Yippee! My Italian Wedding Soup recipe from the Daily Vegan Lunch project is up for an award.

Woohoo! My Italian Wedding Soup from Daily Vegan Lunch recipe is up for some sort of prize for which you can vote. Help me win a toaster oven by voting (just kidding, I’m not sure what the prize is)
It’s number 112 I think. The black bowls that are red on the inside are mine.
easy italian recipes

Daily Vegan Lunch for 29 December, 2013: Mini Meatball Barley Italian Wedding Soup

vegan mini meatball soup vegan mini meatball soup
The fresh wheat bread with was made by my friend Yoshie from the natto post.  It was delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons oil
5 cloves garlic
2 cups onion, chopped
1.5 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1/4 cup vegan baco bits
3/4 cup tomato paste OR 1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon basil
1 cup pearl barley
Up to 1 tablespoon of salt or to taste
1/2 package of Gimme Lean refrigerated vegan sausage, rolled into balls

DIRECTIONS:

In a very large stockpot on medium heat, fry garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add carrots, baco bits, sage, basil, and celery and allow it to stir-fry for about 5 minutes more.  Add ten cups of water.  Turn heat to high.  Bring the soup to a boil and then turn heat to medium-high, allowing it to simmer at a low boil for 20 – 30 minutes or until the largest piece of carrot is fork tender.

Stir in the cup of pearl barley.  It should take about 20 – 30 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile, roll Gimme Lean into balls and fry them at medium-high heat in a pan in a small amount of oil or in a tablespoon of water until they are brown.  You can also use purchased frozen veggie meatballs, cut up veggie sausage, or a can (do not fry) of rinsed, cooked beans such as navy beans or kidney beans.

Stir in the tomato paste or sauce.

You might have noticed at this point that this soup does not use broth.  When you consider that all vegetable broth is pretty much the strained water from boiling vegetables a long time, you can see why I didn’t worry about using actual broth.  Add salt, little by little, until the soup tastes good, up to a tablespoon.

Add the fried meatballs or unfried beans to the soup.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 December: Japanese Hot Pot

vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot
I
NGREDIENTS:

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (1.5 cups reconstituted)
2 carrots (approximately 2 cups) peeled and chopped roughly
1.5 cups leeks, chopped
3 kombu seaweed squares
3 cups water
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups cooked noodles — I used soba
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups tofu

DIRECTIONS:

Cook soba noodles or any other kind of long, thin noodles according to package directions, set aside.  You can use anything from tofu shirataki to ramen noodles to thin spaghetti or no noodles at all, it just depends on what you like.

Drain the tofu and cut it into thick slices.  Blot the slices with a paper towel or a clean towel to absorb excess water.  Cut the tofu into cubes.  In a medium sized pan that can withstand high heat (I used a cast iron pan) heat one tablespoon oil until it smokes.  Add tofu to the pan.  Toss the tofu around until it browns on all sides, about two minutes.  Take the tofu off heat and set it aside.

Soak the whole dried shiitakes in enough water to cover them (they will float) for 15 minutes in a bowl.  Reserve the soaking water.  In a medium sized pot, combine carrots, kombu squares, mushrooms and their soaking water, and three cups of water.  Let it come to a boil and then reduce to medium.  Allow it to simmer until carrots are slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  Add leeks, soy sauce, and sake.  Heat through, about one minute, then take off the heat.

Serve sukiyaki by ladling all the separate ingredients into bowls — carrots, leeks, mushrooms, tofu cubes, noodles — and then spooning broth over the whole thing.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 22 December, 2013: Seitan and Two Potato Soup

seitan soup

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups seitan, tofu, tempeh, or veggie meat, chopped finely
2 cups peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
2 cups peeled, chopped potatoes
1.5 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS:

In the bottom of a large stockpot, sauté garlic and onions in oil or in 1/4 cup of water to make a fat-free version.  Add broth, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, and seitan.  Bring to a boil on high heat; this will take anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes.  Once it boils, turn the stove down to medium heat and simmer until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 December, 2013: Lemon Bok Choy, Tofu, and Mushrooms

lemon bok choi, mushrooms, and tofu IMG_3851
INGREDIENTS:

3 mini bok choys or one normal sized bok choy
1/2 cup dried black fungus, also known as cloud ear mushrooms
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed

4 cups vegetable broth
Reserved mushroom soaking water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons) minced
Half a lemon’s juice or to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon rind (I used the same lemon I juiced)

DIRECTIONS:

Wash the bok choy and pre-soak the shiitake and cloud ear mushrooms in water until they expand, about fifteen minutes.  Once the mushrooms expand, cut the cloud ears in half and de-stem the shiitakes, slicing them into smaller pieces.  Cut the tofu into cubes.

