Carrot-Ginger Soup with Sweet Potatoes

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How many recipes for carrot-ginger soup do you think there are out there, spinning around in cyberspace? Many, for sure. Can we agree the reason probably is because it’s pretty darn delicious and everyone wants to take a stab at making their personal favorite? That’s what we’ve been thinking, at least, and here we are. Carrot soup is probably one of the lighter meals you’ll ever serve yourself (unless you add a generous amount of heavy cream, which some people do), and it sure doesn’t hold us over for very long. Therefore, we took it upon ourselves to make a little heartier of a version. Maybe not hearty enough to make up a full meal for the active person, or for the runner who just kicked off their wet shoes after hours worth of training in the November rain (we hear you), but enough to make up the base for a dinner (or lunch). We recommend serving this with pita wedges (which you can make from making this flatbread) and some sort of bean spread (such as the white bean “hummus”), or simply as a starter.

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Vegetarian Borscht

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Before moving to NYC, I thought maybe I’d find an awesome bagel spot that I’d make “mine”. Or a pizza place, or a coffee shop. I wasn’t expecting becoming a regular at a Ukrainian/American eatery serving up pierogi, borscht and blintzes next to eggs Benedict and chocolate chip pancakes as if the most natural thing in the world, but I did. And while Veselka, as this cultural landmark is called, was a favorite of Michael’s too, I’m proud to say I’d been there multiple times already, when meeting him! (I believe this scored me some extra points there, early on you know) We’ve enjoyed more delicious meals at Veselka than we can count – for example, the thought of a large plate of potato pierogi was the only thing that could get Michael out of fetal position and up from the couch after his first half marathon distance run. It was also the place I took my parents for brunch when they came to New York for the first time, and they did in fact order said chocolate chip pancakes… Whenever we go back to visit these days, a dinner there beats any temptations the fancy restaurants throw at us – and we’re lucky that our brother/brother-in-law doesn’t turn down an opportunity to get his Ukrainian food fix, so we can combine seeing Max AND eating potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream. Win-win.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Chickpeas

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Few things feel more quintessentially fall than a blended winter squash soup, wouldn’t you agree? The color mimics that of the foliage outside the door, the warming flavors seem just right when coming in from the cold, the silky smooth consistency feels wonderfully comforting. Butternut squash is our go-to soup squash, and rightfully so – it makes for a creamy soup without adding any cream, the flavor is sweet and nutty AND it’s very versatile when it comes to toppings. Combinations are endless! 

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

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There’s probably nothing more common to make with Jerusalem artichokes (or “sunchokes”, as they’re also called) than soup, and there’s a plethora of recipes available just a quick google search away. Nevertheless, we wanted to share our own version – or actually versions, because it seems we really can’t choose a favorite here! Anyway, let’s start from the beginning. Jerusalem artichokes are those funny looking tubers you’ll find in just about any grocery store – they’re starchy, just like potatoes, but the nutty, almost sweet flavor is not like that of any other root vegetable. They’re glorious just roasted in the oven, or sliced thin and baked into flavor bursting chips (a very sophisticated snack to welcome your dinner guests with, if we may humbly suggest so). And, of course, they’re fantastic in soup. Before we lose ourselves completely in soup galore though, a little heads up: Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin, which is a more or less indigestible form of carbohydrates that can cause… a touch of bloating. Now, the reaction is very individual – those with IBS might want to be careful with their consumption, while those with a healthy gut flora can munch away and be fine. See, inulin acts as a food source for your beneficial gut bacteria (hence the increased activity), and can therefore actually promote a happy bowel environment. And you know what? You can easily build up your tolerance for inulin, so a small bowl of soup today could mean a much bigger next week. Point is, don’t give up on Jerusalem artichokes. They’re way too delicious to be given the cold shoulder.

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Yellow Pea Soup

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Yellow pea soup might not be oozing cool factor or feel very hip – but it should! You can’t really ask for more bang for your buck than what you get here – we’re talking nutrient dense and gut mobilizing yellow peas (how about 22 grams protein and 11 grams fiber per 100 gram dried?), simply cooked with leek and carrots and blended into a warming, hearty, fall-friendly meal. Peas deserve a lot more (positive) attention than they get. Besides being great for us, they’re also quite awesome for our planet. See, peas (together with all their other legume friends) possess the ability to fix nitrogen, i.e. converting nitrogen from the air into ammonium in the soil, which is needed for plants to grow big and strong. Or, it’s actually not the legumes themselves that do all the work – they need to cooperate with a bacteria (the rhizobia bacteria) that (symbiotically) live in their root systems. Peas are also well suited for field growing – meaning no green houses needed whatsoever – and can easily be cultivated even here, far up north. All in all, peas are awesome for everyone and everything, whether we have two or four or however many legs, grow in the ground or spin us all around the sun.

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