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Archive for the tag “winter”

Creamy potato soup.

First of all, I apologize for being absent for so long!  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here, but that just means I have plenty of delicious recipes to catch up on posting, including the delicious Thanksgiving dinner we were able to put together.  🙂  But for now, we’ll start with a creamy potato soup because nothing says cozy and warm in a winter wonderland like yummy, decadent potato soup and…it’s SNOWING in Beijing!  We had our first snow of the winter today with several more days ahead in the forecast, so if you’re like us, go ahead and make this pot of soup, grab a glass of wine and some good movies, and hunker down.

Mmm mmm, good!

Start by chopping fresh garlic cloves into very thin little slices and throw those in your big soup pot with the teeniest dash of oil.  As those cook, you can throw in chopped potatoes, carrots and celery with a little onion.  While those are sauteing, add in soy milk (or plain non-dairy milk of your choosing) and bring it to a boil.  We used about 1000 mL of soy milk along with 2-3 cups of water to fill up our soup pot.  The Chinese ‘soya milk’ that we use to cook with here is pretty thick, so the water didn’t dilute it much.  However, if your milk is a bit thinner, you might want to add more milk and less water depending on how creamy you want your soup to be.

As that simmers, add in salt, black pepper, a sprinkling of paprika and a few pinches of thyme.  We also threw in a little ground garlic powder as well as a can of cooked yellow corn, which I really enjoyed.  Let all of that simmer for a while on the stove as the flavors mix, and when the potatoes get a little soft, dig in!

This soup was really indulgent-feeling and hit the spot for something creamy when there are few creamy vegan substitutes available here in Beijing.  Feel free to garnish with a little dash of basil if you want.  We hope this one treats you well this winter!  Enjoy!  🙂

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Mmm, mmm, chilly. I mean, chili.

Our awesome new winter hats!

You know what I mean!  Ok, it’s cold here.  Not nearly as bad as it’s going to be in a month or so, but it’s cold.  And what’s worse is it’s colder inside than out sometimes.  Our apartment is like a freezer and we still have 12 more days to go before the government turns the heat back on.  Gotta love China.  Our solution to keeping warm?  Buying wine in bulk.  (Seriously, the wine store folks know us now.  I think we’d be embarrassed if we weren’t so proud.)  Oh yeah, and making delicious, hearty, slightly spicy, vegan chili.  Hey, I’d say it’s worth a try even if you’re not searching for warmth.

To start, we used some of our favorite “ground beef” tofu (you can use protein crumbles if you’re in America — I like Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles) with chopped onions, fresh garlic, chopped red pepper (ours were a little hot) and ground black pepper.  Throw these things in the bottom of your soup pot with a tiny splash of oil to begin to saute.  Once these are cooking, add some water to the mix; we filled our pot about 1/3 full with water.  Be careful not to use too much water though, or you’ll be having soup instead of chili.

Then, add in the rest of your veggies.  We used one can of whole kernel corn, one can of red kidney beans, one can of stewed tomatoes, one whole carrot (chopped), three whole, medium-sized potatoes (chopped), about half a large zucchini, and one whole chopped tomato.  After that, pour in your hot sauce.  We used about 1/4 of our bottle, which gave a mild spice to our chili.  However, if you are sensitive to spice you can leave it out or add less, and of course if you are a hot sauce champion, feel free to add until smoke comes out of your ears.

Mmm, mmm, chili.

Let all of this come to a nice boil on the stove and cover with your soup pot lid.  If you feel like you have too much water in yours still, you can let your chili boil uncovered to cook down some of the water.

After this has simmered a while, feel free to dig in!  We had ours with a couple of slices of our favorite baguette and it was exactly what we needed to satisfy our hunger and keep us warm.  🙂

Sidenote: I apologize for the lack of photos on this one; all of the ‘during’ photos refused to upload. I’ll try again later, but at least you have the finished product!

Best winter soup, ever.

Winter here is scarier than 1930s gangsters chasing us.

We’re preparing to hunker down and hibernate for winter here in Beijing, so we thought it was time for a delicious, hearty winter soup.  A twist on Italian wedding/lentil soup, this creation kicks with flavor and sticks to your bones to boot, so as the temperatures drop and we barricade ourselves inside for the next four months, we hope you’ll enjoy this soup as much as we did.

We ended up not using the spinach, but it could have been a nice addition.

As with most of our dishes, you can throw in whatever veggies you have lying around.  On this day, we happened to have celery, carrots, (a mildly hot) red pepper, lentils and cauliflower.  We wanted potatoes or something starchy to anchor this soup, but we were out of potatoes so we decided the cauliflower would be a nice substitute.  That is, until about halfway through the prep I went sniffing around the refrigerator to discover some cooked, undressed, rotini pasta noodles that I had made and not used all of earlier in the week.  So naturally, in they went.

The ingredients lineup.

To start, throw the chopped celery, carrots, and red pepper into your soup pot with a half a tablespoon of oil to begin to saute.  After about 3 to 5 minutes, add 4 cups of water (our soup pot is small — until tonight when we go to Ikea!!) with 1.5-2 tablespoons of instant veggie stock mix (or 1 veggie bullion cube).  Then throw in one tablespoon ground black pepper, salt to taste, two to three tablespoons of tomato paste, two table spoons of ground garlic powder and a sprinkle of thyme.  Then add one can of cooked lentils and your cauliflower.

This will all need to come to a boil, so let cook for about 30 minutes.  After it comes to a boil, add in the cooked pasta and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

This soup is so savory and filling, it needs no garnish.  Just a big spoon.  So sit down by the fireplace (or room of candles since we have no fireplace), turn on your favorite movie, and enjoy!

YUM.

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