Cleansing Vegetable Soup

Vegan Cleansing Soup Recipe
This is the other dish I brought to the Lenten potluck earlier this week. I looked through a bunch of detox soup recipes online, then used the ideas to throw this together. It’s packed with veggies, easy to make, and this recipe makes a large pot so you could eat it for days…I would have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I were more disciplined. Anyway.

Cleansing Vegetable Soup
2 pounds dried split peas
2 heads broccoli
1 pound carrots
1 pound celery
1 bunch green onion
1/4 C peeled & chopped turmeric (or more to taste)
2 bunches kale
6 C vegetable broth (homemade or high quality store bought)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
optional: 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Cook split peas according to instructions, allowing them to get very tender and soft.
Meanwhile, chop all the veggies except kale, and add to large pot with turmeric and vegetable broth – include the leafy celery and carrot tops, they add a great flavor and are very nutritious. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, and simmer until veggies are tender and falling apart, adding salt and pepper to taste (and nutritional yeast, if using). Tear kale from stems and add to veggies. Simmer until tender.
Let the veggies and split peas cool slightly, then blend in batches – I did a few ladles-full of vegetables along with a big scoop of split peas in each batch. You can blend it all until completely smooth, or leave some of the veggies in chunks.

Vegan Cleansing Soup Recipe
At home, I serve the soup with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and finished with Mediterranean black lava salt (I love finding fancy salts at Home Goods). The split peas bulk it up and make it pretty filling on its own, but it would also be wonderful over rice or potatoes. I bought a container of rice with chickpeas from the monastery, it had bits of onion and dill in it, and it was delicious with the soup mixed in.

This soup is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day…unless you accidentally grab a vegetable broth with safflower oil in it, which is a totally unnecessary ingredient and why you should make your own broth. But it is better to eat the soup than let it go to waste :)

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Lemon Ginger Chia Beverage

Hydrating Lemon Ginger Beverage with Chia Seeds
This may just be the most Lenten recipe I post this season. It was supposed to look beautiful and radiant in the sunlight, but I just realized now it even looks kind of swampy sitting in the grass like this. The swampiness isn’t exactly a fair representation, but let it be a warning to you: This is not a drink for the faint of heart.

I have a thing for drinks with a bite. This one, for example, is extremely tart and mildly bitter, with just a hint of sweetness from maple syrup. The chia seeds are added to make it more satisfying, and may also help keep you hydrated (anyway that’s what I keep reading) – important during the very strict fasting days at the beginning of Great Lent and end of Holy Week.

Lemon Ginger Chia Beverage
2 – 3 lemons, or to taste
1/4 C peeled ginger, roughly chopped
2 1/2 C water
maple syrup, to taste
3 Tbsp chia seeds
*optional: lemon zest

Juice two lemons (or more, if you prefer), and add juice to pot with water. Slice the third lemon and set slices aside.
Add chopped ginger and optional lemon zest* to lemon water and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain out ginger chunks. Add maple syrup to taste (keep in mind this is supposed to be somewhat healthy…add just enough so the bitter and tart flavors don’t kill you). Stir in chia seeds. Place in a glass jar. Add lemon slices, and place jar in fridge to chill. Drink cold.
This recipe makes about two glasses.

*I carefully sliced the peel off my two lemons – not the bitter white pith, just the yellow peel – and added it with the ginger. Slicing is so much faster than using a zester!

VeganEgg Breakfast Sandwich

Yes, I am still celebrating Pizza Week, but I’ll be posting my pizza tonight. This morning I want to share a review of VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart. I’ve been purchasing it on Amazon since I can get free shipping with Prime (thanks to my brother for sharing access to his Prime account – did you know you can share access with multiple people??).

VeganEgg Breakfast Sandwich
It was selling out fast in the beginning. When I first heard about it, it was out of stock at every online retailer I checked, and I have yet to find it locally. After a week it became available, so I ordered two cartons and sent one to a friend. When my carton was running out, it was out of stock again! So a couple weeks later when it became available, I ordered four cartons all for me :D I used it to make scrambled eggs, omelets, a quiche-like dish, and even very experimental sunny side up eggs. I also did a very simple egg sandwich just because I love the taste of the VeganEgg with the VioLife herb cheese.

VeganEgg Breakfast Sandwich
For the sandwich, I poured the mixed VeganEgg into my skillet and let it cook over medium heat until it was firm, then flipped it and cooked a couple minutes longer. I used a biscuit cutter to cut rounds of egg the size of my bagel (I have a lovely antique set with nesting rings of several sizes).

VeganEgg Breakfast Sandwich with VioLife
I put tons of margarine on both halves of the bagel – I’m not vegan for my health! (but you could sub olive oil or coconut oil sprinkled with a little salt)

VeganEgg Breakfast Sandwich with VioLife
Then add a slice or two of VioLife herb cheese. But if, like most people reading this, you are in the United States without access to VioLife (YET), try it with Follow Your Heart’s Garden Herb cheese slices. You could also add your favorite vegan deli slices or vegan bacon.

Does it taste like eggs? YES. Okay, I don’t really know firsthand because I can’t remember what eggs taste like, although the consistency seemed right and I thought the taste was familiar. I made a sort of a quiche dish for a dinner party (recipe coming soon) and told everyone up front what it was. They all said it was like eggs, but in case I ruined it by letting them in on the secret ingredient, someone arrived late and took a big scoop. “Mmmm, who brought the quiche?” “It’s VEGAN.” “WUT.” So yes, I think it’s really similar.

VeganEgg Tips
-The instructions say to mix the VeganEgg powder with ice cold water – and they mean it! Put some water in a glass with ice when you get started, and pop it in the freezer or fridge while prep everything else. Then strain the water when you pour it into the measuring cup.

-If whisking, pour the water in gradually. Start with just enough to make a paste, and whisk to break up any lumps. Add a little more water, whisk until smooth, etc.

-Whisk the heck out of it!

-You can add a bit more water than called for to get more bang for your buck with the same great eggy results. Play around to see what works for you.

-The powder has a very mild/bland flavor on its own because its meant to also be used for baking. Personally, I would never waste it on baking when there are so many cheap alternatives! But due to the mild taste for that reason, I definitely recommend adding kala namak black salt for a sulfurous taste. It’s up to you how much, I usually do about 4 shakes per serving. I also add 1 tsp nutritional yeast per serving.

Overall, yes, this is an expensive little carton of eggs, but it’s totally worth it for a special treat or a shared meal with non-vegans. And it’s super fun to experiment with!