Sweet Tomato Soup

If you want a really simple lunch, this Sweet Tomato Soup will remind you of those comforting canned tomato soups that you were served as a child–but with fewer heavily refined ingredients. This makes 2 large bowls.

Ingredients:
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
400 ml vegetable broth
2 cans (400g each) tomatoes in juice
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat a large stainless steel pan over a medium-low heat.
2. Add the onions and sauté until lightly coloured. Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds.
3. Deglaze the pan with a splash of the broth. Then add the tomatoes and the rest of the broth.
4. Stir in the sugar, and crumble in the dried herbs between your finger and thumb.
5. Allow to simmer, uncovered, on a very low heat for about 10 minutes. Season to taste, and serve.

Lemony Cauliflower Soup

Creamy and chunky, creating wonderful textural contrasts, and with subtle undertones of lemon balanced out by the herbs and pepper, this soup is a real winner and would be perfect for entertaining. This recipe serves 4-6 depending on whether it’s being eaten as a starter or a main.

Ingredients:
2 white onions, finely chopped
650g white mushrooms, quartered
1.5 litres vegetable broth
1 large potato, peeled and in bite-size dice
1 tsp dried thyme*
1 tsp dried basil*
1 head cauliflower, in small florets
1 lemon, rind and zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red chilli flakes and parsley (optional)

*Crumbling dried herbs between your fingers before adding them to a dish will help to release more of their aromatic oils.

Directions:
1. Preheat a large soup pot over a medium low heat. Add the onion and mushroom, and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid.
2. Add the vegetable broth, potato, and herbs. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the cauliflower, cover the soup once again, and simmer for 7 minutes more.
4. Stir through the lemon zest and juice.
5. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth (optional). Return to the pot to reheat, and season to taste.
6. Serve garnished with red chilli flakes and parsley, and a little extra lemon zest, if desired.

Two-Tone Pepper Soup

This fun talking-point for guests is simple to make, and great fun to eat. It serves 4, and you can choose whatever colour peppers you like. We’ve chosen green and yellow for the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 green bell peppers, roughly chopped
4 yellow bell peppers, roughly chopped
1.2-1.6l vegetable broth

Directions:
1. Preheat two saucepans over medium-low heat. Divide the onions and celery between the two and sauté until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for 15 seconds.
2. Add the green peppers to one saucepan and the yellow peppers to the other. Add enough broth to cover, and bring to boil. Simmer 15 minutes.
3. Transfer the ingredients of the saucepan containing the yellow peppers to a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a jug. Repeat with the saucepan containing the green peppers, and transfer to a separate jug.
4. Pour from both jugs into a bowl at the same time and at the same speed to keep the colours of the soup separate. Season to taste, and enjoy.

Waste-Not Want-Not Soup

Don’t throw those vegetable scraps away. You can slow-simmer them for a flavourful vegetable broth, or you can turn them into a hearty soup that’s very easy on the budget.
Ingredients:
2 medium onions, medium chopped
3 parsnips, medium dice
3 carrots, medium dice
1 small turnip or swede, medium dice
Stems from a bunch kale, chopped
Cauliflower leaves, chopped
Outer leaves of a savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Stem of 1 broccoli head, chopped
Inner stalks and leaves of celery, chopped
2 potatoes, medium dice
2 l vegetable broth
2 tsp turmeric
1.5 cups soup mix
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1) Sauté the onion in a large soup pot until lightly coloured.
2) Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking.
3) Serve.

Creamy Polenta with Red Wine Mushrooms

A comforting and rich dish, this Creamy Polenta with Red Wine Mushrooms is great for entertaining, but easy enough for a decadent-tasting meal for two.

Ingredients:
For the Polenta:
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups soy milk
1 tbsp herbes de provence, crumbled
1 cup polenta (or cornmeal)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Mushrooms:
1 red onion, finely sliced
350g mushrooms, sliced (I used 250g chestnut and 100g shiitake)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup suitable-for-vegans red wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1 heaped tsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed to a smooth paste with a little cold water
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Add the vegetable broth and soy milk to a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the herbes de provence. Sprinkle in the polenta, whisking vigorously as you go (there’s no need for the water to be boiling or even warm to start polenta).
2. As soon as the polenta starts to spit, reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally until the polenta starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Add the nutritional yeast, if using, and season to taste.
3. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and the onion until the liquid released from the mushrooms is reabsorbed. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds before stirring in the wine. Mix in the tomato purée and thyme and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cornflour mixture and allow to thicken. Season with black pepper.
4. Serve the mushrooms on top of the polenta, garnished with a little parsley if desired.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup: Budget Recipe

