Lentil Minestrone

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison is one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I owned. It was a gift in .. 1996, I think. And even now as a vegan I use it on a regular basis.

This time I cracked it open for a lentil soup variation, Lentil Minestrone. The only veganizing the recipe requires is to replace the parmesan with a vegan version, or just omit it. This soup straddled the line between a minestrone and a straight up lentil soup. It hinted at Italian seasoning without the obvious oregano and basil. I’m always a fan of something that cooks in one pot and can be a meal in a bowl. With lentils, pasta and a nice veggie assortment this one meets my meal in a bowl needs.

Lazy dumpling soup

This is only slightly less lazy than eating peanut butter out of a jar with a spoon. And of course I forgot to take a picture of the end result. That’s how lazy I was that day. But I do like to share good food that doesn’t take a bunch of prep so here ya go.

You’ve seen these right? They’re pretty cheap, less than a dollar certainly.

These are great to keep around for quick meals. Throw in some frozen veggies or tofu or shredded lettuce, cabbage, etc. and you can make it pretty filling.

I also keep these in the freezer for quick sides to Asian dishes. Trader Joe’s has some vegan ones, I think. You can usually find a few varieties at any Asian grocery that are vegan.

So, combine these things. Throw a few of these into your soup while it’s cooking. I tried it with the curry version and it was delicious!


Golden cauliflower dal soup

World Feast Vegan has been sitting around unused for too long. So I fixed that by trying this Golden Cauliflower Dal Soup. I always seem to have a glut of red lentils around here and needed a way to use some up. This seemed perfect.

The cauliflower is roasted. You can see the little char spots on it floating in the soup. It’s an extra step but gave it a nice edge over other similar soups I’ve made. I also added a sprinkle of asafoetida (hing). It was no chore to destroy every last bit of the leftovers as lunch.

Vegan banh mi: found

Our friends Taylor and Beth have been getting non-vegan banh mi at Lee’s Bakery for a while. They started asking about a vegan version and they said they could do that. Apparently, the menu changed about a week later.

Let’s look at that a little closer.

Yes, that says “vegan soup.” So you can get the tofu banh mi, just ask that mayo be left off, and a pho-like soup or a half sandwich and soup combo. We whipped together earth balance and veganaise and brought it with us for the sandwiches. I like the soup broth better than the Pho 96 one. It isn’t flavored with 5-spice powder. But it doesn’t have all the fake meats Pho 96 uses. Which is okay with me.

Our first visit, I did the half sandwich and soup combo. A half sandwich is about 6″ long.

And they have two sizes of the soup. This smaller one comes with the combo. Smaller, not small. Full of veggies, rice noodles, tofu, yuba, and sprinkled with green onions and fried onion. You also get a plate of sprouts and cilantro to add.

The combo is $6.95, a whole tofu banh mi sandwich is $3. I sure wish this was closer in town.

Harmony Vegetarian

Harmony Vegetarian has been around for a long time. I think I’ve been going here since I moved to Atlanta in 1998. They have an extensive menu with all sorts of fake meats. I’m a big fan of the Kung Pao Chicken, sometimes I’ll get one of the veggie fish dishes, but this night, hanging out with the awesome Saluzzis of Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe fame, I was craving soup. Right, so, I make soup at home and apparently haven’t had enough so I’ve got to eat it out too. Wait, I’m skipping ahead. First I started off with a Chinese Pizza (scallion pancake.) Harmony’s is full of extra-fried goodness. If someone told me they deep-fried these, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Now, back to that soup. Not just any soup, but Ham Noodle Soup. Smoky ham, broccoli, carrots and noodles in broth. In a huge bowl. I always have leftovers. Yay! Okay, so there’s a weird quirk about ordering this. You might think you’d find it under “soups” on the menu. You would be wrong. It’s in the back of the menu under “noodles.” There are other noodle soups there too if you aren’t into the ham.