I suffer through summer with the are-you-crazy glares coming at me at meal time, because no matter how hot it is outside, I still enjoy sipping on a warm bowl of soup.
There's something so simple and nourishing about soup—it's a mélange of flavors, textures and nutrients. Warm foods and liquids are more easily absorbed by the body, decreasing the amount of work out onto the digestive system.
As a vegan, I've always got the perfect soup ingredients in the house, too: fresh vegetables, beans, and grains. They're so versatile, tasty, and filling that they satisfy the biggest meat eaters too. And now that we're in the thick of autumn, it's a perfectly (and socially) acceptable time to make all kinds of soups. From the creamy to the hearty, you'll love these autumn soup ideas.
1. Pumpkin (or squash soup)
Make a meal of the pumpkin gourd this year by turning it into a creamy, spicy, and sweet soup. You can use most any winter squash as a substitute. Try this delectable recipe.
2. Tomato Bisque
If you've stored your summer tomato bounty properly, now is the perfect time for a warm bowl of tomato bisque. It may make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and a comfy sweater…and that's exactly the point!
Spices always make me feel warmer in cool weather, and this Indian mulligatawny recipe is the perfect example. It's an aromatic feast all on its own—and once you lift spoon to lips, you enter an entirely magical tummy-tickling domain. The recipe comes courtesy of expert vegetarian Indian chef, Madhur Jaffrey. http://www.food.com/recipe/madhur-jaffreys-vegan-mulligatawny-484918
4. Spiced Black Bean
Black beans are indispensible to the vegan diet, and they earn the same place in the soup world, too. After living in Miami for a few years, I'm particularly fond of the Cuban style black bean soup. Spice it up or down the heat meter to your tongue's liking. Serve it with warm tortillas and sliced avocado.
5. Creamy Cauliflower
Angelica Kitchen in New York City's East Side serves an unbelievable creamy cauliflower soup worth the airfare from Los Angeles. But a decent knock-off can be made at home, with little more than a cauliflower and a good blender and a good imagination that puts you in the corner window staring down E. 12th street. http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-recipes/cream-of-cauliflower-soup.php
6. Vegan Vegetable
The simplicity of a fabulous broth and tender vegetables is my ultimate favorite in the cooler months. Here's a recipe I rely on a lot (especially since I wrote it!). Serve for lunch by itself or with rice or noodles as a dinner stew.
7. Tuscan Kale and White Bean
The Italians may be known for pizza and spaghetti, but you'll fall in love all over again with this scrumptious kale and white bean soup.
8. Mushroom Barley
It's a staple in the soup world, and for good reason: it's warming and filling, with great flavor and aroma. This incredible recipe comes courtesy of the brilliant vegan chef, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Using fresh herbs brings the flavor to the next level.
9. Creamy Carrot Coconut
Carrots are often the unsung heroes of soup—lingering in the background as subtle flavor and tender crunch. But they hold their own as the star in this delicious creamy soup. Along with coconut milk and curry seasoning, it's warming, filling, and oh so satisfying, too.
Never underestimate Martha Stewart! She does a lot of things really, really well, and this veggie lentil soup is proof positive. Make a big pot of it and freeze half—if it lasts that long.
11. African Peanut
Yes, peanut soup. Trust me; I saved the best for last! Peanuts don't do anything for me generally. Exception? Peanut soup. It's a traditional dish modified for the vegetarian, and it's simply divine. The ginger and peanut butter work marvelously well together; and the beans and vegetables make it a filling meal all on its own. Enjoy!
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