Year-round Carrot Soup

Carrots aren’t just side dish components anymore! They takes center stage in this velvety carrot soup.

100_8437I have always loved carrots. Probably more than I should.

The addiction started at a young age, when my mom made us eat some baby carrots with our dinner. Sometimes we’d have to eat our age in carrots, so when I was eight I had to eat eight baby carrots. The addiction wasn’t too bad back then. However, fast forward a few years and I was all about the healthy snacks. Enter carrots and hummus. You could find me in the kitchen after school, chowing down on an entire bag of carrots and some hummus. Yup, an entire bag of baby carrots. They’re small, convenient, low-calorie, and full of nutrients! Washed, peeled, straight-from-the-bag baby carrots are kind of my chip replacement since they are just as convenient as chips but much healthier.

100_8412Actually, I eat SO MANY carrots that the bottoms of my feet are ORANGE, and my hands have an orange hue! It’s because carrots contain so much beta carotene, an orange pigment (more info about that here if you’re curious).

We were talking about beta carotene in my anatomy class this past fall and my teacher challenged us to eat so much pumpkin (in pie) during Thanksgiving that we’d turn orange. I raised my hand and was like, “I’m already orange.” Then I whipped off my boots and showed the class the bottoms of my feet. An awkward moment for Ellie, but whatevs. People thought it was cool. I think it’s pretty rad too. 😉

If you really want, I can show you a picture, but I figured you might lose your appetite if you saw a picture of my feet. 😉 **Is anyone else orange because they eat so many orange vegetables?**100_8392I’ve also been eating carrot baked goods (like these peanut butter carrot muffins) as well as carrot dishes for dinner for a while. One of my favorite carrot dishes? This carrot soup. 

My mom has been making this soup ever since I can remember. It’s super easy to make, plus it feeds the family for a few days- and who doesn’t love leftovers!?

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Basically, I love carrots and therefore I love this soup. Even if you don’t like carrots, you’ll probably like this soup because of the other flavors in it, like onion and pepper. Make it a meal with a side salad, some quinoa, or a big slice (or two) of rustic, artisan bread (like this one which is in the picture). This soup is a great way to take advantage of the upcoming carrot season. I know I’ll be making this soup in a few weeks when the carrots in my garden are ready!

Give this pretty simple soup a try and let me know what you think!

Also, I know it’s summer, BUT this is a year-round soup as it’s light and can be served hot or cold. Plus, it’s frickin’ freezing here in Michigan even though it’s the end of June. Can you say cold front much?

Carrot Soup

vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie

Serves 8

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and loosely chopped (no need to wash, peel, or chop baby carrots though)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt’
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • fresh herbs, such as parsley, to serve (I used cilantro since it was the only fresh herb I had on hand)

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add in carrots, onion, and potato. Sauté for several minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add in the sugar. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add veggie broth and bring the pot to a boil. Then, lower the heat and let the pot simmer for another 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. I used my Vitamix, but a “regular” (not high speed) blender works too! Serve the soup right away- pour it into bowls and garnish with herbs and more salt and pepper (if desired). The rest of the soup can be poured in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for the next few days. Reheated, it’s a perfect quick and nutritious lunch or dinner!

Stay warm and have a great day!

xx Ellie

“Cream” of Asparagus Soup

I’m baaaaaaaaack! And with a delicious soup recipe to share!

I was in Atlanta, Georgia, USA for a week-long mission trip! My youth group and I made and distributed food to homeless people in Atlanta. We also gardened and ripped out 1970s orange shag carpeting and church pews to make room for new ones! We did vacation-y stuff on the trip too, like bowling, going to a Braves baseball game, and watching a backyard concert. It was a great trip, but I’m happy to be back home.

I’m also happy to be eating more veggies, since they were in short supply on the trip. One way I love to eat veggies is in soup. Even in the summer.

Since it’s asparagus season (or the tail-end of it), why not make asparagus soup?

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My best friend and I whipped some up and invited her mom over for an impromptu dinner party. My friend’s mom described the soup as “delicious.” My dad went back for seconds, which is when I KNOW the recipe is a hit!

This soup is so…

  • fresh
  • creamy (after all, it is “cream” of asparagus!)
  • rich
  • flavorful
  • healthy

It’s a great way to enjoy all that fresh asparagus!

