Monday, February 18, 2013

Did you ever put yourself out there?  Try something out of your comfort zone?

I did that twice last week.  (And though it was a little nerve-wracking, it felt really good.)

First up was Soup & Bread at the Hideout in Chicago.   This is a pretty inspirational event.  Several soup makers from different backgrounds (artists, home cooks, chefs, bloggers, etc.) donate soup that they've made, and a couple of bakeries donate bread, and folks make a donation to try lots of yummy soups with the proceeds going to different charities.  The charity for our night was our local food pantry (coincidentally, for whom I also do a little volunteering), Common Pantry.

This year, each of the soup nights has a theme.  Our theme for the day before Valentine's Day was Love, Lust and Hate.  I made my soup with the super-talented Helen Tsatsos, jewelry designer behind Rock Candy by Helen.  (If you're looking for creative, unique jewelry check out her creations!)

We made a tomato soup (love in a bowl, right?!) with the secret ingredients of coconut milk (kinda lusty) and Marmite -- the British yeast spread (hated by most Americans -- except for those who love it, like Helen!).  We also had spiced cashews that people could sprinkle on as a topping, but it was allergen-free without the nuts.

Of course the soup was vegan.  Of course it is delicious!  Who knew that combining Marmite with coconut milk would create a rich, flavorful soup base?

tomato soup with coconut milk

The next night, a group of my friends and I participated in a mini-flash mob as part of One Billion Rising during a figurative art show that benefited the Center for Advancing Domestic Peace, Inc.   The show was entitled em|body|peace, and it was also very inspirational to see how talented my neighbors are.  

If you're looking for a delicious and loving vegan cream of tomato soup to warm up a February night, give this recipe a try!

Love Conquers All Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup
Makes 4 servings (cup-of-soup size serving)

1 cup light coconut milk
2 teaspoons Marmite yeast spread (if Marmite isn't available, you can substitute miso paste.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes


In a bowl or measuring cup, mix together coconut milk and Marmite.  Set aside.
In a large saucepan or small stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add onions, cook until soft.
Add tomatoes and coconut milk mixture.  Stir to combine.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Transfer soup to blender and blend until smooth.
Reheat blended soup in pot.
Serve topped with crushed spiced nuts or seeds (optional)

Happy Cooking!

My new book Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

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  1. Wow, feels so warm. Perfect for this cold weather.

  2. I got to your blog from seeing a comment on the Balanced Platter's tomato I got two delicious-looking tomato recipes at practically the same time! :) Did anyone make allergen/gluten-free bread at the event?

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Minnie and Molly! There wasn't any GF bread at this event, but there were so many soups from which to choose, that anyone could fill up with foods that were delicious and safe!

  4. What a clever event! I have a questions about Marmite spread, from a food allergen perspective, do you happen to know if it is nut or sesame seed cross contamination free?

  5. Honestly, I'm not sure about cross contamination. We kept a jar of Marmite out so people could judge for themselves if they wanted to eat it or not, but I tried looking it up and didn't really get too far. I think Unilever makes it, so you could contact them with any specific questions. I know how frustrating it is trying to determine if something is safe for each family. It seems that every person and their doctor follows a slightly different way to do things.

  6. This sounds delicious! I have been very into soups this winter. :) Thanks for sharing!