Peppery Green Lentil Soup w/ Seitan Sausage

Lentil Soup

Apparently I’ve been on a pepper kick lately and this latest batch of soup definitely has a kick to it. ‘Nuff said.


  • 1 1/2 cups of French green lentils
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 yellow onions chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 oz of tomato paste
  • 8 cups (or a little more) veggie stock
  • 2 tbsp of butcher’s pepper (or less if you want less zang!)
  • 2-3 tbsp of fresh thyme minced
  • 1/2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried Herbs de Provence
  • 1 package of seitan, italian sausage flavor crumbled
  • salt

Start by putting the lentils in a large bowl and then cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes then drain and rinse; set aside. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sweat until translucent. Add the carrots, fennel, celery, and pepper. Cook until carrots and celery begin to soften. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and let reduce until it is nearly completely evaporated (about 10 minutes). Add the veggie stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce to heat a simmer and let cook for about 45 minutes. Add the fresh thyme, dried herbs, and salt to taste.

In a skillet heat the remaining olive oil up over medium heat. Add the seitan and cook until completely cooked through. We kept the seitan separate until we were ready to eat because we didn’t want the seitan to absorb too much of the broth. Serve the soup in a bowl, add some seitan, and chow down.

by Ryan | 03.12.11 | Recipes | No Comments »

Roasted tomato orzo soup

Roasted Tomato Orzo Soup

Val was craving soup, and I was feeling inspired to invent something in the kitchen, the orzo had been sitting in the pantry and needed to be used, so this soup was created.


  • 2+ dozen tomatoes on the vine (we used 27, many were small)
  • 1 package of orzo
  • 2 tbsp buttery spread (Earth Balance)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tbsp butcher’s pepper
  • salt
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese, optional

Begin by roasting the tomatoes in the oven at 450 degrees. It will take about 35-40 minutes to roast them, or until the skin starts to peel and brown here and there. Make sure to flip them half way through. Once finished, set aside to cool so that you can handle them. Once cooled enough to handle, remove the core and most of the seeds place in a food processor and puree.

In a pot, cook the orzo following the instructions on the package. Set aside when finished.

Heat a large soup pot to medium heat. Add the buttery spread and melt it. Add the garlic and sweat for a few minutes, about 3-4. Add the celery, onions, and carrots, and cook until the celery and carrots are cooked through and begin to be tender (they don’t need to be completely soft). Add the wine and bring to a boil. Let it boil and reduce, about 10 minutes. Once the wine has reduced add the tomato puree and the veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5- 10 minutes. Add the orzo, fresh thyme, butcher’s pepper, and salt to your taste. Serve and enjoy.The pepper is key, it adds a nice zang to the soup. Top with a little grated parmesan cheese, chow down.

One quick note, the orzo will absorb a fair amount of the liquid over time. If you want it more broth-y, just add some more veggie stock and tomato puree. This soup is best on a relaxing weekend and eaten while inside the comforts of a blanket fort.

Roasted Tomato Orzo Soup

by Ryan | 02.27.11 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

Ryan’s Pepper Medley Soup with Special Guest Star Corn

Roasted Pepper Soup

Too often we make soup where potatoes or tomatoes are the star (main ingredient) of the soup. I am now trying to buck this trend. A couple weeks ago we made a corn chowder where the star of the party was, you guessed it, corn. So today I wanted to make a soup where peppers are the star. We cook with peppers all the fracking time (yes, we’ve been watching Battle Star Galactica lately), but they are supporting cast members. They bring the heat, or a nice sweetness to things, but rarely do they get the spotlight. I will no longer stand for this; so with a medley of roasted peppers and some from a can this soup was born:


  • 5 red bell peppers
  • 1 poblano
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 tbsp pureed canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 fennel root diced
  • 1 large purple onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • olive oil (about a tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 potato peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • salt & pepper to your taste

Start by roasting the peppers. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil or an oil of your choosing. Place the peppers (bell, poblano, and jalapeño) in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes flipping once or twice. When finished, they should have nice brown, burnt looking spots on them and the skin slightly puffed, place them in a paper bag or two or three and let cool and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove from the bag once you can touch them and remove the as much of the skin and seeds from the peppers and chop. Set aside.

Heat a soup pot to medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions, garlic, and fennel. Cook until onions are translucent and fennel has softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the veggie stock and potato. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender (a fork should go through them easily). Reduce heat to a low simmer add the peppers and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove the chipotle peppers from the sauce put them in a food processor and puree them. Reduce the heat of the soup to low, add about two slightly heaping tablespoons of the chipotle puree to the pot (or if you are afraid of heat, add just a tablespoon, as our friend’s have mentioned before we cook with a bit of a southwestern palate). With an immersion blender puree the soup to a texture of your liking. Add the thyme, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, and corn to the pot. Let everything cook on low for a little longer (or at least until the corn is cooked through). Once finished, serve a healthy portion in a bowl and chow down.