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“Cream” of Asparagus Soup

serves 4-6

takes ~40 minutes to make

vegan-ized from this recipe 

  • 2 pounds of green asparagus
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegan margarine or olive oil
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I love to use almond milk)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used at least 1 Tbsp of each)
  • garlic powder,
  1. Put 2-3 tablespoons vegan margarine (or olive oil) and the chopped onion into a soup pot (I used a 4 quart pot) over medium heat. Stir until the onion is softened.
  2. Chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Add the chopped asparagus and some salt and pepper to the onion medley. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the vegetable broth to the pot, cover the pot, and let the mixture simmer (low heat) for 15-20 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender (soft).
  4. When the asparagus is tender, use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a creamy soup. To use the immersion blender: plug it in, put it in the soup pot, turn it on, and stir. The soup should turn creamy after using the blender for a few minutes. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in batches using a regular blender.
  5. Once the soup is creamy, add in a ½ cup of your favorite non-dairy milk. Stir it around.
  6. If you’re not serving the soup right away, cover it. Right before serving, bring the soup to a boil and stir it around.
  7. Serve and enjoy! We love to put this soup in mugs and slurp it up! It’s also great with crusty bread or a pumpkin date scone!

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We love to put this soup in mugs and slurp it up! It’s also great with crusty bread or a pumpkin date scone!

xx Ellie

Question of the Day: Have you ever been on a mission trip? Where’d you go? What’d you do?

Butternut Squash Bisque

This week is busy. School, packing, and homework (and getting ahead on homework because I am missing school next week!) are taking up the majority of my time. However, I am officially packed for my trip to Asia! We leave Saturday morning (2 days! Eek!)! We’re gone for 3 weeks, so I packed a lot of stuff. It was challenging to figure out what to pack, but some useful websites helped me out! I’ll post a “What I’m Packing for a 3 Week Trip” tomorrow on the new travel part of my blog (made specifically to document my trip!). 

My family is in a flurry to get everything done before we leave. We’ve been so busy packing, getting documentation and stuff together, and getting ahead on work and school since we’re peace-ing out next week. This doesn’t leave us much time to cook/ bake! Something that we have been making is soup, because it doesn’t take long to whip up! Soup is just so fantastic for whirlwind days like today! 

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This soup is based on a recipe from Cooking Light cooking magazine. The version my mom and I based it off of is non-vegan, so we made it vegan! It’s quick, easy, low-calorie, and delicious! Not to mention gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, soy-free, AND vegan! A winner for everyone! 

Enjoy some warm and comforting soup! 

Butternut Squash Bisque

serves 2-3

  • 4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound, or 2 squash)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 (½) piece ginger, thinly sliced (or 1 Tbsp ginger paste)
  • 2 and ½ cups vegetable broth
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix/ toss the first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Cool for 10 minutes. Place half of mixture and half of broth in a blender and secure the lid. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with croutons, nuts (Pepita seeds are pictured), and/or pepper. Enjoy and, if you feel like it, slurp it up like Belle and the Beast both do in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!

Have a nice day!
xx Ellie

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here

Hottie Chili

It’s getting colder, which means that I’m craving warmer foods. One such food is Chili. Chili is funny because it’s called “chilly” but it’s actually hot! What an oxymoron.

This chili is the perfect meal to make if  you’re craving warm comfort food. It will warm your body to make you a hottie. It’s also a great meal to throw together with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. You could add or substitute carrots, potato, peppers, okra, or whatever else floats your boat! Feel free to add more spices like cumin, red pepper flakes, or Sriracha sauce! I’m just a spice wimp so I didn’t add them. 

However, I won’t have to stand the cold and I won’t be craving warm foods for much longer because in less than two weeks (!!!) I am going to Asia (where it is warm!)!!! I am so incredibly excited! My family and I are going to visit my aunt and uncle who live in Vietnam. We are also going to Hong Kong, Macau, Boracay, and Cambodia! I CANNOT WAIT. This week and next week are/ will be a flurry of packing and getting ready to go. We’ve also been making this chili a lot because it’s quick, easy, and reheats well. I’ll post more on the trip in the coming weeks, and might post during the trip! For now, enjoy some chili and stay hot! 

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Chili topped with Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese! Yummy!

Hottie Chili

Makes 8-9 servings

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 15-ounce can black beans
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Sauté celery and onion until they are crisp but tender in a large pot on the stovetop. Add beans, tomatoes, and chili powder. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Add corn and cook until it’s tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with avocado, vegan cheese, more salt and pepper, and whatever else your hot heart desires!

Have a fun afternoon! 

xx Ellie

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here