Coconut Lentil Soup

My friend Lisa Dawn is an amazing Yogi, Wife, Mother and Cook! We were talking recently about simple, nutritious, delicious and fast vegan meals and she served me such an amazing soup that I had to replicate it at home! Sometimes I forget how simple meals can be so amazing delicious, fun and taste so complex! Thank you Lisa for Inspiring me and Reminding me of this! I had so much fun in the kitchen dancing, stirring, singing – I have been so busy lately and have been neglecting cooking; it was good to find my way back 🙂

p.s. this soup/stew is AMAZING!!! Michael and I were so excited to have such a big batch to eat all week at home.

Soup while using the immersion blender

Soup after immersion

Coconut Lentil Soup
inspired by Lisa Dawn

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (canola)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 cans coconut milk (I used 1 light and 1 regular)
  • 4 cups of water (+1-2 cups once the pasta is added)
  • 8 ounces of little pasta (I used Conchigliette)
  • Salt and White Pepper to taste (black pepper is fine, I just wanted to stay with the colors)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and lentils and continuous stirring for 1 minute more. 
  2. Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Reduce hear and simmer till lentils are cooked.
  3. Using an immersion blender or by pouring into a blender – puree the soup.
  4. Add the pasta into the soup and the additional 1-2 cups of water. Enjoy!

note: It came out super thick for me, but we enjoyed it that way. If you want more of a soup consistency add more water.

Natural Gourmet Institute Friday Night Dinner


Over the years I have taken several fabulous classes at Natural Gourmet Institute. They also offer a Friday Night Dinner at which the “Chef Instructors and students
of our Chef’s Training Program pour their expertise and enthusiasm into a three-course vegetarian dinner”. We wanted to check this out and this last Friday we got to go! It was great! They transformed the classrooms into communal tables with candles and flowers but the highlight of the evening was the meal! It was so deelish. Sorry, I did not take any pictures, but at least you will be able to drool over the menu 🙂 It is a great deal and was super fun. At the end of the meal the chefs come out to explain the meal and answer questions. It was great to meet them and to applaud the people who created such an amazing feast!

They change the menu every week so I know we will be going back soon enough. Our entire meal was vegan (yeah!) but even if there is a vegetarian part of the meal, there will always be a vegan alternative.

Check out the menu!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (this was so good! they had roasted the butternut before pureeing, so it gave it this great carmelized flavor)

Bitter Greens Salad with Pecans, Shallots,  Spicy, Smoky Dressing (of course I have had my fair share of salads, but this one was amazing! The smoky flavor was so different and deelish!)

Tempeh Scallopini with Portobello Risotto, Roasted Asparagus, Pepper Coulis (YUM!! The Risotto was made with a brown basmatti and was sooo creamy. The tempeh was insane and the asparagus were perfect!)

Maple Pecan Cookie, Vanilla Bean Sorbet, Caramel Crème, Strawberry Coulis (we loved the whole meal, but for me, dessert is typically the highlight and this one was amazing! the cookie was so sweet and mapley! ahhh! the vanilla bean sorbet was made out of young coconut and the caramel creme was divine!)

Can you tell that I enjoyed our meal?? I want to plan another night out there, who’s in??

Prix Fixe: $40.00 (includes tax)
6:30 p.m. seating
Reservations required: 212-645-5170 (ext. 0)

Spicy Vegan Gumbo

I have made a ton of soups lately (its BRRRRRR outside!!) and was in the mood for some more heartier fare. This did the trick 🙂 So hearty, spicy, nutritious AND delicious! YUM! This is a definite pleaser! This also freezes well, just in case you don’t need all 8 servings right away 😉 You can also substitute or add other veggies & greens to your liking.

