and halved
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- 4 to 6 inches of ginger (unpeeled), cut into thick slices
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tb. whole coriander seeds
- 1 tb. whole fennel seeds
- 5 whole star anise
- (optional) 1 whole cardamom pod
- water as needed
- (optional) 1 tb. nutritional yeast
- 2 tb. soy sauce (or tamari, aminos, etc.), plus more to taste
- 1 tb. coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
For the vegan spaghetti squash pho:
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved, seeded and roasted
- Vegan pho broth (above)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Fresh Thai basil, chopped
- Green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
- Hot peppers, very thinly sliced
- Carrots, thinly sliced (optional: quick-pickle the carrots in seasoned rice vinegar)
- Mung bean sprouts
- Other additions of choice, like cooked tofu, seitan (simmer in the broth), or mushrooms
For the vegan pho broth:
- If you have a gas stove, turn on the flame and use a pair of metal tongs (or a metal cooling rack/grate, if it's stove-friendly) to char the onions, shallots, garlic and ginger slices until blackened. If you don't have a gas stove, put them in the oven on broil (or the highest heat setting, if your oven doesn't broil), and cook until very browned.
- Add the charred aromatics to a large pot, and add water most of the way to the top. Turn the heat to high.
- Meanwhile, in a small, dry skillet, toast the cinnamon, coriander, fennel, anise, and cardamom over medium heat. As soon as the spices start to brown or become fragrant, transfer them directly to the pot with the onion and ginger (or into a spice bag/cheesecloth net, if you have that, and then into the pot).
- When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer. Cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally, until you can taste the flavors infused into the broth and it is reduced by a couple of inches.
- Stir in the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and coconut sugar. Allow a minute or two for the sugar to dissolve. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more soy sauce or table salt, and sugar, as desired. Turn off the heat.
For the vegan spaghetti squash pho:
- Add several large handfuls of spaghetti squash "noodles" to a soup bowl. Ladle a generous helping of vegan pho broth over the squash. Squeeze some lime juice onto the broth and then add all of the garnishes (or mix and match by preference).
- Store any leftover broth, squash, and garnishes separately.
3. Brussels SproutsYou may have avoided them as a kid but it is time to embrace Brussels sprouts once and for all! Brussels Spouts Soup
- 3 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen Brussels sprouts
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 c. chicken broth
- 1 1/2 c. half & half
- 1 1/2 c. milk
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/3 c. rice, uncooked
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 c. grated mild or Longhorn cheddar
DirectionsCook Brussels sprouts in the microwave for about 15 minutes to thaw and heat. Roughly chop sprouts or cut in quarters. Fry bacon and garlic in a Dutch oven until bacon is crisp. Add chicken broth, milk, half & half, rice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked - about 15 minutes.
Add Brussels sprouts and warm through. Top with grated cheese to serve.
4. EggplantThink baba ghanouj but soup! Eggplant Soup Ingredients:
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon
5. ZucchiniWith only 5 ingredients, this soup is super easy! Cream of Zucchini Soup INGREDIENTS
- 1/2 small onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 medium zucchini, skin on cut in large chunks
- 32 oz reduced sodium Swanson chicken broth (or vegetable)
- 2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- fresh grated parmesan cheese if desired for topping (optional)