This soup costs €0.18 per portion and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. The recipe is very easy, but we’ve written it out in lots of detail in case you’re new to cooking. We’ve used a blender to make it smooth, but it’s equally delicious chunky.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 l vegetable broth*
2 carrots, washed, topped and tailed, and sliced (no need to peel!)
80g red lentils, picked over to make sure there’s no grit
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:
1. Heat a stainless steel saucepan over a medium low heat until hot. Reduce the heat slightly, add the onions and keep stirring until the onions start to take on a little colour and release their aroma (about 2 minutes). Turn the heat right down to low before adding the garlic for about 30 seconds.
2. Add the broth, carrots, and red lentils. Crumble the herbs between your finger and thumb, if desired, so that they release more of their fragrance.
3. Raise the heat to high until bubbles start appearing around the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking.
4. Add the smoked paprika, and stir.
5. At this point, you can blend the soup with an immersion (stick) blender or in a jug blender, following the instructions that came with your blender.
6. Serve, and enjoy.

Coconut-Molasses Chickpeas and Cauliflower

The flavour profile of this dish is inspired by Indonesian cuisine, where molasses or brown sugar are frequently used in ketjap manis. Molasses is quite high in iron and other minerals, which makes it a much healthier choice than many other sweeteners.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp red chilli paste
1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp lime pickle
2 cups cauliflower, in small florets (mine were pre-roasted, but the recipe below is a quicker version)
1 head pak choy, chopped
1 can chickpeas
4 spring onions, chopped

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over a low heat, whisk together the coconut milk, red chilli paste, garlic-ginger paste, molasses, turmeric, soy sauce, and lime pickle.
  2. Add the cauliflower, chickpeas, and the hard ends of the pak choy. Allow to simmer over a low heat for 7 minutes.
  3. Add the green leafy parts of the pak choy and the spring onions. Cover and simmer again for another 3 minutes, or until the cauliflower is the desired tenderness.
  4. Serve.

Coconut Cream of Mushroom Soup

Thick and full of umami notes, this recipe is incredibly quick and quite inexpensive to make.

Ingredients

2 small onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
650g brown mushrooms (I used chestnut and portobello), roughly chopped
10g dried mushrooms, ground fine in a blender or coffee grinder (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups coconut milk
Fresh parsley, to garnish

Directions

1. In a large soup pan over a medium-low heat, cook the onions, garlic, and mushrooms until the mushrooms release their juices.
2. Add the mushroom powder, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and coconut milk, reserving a little of the coconut milk for garnish.
3. Cover, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are softened.
4. Garnish with the reserved coconut milk and parsley.

Celeriac and Chickpea Soup with Spinach-Miso Purée

This extremely thick, yet very creamy, soup  makes for a filling and delicious lunch.

Ingredients:

For the soup

1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 celeriac, peeled and diced roughly
1 can chickpeas
300g white cabbage, chopped roughly
1 can coconut milk
500ml vegetable broth
Pinch white pepper
2 tsp onion salt
2 tsp dried basil

For the purée

50g spinach
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp soy (or other all-plant) milk
1 tbsp white or yellow miso

To garnish

Suitable-for-vegans crispy salad onions, if desired

Directions:

1. Sauté the onion in a large soup pan over a medium-low heat until it starts to soften, but don’t let it take on much colour. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic for about a minute.
2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the celeriac is tender.
3. Meanwhile, make the spinach purée by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
4. Rinse the blender, blend the soup in it, return to the pan, and season to taste.
5. Serve the soup topped with some of the spinach-miso purée, and garnish with crispy onions, if desired.

Sri Lankan-style Romano Bean Curry

This curry is moderately spicy (but can be easily adjusted) and very bright in flavour. It takes under 15 minutes to make and serves 2.

Romano beans are long, flat green beans, but you can substitute them for French green beans, sugar snap peas, mangetout, etc.

Ingredients

1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black onion seeds
6 curry leaves
400ml can coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch red chilli flakes
2 tsp hot or medium curry powder
Pinch ground cardamom
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch suitable-for-vegans sugar
400g Romano beans, topped, tailed, and sliced on the diagonal into 2cm lengths

Directions

  1. In a large, stainless steel pan over a medium-low heat, sauté the onions until starting to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the mustard seeds, black onion seeds, and curry powder. Cook until the seeds start to turn fragrant.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered for 8 minutes.
  4. Season with salt to taste. Serve with rice, if desired.