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With colder weather settling in, we welcome a warm, home-cooked meal any time. But, with the busy-ness of everyday life, sometimes it’s just easier to throw a frozen pizza in the oven or pick up the phone for your favorite Chinese delivery. On Meatless Monday, we try to keep it as simple, fresh, and delicious as possible so that more time is spent enjoying the food that our earth has to offer with our families rather than slaving away in the kitchen.
Soups are a natural go-to during the cold winter months, yet for some reason, they seem almost like a hassle to throw together. Either they take time to simmer or multiple ingredients need to be chopped, diced, sauteed or endlessly prepped to create a wonderful blend of flavors. However, soups don’t have to be tedious, and in fact, can be the easiest meal to throw together as they are fairly all-inclusive!
We’ve thrown together three hearty meatless soups that are sure to please all members of the family — from pasta lovers to those that crave the spiciness of tex-mex (err… minus the meat). Throwing a pot on the stove, adding a broth of your choice, and cooking up a piping hot meal full of vegetable goodness in just minutes is an easy way to make sure your family is fed nutritiously and cheaply!
Spinach and Cheese Tortellini Soup
This incredibly easy soup is a go-to for busy weeknights, rainy days, or sick kids! With so few ingredients and even fewer cooking steps, this soup basically throws itself together. We also like the idea that veggies are so delicately hidden inside the pasta-goodness that most picky eaters won’t even have a chance to turn up their nose before taking the first, delicious sip.
1 Package Spinach & Cheese Tortellini
4 Cups light broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package directions. Add a dash of freshly ground pepper (fresh pepper is key to bringing out the flavor of this soup!). After the tortellini is fully cooked, season the broth further with a bit of pepper (if desired) and the chopped parsley. Dish the soup into individual bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Vegan Corn Chowder
Even if you’re not forgoing the dairy, this recipe will definitely delight! This recipe became a fast family favorite after finding it in the famed vegetarian cookbook Forks Over Knives, but we’ve tweaked it a bit over time to add some flavor and warmth to the cold season. The creamy texture of the avocado and almond milk with the sweet and fiery combo of the corn and red pepper create a fun blend. Not to mention, you also get to use the blender with this one, and if you are truly in a hurry, keep all ingredients chilled and eat it gazpacho style — cold, that is!
2.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (plain)
1 Shallot (or an onion and garlic substitute will do)
1 Ripe avocado
2.5 Cups fresh or frozen sweet corn
1 Cup chopped fresh red pepper
Scallions, to taste
Fresh Cilantro, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until mostly pureed (we like it to have a bit of a heavier, heartier consistency). Pour into a heavy saucepan and simmer until the desired temperature. For garnish, feel free to sprinkle a few pieces of leftover scallions, cilantro, avocado, or even corn.
Simple Black Bean Soup
For those looking for a spicy kick to their meatless Monday evening, this simple three-step soup can be whipped up in minutes. Meat lovers won’t miss the meat thanks to the protein-packed, heartiness of the black beans and the full-blown flavor of the salsa. Kids will also enjoy being able to personalize their own bowl of soup by picking and adding their toppings, making it just the way they like it!
2 Cans black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 Cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 Cup salsa
A few corn tortilla strips
Combine all three ingredients and heat on stove. When heated through, slightly puree with immersion blender. Pour into individual bowls and top with optional toppings.
Refrigerating & Reheating Soups:
- Cover and refrigerate soups for up to 3 days.
- Reheat soups on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is heated all the way through. Soups can also be reheated in the microwave for quick, individual bowls. However, watch for hot spots created in the soup by uneven heating from the microwave. Be sure to stir and let cool before enjoying.