Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chunky Vegetable and Bean Soup with Avocado Toast

I am a big fan of soups and stews.  No wait, let me rephrase that. I am a huge fan of anything that requires one pot and overflowing with lots of flavor, and nutritious ingredients. This can very easily pass as a vegetarian soup depending on the broth you have on hand and ingredients can be modified to your liking. For example if you don’t have leeks you can use white onions, if you don’t want to use chard you can use kale or spinach and you don’t even have to add olives if you don’t wanna, etc. (But I personally recommend the olives because they provide a great umami kick!) When making this soup the world is your oyster! This recipe was lightly adapted from Real Simple magazines February 2014 issue.

Serves 6
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 organic leeks (white and green parts only) sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1 bunch Swiss chard, thick stems discarded and leaves sliced
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans of butter beans (I used a can of butter beans and a can of black beans. So feel free to use whatever beans you have at hand!)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
4 Kalamata olives chopped, plus a couple splashes of olive liquid
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt
pepper to taste
¼ cup nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft and add oregano. Add the Swiss chard, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 minutes. Add in the nutritional yeast, olives and parsley. Discard bay leaf and for a thicker soup transfer just under half the soup into the blender and puree. Transfer the puree into the pot with the remainder of the soup and stir. Serve immediately and garnish with parsley, nutritional yeast and/or Parmesan cheese.

Avocado Toast
Back in the day, I had a mild allergy to avocadoes but then one day it went away! Fast forward to now and you'll find me placing half an avocado in smoothies, salads or better yet smashed on sprouted grain toast. I like to think of avocado toast as a healthier and more vibrant update on butter with toast. 

Serves 2

2 slices of toasted sprouted grain bread
1 avocado, mashed
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sriracha or red pepper flakes
2 radishes, sliced thin
Toast bread. While bread is toasting removed pit of avocado and place in a small bowl and smash with fork.

First toast breads. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Place avocado flesh in a small bowl and mash with a fork or a small mortar and pestle; if you prefer a creamier consistency mash until smooth. Season the avocado mash with salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and sriracha. Place avocado spread onto two slices of bread and top with fresh radish.


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