Got a blender? Then you can make super tasty vegan soup in a flash. “Blender” soups are nutritious, delicious and satisfying. I love to serve these smooth textured, gourmet style creations as the first course to an elegant meal or as the main event for a casual light-lunch or summertime supper. Replacing the cream in smooth textured soups is really quite easy. Instead of cream I like to use unsweetened vegan milk as a base, enhanced by either: steamed potatoes, soft tofu, raw cashews or ripe avocado.
For a hot and hearty soup that tastes like it has a rich cream base, start with steamed veggies such as; carrots, potatoes, parsnips and/or butternut squash. Add some chilled, unsweetened non-dairy milk, a bit of veggie broth and a dash of your preferred blend of herbs and spices. Pour it all into a food processor or blender. Blend it together on medium/low speed, until the soup is thick and smooth in texture. Place the blended soup into a soup pot over medium heat, bring it to a light simmer and you are ready to dish up creamy style soup in about twenty minutes! Serve this soup in pretty bowls with whole grain crackers or flatbread on the side. By the way, you can prepare this soup the day before a dinner party. After the soup has been blended together, pour it into a bowl, cover it tightly and refrigerate it overnight. Then all you have to do is pour it into a soup pot and heat it up before serving. Yum.
In the height of summer, I like to serve chilled blender soups, such as a fresh-based gazpacho. To make this easy, chilled soup, place some fresh chopped tomatoes, a bit of red-wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, a few fresh garlic cloves, a dash of extra-virgin olive oil, dash of ground cayenne pepper and some cilantro in a blender. Add a few other fresh veggies that you love, such as: green or red peppers, cucumbers, or sweet onions to make a custom gazpacho that will please your palate. Blend it all together just until it is slightly chunky. There you have it: zesty gazpacho to please even the most discerning summertime visitor.
On countless occasions I have received raves when I have served blender soups to my family and friends. These velvety creations are quick to prepare, chic to serve and a joy to eat. Below are just a few of my favorites. So let’s get blending!
Chilled Cucumber and Dill Soup (Makes 4 servings)
This creamy tasting, chilled soup is quick to prepare in advance and the refreshing taste of the cucumber combines with the tofu, replacing the heavy cream that is often called for in this type of soup. I usually serve this lovely soup as a first course for a late spring or summertime meal. I inevitably hear the query, “There really is no cream in this soup?” As a hearty option, serve it in edible “Bread Bowls” for the perfect warm weather entrée.
- 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped (reserve 4 thin slices for garnish)
- 12 ounces soft or silken organic tofu, drained and cubed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (save a bit for garnish)
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vegan brown sugar
- Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Blend on medium until the texture is very thick and “creamy.”
- Place it in a tightly covered container and chill the soup for at least four hours.
- About one hour before serving, chill 4 decorative soup bowls, by placing them in the refrigerator.
- To serve, ladle the soup into the bowls and garnish with one cucumber slice topped with a sprinkle of dried or fresh dill.
Note: To serve this soup as a main entrée, consider serving it in edible “Bread Bowls.” To make each bowl, purchase a very small loaf of crusty organic bread. Slice a 1 to 2 inch layer off the top of the bread and scoop out the inside of the loaf, to form a “bowl.” Fill it with soup and serve!
Creamy Carrot Bisque (Makes 4 to 6 servings)
This stunning bisque is a colorful and elegant soup to serve to guests and family alike. Simple to prepare, this soup can be served year ‘round, as it is delicious served cold too! The vegetables are blended to produce a thick, smooth pureed “bisque style” soup that is low in calories, high in nutrition and full of flavor. I like to make this soup a day in advance and store it tightly covered in my refrigerator. Before re-heating, add more liquid, to taste, if the soup becomes too thick. Delish!
- 5 large carrots, cleaned, peeled, and rough chopped
- 3 white potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and rough chopped
- 1 to 2 cups cold, unsweetened soy or rice milk
- 1 to 2 cups cold vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon reduced sodium tamari
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
- 1 teaspoon organic brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional, to garnish)
- Steam the carrots and potatoes in a vegetable steamer over medium heat, until they are soft, but not mushy.
- Once cooked, put the carrots and potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
- Add 1 cup of the cold soymilk, 1 cup of the cold vegetable broth, and the seasonings.
- Pour half of the mixture into a blender and process it until smooth. Repeat.
- Pour the soup into a medium pot. Add more liquid (broth or soymilk) if the soup seems too thick.
- Cook over medium/low heat, stirring often, until the soup is heated through.
- Serve the soup garnished with a sprinkle of herbs or a generous sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Image Source: Warren Jefferson, Book Publishing Company