Polenta Soup

This has become one of my favorite comfort foods! It’s my adaptation of this recipe from Serious Eats http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/vegan-polenta-kale-soup-miso-recipe.html I add tofu to it, both for protein and because I like how the texture goes with the other ingredients. I also add lemon juice and nutritional yeast to give it more of the cheesy flavor and texture that makes polenta exciting to me. I like the smoked paprika for heat and its characteristic smokiness, which I find goes well with anything I want to make “cheesier”, but of course, if that’s not your thing, leave it out and it will taste just fine.

4-6 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, chopped into bite-sized pieces
pinch of salt
1 tsp black pepper
10-12 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika or other chili powder of your choice (optional)
1 block (12 oz) extra firm tofu
2 quarts veg broth
1 cup polenta (coarse corn meal)
4-6 cups chopped kale (or other greens of your choice)
2 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 – 1 full cup nutritional yeast
6-8 scallions, diced
toasted sesame oil

Start heating about half the olive oil in your soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, stirring in the rest of the oil on top of them with the salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic (and paprika or chili powder if using). Crumble the block of tofu into the pot so it’s well-mushed. Add the broth. Turn the heat up to high to start the broth boiling. While it is heating up, slowly add the polenta, stirring as you add it. When the soup begins to boil, turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the kale (or other greens) and cover it back up for a few minutes. While that continues to cook, combine the miso, soy sauce, and 1/2 cup of the lemon juice. Add this to the pot and stir it in well. Once all these ingredients have cooked together a few more minutes, add the nutritional yeast and scallions. Drizzle in the toasted sesame oil.

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A Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

I don’t think I’ve ever posted a coconut curry noodle soup recipe. I can’t believe it! I make some variation of this all the time. Here is the one I made this evening. My “secret” for this kind of soup is not to overcook the veggies, adding them at the end so they retain their texture and flavor.

1-2 Tbsp veg oil
1 onion, diced
10-12 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger or 1 Tbsp ginger powder
1 heaping Tbsp red curry powder (I love the Nam Prik Krung Kaeng Ped from The Spice House)
a handful of cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans
4 cups veg broth
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2-3 cups green beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2-3 cups red cabbage, diced
a few handfuls of kale, chopped
up to 1 Tbsp sugar (if you’ve got unsweetened coconut milk and/or want to sweeten up your soup)
6 oz uncooked brown rice vermicelli noodles (you can use thicker noodles if you want, but if you do that, you might want to cook them before adding them to the soup)
lime juice, toasted sesame oil, nutritional yeast to taste (I added a little mushroom soy sauce too)

Heat the veg oil in your soup pot. Saute the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute. Add the curry powder and cilantro. Stir till fragrant. Add black beans. Let this all cook for a couple more minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. As the soup is heating, add green beans, cabbage, and kale in that order. If you’re adding sugar, add it now. When it reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the noodles. Note the package directions for how long to cook the noodles — most likely it will be about 3-4 minutes. When the noodles have reached the desired consistency, turn off the heat. Add your tasting ingredients as you wish.

[image: coconut curry noodle soup with green beans, red cabbage, and black beans]


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Peanut Butter Bok Choy Noodle Soup

I got some really good bok choy at an Asian market a few days ago. I had a dish I was planning to make with it today, but I’m missing a few key ingredients and wasn’t able to get them due to INCREDIBLE SNOWSTORM. I didn’t want it to go to waste, of course…and I really wanted soup. So, here is my soup du jour!

1 cup soy curls + 1 cup water + dash of soy sauce, or equivalent amount of tofu/seitan/whatever
2 Tbsp coconut oil
4-6 scallions, diced
8-12 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
2 cups veg broth
2 cups water
4oz rice vermicelli or ramen noodles (or whatever noodles you want)
1 head bok choy, chopped/shredded into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup peanut butter
nutritional yeast, sriracha, black pepper to taste

Rehydrate soy curls if that’s what you’re using (I like to do it with water + a little soy sauce, you do it how you like it.).
Melt coconut oil in your soup pot over medium heat. Add your rehydrated soy curls (or tofu/seitan/whatever) and saute them until they’re a little bit crispy. Add scallions, garlic, and ginger. Saute about 3 more minutes, then add the veg broth + water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Add noodles and bok choy, and let simmer another 5 minutes or so until the noodles and bok choy reach your desired tenderness. Combine vinegar, lime juice, and peanut butter. Stir into your soup. Add nutritional yeast, sriracha, and/or black pepper as desired.

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Coconut Miso Leek Soup

I made a big pot of this soup a couple days ago to bring over to a friend’s house. Happily, I made enough to leave a big container of it at my friend’s and still have a couple more bowls’ worth left for me at home!

