Slaad Soup

In the middle of the colder months, it can be nice to get some compilation of vegetable ingredients together, but too often they can come loaded with potatoes, rice, and other bulk imbuing starches.  This aims to be something more salad-like in nature while also being warm and comforting against any chill in the air … or under foot.

Spinach and Kale Soup (aka Slaad Soup)

Ingredients:

Cashew Cream

  • ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours up to overnight
  • 1 cup water (not for soaking)

Soup

  • 2-3T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1T Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ – ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2T apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 green onion stalks, sliced thinly
    • and/or replace with bell peppers
  • 3-4T sesame seeds
  • 1C chopped mushrooms

Instructions:

  1. To prepare Cashew Cream: Drain and rinse cashews a couple times. Pour into a blender along with water and blend, scraping the sides as needed, until totally smooth. Set aside.
  2. To prepare Soup: Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
  3. Stir in spinach, kale, carrots, and garlic. Season with Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes more or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Pour in vegetable broth, and mushrooms, and stir to combine; if adding bell peppers, add now. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until greens are wilted and carrots are tender.
  5. Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice, vinegar, and cashew cream. Soup can be served as is or blended using a food processor or blender for a richer, creamier soup.
  6. Garnish soup with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Vegetable and Grain Salad

This was last week’s offering for the pot luck dinner. Much less work than tonight’s dish.

One cup of the same old baked barley I’m always talking about. 375 degree oven, 3 cups of water, one hour. Blah blah blah.

While that is cooking, in the food processor combine

  • a dozen cloves of roasted garlic (I make huge batches of this by getting bulk peeled garlic at Costco)
  • lemon juice (a fair bit)
  • olive oil (to match, you’re making a dressing)
  • red pepper flake
  • smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • sumac
  • thyme (dried)
  • sesame seeds
  • cumin
  • oregano (dried)
  • cilantro (dried)

Render that into a dressing.
Course chop the following (either in the processor or by hand)

  • green, black and kalamata olives.
  • artichoke hearts
  • one can stewed tomatoes
  • capers

Toss the barley (after it has cooled and been fluffed) and the chopped veggies with a can of garbanzo beans and a can of black beans. Toss in the dressing.

Salads like this taste best if allowed to mellow overnight, but taste just fine after a couple of hours setting up. Served immediately upon combining, they will seem flat in a way you can’t put your finger on, somehow.