Crock Pot Tomato Soup with Popcorn “Croutons”

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"When I was out in Colorado a couple months ago, a restaurant we ate at had soup on the menu that was served with popcorn instead of croutons or crackers. Maybe this is a common thing and I’m just behind the times, but it was a total why didn’t I think of that?? moment.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

Popcorn (real popcorn—not movie popcorn slathered in butter or caramel chocolate popcorn or cheese-covered popcorn) is a low-calorie snack option, and its texture makes it pretty flippin’ perfect as a healthy soup topping (especially if you’re gluten-free!). In a recent post, I mentioned that Clean, Lean & Sexy had sent me some of their healthy snacks to try out, and I couldn’t wait to put their popcorn to use.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

I got annihilated by allergies this past week (I’ve never had them this bad before—it was awful!), and my cold-like symptoms were craving some good ol’ tomato soup. This one is ridiculously easy to make (gotta love crock pots!) and vegan.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

Crock Pot Tomato Soup with Popcorn “Croutons”

Yield: 11-12 cups

Crock Pot Tomato Soup with Popcorn “Croutons”

A vegan tomato soup made in the crock pot and topped with popcorn.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs fresh Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (= about 6-7 large ones)
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Popcorn (or topping of choice)

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, sauté onions, celery and carrots in a little extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper until onions are translucent (6-7 minutes).
  2. Dump everything except the almond milk and popcorn into a crock pot, give it a couple stirs, and cook on low for 5 hours.
  3. Put it in a blender for a couple minutes until smooth (do this in batches).
  4. Stir in the almond milk.
  5. Top with popcorn and enjoy!

Notes

This is a thin(ner) soup. If you prefer your soup thick, leave out 1 cup veggie broth and 1 cup almond milk.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/04/17/crock-pot-tomato-soup-with-popcorn-croutons/

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

Have you ever used popcorn as a soup topping?

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P.S. Sorry for the lack of blog posts this week! Life keeps getting in the way, and I figure it’s better to just prepare awesome blog posts for next week rather than throw up a bunch of quickie junk posts this week.

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)Hey guys! Shit. I have had the BUSIEST week—and today is no exception. You know those weeks where you feel like you’re constantly working and running around but the to-do list just never gets shorter? That’s where I am. In part, I think I’m subconsciously creating unnecessary tasks for myself in order to avoid doing my taxes, but regardless, I apologize for not posting a workout this week. I have a bunch in the queue but haven’t had the time to shoot and write them up into a blog post. In the meantime, you could browse through the archives and try out an old one—I’d love to hear what some of your blast-from-the-past favorites are!

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Since I hate having total radio silence on the blog during the week, I wanted to throw up a quick (delicious!) recipe post before I get back to avoiding my taxes. I’ve been experimenting with a dairy-free cauliflower crust pesto pizza recipe, and while the flavors are all spot on, I still need to tweak the crust texture. Full recipe will be up when I nail that part, but in the meantime, this lemon hemp seed pesto is a light, refreshing and dairy-free take on traditional pesto sauce. Perfect for pastas, spaghetti squash, sandwich spreads and, of course, pizza!

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Yield: 2/3 cup (roughly)

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

A light, refreshing, dairy-free pesto sauce made with a hint of lemon and hemp seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup packed basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp packed parsley

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a food processor. Pulse and process until smooth.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/04/03/lemon-hemp-seed-pesto-sauce-dairy-free/

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)I love the nutty flavor of hemp seeds (I eat them by the spoonful sometimes…kind of weird), and think they’re a great compliment to the pine nuts. I also think it’s crazy how omitting the cheese that’s usually in traditional pesto sauce makes little to no difference in the flavor—for me, there’s now no reason to ever not use dairy-free pesto.

Enjoy! I’m off to continue not doing my taxes…

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Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)OH. This one’s a keeper, guys.

While I do have the luxury of working from home and making most of my meals when and how I’d like, I still try to prep at least one dish that I can eat as leftovers all throughout the week. This way, on those busy days when I can’t or don’t want to cook, I have a healthy option already made sitting in the fridge. Soup is the best for this!

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

I might be late to the party with this one, but I just learned that cashews can be used in soup as a dairy substitute to give it a thick, creamy texture without the milk/cream. I couldn’t wait to try this out—especially since I’ve been playing around with my new Ninja Ultima blender nonstop (I talked more about it in this post, but long story short: I’m in love with a kitchen appliance).

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Yield: 6-8 servings

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes (about 4 heaping cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 head of califlower, chopped (about 4 heaping cups)
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put 3 cups broth, the potatoes, onion and garlic in a pot and simmer on med-low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cauliflower and basil and let it continue to cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes.
  3. While the pot is simmering, put the remaining 2 cups broth and the cashews in a blender. Blend until cashews are totally incorporated into the liquid (it’ll look kind of like milk).
  4. Stir in the chashew/broth mixture to the pot along with desired amount of salt and pepper. Let simmer for 3-5 more minutes.
  5. Place half the soup in the blender and blend until smooth. Mix back into the pot.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

If you want a really thick, smooth soup, put all of it through a blender. If you want a chunky soup with a thinner base, don’t put any of it through the blender at the end.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/03/20/sweet-potato-cashew-soup-vegan/

This soup is like a comforting, creamy chowder but completely dairy-free—I love it! It’s filling and satisfying, and perfect for rainy, cloudy days like today. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan) Sweet Potato Cashew Soup (Vegan)signature