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Vegetable centric cooking

Category: Soup

Cold roasted zucchini soup w/ tahini

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I love zucchini when roasted slowly at a low temperature.   I adapted this recipe from the charred zucchini soup in Love Soup, a vegetarian cookbook by Anna Thomas.  She serves hers hot, and topped with a generous amount of yoghurt.  This one is chilled and vegan, with extra richness and smokiness from tahini.  Use a ton of dill — it adds brightness and makes the soup a lovely deep green.

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Green gazpacho w/ almonds and grapes

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New York weather spins on a dime in May.  Memorial Day weekend was disappointingly cold and rainy; last week was hot and humid.  My taste is suddenly all about the summer — refrigerator ice tea, corn on the cob, grilled pizza and lots of radishes and tomatoes.   And I am obsessed with finding a quick and nourishing recipe for green or white gazpacho, without fillers like white bread.

I adapted a recipe that Los Angeles Times published from Martha’s Vineyard’s Sweet Life Cafe, adding hot peppers, making the dairy an optional topping and skipping the step of straining soup.  The result is a cool and refreshing soup with a touch of heat — toppings such as almonds and feta make it a light meal.  There you go, a weeknight gazpacho!

Serves 2

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Sweet potato bisque

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Yet another blended soup, made with leftover sweet potatoes from latke.  I often make butternut squash soup from the same recipe.  Potatoes make this bisque rich, filling and a beautiful color (that my crummy point and shoot Lumix does not do justice).

Serves 4

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Borscht (hearty or as a shooter)

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As you may tell, I love blended soups.  So pure and simple, based on one good ingredient.  Beets are the absolute star here — a perfect, concentrated fall soup.  Bulgar and blended white beans make this a filling and complete meal.  Or you can skip both and serve cold in tea candle glasses, as a shooter.

Serves 4

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Blended lentil soup w/ caramelized stock

I love the immersion blender — how dumb do I feel for all the times I made a hot mess moving  soup to a food processor?   Like many blended soups, this one takes well to many garnishes — see below.   The picture has chili sesame oil, pepitas and parsley.  Or a poached egg and bulgar make an incredibly hearty meal.

I happened to have a jar of le Puy lentils, which keep their shape when cooked — green or brown lentils are your only choice for a salad.   But any lentils work in soup — red or yellow fall apart very easily and make a nice color to boot.

I often pack this soup for lunch.  Drop a handful of dry bulgar in the night before or in the morning, with a little extra broth or water — voila, a super hearty and complete meal.

Serves 4

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Roasted corn soup

This may be anathema on a cooking blog, but sometimes farm fresh is overrated.   Sure, with time and money I’d only shop at farmer’s markets.   But most of the time, the local mom and pop produce mart is trusty, dirt cheap and full of fresh things.   When I can’t even get there, I make stuff like this from my freezer and cupboard.   Actually, I make this soup all the time in the summer — sure beats shucking and slicing kernels from a half dozen ears of corn.   The Yukon Gold potatoes lend a nice creaminess for a vegan dish (at least before garnishes) and the crispy corn and potatoes on top are, well, really friggin’ tasty.  If you want to get fancier, use the extra garnishes.

Serves 4

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