Tag Archives: Soups and Stews

Soup Kitchen: Mexican Sopa Verde — Spicy Cilantro Vegetable Soup

This vegan soup is like drinking your vegetables.

It’s a spicy broth flavored with garlic, lemon and cilantro with a few more things from the veggie bin thrown in for good measure.

It’s still chilly here in North Carolina and it’s five more weeks until I get back to Oaxaca.  What draws me closer is the memory of those rich, hearty broths that I love.  As you can tell, these days my Soup Kitchen is overflowing.  This is because we are the beneficiaries of a bounty of fresh vegetables and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.  Soup is one of the best solutions.  A healthy, low-cal, and easy to make and enjoy tonic–sippable morning, noon and night.

This week, we got a lot of little baby organic broccolini, which I par boiled, laid out on cookie sheets, froze, then transferred into freezer bags.  I kept the water and used it as the beginning of the soup stock.   This version is both vegetarian and vegan.  I use only organic vegetables!

Sometimes, I think I should be calling this the “Leftovers Kitchen.”

Sopa Verde Vegetariana -- Spicy Cilantro Soup


5 quarts water

4 ribs of celery, 1/2″ cuts

1 bunch cilantro, washed, leaves and stalks

1 or 2 carrots

2 small rutabagas or 3 turnips, peeled and quartered

3 green cabbage leaves or 1 baby bok choy

1 small leek or 1 small onion or 4-5 scallions

4 large garlic cloves, peeled, whole

Juice of 1/2 large lemon or more to taste

2 t. salt or more to taste

1 t. ground red cayenne pepper


Bring water to a boil.  Turn heat down to simmer.  Add all the vegetables, cilantro and garlic.  Simmer over medium-low heat until veggies are very limp.  I simmered these on the stove for a good hour.

Remove veggies with a slotted spoon to the bowl of your food processor.  Process on high until completely pureed.  Add fresh squeeze lemon juice.  Process again.  Pour puree back into soup stock.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper if you prefer.

Optional:  Add cooked whole wheat macaroni for a chunkier soup.  Or you can add leftover chopped chicken, ham or fish pieces, too.  I like the broth version.  Very soothing.


Soup Kitchen: Spicy Red Chard, Spinach and Garlic Soup — Pure Vegetarian!

A hot winter soup a la Mexico — hot and spicy to the taste, hot to warm you on a cold frosty day — couldn’t be better as we curl up in front of the fire dreaming about being in Oaxaca.  We’ve been experimenting this week with a lot of vegetables we have on hand.  This is a made-up, “everything you can think of leftover in your vegetable bin” kind of soup.  It has no oil or meat — just pure vegetable goodness.  We use only organic vegetables.  Is this ever delicious? YES.  So, have at it!

Spicy Red Chard, Spinach and Garlic Soup in Talavera Uriarte bowl from Puebla


8 quart stock pot

Food processor

Wide slotted spoon

Mixing bowl


Long-handled spoon for stirring the pot

Soup ladle


5 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 onion, peeled, quartered

2 bunches fresh spinach, trimmed, cleaned

2 bunches fresh red chard, trimmed, cleaned

1 parsnip, peeled, cut into 3″ pieces

1 or 2 small beets, cleaned with greens intact

1 very large orange sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3″ pieces

1 head broccoli, cleaned, trimmed, including stalks

1 bunch celery, end cut off, cleaned, cut into 3″ pieces

1 box organic cream of tomato soup (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)

sea salt to taste; at least 1 T.

1 tsp. red cayenne pepper

2 Tb. turmeric

2 Tb. paprika

juice of 2 large lemons


In the food processor, combine garlic and onion and process until minced.  Set aside.

Soup Kitchen: Correcting the Seasoning

Add 6 qts. water to stock pot and bring to boil.  Add all the vegetables, submerging all of them under water.  Simmer over medium heat until root vegetables are cooked, about 10-15 minutes.  With the slotted spoon, remove vegetables from the broth to a mixing bowl.  You will have liquid broth at the bottom of the mixing bowl.  Transfer half the vegetables to the food processor and blend until a smooth puree.  Add remaining vegetables and stock and continue processing until smooth.  Add salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and turmeric.  Process to blend.  Pour mixture into mixing bowl.

Ladle puree back into vegetable stock that has remained in the stock pot.  Stir with long handled spoon.  Add cream of tomato soup.  To get all the soup out of the box, add water from the tap, swish around and pour liquid into stock pot.  Add lemon juice. Stir well.

Bring all to simmer.  Taste.  Correct seasoning by adding more salt if needed.  Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Serves 12.  Can be frozen.

This soup will be a bright forest green.  I leave this on the burner and sip on it throughout the day.  It is healthy, satisfying, enjoyable and low in calories.

Optional:  I added 1/2 can of vegetarian, organic refried beans that were leftovers in my refrigerator.  This served to thicken the soup and add a bit of bean soup taste to the mix.

Hint:  Try this method with carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, potatoes, cauliflower and any other leftovers you have there in the veggie bin.  You would be amazed at what you can create!