Mini vegan sandwich trio and easy tomato soup

Last night was all about convenience fare. I picked up some Wholefood’s vegan chicken salad, hummus, and two kinds of bread (whole wheat and white). Then we made the easy tomato soup and had a party fit for a kid!

Grilled cheese: Vegan rice cheddar on a crusty white loaf
WF Vegan chicken salad: on whole wheat with German mustard and arugula
WF Hummus: on whole wheat with a tomato garnish

That’s what it’s all about!

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Best, easiest tomato soup (ever), and mushroom kale pizza

From Ezra Pound Cake, this delicious, creamy, amazing tomato soup.

2 TBL olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

2 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes in juice

1 tsp turbinado sugar

3 large slices good-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces [**we used a hunk of frozen leftover baguette and a some pizza dough that I accidentally ruined and then stored in the freezer. In other words, use any bread you have in the freezer that approximates 3 slices.)

2 cups vegetable bouillon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp basil (Or if it’s in season, chopped fresh basil)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot over medium-high heat.Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain.Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard. With an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. (Or use a blender and blend in batches.) Add in additional olive oil, bouillon, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes before serving with a delicious homemade pizza!

A belated final VeganMofo post, including lentil surprise

It’s the last day of VeganMofo, and I have a disgusting cold. I don’t often get sick, and I’m not very patient about getting better. Stef got me some orange juice, which ordinarily I would never drink because I really think drinking fruit juice is about the same as drinking a glass of sugar with a some vitamin c and folates (not to be negative or anything), yet when I have a cold I actually crave it.

That has nothing to do with dinner though. Tonight’s menu includes innovations on some of our favorite recipes. I decided to actually write down what I did when I cooked the lentil surprise. It actually has no bearing on the post I wrote up last year…The tomato soup is full of ginger and has an added creamy touch from the raw cashews. And the pumpkin custards are basically pumpkin pie filling with coconut milk and no crust, but they are creamy, special, perfect for tonight.

lentil surpriseLentil Surprise

1 cup red lentils

1 onion, diced

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup cilantro, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBL mustard seeds

2 TBL curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups veggie stock

Heat oil in pot and add mustard seeds. Cover and wait until the seeds begin to pop, then add onions and garlic. Saute until soft, then add curry, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Cook about 5 minutes, add a little water if there is a lot of stickage in the pot. Add coconut, peppers, spinach, and cilantro. Then add stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45-60 minutes until the lentils are soft and all the flavors are well combined. Serve with rice.