Roasted Pepper Soup

by Ryan | 02.12.11 | Recipes | No Comments »

Roasted Pepper and Corn Chowder


It’s times like today, in which I am busy fighting a sinus infection, that I crave a spicy bowl of comfort soup. The spiciness helps open up the nasal passages, the warmth of the soup soothes the sore throat from post-nasal drip, and in general a bowl of warm soup on a cold day is your stomach’s equivalent of a hug. So that I don’t drone on about the gory details of sinus infection, because I know that is the best thing to talk about when discussing food, here are the ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of butter or whipped non-hydrogenated oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1 purple onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of celery including the leaves diced
  • 1 small jalapeño diced, seeds optional (add seeds if you want it spicier)
  • 1 russet potato peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 cups veggie stock
  • 2 cups yellow corn kernels, frozen or fresh, we just used 1 package of frozen corn kernels which was just over 2 cups
  • 2 red bell peppers (roasted and chopped)
  • 2 poblano peppers (roasted and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp butcher’s pepper
  • 1 tsp of Miracle Blend, or as our friend’s call it Beezy’s Salt
  • olive oil or vegetable oil
  • additional salt to your taste

First get the peppers roasting. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet coat the peppers with the oil of your choice. Place in oven for about 25 minutes or until the peppers start getting browned and the skin is puffy. Rotate 2-3 times to ensure even roasting. You may need to take the poblanos out earlier because they are a bit smaller in size. Once they are roasted, place in a paper bag to steam and cool a bit for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the bag, remove the skins and seeds, and chop. Set aside for later. You can start this before you start making the soup and let them roast as you do the rest to speed up the process of things.

In a large soup pot heat the butter over medium heat. Once melted and heated, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, corn, potato, and jalapeño in and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove about 2+ cups of the soup and place in a blender to puree, or just use an immersion blender and blend to a consistency of your liking. Add in the roasted peppers, herbs and seasonings, salt and pepper. Give it a good stirring until the ingredients are well mixed. If you need to season a bit more feel free to season to your taste liking. Serve and enjoy.

by Ryan | 01.09.11 | Recipes | 2 Comments »

Minestrone à la Irreverent Vegan


I had a hankering for some delicious Minestrone & I remembered that our friends Mark & Amy, of Irreverent Vegan, had a recipe for just what I was looking for on their blog – Olive Garden-style Minestrone. So we gathered all the ingredients up & cooked up a huge pot of delicious soup for ourselves which we’ll be enjoying all week long; it’s gotten pretty cold here this past week & some warm, hearty soup is definitely in order! We made so much soup that we had plenty left over to share with friends; there’s only so much room left in our fridge, with the Thanksgiving leftovers still taking up some room in there, after all.

We made some slight alterations, but the final product was pretty much the same as what they have listed on their blog for this soup. We added more celery, larger quantities of some of the vegetables, extra spices, lots of black pepper, and instead of using water we just used vegetable stock for all the liquid added here.

by Valerie | 11.28.10 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

Potato soup with chives & faux-rizo

Potato Soup

Soup Ingredients:
bunch of chives diced
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 large purple onion diced
4 large russet potatoes, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces
7 cups of vegetable stock
2 tbsp of butter (or Earth Balance for vegans)
1 tbsp thyme
lots of coarsely ground pepper
and a fair amount of sea salt

Spicy faux-rizo:
(yes we know they make soy-rizo, but we didn’t want to go to the store so we decided to make some with tempeh, you can also probably use seitan)
1 package of tempeh
2 tbsp of smoked chili powder
1/2 tsp of cayenne
1-2 tbsp of Ryan’s chipotle taco seasoning (a mix of onion powder, chipotle powder, salt, garlic, chili powder, white pepper, oregano, etc.)
2+ tbsp of chipotle infused olive oil

For the faux-rizo:
Heat oil up in pan over medium heat. Add in the tempeh, let it start to brown. Toss in all of the other ingredients once it starts to brown. If you need more oil toss it in (or you can actually pre-mix all of the powders with a bit of water and then add it all in). Heat until cooked all the way through.

For the soup:
Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once heated up add in the onions and garlic. Sweat the onions and garlic until translucent-ish. Add in the stock, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling add in the potatoes and cook until soft enough that a fork can easily go through. Once potatoes are cooked, reduce heat to low, mash or blend the soup or both. We mash the potatoes first with a potato masher and then blend with our immersion blender. Once blended to a consistency of you liking add in the chives, thyme, and salt and pepper to your liking (We recommend lots of salt and pepper), mix well.

Top the soup with some faux-rizo and enjoy this delicious meal.

