Vegan Caramelized Onion Soup

Vegan French Onion Soup

Have slow cooker, will travel… or at least eat crazy-easy delicious stuff all the time!

Today, I sliced up some onions and let them sit with a little olive oil in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. About 10 minutes of labor later (i.e., stir in some broth and seasoning, and make homemade croutons), I had the easiest and most awesome caramelized onion soup on the planet! Vegan, even (thanks to no-beef broth and Daiya).

The recipe came from my latest obsession, the cookbook Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker. Luckily for you, the recipe can be found online via Google Books here: Caramelized Onion Soup.

Soup simmering in the crockpot

Soup simmering in the crockpot

Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons

Vegan Caramelized Onion Soup

Vegan Caramelized Onion Soup

Now, all I have to do is figure out why the cookbook author didn’t call this “French” Onion Soup….

My Fave Soup

Why is it that the best soups always seem to be a pain in the arse to make? Not so in this case, cowboy!

(Cowboy? What?)

This soup has nothing to do with cowboys. It’s hearty enough for a cowboy, though.

Really. I’m not kidding. Yes, it’s a veggie soup. Yes, it’s hearty. Bonus: it’s vegan! And it is incredibly easy to make.

First up: saute some garlic and leeks and/or onions in a little olive oil.

Saute garlic and leeks/onions.

Next, add broccoli, rolled oats (the original kind, not the instant kind), soy milk, and dill. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Broccoli soup in progress

Add salt and pepper to taste, then puree with an immersion blender. Voila!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

So filling. So good.

This recipe works great with asparagus, too. I suspect it would be great with any soup-happy vegetable. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a food processor or blender works too – just let the soup cool a bit before you process it, and make sure to have the steam vent open while blending.

Enjoy a soup-er meal!

Creamy Broccoli Soup (Vegan)

by Shelly

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 leek, chopped and 1 small onion, chopped
  • OR
  • 3 leeks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 6 cups broccoli (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Saute garlic and onions and/or leeks over medium heat in olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add broccoli, soy milk, oats, and dill. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Puree with an immersion blender.

4. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

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Going Green

So, it’s been about 2 weeks since I ran my last half marathon. That race was the culmination of a whole lot of chaos in my life: moving cross-country, starting a new (and thankfully awesome!) job, going to school for my MFA full time (12 credit hours, yikes!), and of course – another round of long-race training. Needless to say, upon completion of that race, I needed a break – so I took one. I took a break from running, and indulged in some holiday goodies in the form of way too much chocolate and pizza.

The result: I caught my first sickness in 2 years (ugh – still fighting it off), gained 5 pounds, and felt like absolute crap!

While I’m glad I took a break from all things healthy (I needed it mentally more than anything – I’ve been going at this healthy lifestyle thing for 2 years now!), it definitely demonstrated that feeling good is so much more enjoyable than eating junk food. I couldn’t wait till the new year to get back to eating right, so I started the day I got home from the holidays. I started yesterday. (The exercise is going to have to wait until I stop hacking up lungs).

Since my pre-planned junk food binge was pretty extreme (at least relatively speaking), I decided to embark upon a similarly relatively extreme detox: 5 days of only fruits and veggies.

I considered a juice fast, a la Jason Vale (the JuiceMaster), but decided I’d have a much more enjoyable experience with something like Reboot Your Life (a la Joe Cross, the guy that made the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead). I like Jason’s juice recipes more, though, so I’m basically drinking Jason’s juices and eating fruits and veggies as described in Joe’s Reboot Entry program.

So far, so good! I’m on day 2 of 5.

The first day, I was starving… All. The. Time. I was also pretty dehydrated from a week of holiday madness (and wine, ahem), and dehydration feels a lot like hunger, so I probably wasn’t actually hungry for food. Still, I felt like I went to bed hungry (booo).

Ironically, though, when I woke up this morning, I wasn’t hungry at all. I felt good (well, except for this plague of a cold I caught in Chicago over Christmas). I haven’t felt hungry today, and – knock on wood – my body seems to be fighting off this cold.

My basic plan is to:

  • drink juice concoctions and smoothies made with my Breville juicer (including a Vega protein shake each day).
  • eat fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), green soups, and green salads.
  • drink lots of water and some tea.

Now, that does mean I’m also eating salad dressing. Sorry – I can’t live without my daily giant bowl of greens, and to that end, I can’t live without salad dressing. I also used a dab of olive oil to saute the veggies I used in today’s soup recipe (below). But those are the only non-whole-foods, non-fruit-or-veggie things I’m eating for these 5 days.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to busting out that loaf of bread I baked last week or mashing together a great new veggie burger recipe… but that day will come soon enough, and I’m already feeling the positive effects of this junk food detox. Ahhh, to feel normal again!

In the spirit of going green, here’s the recipe for the soup I had for lunch! Super tasty. I love kale!

Green Veggie Soup

by Shelly

Prep Time: 10

Cook Time: 30

Keywords: soup/stew kale broccoli zucchini garlic

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head broccoli florets
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 4 leaves basil, plus 3 tbsp chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cups water

Instructions

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add broccoli, basil leaves, zucchini, spinach, salt, and pepper.

Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Add water and bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in chopped basil.

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