March 17, 2013

Recipe for vegan root vegetable soup {gluten-free}

Root vegetable soup, vegan and gluten-free, perfect for Meatless Monday.

If you've been hanging around The Perfect Pantry for a while, you've heard me rail against recipes that require you to make twelve other things -- sauces, spice blends, stock -- in order to have the components for one recipe. So it wouldn't be fair to ask you to make an entire beef stew so you'll have leftover already-diced rutabaga, parsnips and carrots that won't quite fit into the stew pot, but which will fit quite nicely into your soup pot. (And it would be especially unfair if you don't eat meat!) This root vegetable soup, vegan and and gluten-free, carries its own sweetness; add some fruit and warm spices like cumin, coriander and garam masala, and whip everything together with your immersion blender. If you love cilantro, garnish individual servings with a few chopped leaves.

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February 21, 2013

Black olives (Recipe: vegan vinegar veggies) {gluten-free}

First published in July 2006, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. I've been making these veggies for more than twenty years, and I've never tired of the fresh flavor and crunch of lightly-cooked vegetables in a pan vinaigrette. All of the ingredients are available year-round, so you can bring color to the table even in mid-winter.

Vinegar veggies, a simple yet dramatically beautiful side dish.

Kalamata, picholine, frantoio, arbequina, souri ... I've never met an olive I didn't want to take home, but good old black olives in a can are the only ones that merit a permanent place in my pantry.

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September 6, 2012

Recipe for spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint {gluten-free}

Spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint, from The Perfect Pantry.

When the last of Bob and Charlotte's canoe-size zucchini appeared in my car (how careless of me to leave the car unlocked in their driveway), I planned to turn that zucchini, along with a few trimmings of some very ripe tomatoes, into a curry. Along the way, however, cinnamon and cumin called out to me, and just like that, this mildly spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew veered off toward the Middle East. A few sprigs of mint from my garden gave the dish just the right amount of brightness, without overwhelming the delicate zucchini flavor, and turmeric turned it a glowing golden color. As with all stews, this was even better on the second day, served over fluffy brown rice.

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August 16, 2012

Ratatouille soup recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Ratatouille soup, from The Perfect Pantry.

The term seasonal gets bandied about a lot these days, and for good reason. Seasonal eating means preparing food at its peak of nutrition, and at its natural harvest time. If you visit the farmstands and farmers' markets in my part of New England this week, you'll find eggplant, tomatoes, green pepper, onions, garlic and zucchini. Put them together in this ratatouille soup, with my secret weapon -- a rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese -- or go vegan and cheese-free. Add mushrooms, or some local corn, if you wish. Eating doesn't get more seasonal than this.

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August 2, 2012

Tomato, zucchini, white bean and basil soup recipe {vegetarian}

Tomato, zucchini, white bean and basil soup, from The Perfect Pantry.

Yesterday, the farm stand presented me with all of the key ingredients for this soup -- tomatoes, zucchini, onions and garlic -- except the can of beans and hunk of cheese, both of which are staples in my pantry. My own garden basil, abundant and robust, found a happy home with the vegetables in this tomato, zucchini, white bean and basil soup. I added hardy thyme early in the cooking, and tossed the more delicate basil in at the end. Perfect for a summer lunch or supper, with some crusty bread on the side, this "skinny" soup comes together quickly. After all, with very fresh herbs and vegetables, you don't want to fuss over them.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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