Potato Soup

by Ryan | 11.09.10 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

While visiting with our friends Abigail and Steven on Friday evening, we got to talking about gardening (which Abigail and Steven are quite the experts on!) and harvesting vegetables from the garden as the growing season here in Michigan is winding down. Soups and stews are a great way to use up a surplus of vegetables, especially if you took the time & effort to grow those vegetables yourself, and there’s a wonderful, spicy, sweet potato soup recipe in Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food cookbook that we thought Abigail and Steven would love so we loaned them the book. This, of course, had me craving this soup and thinking that we should really make this recipe again for ourselves and as I wasn’t sure I could find the exact recipe for this online, Ryan improvised & created his own version of this spicy, a little sweet, and all delicious sweet potato soup.

3-4 medium to large sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 can of chipotles in adobo sauce (pureed)
1 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons of raw honey
1 large purple onion
1 cup white wine
6 cups of vegetable stock
1-2 tbsp of butter (we use Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon (give or take) of nutmeg
salt to taste

Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add in the onions and sweat them until they begin to turn transparent. Add the white wine, bring to boil and let cook until almost all of the wine is boiled off. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the sweet potatoes and cook until soft—basically a mash potato consistency, so that you can stick a fork in them easily. Using a blender puree the mixture of sweet potatoes, stock, and onions, reduce the heat to low. We actually use a hand masher first to mash the mixture and then use an immersion blender. In a food processor, puree the can of chipotles. Add to the sweet potatoes about 2 tablespoons or a little more of the chipotle puree (this really depends on how hot you want things, 2 leaves a nice heat on the tongue without burning your taste buds); also, you can save the remaining puree for those who like it really hot or as a garnish in the bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir, let cook a few minutes longer. Salt to taste and serve yourself a bowl.

by Valerie | 10.03.10 | Recipes | 2 Comments »

Spicy Red Vegan Chili (aka. Val’s Favorite)

picture of chili

Fall is here and so are great surpluses of peppers, zucchini, and squash. As the air begins to chill this chili, chocked full of those fall things I just mentioned and some other spicy morsels, will warm you up.

1 red onion diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 red bell peppers diced
2 medium yellow squash diced
1 large zucchini diced
3 jalapeños minced (throw some seeds in there for some extra heat)
3-4 tablespoons of chili powder (I mix a smoked chili powder and something called La Mesa Chili powder)
1-2 teaspoons of chipotle powder
1 large can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon or more to sweat the onions and garlic
salt and pepper to taste

This is a fairly easy thing to make it really is mostly a lot of chopping and stirring. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Begin by sweating the onions and garlic, about 5 mins. Once they start to begin to become a little clear toss in the chili powder and let cook a few more minutes. Add in the peppers (red and jalapeño), cook they begin to get soft, about 4-5 mins. Add in the squash and zucchini and continue to cook until squash is tender. Add in the diced tomatoes, bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10-15 mins stirring often. Add in the corn and beans, reduce the heat and let stew for a while. The longer the better. Add salt and pepper to your taste liking. It will need salt as this will help with the acidity of the tomatoes, use some good kosher or sea salt, it will make you happy.

You can fire roast your own tomatoes and corn if you want, I’ve been meaning to try that myself so that I can say it is all from scratch, if you manage to try it let me know. Also feel free to toss in some fresh oregano if you have it. It will add a nice extra flavor.

by Ryan | 09.26.10 | Recipes | 2 Comments »

Tomato Tortilla Soup

Tomato Tortilla Soup

There’s this fabulous recipe (it’s almost like this one I’ve linked to here) for spicy Tomato Tortilla Soup that we use from Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food cookbook that I can’t get enough of & since it’s a cool, rainy day here in lovely Ann Arbor, MI, I thought it sounded great & I had quite a craving for it – so we made some for dinner…now I remember why I love this soup so much all over again; it’s so delicious & spicy & warm & it kicks Campbell’s “mmm-mmm good” butt any day! Top with tortilla strips, serve with homemade guacamole, & enjoy!

On a side note, Bobby Flay was my one celebrity sighting – he was doing a book signing here in town & we stood in line & had him sign one of his new cookbooks & I have to say that I felt a little bit like Jennifer Grey’s character, Baby, in Dirty Dancing when she said, ” I carried a watermelon” to Patrick Swayze; he asked me what our favorite recipe was in his cookbooks & after a bit of an awkward, star-struck delay on my part, this soup was definitely on my list.

by Valerie | 09.11.10 | Recipes | No Comments »

Soup, Wine, & Flowers

We had the pleasure of attending the Souper Supper & Wine Tasting at Pot & Box tonight. The soup was delicious, the wine was delightful, the flowers were beautiful, & the profits were given to Food Gatherers.

I walked away with a full & happy tummy & couldn’t help but leave with some cut roses as well; they really are stunning! I picked up some antique looking, dusty pink roses & also some that are two-tone gold & orange-red.

It was a night filled with many of my favorite things: soup, wine, flowers, & a date with my wonderful husband.

by Valerie | 02.11.10 | Around town, For Funsies | 4 Comments »

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