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Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Another easy and cheap recipe. Serve topped, if desired, with some roasted asparagus and croutons. Serves two.

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper or sweet pointed pepper, small dice
1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
200g baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. In a non-stick or stainless steel pan over a very low heat, sweat the garlic, adding a couple of drops of water if needed, until fragrant but not coloured.
2. Add the red pepper, chickpeas, vinegar, tomatoes, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Raise the heat to medium low and add the broth. Stir, and then add handfuls of spinach to wilt.
4. Season, and serve.

Spinach and Basil Orzo Stew

A 20-minute easy meal with a side of sweet roasted tomatoes; you’ll be glad you made this when you see how little washing-up there is. It serves 2-3.

Ingredients

250g cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 yellow pepper, medium dice
2 tsp Italian herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, fine dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
250g orzo
3 cups vegetable stock
1 x 400g can tomatoes
100g baby spinach
½ tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
15 g basil leaves, torn

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet. Toss 125g of the tomatoes and yellow pepper in 1 tbsp vegetable broth, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of Italian herbs. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the yellow peppers after 15 minutes, and roast the tomatoes for 5 minutes more.
2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion over a medium-low heat for 2 minutes until just softened. Add the garlic for 30 seconds more, and deglaze the pot with about 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth. Add the orzo, the rest of the broth, the remaining de-vined tomatoes, the canned tomatoes, the sugar, and the balsamic vinegar, and simmer 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked.
3. Stir in the spinach, yellow pepper, and basil until the spinach is wilted. Serve with the roasted tomatoes.

Tomato, Spinach, and Bean Soup

This speedy, budget soup is chunky and nutritious. It serves 8 and is ready in under 15 minutes.

Ingredients

1 onion, medium dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cans chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar or maple syrup
1 tbsp vinegar of choice (balsamic is preferable, but apple cider, white wine, red wine, etc. will also work)
2 large handfuls spinach, chopped
1 x 400g can beans of choice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 generous bunch basil
More freshly ground black pepper, to serve

Method

1. Sauté the onion over a medium low heat in a large soup pot until lightly coloured (2-3 minutes). Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of the stock and stir to deglaze the pot.
2. Add the rest of the stock, tomatoes, purée, sweetener, vinegar (if using), spinach, beans, and the 1/2 tsp black pepper.
3. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the chopped basil and season with black pepper to taste.

Loaded Minestrone

A real treat for those who love their vegetables, this soup is packed with all kinds of delicious textures and flavours. If you can’t find the packaged quick-cook minestrone mix, feel free to add your own mix of whole grains, pasta, and split peas or lentils, or just small pasta shapes, adjusting the cooking time accordingly. Serves 8.

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, medium dice
250g green beans, chopped
250g mushrooms, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
500g passata
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can cannellini beans, or any beans of choice
250g quick-cook minestrone mix
1.5 l vegetable stock
1tsp each dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, dried parsley
Fresh parsley to serve (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large handful of spinach per serving

Method

1. In a large, preheated soup pot over a medium-low heat, add the onion, celery and carrots, and sauté 3 minutes, adding a little water if the vegetables start to stick. Add the mushrooms and green beans, and sauté for 3 minutes more. Add the garlic for another 30 seconds.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the salt and pepper, fresh parsley, and spinach. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. To serve, place a large handful of spinach into the bottom of each bowl and top with the soup. Garnish with fresh parsley, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and a bit of salt if required.

Tomato, artichoke drop soup with brown rice and kale.

A warm and filling soup. The tapioca binds the artichoke and tofu into a nice, lightly chewy drop dumpling. This makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

For the soup
1/4 cup long-grain brown rice
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups tomato passata (or tomato puree)
1/4 cup scallions, minced, with about 4″ green reserved
for garnish
1T garlic
1/2T dried basil, rubbed
1t dried oregano, rubbed
1/2t dried thyme, rubbed
1T lemon juice
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups green curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2T nutritional yeast
1/2 cup carrots, matchsticked (I use purple carrots)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

For the artichokes
120g extra firm, high quality tofu
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2t dried ground turmeric
1/2t baking powder
1/4 cup cold water

Optional: Replace the basil, oregano, and thyme with a tablespoon of “Italian herbs” mix or herbes de Provence.

Method

In a large pan with a lid, toast the rice for 2-3 minutes on medium high. Add the stock, return to a simmer, cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the rice is soft. Add the passata, herbs and spices to the soup. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

While the soup finishes, puree the artichoke ingredients until smooth. Uncover the soup and increase the heat to medium to return the soup to a light boil. Scoop about 1T artichoke mixture onto a spoon and drop into the soup. Repeat (quickly) until all of the mixture has been dropped.

Simmer for another 2 minutes (be sure not to overcook). Add the kale and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Add the carrots, reserving a few for garnish if you like. Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out, garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and serve.

Mushroom, pepper and potato soup

A simple, colourful and light soup. A good appetizer or a very light lunch, this makes a small bowl for 4 or good sized bowl for 2.

Ingredients

2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
4 large cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced, 1/8″
1T smoked paprika
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
3 small white potatoes, 1/4″ dice (about 1 cup)
1/2T white vinegar
2T tamari
3 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
1 red shepherd pepper (or red bell, see the note below)
1 green bell pepper (a few very thin slices reserved for garnish)
2T nutritional yeast
1/2T arrowroot flour dissolved in 2T cold water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Add lentils, chickpeas, cubed tofu, dumplings or pasta for a more filling soup. Red bell pepper will work as an alternative to the red shepherd, but it won’t be as juicy. Add a few tablespoons tomato passata and/or a couple tablespoons of cashew butter or olive oil to add body and flavour. Add some finely chopped figs and/or sun-dried tomatoes to broaden out the flavour. Add some leafy greens for additional colour and nutrition. Slowcook if you prefer.

Method

Warm a large pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the water, scallions and sea salt. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and paprika.

Increase heat to medium high and saute for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and tamari and deglaze the pan. Add the stock and kombu.

Return the pan to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, uncover and add the peppers. Increase heat to medium low and simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered or so until the potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the nutritional yeast. Stirring continuously, add the arrowroot mixture slowly. Stir until it thickens (should be immediately). Season to taste.

To plate, ladle out into bowls. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and thin slices of green pepper. Sprinkle with some additional nutritional yeast if you like and serve.