2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
12-15 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a head of red cabbage (you can really use any veggies you want)
1 can black beans
1 Tbsp ginger powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
4 cups veg broth
3 Tbsp miso (I used white miso)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and/or hot sauce to taste
rice to serve

Melt the coconut oil in your soup pot over medium heat. Saute leeks and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add veggies, beans, and spices. Stir for another minute, then add 3 cups of the veg broth. Bring to a boil. Combine the remaining cup of veg broth with the miso while the pot begins to boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer (lowest setting), add the veg broth + miso mixture, cover the pot, and let it do its thing for about 20-25 minutes. Add lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and/or hot sauce as desired. Serve with rice.

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Soothing Miso-Fennel Soup

A nice, gentle soup for an upset tummy or just for soothing the soul.

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 bulb fennel, coarsely chopped
3-4 Tbsp ginger root, minced
10-15 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups veg broth
3-4 Tbsp miso (I used half red miso and half white miso)
cooked rice or grain of choice to serve (optional)

Melt coconut oil in soup pot. Saute onion and fennel for a few minutes, then add ginger and garlic and saute a few more minutes. Stir the miso into the veg broth, then add the mixture to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.

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Miso-Pumpkin Curry Noodle Soup

2 Tbsp coconut oil or other vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (I did long, thin slices)
12-15 cloves garlic, minced
large handful of cilantro, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp ginger
1 heaping Tbsp cumin
1 heaping Tbsp curry powder
1 heaping Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ghost pepper salt (optional! only do this if you love spicy food and/or enjoy pain! :D)
1 block extra-firm tofu (no need to press it, but you can if you want)
3-4 Tbsp miso paste (I used white miso), stirred into 1 cup water
2 additional cups water or veg broth
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can coconut milk
whatever veggies you have on hand (I used several handfuls of spinach and arugula)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
soy sauce and lime juice (to taste)
6-8oz (uncooked) noodles (I used brown rice udon) (or not, it doesn’t really NEED noodles, but they sure are great :D)

Melt the coconut oil in the bottom of your soup pot. Add the onions and turn the heat to medium-low, allowing them to caramelize over 5-7 minutes or so. Add garlic, spices, and cilantro. Turn the heat up slightly and stir for a minute or so, then crumble in the tofu. Let all that cook for a few minutes, then add the miso/water, veg broth, pumpkin, and coconut milk. If you’ve got veggies that will need to soften in the soup, add those now; if you’re using greens like I did, you can add them now if you want, or later if you prefer. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast (if using), soy sauce and lime juice, and noodles. Let the soup continue to simmer until the noodles reach your desired softness.


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Wishing Shawls: the pattern!

I’ve gotten a couple requests for the pattern for the wishing shawls. Here it is!

  1. ch 4. dc 3 into 1st ch (furthest from hook), ch 2, dc 4 into same ch.
  2. ch 3, turn. dc 3 between 1st and 2nd dc at the beginning of the row. dc3 in between each dc3 cluster from the previous row. at the midpoint (the ch2 space), dc3 + ch2 + dc3. dc3 in between each dc3 cluster from the previous row to the end of the row. dc4 between the last two dc from the previous row.

Repeat 2 till shawl is the desired size. I usually do about 42 rows unless someone requests a different size. To finish: ch1 at the end of the row, then sc across the long end (I use 5 sc across each set of 2 dc).

To increase the color variation in your shawls, use 3 different colorways so you can carry the yarn up at the end of each row instead of having to cut and weave every row. This is how I do that:

  1. Complete a row with Color A
  2. Join Color B in the last step of the final dc from the previous row.
  3. Begin the new row by ch3 with Color B.
  4. Flip the end of Color A up and around. Make your 3dc right up over it, so the end of Color A is pointing toward you from between the ch3 and the first 3dc of your row (which go in between the two dc at the end of your previous row)
  5. Complete a row with Color B.
  6. Follow steps 2-5 with Color B and C, joining C and flipping B.
  7. When you get to the end of the row with Color C, the end of Color A will be right there where you left it! Make the last dc of your Color C row using both A and C held together (it will look a little funny, but you’re going to sc over it at the end, so no one will notice!)
  8. Repeat steps 3-5, flipping C and continuing with A…and so on and so forth!

I’ve been using Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn for these shawls. It is a lovely soft yarn but it can be somewhat temperamental. It’s very clingy to work with, so if you have to frog your work, it will take a long time to do it…and it breaks a lot. I’ve gotten used to working with it, but it can be annoying if you’re expecting it to behave like other yarns.

You can check out some of the shawls I’ve made here! I sell them for $80 + shipping premade (prices may be higher for custom orders). https://www.facebook.com/choirqueeer/media_set?set=a.752896283300.1073741837.64900186&type=3

Feel free to use this pattern for whatever purpose you want. I am happy to offer it for free; please consider making a donation to Trans Lifeline if you feel so led.

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