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I’ve been wanting to make this chilled soup for a while, but wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering. This recipe, however, is pretty spectacular. Rich, luscious, and creamy, it is a meal in itself. A garnish of the soup’s main ingredients gives texture to the final dish, which looks like it came straight from a restaurant kitchen.

1 3/4 cups diced cucumber (1/2 large hothouse), plus more for garnish
1 cup green grapes, plus more for garnish
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
1 clove garlic
1 cups cubed baguette (1/2 a demi-baguette)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
2. Add 2 cups water to the blender and whirl until smooth.
3. Divide evenly among bowls and garnish with diced cucumber, green grapes (halved), almonds, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 2-4

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Lots of the recipes I found for vegan broccoli cheddar soup used milk alternatives, nuts, flour, cornstarch, and/or vegan cheese. I was looking for something simpler.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, medium dice
2 stalks celery, medium dice
1 medium sweet potato, small dice
2 cloves garlic, thin slice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups arugula
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion, celery, sweet potato, and garlic to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
4. Pour water into the pot and cover the vegetables by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Stir in arugula and cook for another minute. Puree with an immersion blender.
6. Add broccoli florets and nutritional yeast and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until the broccoli is soft.
7. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Notes: yum. Love the color the sweet potato lends to the soup, which mimics traditional broccoli cheddar soup. The nutritional yeast is a powerhouse, giving the finished product a rich, cheesy, almost fermented flavor. The arugula simply boosts the nutrition profile, but is not essential; it can be omitted, or substituted with nearly any other type of green leafy vegetable.

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This is attempt #2 at testing this recipe. I think this newer version is better than this previous attempt.

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 stalks celery, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 avocados, sliced or diced, for garnish (optional, but highly recommended)
Lime juice, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until dark brown and tender.
3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the carrots to the pot and cover by 1 inch with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
5. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and stir in coconut milk.
6. Garnish soup with avocado and freshly squeezed lime juice (optional). Fresh chopped cilantro would also be a great garnish.

Serves 4 (entree)-6 (appetizer)

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1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium to large red bell peppers, medium rough dice
1 medium onion, medium rough dice
kosher salt and black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. Once oil is hot, add the bell peppers and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently enough to avoid browning.
3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
4. Cover the vegetables with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until 2/3 of the water evaporates.
5. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
6. Adjust seasoning and serve with roasted eggplant rollatini.

The sauce packs a surprising amount of flavor for such few ingredients. For this reason, as well as the smooth, luscious texture, it would serve as an excellent red pepper soup. Serve hot or chilled, and garnish with fresh herbs and heavy cream, or extra-virgin olive oil.

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There are few foods that do it for me the way cheese does. It can be dolled up or dressed down, incorporated into all meals–including dessert–and served hot or cold.

This meal is dedicated to you, cheddar cheese. I love you.

In a pot, sautee diced onions in oil over medium heat until translucent, adding minced garlic during the last minute of cooking. Pour in beer of your choice and allow it to reduce by 3/4. Add broccoli florets and stems, roughly chopped, and cover with chicken stock. Simmer until the broccoli is tender. Purée in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese a little at a time so that the soup retains a silky, slightly thick consistency.