Refrigerator Soup (and a biscuit or two)

I do love a good batch of Refrigerator Soup.  Make it a million times and it’s never the same twice.  What the hell is Refrigerator Soup, you say?  You know it well already.  It’s the soup you make, perhaps in your slow cooker, of all the bits and bobs left in the refrigerator (and perhaps, pantry).  The great thing about making it in the slow cooker is that slow cookers have the magical ability to transform even the weirdest things (okay, most things), meld them all together and make them great.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

Today’s Refrigerator Soup is riffing off of a minestrone vibe: chunky cut veggies in a tomato base.  We’ve got celery, carrots, cabbage, some leftover marinated artichoke hearts, cauliflower, chickpeas, and winter hardy garden kale, with broth, tomato paste, canned fire roasted tomatoes and tomato juice.  I also have several jars of balsamic caramelized onions that I keep in the freezer, and a spoonful of that goes a long way in creating a great flavour base.  So I added some of that, some garlic, some dried herbs (basil, oregano, parsley) and set it to simmer all afternoon.

While that was cooking, I whipped up a batch of Isa Moskowitz’s Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits from her book, Appetite for Reduction.  Except, I had no sweet potato and I had an open can of pureed pumpkin from pumpkin waffles this morning—so I made some tweaks and we have been noshing on pumpkin biscuits all afternoon.

Vegan Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits

Makes 10 biscuits

1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg.

Fold the flour into the pumpkin mixture with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened; be careful not to overmix. Knead with your spoon about 4 or 5 times. Don’t knead too much or it will toughen the biscuits.

Drop the dough in golf ball-size pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch.


What is your favourite Refrigerator Soup mix?

"Holy Pie!" Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

This morning, as we were eating this, I meant to exclaim, “Holy crap, this really tastes like pumpkin pie!” but I accidentally said, “Holy pie!  Pumpkin pie!”.  True story.  It’s just that pie-y.
So let’s all rejoice and eat pumpkin with every meal for as long as autumn lasts.

Serves 3-4

2 cups soy milk (or water, but it’ll be less creamy)
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

In a medium saucepan, heat the soy milk and pumpkin over medium-high heat.  Stir the pumpkin to dissolve. Once bubbles are just forming on the surface, add the oats, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed.  Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt and spices.  Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or a few walnut pieces if desired.

– Crystal

Pumpkin Curry and Lentil Dhal

I’m still fighting a head cold, so I got to thinking that a spicy, Indian dinner might be just what I needed to clear my sinuses.  I grabbed the lovely pie pumpkin I had sitting on my counter and got to work.  While I worked on whipping up a pumpkin curry, Trevor worked on our favourite lentil dhal recipe, and our rice cooker made our rice.

Both were lovely, and even better accompanied by the lime pickle we purchased at our favourite Indian market stall on the weekend.  Spicy, tangy!

The thing is, and I’m sure you know, Indian food photographs horribly.  Even worse is Indian food being photographed during the time of the year where natural light is sparse and our lighting inside is terrible.  So, no photos.  Or rather, the photos that were taken, you don’t want to see.

So, I made this gorgeous thing for you.  Can you tell I’m a graphic designer?

Pumpkin Curry

1 small-to-medium pie pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1″ chunks

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 tbsp ginger purée
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 small red chili
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 tbsp lime juice
salt to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sautée pan and add onion.  Once onion is sufficiently translucent, add your other aromatics; ginger and garlic.  Cook a minute longer.  Add your chili, salt and spices, stir to incorporate, and fry your spice mixture for another minute.  Add the pumpkin chunks and stir to cover in the spice mixture.  Slowly add the water.  Lower heat to low-medium and cover.  Cook, stirring periodically, for 25 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.  Once pumpkin is fully cooked, remove from heat and use a potato masher to to mash your pumpkin until it’s creamy.  Add the sweetener and lime juice.  Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Lentil Dhal

3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds (or 1 tsp cumin powder)
1 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 large onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp chile powder (reduce if you are using a very hot variety)
1 lb red lentils
4-6 cups vegetable stock
juice of 1-2 limes
Siracha hot sauce to taste
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat add the coconut oil, mustard seeds and spices. When the seeds pop add the ginger, onion, garlic and chilie along with a pinch of salt/pepper. Saute for several minutes or until the onions are transcluscent. Next, add the lentils and stock. Bring to a boil for several minutes, turn heat down to med-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Take off heat, stir in lime juice and sesame oil. Add some soy sauce, some salt and black pepper to taste. 

– Crystal

Pumpkin Pie

I was hesitant to post this because I was afraid of letting the secret out.  You see, I’ve fed this to so many people over the past few years, even the type of folks that would never willingly try tofu, and everyone loves it.  Even my dad, who normally doesn’t like pumpkin pie.  Ahem.  But it totally contains tofu and you’d never know, like, at all.  It is truly a winner and without a doubt, the best pumpkin pie, in taste and texture, of any I’ve ever had.  Pinky swear.

Pumpkin Pie

16 oz pureed pumpkin (not canned pie filling, but just plain pumpkin)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 10 oz package silken tofu (regular silken, not low fat)
1 unbaked pie shell, store bought or homemade

Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the pumpkin and sugar.  Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu, blend thoroughly.  Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 350°F and bake for another 60 minutes.  Let it cool a bit (on a window sill if you’re feeling old fashioned!) before serving.

– Crystal

The Best Pumpkin Muffins

…is the actual name of the recipe, and these babies live up to their name.  F’real.  I like to make muffins on Sunday afternoon to have for breakfast/snack throughout the week (though they usually don’t last that long).

The original recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance, but I found it posted online here for those without it.  Make them make them make them.