100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 47 – Risi E Bisi

 

Day47

Risi e Bisi in Italian literally translates to rice and peas.

This is a classic Venetian (Venice, Italy) dish that was prepared only on the feast days decreed by the Doge (Venice’s ruler). These days this law no longer applies and you are allowed to prepare Risi e Bisi at any time, although it is best when fresh peas are available. Even though this recipe uses Aborio rice, which typically is used for Risotto, Risi e Bisi is more like a soup.

I found this soup recipe in a collection from The Moosewood Restaurant, in Ithaca, New York. The Moosewood, was one of the first fully vegetarian restaurants opened in the United States in the early 1970s, and it has been named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century by Bon Appetit magazine. The Moosewood Collective was  also one of the first to publish a vegetarian cookbook for home use. “The Moosewood Cookbook” is a recipe book written by Mollie Katzen in 1977. It was hand-lettered, imaginatively illustrated by Katzen,  featured a number of the recipes favored by the restaurant at the time, and quickly became a “must have” in many American homes. Recently, “The Moosewood Cookbook” was listed by the New York Times as one of the top ten bestselling cookbooks of all time, and is likely the most popular vegetarian cookbook in the world. Both “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest” and “The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without” are cookbooks written by Katzen that can be considered Sequels to “The Moosewood Cookbook”. When I lived in Rochester, NY for University, I often made the 1 1/2 road trip to Ithaca just to eat at The Moosewood. I do not think any project about vegetarian food would be complete without including at least one of their recipes.

This recipe is incredibly simple and delicious; I could not stop myself from eating two large bowls for lunch. It is gluten free and can easily be made dairy free and vegan by substituting the butter, and leaving out the Parmesan.

Risi E Bisi

SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter (or Vegan alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 cups “Mock Chicken Stock” (I used a 1/2 and 1/3 combo of mushroom stock and vegetable stock”
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raw arborio rice
  • 2 cups baby peas fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Warm the butter and olive oil in a medium pot until the butter has completely melted.

Add the onions and sauté on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. The add the stock and salt and turn up the heat to high bringing the stock to a boil. Stir in the rice, and lower the temperature to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.

Add the peas and cook for another 2 to 3minutes before stirring in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and the parsley. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, topped with remaining parmesan.

ENJOY!!

 

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

RedLentilSoup

This soup is one of my favorite easy recipes to make, and is great for a winter weekday, when you just want something simple, warm, and full of flavor.

The recipe, originally from the Allrecipes.com website posted by JENP1, is closest I have been able to come to my favorite red lentil soup served at Mezze Bar in Auckland CBD.  It was not originally a vegetarian recipe, but with the substitution of vegetable stock for chicken stock, and a few small tweaks of the spices, I do not think it has lost any of its flavor.

Red lentils, which are very high in protein, vitamins, and nutrients, are often used in Middle Eastern style cooking. Lentils were one of the first domesticated crops, but may have been eaten by humans almost 13,000 years ago. Red lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils, but that means they cook up quicker and you do not need to soak them overnight.

This recipe originally calls for fresh coriander, which is typical in a Middle Eastern dish, but I forgot to buy this ingredient at the store, so substituted with fresh chives. It still tasted nice, but would recommend going with the coriander for authenticity, if you have the option.

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

adapted from: JENP1, Allrecipes.com

SERVES: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 450 grams or 1 pound  red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Bring vegetable stock and lentils to a boil in a large soup pot over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and spices and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir onions into the lentils, and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 10 minutes.

At this point if you are in a hurry, you can puree the soup in a standing blender or with a stick blender to get a smooth consistency, but I prefer to turn down the heat to low and let it continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, and the lentils will break down themselves.

Stir in the fresh coriander and lemon juice before serving, and garnish with feta cheese and a bit more coriander. Leave off the cheese if you want to keep this soup Vegan.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Day 30 – Carrot, Ginger, & Miso Soup

day30

Carrots again !?! You might ask . . .

