Recipes: Soups Stews & Stocks

Silk Road Chickpea & Millet Stew (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Silk Road Chickpea & Millet Stew (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)


Lately I've been been paging through my copy of Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij rather obsessively  I have had this cookbook for years, and despite the fact that I know the order of the recipes nearly by heart, I find myself constantly inspired. The ingredients, the photos, and the stories in this book stimulate my imagination and my taste buds, and I never tire of reading through it like a novel!  I have been known to have this book out on my coffee table.


Super Health Broth (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Super Health Broth (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

super health broth

I'm currently in the middle of the Colon Cleanse from Blessed Herbs, a 9-day cleansing program that removes mucoid plaque from your colon. Sounds lovely, right? [insert heavy sarcasm] Yeah, mucoid plaque may be disgusting, but the way I figure it, I'd rather get it out then let is stay in my body. So, out it must come...haven't seen any yet, but I'm still early in the cleanse. 

Right now I'm swimming in the liquid fast portion of the cleanse. Apple juice psyllium drink, herbal digestive stimulator supplements, warm broth, and herbal tea pretty much summarizes what I'm allowed to consume at the moment. It may sound awful, but honestly, it isn't bad. I feel much better than I thought I would, and am enjoying the apple juice and broth plan quite a bit. The first few days of the pre-cleanse (where food is allowed but slowly reduced) were actually harder for me than the liquid part of this fast, which surprises me greatly. And I'm definitely noticing some very positive cleansing effects on my colon. I'll skip the gory details and leave it at that for now.  

Once I'm done, I plan on writing up a review and summary of my experiences with this cleansing kit.  In the meantime, I want to share a broth recipe with you. This broth is really tasty and is currently the highlight of my day.  Perhaps my food deprived existence at the moment sways my judgement a bit, but truly, this broth is bomb.  It tastes very fresh, very green, and it makes you feel warm, satisfied and nourished. Yum! And best yet, it was very simple to make.  I've made similar broths before just to have around when I'm feeling in need of something cleansing, but I think I hit the nail on the head with this combination.

makin' brothmakin' brothmakin' broth

Rainbow Curry Chicken Stew (gluten-free, ACD)

Rainbow Curry Chicken Stew (gluten-free, ACD)


The chill of winter makes me yearn for the heat of chilis.  And thus, another red curry stew is born.  

This stew is a vibrant rainbow of color, a welcome departure from the winter whites outside my window. It has a complex and sexy combination of flavors. And the best part? It turns on that internal fire just a bit, and makes your hands and feet and forehead warm. 

Most of the ingredients in this dish are easily accessible in any well-stocked grocery store. When I'm making Thai-style curries, I like using Thai Kitchen products, as they are high-quality and gluten-free. You'll notice I used their red curry paste, fish sauce, and organic coconut milk in the dish below. I'm not advertising for them, I swear! I just really like their stuff.  You can find their products in the Asian food section of your local grocer, or online. 

I'd recommend serving it with a dollop of Garlicky Red Chili Hot Sauce. Not necessary, but it amps up the burn just a bit, and that makes me smile. What can I say, I'm a spicy lady. 

Like curry?  Check out these recipes....


Super Sexy Borscht (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Super Sexy Borscht (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

super sexy borscht

There's something about a beet. 

Very rarely do people feel ambivalent about beets. Our ruby-hued friend (or candy-striped, golden, or white...)  tends to polarize even the most adventurous eater, generally resulting in one of the following things: wildly passionate love or deep suspicion and disdain.  My feelings unquestionably lean toward the former.

Early summer is a special, dreamy time for any true beet lover. Small, sweet, and tender, early season beets remind me of little earthbound truffles, rich and complex morsels that rival any high-quality dark chocolate.  Even their greens are tender, with just a hint of the characteristic bitterness that pairs them so flawlessly with their rooty counterpart. As the summer goes on, the beets become large and robust and intense, their flavor grounded by a maturing earthiness that is unsurpassed. With the coming of autumn, temperatures drop and the earth cools.  And then, the other moment a true beet lover waits for happens: frost. Magical things happen when the first bit of frost bites; the sugars concentrate and the beet sweetens. Round and weighty, they sit ripe for the picking, their dark flesh like garnets and rubies.  

No matter the season and no matter the size, the impact of a beet's ravishing color and curvy shape is downright sexy

baby beets

Pumpkin Coconut Soup (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Pumpkin Coconut Soup (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Gingered Pumpkin Soup

When I was in college, I bought a wonderful little cookbook called Pumpkin, Butternut, and Squash: 30 Sweet and Savory Recipes off the sale rack at the local grocery store. The minute I picked it up, it had my heart.  A cookbook entirely devoted to my favorite cucurbits? Heaven! 

Despite the fact that my "kitchen" at the time was merely a hot pot, a rice cooker, a microwave, a small grill (for outdoor use), and a mini-fridge, I was still crazy about food and had a modest little cookbook collection. I yearned for the day when I could have a kitchen of my own and the ability to cook wonderful meals!  When I didn't feel like eating in the cafeteria, I managed to pump out some very tasty meals from my modest little dorm room setup from time to time - couscous, Thai rice with peanut sauce, grilled Mexican corn, and noodle soups. We baked squashes, sweet potatoes, cakes, cookies and cupcakes in the common kitchens. I made vegan lasagne besciamelle for my Italian class. (I developed more food allergies after college, obviously)  Thankfully, my dining options in the college cafeteria were pretty great, featuring a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and fresh vegetable options. I was a veg*n at the time, so the cafeteria was one of the reasons I chose that school (Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, for the curious among you).