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?
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)
Find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.