Yes, carrots again . . . this is what happens when you buy a big bag of any ingredient. Obviously, things are less expensive when you buy them in bulk, and if you want to be sustainable in your cooking, then it does not pay to let the extras go to waste. Soups are a great way to use up large amounts of vegetables that need cooking.

This recipe for Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup, from Dish magazine, combines the carrots with traditionally Japanese flavors. Miso is a Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, soybeans, salt and a particular fungus called kōjikin. The result is a thick paste, that is high is protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, used for sauces, spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with soup stock. Miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan, and is still widely used, both in traditional and modern Japanese cooking. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available, and different varieties of miso can be described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. I tend to always keep Miso in the fridge, as miso soup makes a great quick meal, and it can be used to add flavor and protein into many dishes, both in Japanese cuisine and more western modern vegetarian cooking.

Just a quick tip . . . if you have left over fresh ginger, pop it into the freezer. Once frozen it will last for months, and when used in cooking the frozen ginger thaws and has the same robust flavor as when it was fresh. This trick can also be used for saving chilli peppers.

Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup

adapted from: Dish Magazine

SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 cm or 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 kg or 2.2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, and sesame oil for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over a high heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened.

Add the carrots and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Add the miso paste and vegetable stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Blend until smooth, and then divide into bowls for serving.

Garnish with the spring onion, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Day 19 – Split Pea Soup with Crispy Onion Strings

Day19

Mmmm . . . Split Pea Soup . . . one of my favorites . . .

Although this recipe, from The Curvy Carrot, is different because instead of the just using split peas, it has other vegetables like carrot, celery, and potato to round out and add flavor to what can sometimes be a overwhelming pea flavored soup. Also, those crispy onion strings really make the dish adding just that nice bit of crunchy salty texture.  A friend who had dinner with me said it was “almost” like having crispy bits of bacon on top, making sure to use finger quotes when saying “almost”.

For the crispy onion strings, I used these little smoked red onions I got from the Matakana Markets on my trip up north over the weekend. I suspect the smokiness of the onions added to “almost” bacon quality of the onion strings. I love escaping from Auckland for the day and heading to any of the great markets in the fringe areas around Auckland. Only about an hour north of Auckland, Matakana is one of my favorite destinations for this, as the market is full of stalls with fun foods. There is usually live music of some sort, and if the weather is nice you can sit by the river and much on the treats you have just purchased.

In 1999 – 2000 I live in Sydney, Australia and worked as a waitress, hostess, bartender, dishwasher and kitchen hand at a cafe/jazz bar called Soup Plus. That Chef’s theory about making soup is that there can never be enough butter. The amount of butter he used to put in the soups was enough to make you second guess eating them. Yet the soups always tasted fantastic having this rich creamy texture that I can only assume came from the overdose of butter. This has stayed with me, and to this day I never make a soup without adding just a little bit of butter. Without butter this soup would be Vegan, but if you are not concerned about such things, trust me  . . . add the butter.

Split Pea Soup with Crispy Onion Strings

adapted from: The Curvy Carrot

MAKES: 8, 1 cup servings

INGREDIENTS

For the soup:

  • 1 pound/2 cups dried split green peas
  • 3 quarts/12 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced into 1/2-inch/10mm pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into 1/2-inch/10mm pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 50g/ 3 tablespoons butter, chopped into smaller pieces (this is optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the onion strings:

  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Smoked sea salt for final garnish, optional

In a large stock pot over high heat, bring the peas and water to a boil. Let the peas boil, uncovered, for two minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. (This will dissolve your peas)

After the hour is over, add the oil to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, leek, and thyme to the oil and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the stock pot followed by the bay leaves and potatoes, and butter (if you are using it) and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, about 2-3 hours.

Season to taste with salt and pepper

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Soups

Day 16 – Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Day16

Thank you for your patience Herbivores . . .

I was away up North Saturday night at a friend’s bach (hoilday house), for a quick little get away. I came back on Sunday, but ended up having to take a friend to the hospital and spent most of the night in the A&E. I promise normal posting will returning this week.