Prepare the broth.  Combine veggie broth (you can also just use water and salt), soy sauce, and garlic in a large pot.  Add the bok choys, cloud ears, shiitakes, and their soaking water to the pot.  Bring to a soft boil at medium high heat and immediately turn down to medium.  Allow to simmer for about three minutes.  Add the tofu cubes.

Use a lemon zester or the fine side of a grater to make lemon zest (the yellow outside skin is the zest).  Squeeze the lemon and stir the strained juice into the pot.

Serve over cooked rice, ladling the broth over it and sprinkling everything with a little lemon zest.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 December, 2013: Curried Squash Soup

vegan squash soupvegan squash soup1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, which we will roast
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Roast the squash.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Poke holes in squash with a fork (you can also use an acorn squash or even a pumpkin or kabocha if you are so inclined, whatever!) lay the squash on a cookie sheet or foil, and let it bake for one hour.  Take the squash out, cut it in half, and allow it to cool for at least a half hour.  Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting: there’s nothing nicer than squash seeds roasted in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes in a scant tablespoon of oil with a sprinkle of salt.  Or I suppose you could plant them for more squashes.  Anyway… the squash skin will now come off easily and you can chop the skinless squash in cubes.  Set it aside and throw away the skins.

In a large stock pot, cook the onion and garlic in oil on medium-high heat until onion is translucent.  Add the optional sugar, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Add the cooked squash cubes and broth.  Transfer to a blender (in batches if necessary) and blend until extremely smooth.  Add salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 December, 2013: Seitan Fried Wonton Soup

You do not have to fry these wontons.  I kind of wish I had not fried them because this would have been a fat-free soup except for the optional dash of sesame oil.

vegan wonton dumpling soup IMG_3848

MAKING WONTONS:
1.Take the wonton wrapper (watch out because some brands contain eggs.  These are the simplest kind from the Asian grocery store.  They have three ingredients: water, flour, and salt) and dab water on its four sides.
vegan wonton dumpling soup seitan

 

2. Fold wonton in half and pinch open sides shut.

IMG_3843

3. Fold one corner over.

IMG_3844

 

4. Now fold the other side to make a little envelope.

IMG_3845

 

Voila!IMG_3846
INGREDIENTS:

1/2 a package of wonton wrappers, about 25 – 30 squares

FOR THE SEITAN FILLING:

1.5 cups cooked seitan (I used yesterday’s recipe!)
2 legs celery, roughly chopped, about 1.5 cups
3 green onions, roughly chopped, about 1 cup
1 tablespoon soy sauce plus 1 teaspoon sugar OR 1.5 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce

FOR THE SOUP:

8 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Dash sesame oil
3 cups bok choy or baby bok choy (or any other choy, like ong choy, just buy what’s on sale) chopped
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms and water for soaking (save water to add to soup)

1 cup oil for frying wontons and a small, high-heat proof pan, I use cast-iron

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the mushrooms in at least 1 cup of water until they expand fully, about fifteen minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine seitan, celery, green onion, soy sauce and sugar OR vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce.  Pulse the blender until the ingredients are finely chopped and almost pasty.

Now make the wontons as you see in the photos above.  Optionally fry them in oil by bringing the oil to the smoking point in a shallow cast iron pan and dropping them in for only about 20 seconds each side.  Get them out of the oil quickly or they will burn.

To make the soup, combine broth, sliced and de-stemmed shiitake mushrooms and their soaking water, soy sauce, and bok choy in a large pot on medium-high heat until choy starts to wilt slightly.
Add the dumplings.  If you did not pre-fry the dumplings, allow the dumplings to simmer in the soup for about 5 minutes.  Finish with a dash of sesame oil.