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Make Your Own Stock, Please, for Exponentially More Delicious Soups!

Photo by Candice Stark

Nothing compares to the taste or healing power of a fresh soup stock created from pristine vegetables teeming with nutrients. If you thrill to the taste of fine food, then the boxed or canned stuff doesn’t quite cut it! I cannot tell you how many friends who have dined with us report that their rendition of my latest soup recipe didn’t measure up to what they tasted at our table. I always follow such a comment with the question, “did you make the soup stock or use a box?” Inevitably, to a person, they had skipped this vital step. This is my most unscientific research to emphasize that making fresh stock is always worth planning ahead and investing a few more minutes of your time!

This easy vegetable stock has a gentle flavor but it adds depth to any recipe. Please note that I specify Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt,

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The Last of the Summer Corn

If you enjoy sweet corn, I promise you’re going to love this new recipe for Vegan (or Vegetarian) Corn Chowder! Yes, I’m not quite done with corn yet, since local markets here in the Carolinas, and many parts of the country, are still featuring organic sweet corn on the cob.

 

This chowder is a perfect dish for these last hot days of summer because, like many summer soups, it’s lovely when served at room temperature, slightly chilled, or, if this is your preference, warmed just enough to take the chill off. However it’s served, this soup starts by being cooked, which honors the Ayurvedic preference of cooked foods over raw.

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Zucchini Soup in 20 Minutes or Less

If you like zucchini, you will love Creamy Zucchini Soup. This tasty vegan soup will help you make an easeful transition from summer to fall. And another thing about this dish that is great is that it takes no more than 20 minutes to make, start to finish!

During September and October, and even into November in some places, zucchini is being harvested before the first big frost. As the nights are getting cooler in many parts of the country, this warm, gingery vegetable soup is a perfect accompaniment to a veggie burger, a pasta entrée, or a sweet potato stuffed with black beans! As cold and flu season approaches, one

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Mushroom Lentil Soup

With so much cold and flu circulating in every public place at this time of year, I started eyeing the shiitake mushrooms at the grocery store today… and then invoked the Goddess Annapurna to help me create a delicious approach to mushroom soup. This Mushroom Lentil Soup is just that—a dish that’s definitely for mushroom lovers, as it boasts a hearty amount of the immune-boosting shiitakes.

The neutral-flavored red lentils, also known as masoor dal, give the soup substance as well as protein and iron. I use a mixture of traditional Ayurvedic spices (cumin and coriander to balance agni) along with classic American herbs (rosemary and sage), which you might expect to find in a mushroom bisque. You can add a couple of tablespoons or more of wine if you wish—just a little adds a nice dimension to the flavor.

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Asparagus and the Joys of Spring

I can hardly wait to share this recipe for Vegan Asparagus Soup with Cashew Cream as we celebrate the official start of spring! Asparagus are the true culinary heralds of spring, and I’ve been finding plentiful, gorgeous organic asparagus in our Raleigh markets.

My most loyal readers report how much they love—and how often they cook—the first Asparagus Soup recipe from Sacred & Delicious that I published on my blog in 2017. Nonetheless, I eagerly await annual inspiration for new and creative approaches to cooking nature’s springtime bounty, as you will see on the Sacred & Delicious BlogSo, my friends, you may want to be adventurous and try another delicious way of eating asparagus soup!

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10 Ways to Celebrate the Healing Power of Spices

Looking for a soup to warm you, body and soul? Then look no further than this Curried Cauliflower Soup, which serves as a great introduction to the healing power of spices.

After a week of frigid weather in North Carolina, we’re definitely craving hot soup for dinner. Although the cherry trees in our neighborhood were already starting to bloom, as they were apparently confused by a few weeks of 65 to 70 degrees!

To many readers, nothing says “hot” quite like “curry,” but if you don’t enjoy heavily spiced foods—because, like me, you avoid cayenne pepper—you may be pleasantly surprised how much you’ll love this cauliflower soup. Why? Because this recipe has built-in flexibility from delicately flavored to spicy hot. Although “curry” usually signals fiery hot, when I cook, I leave the cayenne out altogetherbut you can certainly add as much as you enjoy. A curry is simply any Indian-spiced dish with a mélange of spices that are cooked in water and fat to create a gravy, or in this case, a soup.

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Reviving Low-Budget Meals

Saturday’s warning of snow and ice overnight in central North Carolina prompted me to create a new hearty winter soup—Cannellini Cabbage Soup—for all of us to enjoy during the cold months of January and February. It’s substantial enough to serve as a one-pot meal, although it would be happy to be served over a favorite grain and to share the stage with some warm cornbread just out of the oven.

As the price of food has risen precipitously over the past year, eating vegan and vegetarian meals is not only a healthy choice but also great for your family budget.

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Balancing Summer Heat with Cooling Foods

Today’s recipe for Peanut Butter and Cucumber Soup is the perfect remedy for this week’s heat wave hitting the South. It’s going to be 100ºF today in Raleigh, North Carolina, and with the humidity heat index factored in, forecasters promise it will feel like a blazing 109º—too darn hot for June! This is an ideal time to make some fun dishes that satisfy your hunger without ever turning on a stove.

The central ingredient in this delicious soup is, of course, peanut butter—which is a bit heating to the metabolism, according to Ayurveda. For this reason, I balance the recipe with cooling foods: a seeded cucumber, cilantro, and mint. (Cilantro haters can just use more mint!)

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A Sweet & Savory Soup for Valentine’s Day

As you plan an alluring vegetarian or vegan meal for Valentine’s Day, I invite you to sample this unique Savory Sweet Potato Soup with Mushrooms & Chocolate Swirl!  I owe its inspiration to one of my very favorite and utterly charming movies: Chocolat.

In the movie, the main character, Vianne (Juliette Binoche) opens a chocolate shop that is considered too great a temptation in a conservative French village. If you watch the movie, you’ll see amazing delicacies that will have you lusting after chocolate! One of the movie’s more memorable and talked-about scenes features a chocolate-themed luncheon that Vianne hosts for a friend’s birthday in which chocolate sauces accompany every dish. Her menu features a large turkey and a pork roast, though I’ve often wondered what that meal might look like for a vegetarian feast. Today’s sweet and savory soup is my attempt at the first course!

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Easy Elegance for Valentine’s Day

This Sweet Potato Soup with Pecan Butter may be the easiest soup recipe I’ve ever created with the inspiration of Goddess Annapurna—and it may also be the most delicious! You can make it in about 20 minutes if you’re handy with a knife and have Easy Vegetable Soup Stock on hand. If not, you may want to plan to make the stock over the weekend before a Valentine’s dinner…or before any meal when you want to savor something a little different and quite exquisite.

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