Even though I have not been posting I have still been cooking for my 100 Days Project, and going away with friends is the perfect opportunity to cook up a big group meal and try out some new recipes on the unsuspecting eaters.

French Onion Soup is winter classic, but it gains much of it’s traditional flavor from the use of beef stock making the soup not very vegetarian friendly.  I have always been curious about what this soup tastes like, especially since it is normally served in a bowl topped with gooey cheese melted across a bread layer. Anything with melted cheese on it usually gets my attention. So . . . when I came across this recipe from the amazing Jerry James Stone that promised to deliver on the flavor by using coffee to help give the soup a hearty earthy flavor vegetarian versions are normally missing, I have to admit I was intrigued.

Needless to say my meat eating friends were dubious when I told them I was making a soup with coffee in it, but all in all this version of French Onion Soup got the meat eaters thumbs up seal of approval.

French Onion Soup

adapted from: Jerry James Stone

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups mushroom stock (1 teaspoon of stock powder per cup of water)
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Bread slices (I used a whole wheat sourdough)
  • Sliced cheese (Emmentaler or Swiss)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, add the thinly sliced onions and some olive oil. You want just enough olive oil to lightly coat them.

Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the onions down, caramelizing them. Only stir them every five minutes. If they begin to burn instead of caramelizing, reduce the heat a bit. Caramelizing onions is really a balancing act between your burner and the quality of your stock pot.

Once the onions have been reduced, add the mushroom stock.

Add the thyme, white wine and sugar. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer and cook covered for about three hours, stirring occasionally.

While that simmers, brew a single cup of your favorite coffee. Add the cup of coffee to the soup in small batches, stir well and taste. You don’t want your soup to taste like coffee, you just want to enhance the flavor. Depending on how strong you brew yours, you might not use a full cup. Then salt and pepper the soup to taste.

For each serving, fill a ramekin or small bowl with a heaping amount of soup and place it in the large baking dish. You’ll need one bread slice for every serving, and place the bread on top of each filled ramekin or small bowl. Top with a slice of cheese or two (you can never have enough melted cheese).

Place the baking dish under the broiler for a few minutes just until cheese is melty and starting to brown.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups

Day 4 – Creamy Leek & Brussels Sprout Soup

Day4

WINTER IS COMING . . .

Yes, I am a Game of Thrones fan, and I am so gutted that after last night’s season finale that I have to wait to next April for another episode of this amazing show.  Besides that, it is getting colder here in New Zealand, and for me that means SOUP!!

I love soup . . . in all flavors and forms. Realistically I think I could eat soup every day and be happy. Some of you might be wondering “Why Brussels Sprouts?” . . . and to that, my answer is “Why Not Brussels Sprouts?”. These little veggies have gotten such a bad reputation from generations of housewives cooking all the flavor and texture out of them, and then serving them up to their poor families for dinner.

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. They contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber. Plus, they are believed to protect against colon cancer. These little mini cabbages have a lovely slightly spicey flavor that when cooked correctly can be a beautiful addition to any dish.

book2This recipe is adapted from the Great Tastes Vegetarian cook book, which was originally given to me as a present and it is filled with simple yet flavorful dishes that realistically are easy and quick to make. It took less than an hour (including prep time) to cook this soup, bake Lemon Pepper Bread, and make a quick Simple Raw Vegetable Salad with Dill Dressing as my dinner.

Creamy Leek and Brussels Sprout Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 300g brussel sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 750 mil (3 cups) vegetable stock
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream or milk

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan  over a medium high heat. Add the garlic and leek, cover and fry, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add brussels  sprouts, stir to combine, cover and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add the stock and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat, couver the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender/stick blender fitted with the chopping blade, blend soup for 25-30 seconds, or until nicely pureed into a thick consistency. Stir through the cream or milk, and gently reheat soup if necessary.

Sprinkle chopped chives, green onion on top for a pop of bright colour and fresh flavor.

ENJOY!!

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