Spicy Vegan Gumbo
Serves 8

4 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1  green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes (if you can find fire roasted, go with that)
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
1 package (16 ounces) chopped frozen okra
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice

  1. Combine the celery, carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor and pulse chop (do not purée).
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery mixture and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes (with juice), beans, spinach, cabbage, okra, parsley, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  3. While soup in simmering prepare rice. When the rice is almost done stir in with gumbo and simmer 10 minutes more all together.
  4. Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I have been craving and cooking so many soups lately because of these bitter cold wintery days! This one will be sure to warm you up but I love that it is also super low in fat! Michael and our friend Jesse were both pleasantly surprised and happy to find out how yummy low-fat soups can be. Enjoy this one! Yum!!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28-32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 2 bunches of broccoli, stems (peeled and chopped) and florets (chopped)
  • 1 – 2 cups shredded fat-free or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion and celery soften, 5 – 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth and broccoli;  bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender or pour into a blender and puree soup. If you want leave it a little chunky, but I preferred a smooth puree. If you used a standing blender, pour the puree back into the pot.
  4. Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Vegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto

This soup was sooo good! Thanks Bryanna! It was super easy and super deelish! I love artichokes and the taste that lingers in your mouth after you have eaten them. This soup is just divine and super creamy and Vegan! Yum! Highly recommend! Bryanna also listed the nutrition stats, which is always helpful!

Plus I just found out this is the coldest winter in NYC since 1977. No wonder I am craving soups lately!

Vegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto
adapted from Vegan Feast Kitchen
Servings: 4

2 tablespoon vegan margarine or olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh crimini or white mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons white unbleached flour
6 cups lite soy milk or other nondairy milk
2 tablespoons No-Chicken Bouillon/Soup Base
2/ 14 oz. cans artichokes hearts in water, well-drained and chopped
(OR use two 9 oz. pckgs. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained and chopped)
2 tablespoons non-dairy basil pesto (I made my own but you can just use a packaged brand )
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Melt the vegan margarine or heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the mushrooms and shallot and stir-cook over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and stir-cook for 1 minute.
  3. Vigorously stir in the nondairy milk and bouillon and let it come to a boil, stirring. Cook 1 minute, stirring consistently.
  4. Add the artichokes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or Carefully pour into a blender and puree there.
  6. If you are using an external blender pour back into the pot.
  7. Add the pesto and stir to combine.
  8. Serve and Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 285.1 calories; 27% calories from fat; 9.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 3578.0mg sodium; 1272.9mg potassium; 44.1g carbohydrates; 12.9g fiber; 14.5g sugar; 31.2g net carbs; 22.3g protein; 5.6 points.

Check out the steam coming off the top of the soup!

Roasted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Pear Soup

MMM! Super creamy and tasty soup! It is soooo cold outside! There is nothing better in this weather than a deelish bowl of warm soup. And this one is super good and really low-fat. The flavors also undeniable wintertime, love that! I used sour cream for garnish to mix in, but you don’t have to. Actually, since there was lots of leftovers, I have been enjoying this so much without the addition of the sour cream and it is so good! This soup is super delightful on its own 🙂 Make this one soon, it is sure to impress.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Pear Soup
6-8 servings

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and ground black pepper
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned well and chopped
2 Bosc pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup port
7 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (from can)
1 large sprig fresh thyme plus some for garnish
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup reduced-fat or vegan sour cream,  (optional)
3 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, combine the squash and carrots with the oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, then add the leeks and pears. Toss together and continue to roast for another 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately add the wine and port. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bits and vegetable from the pan. Carefully, transfer the vegetables mixture to a large pot. Pour in the broth and add the thyme sprig, grated ginger and pumpkin puree, bringing the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the thyme sprig and puree the soup with an immeserion blender or standing blender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Dollop with sour cream, if desired, and sprinkle with crystallized ginger and chopped thyme leaves.

RAW Red Pepper Curry Soup

This is another recipe that I have made many times and just LOVE!! Sorry for not sharing before today! I can’t say it enough, but there is nothing easier to make than a raw soup. All you do is take the ingredients and throw in your blender. You are eating a deelish and healthy meal in under 5 minutes 🙂

This soup is super creamy with the perfect flavor. Enjoy 🙂 Plus the recipe originated from the Glamour Girl of Raw, Carol Alt! You must check out her book. So fabulous!

RAW Red Pepper Curry Soup
Adapted from Carol Alt’s “The Raw 50” and TheSunnyRawKitchen
3-4 Servings

1 ½ large red or yellow bell pepper
1 apple, peeled
1 small avocado or ½ large one
½ cup basil leaves
¼ cup walnuts
1 green onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
Salt, to taste
Dash cayenne
2 cups water, or until desired consistency is reached

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

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