No Croutons Required - Vegan Soups and Salads

The challenge for August was to come up with a soup or salad suitable for vegans. Thanks to everyone who contributed one of their creations. The roundup is short this month, but the submissions we received are sure to tempt and please your palate and certainly prove that vegan dishes are delicious, fulfilling and nourishing. I will announce the most popular submission at the end of the month with input from friends and family. Please vote for your favorite via email or in the comment section to help us come up with the winner for September's challenge. Neither my submission, nor Jacqueline's, is eligible for the vote.

Our first entry this month is from Janet of the Taste Space with a moist and creamy Chickpea and Tofu Tahini Scramble Salad. This dressed up tofu scramble has an intriguing blend of flavors and textures. Browned crumbled tofu, plump chickpeas and sweet cherry tomatoes are gently sautéed in a sauce consisting of tahini, homemade hummus, tamari and lemon juice and served on a bed of fresh spinach. This dressed up beauty will be on my menu quite soon. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

My contribution to the vegan menu selection is this elegant Thai Mushroom Soup with Coconut. Mixed earthy dried and fresh mushrooms are simmered in a broth of shallots, fresh galangal, lemongrass, coconut milk, homemade green curry paste, tamari and a wee bit of sweetener. Subtle coconut milk tempers the rather bold and layered complexity of the seasonings, and the fresh lemon juice completes the dish with a vibrant flourish. (London, Ontario, Canada)

Rita of Rita Cooks Italian serves up FAGIOLINI CON SUGO DI POMODORO FRESCO (runner beans in fresh tomato and garlic sauce). I rather like the Italian name of this simple and graceful dish. This was Rita's solution to an abundance of runner beans. The delicately cooked beans are dressed up in an elegant tomato sauce seasoned with fresh garlic, fresh basil and chives. The liberal use of olive oil in the sauce certainly contributes some depth to this delightful side. (London, England, UK)

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe welcomes spring with a Kale Potato and Quinoa Stew. Johanna originally set out to make a soup with fresh garden kale, but instead it evolved into a thicker pot full of nourishing vegetables. Onions, carrots, parsnip, cabbage and celery are lightly stir fried and then simmered in a homemade freezer scraps stock, along with potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, garlic, smoked paprika, quinoa, kale and cooked black beans and borlotti beans. The homemade vegan Parmesan that tops each serving adds a "salty and sharp cheesiness" to the stew. Pure comfort food that will warm and nourish on a cold chilly day. (Melbourne, Australia)

My dear friend Jackie and co-host of this monthly event shares one of her favorites that no doubt will become a favorite of mine too. My jaw dropped when I set my eyes upon this stunning Herbful Pasta Salad with Mushrooms. How distinguished is this light and zesty salad with chestnut mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic, combined with Dishi Volanti pasta, and dressed with a mixture of fresh basil and dill, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar? The gourmet quality of this dish proves that gourmet does not necessarily mean complicated. (Scotland, UK)

Our final submission this month is from Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. This Tenderstem and Semi-Confit Tomato Salad might be fuss free, but it certainly will appeal to even the fussiest of eaters. Lightly cooked tenderstem broccoli comes together with rich tasting semi-confit tomatoes infused with fresh herbs and olive oil and served over some fresh spinach leaves, drizzled with some olive oil and fresh lemon juice for a fresh burst of flavor, and finally topped with dry toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes to add a crunchy texture and subtle touch of heat to the dish. (London, England, UK)

Jacqueline will be hosting the October edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the theme.


MapMaster said...

I really like the sound of that Tenderstem and Semi-Confit Tomato Salad, even if I'm not sure where to get tenderstem broccoli!

janet @ the taste space said...

A short but sweet collection this month. I am loving Helen's broccoli and tomato salad! :-)