Welcome to the May 2015 edition of No Croutons Required, a monthly event celebrating vegetarian soups and salads from around the globe. Alternately hosted by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes and myself, we are always thrilled with the contributions from fellow bloggers we receive every month. This time around I'm pleased to showcase 18 ideas for soups and salads, so settle in and see what cooks have served up this month. As always, thanks to everyone who shared their recipes.
Greens, Rice and Yogurt Soup
Blog: Green Gourmet Giraffe
Our first submission is from Johanna who has been a regular contributor to NCR right from the beginning. Here she has filled out a leafy green soup with onion, celery, cannellini beans, brown rice and yogurt. Like Johanna says, this is the type of soup you need in your life, using greens that are nearing the end of their shelf life and employing staples likely on hand in the kitchen. A meal in one bowl is always welcome too.
Red Lentil Soup
Next up we have this beautiful and creamy masoor dal (red lentil) soup. Lightly spiced, and a winner for sure, red lentils star here with red onion, potato, tomato, some cloves and cinnamon. Served up with some toasted bread, this is sure to please and nourish.
Asian Millet Salad
Blog: A Traveling Cook
I've always thought millet is an under-appreciated grain, but here it shines in a colorful Asian-style salad. This delightful nutty grain is combined with capsicum, snow peas, edame beans, spring onion, basil, red cabbage, broccoli, corn and avocado. This bowl of goodness is then dressed with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds, red wine vinegar and sesame oil. Picking up millet by mistake instead of quinoa surely paid off here.
Slimming Carrot Soup
Blog: Juggle Mom
Carrots are a staple vegetable in my house, and this is a fine and easy way to enjoy them. Just carrots, with all of their natural sweetness, red onion, a veggie cube and some black pepper. Then all you need to do is blend it up and serve up with some crusty bread for a healthy and satisfying lunch.
Creamy Tomato Soup
Blog: Lemon & Lime Thyme
If you enjoy homemade tomato soup with little fuss, then this is a must-try. This puréed soup consists of tomato purée, shallots, garlic, paprika, thyme and a bit of cream and parsley to garnish. Surely satisfying and if you add a wee bit of sugar it helps to cut the acidity of the tomato. Another lovely soup that would go quite well with some buttered bread for lunch or dinner.
Kale, Tenderstem and Fennel Summerstrone
Blog: Belleau Kitchen
The creative title alone for this recipe got my interest. This summery twist on classic minestrone is filled with favorite vegetables, including spring onions, carrots, fennel, celery, kale, broccoli, beans, peas and tomatoes. Add some thyme, oregano, rosemary and chives for seasoning and you are all set for one delicious bowl of goodness to brighten up your day.
Spring Green Quinoa Salad
Blog: How to Cook Good Food
This mixed medley salad was inspired by Laura's daughter's request, and it is so fitting for spring. Nutty quinoa is complimented with cucumber, radish, broccoli, courgette, peas, celery, spinach, fresh mint and coriander, lemon juice and olive oil. How is that for a healthy dose of vegetables? Yes please.
Barley, Beetroot and Feta Salad
Blog: Jen's Food
This stunning salad certainly got my interest. Everything you need for a balanced and satisfying lunch, or dinner for that matter, is included here. Barley, mixed greens, spring onion, beets, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese all dressed up with olive oil, cider vinegar and some fresh mint. I can see this salad in my future.
Potato Salad with Pistachio Mayonnaise
Blog: Chardonnay & Samphire
It's salad season in the western hemisphere and I think most can agree that potato salad is a favorite. Not everyone enjoys mayonnaise though, and here we have an inspired vegan version to dress up potatoes and tarragon. Pistachios, garlic, olive oil, cider vinegar and lemon or lime juice make up the dressing for a dose of protein without egg. Fabulous.
Lemon, Barley and Basil Salad
Blog: Searching for Spice
Corina proves that pearl barley is an excellent grain to include in a salad that I am sure would be perfect for hot summer days. Easy to make, barely is complimented with sunflower seeds for some extra texture and dressed with fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper. I adore simple creations like this because simplicity need not be boring.
Simple Fat Free Spinach Soup
Blog: Fab Food 4 All
This iron-rich spinach soup is another easy one that would be fine to serve when it's a bit too hot to cook and, for sure, something to enjoy after indulging in rich foods. Spinach, small potatoes, onion and garlic are whizzed up and seasoned with some black pepper and nutmeg. Again, another simple soup that is surely delicious for lunch with a slice of crusty bread or as a starter soup for a main meal.
Butter Lettuce Wedge Salad with Creamy Peppercorn Dressing
Blog: The Taste Space
It certainly is salad season and Janet provides a substantial winner with a lettuce wedge salad that also features pears, avocado and tempeh bacon. This delightful combination is dressed with sunflower seeds, non-dairy milk, cider vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, chives and parsley. Get your knife and fork ready and dig in.
Roasted Rainbow Salad with a Sassy Dressing
Blog: Food to Glow
This gorgeous and colorful salad is sure to soothe the soul and body. Radish, beets, carrots and all sorts of peppers are dressed with olive oil, maple syrup, pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar, fresh herbs, goat cheese and lightly toasted nuts and seeds. The possibilities are endless here and infinitely satisfying and nourishing.
Asparagus Salad with Baked Eggs
Blog: Only Crumbs Remain
It's time to celebrate asparagus season, and as this healthy vegetable pairs so well with eggs, this is a salad to be enjoyed for sure while the harvest lasts. Sautéed mushrooms begin the meal, and then they are placed in ramekins, topped with an egg and baked. Next come some croutons which are all served with lightly fried asparagus, tomato, mixed greens, feta cheese and some balsamic vinegar. Simply divine.
Zesty Courgette and Leek Soup
Blog: Feeding Boys and a Firefighter
Next we have a creamy soup that is perfect for spring or early summer. Quick and easy to make, fresh courgette features here with leeks, lemon zest, fresh mint and simple seasonings. Top with some crème fraîche if desired and serve along with some stoneground crackers for a satisfying lunch or light dinner.
Fennel, Quinoa and Broad Bean Summer Salad
Blog: Caroline Makes
As the temperatures heat up, salads will certainly appear more often on the menu. This colorful salad is a complete meal in itself, featuring marinated fennel, quinoa, red pepper, avocado, broad beans and corn, couscous and some lemon juice. Sounds like a fine meal to me.
Chickpea, Olive and Feta Salad with Chat Masala Dressing
Blog: Lisa's Kitchen
My contribution this month fits in with a warm weather theme. A fusion-style dish of sorts, chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, olives and good quality feta cheese are dressed up with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder, paprika and chat masala. Zesty with a bit of spice, this is sure to be a patio favorite this summer.
Black Soba Noodles with Miso Dressed Vegetables and Edamame Beans
Blog: Allotment 2 Kitchen
Our last contribution is another lovely rainbow salad, this time featuring black soba noodles, carrots, cabbage, edamame beans dressed with miso, rice vinegar, maple syrup and tahini. Garnished with toasted sesame seeds and fresh chives, this in a winning salad for certain.
And that concludes the May 2105 edition of No Croutons Required. Jacqueline will be hosting the June edition, so be sure to stop by her her blog for the announcement.