Curried Cauliflower Soup (vegan, gluten free)

It may be obvious that I am a big fan of soup… This is especially true during the long, cold month of January. January in Chicago typically includes subzero temperatures, bone chilling wind, and the occasional snowstorm. I’ve lived in Chicago for 16 years so all of these unexpected twists and turns in the weather are something I have grown very accustomed to. Some warm gear and fast walking will keep you from being stuck at home. I refuse to let the weather keep me from enjoying playoff games, award shows, and most importantly, restaurant week! One good thing about winter is coming home to a nice, big bowl of homemade soup. Soup can get boring so I wanted to make this one spicy. The coconut, cumin, and coriander go really well together and remind me of the flavors of South Asia. I topped mine with basil but cilantro or Thai basil would also be great with this dish. The cauliflower makes it filling and adds fiber. I used light coconut milk to make it creamy without adding too much extra fat and calories. The spices in this recipe will warm and energize you on a cold day. The turmeric adds a wonderful golden color and has a calming effect. This soup is easy on the stomach, low calorie, vegan, and gluten free. It’s also really easy to make and requires only one pot. It’s one of my favorites and I will definitely be making it all winter long! Let me know if you make it by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on social media.

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Curried Cauliflower Soup (vegan, gluten free)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (1 small head of cauliflower)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice (juice of 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh basil (optional garnish – may substitute cilantro or Thai basil)

Directions

Heat 1 tbs coconut oil on medium heat in a medium to large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook onions, turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, and cayenne pepper on medium heat for about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Add cauliflower and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, salt, and pepper and simmer on low to medium heat for about 15-17 minutes or until cauliflower is soft and falls apart easily. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Carefully transfer entire mixture to a high powered blender such as Vitamix and puree until smooth. Or puree in saucepan with an immersion blender until smooth. May store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Makes 4 cups.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per cup: 115 cal

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White Bean Soup with Quinoa, Swiss Chard, and Radishes

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This simple and delicious soup is made with mostly whole food ingredients. It’s colorful, warming, and refreshing with the flavors of thyme, ginger, and lemon. It’s perfect for a healthy, easy weeknight dinner. You can serve it with crusty bread or toast but it’s great on its own too. This recipe is versatile so you can easily modify it depending on what you have in your fridge. It would also be great with parsnips, kale, or even green lentils instead of Cannellini beans (white beans). The beans and quinoa are a great source of protein and fiber while the nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12 (especially for those who are strictly plant based). This is a great dish to make after Thanksgiving because it’s light yet filling. I could have this soup every night of the week! Let me know how it turns out by tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on social media!

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White Bean Soup with Quinoa, Swiss Chard, and Radishes

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (a little less than 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1, 15 oz can of Cannellini beans (white beans)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 small red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups roughly chopped Swiss chard (center veins removed)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2-3 tbs lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (zest of 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions

Cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup water until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Set quinoa aside. Drain and rinse Cannelini beans and set aside. Heat oil in a medium/large stockpot or dutch oven on medium heat. Cook onions until translucent – about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add thyme, ginger, salt, and pepper and cook for an additional minute. Add carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add broth and water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add radishes, beans, and quinoa and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Next add Swiss chard and nutritional yeast and simmer for 1 minute until chard is just wilted. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutritional Information:

  • Approximate Calories for 1/6 soup: 150.3 cal

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Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

The season for soup is finally here! There’s nothing better than homemade soup. Store bought soup just isn’t the same. Plus, it’s often high in sodium and preservatives. This recipe has 10 simple ingredients and can be puréed either with an immersion blender or using a high powered blender like Vitamix. You’ll get a smoother texture using a high a powered blender. I’ve always thought that this soup is better on day 2 or 3. It’s also quite delicious with crusty bread or a big green salad – or both! The fragrance of the sage and nutmeg is enticing and the deep, golden color comes from the carrot.  The classic and simple combination of sage and butternut squash is one my favorites. It’s also very filling yet low in calories. This soup is great to make ahead on a Sunday. You can prep your butternut squash a few days in advance to cut down on prep time the day you decide to cook it. As always, let me know how it turns out by tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

  • Servings: 7 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs butternut squash, roughly chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp chopped sage, plus 1 tsp chopped sage to garnish

Directions

Cook onions in olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot on medium heat, about 3 minutes. Next add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Next, add butter, carrot, and butternut squash and cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Next add vegetable broth, salt, and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes or until squash is soft all the way through. Next, add sage and nutmeg and allow to simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a high powered blender such as Vitamix and puree until smooth. You may need to do this several cups at a time depending how much your blender holds. Or puree soup with an immersion blender. Garnish with chopped sage and serve. May be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information: Makes 7 cups

  • Approximate Calories Per Cup: 110 cal