Leftover vegetable soup


Hello beautiful people,

The title of this post says it all: vegetable leftover soup! It happens to all of us. We go to the grocery store or the farmer’s market and buy all this beautiful produce. We come home, head full of ideas on what to cook/bake for our family during the week. And as the days go by, the basket of colourful carrots is down by half, the cabbage head is shredded to its last quarter, the bunch of kale merely has 2 leafy stems left. You know you don’t want these vibrant vegetables to go to waste (throwing out food that’s gone bad is the worst feeling ever!) and you also know that if you go to the market now, these beauties will hit the back of the fridge in no time. But then again, what to do with them? You could just shred everything and toss it in a salad bowl and call it a day. It would make for a nice refreshing and delicious dinner but you want something more. You want to expand your culinary wings and create something more because you are a chef in your own kitchen. You also want to be practical and spend your time in the kitchen wisely, which means making a meal you can easily bring for lunch the next day. And this is where this soup comes in. It takes care of all those beautiful leftover vegetables, it’s flavourful and it makes enough for you to bring to lunch the next day. Bingo!

Now I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of soups for the longest time. It just didn’t do it for me. Not only did I not consider a bowl of soup a meal (how could a bowl of liquid keep me full!) but I also considered it to be a waste of my stomach space when served before the main meal. It didn’t help that I grew up in the 80’s and soup diets were all the rage (cabbage diet soup anyone?). I would see close relatives eat nothing but soup all day for a week, feeling miserable but holding on because the scale was showing a few dropped pounds. Yah, no thank you. I’ll stick with solid foods.

But then something happened: I went away to University to attend Law School. I no longer had my mom to cook with me or to cook for me when I was pressed for time. I lived in an apartment steps away from campus and really wanted nothing to do with cafeteria food. I had a small kitchen in my apartment and I was determined to keep up with my home cooked healthy meals. Here’s what I hadn’t accounted for: the immense lack of time! Between studying for school and training for triathlons AND fitness competitions, there was barely any time left to cook healthy meals, let alone be creative and inventive in the kitchen. But being able to cook my own meals was important to me so I focused the little time I had on meals that could be easily put together, would make great lunches, wouldn’t put too much of a dent in my pocket book and packed a serious nutrition punch to help me keep up with my crazy schedule. And that is when I made amends with soup.

I realized soup didn’t have to be a diet food. It could be loaded with protein like beans or tempeh, pack a whole day’s worth of vegetable and give me the energy I needed with some added grains. I discovered that soup was also very versatile. I could get creative and feel like a chef again by mixing different spices, vegetables and grains. It also really helped towards the end of the week, when I had no time to shop for food and my fridge looked miserable with only a few leftover pieces of vegetables. Soup became my food companion throughout University.

This recipe is an homage to my University days. The soup is filled with a bunch of leftover vegetables, some split peas for protein and some barley for carbs. If you want to make this soup gluten-free, you could definitely swap the barley for some basmati brown rice or some millet. This soup makes a hearty meal so I simply served it to my family with some rustic french bread for dipping. So delicious!

I hope you guys enjoy this soup and let me know in the comments what you served it with.


Leftover vegetable soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This soup is loaded with good-for-you vegetables. If you don’t have these vegetables on hand, don’t worry, swap the carrots for some beets and the leek for some celery or whatever else you have on hand. Simply make sure you add vegetables to hold well during longer cooking time.
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 Cups cabbage, diced
  • 1 Cup turnip, shredded
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika (if you like a little heat, add hot paprika)
  • 1 Cup pearl barley
  • 1 Cup split peas
  • 10 Cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 27oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dice, slice, mince and shred your vegetables
  2. In a large pot, add the olive oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and leek. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add all your spices.
  5. Coat the onion mixture with the spices (except bay leaf) and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir frequently so the spices don’t burn.
  6. Add the barley and split peas and stir to coat.
  7. Add the vegetable stock, the can of diced tomatoes and the bay leaf. Stir.
  8. Cover the pot and increase to hight heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat back to medium-high.
  9. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the remaining vegetables.
  10. Bring to a boil again and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and add the lemon juice.
  12. Enjoy





Quick & Easy hearty pumpkin soup



Hello beautiful people,

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I love Fall! I love everything about Fall. From the crisp cool air in the morning, the colourful leafs, the soft and warm sweaters… I love it all. But what I especially love, is the food. Fall recipes tend to be heartier, filled with root vegetables that are cooked slowly to release their best flavour and fruits that taste like the last few rays of sunshine and cool breeze. I’m getting romantic on you guys here! But honestly, there is nothing I love more then sitting down at the dinner table to a warm bowl of stewed vegetables blended with different spices and finish off with a luxurious apple crumble topped with coconut ice cream. Now you tell me, doesn’t that sound divinely good?

I find root vegetable and Fall fruits also lend themselves so perfectly well to different herbs spices. Herbs and spices for me, are the essence of cooking. They are actually the heart and soul of my cooking. When people see a fruit or a vegetable they like, they usually think of the dish they’ll prepare with it. Like apples for example. When seeing an apple, you’ll think, apple pie, sautéed apples and arugula salad or bean stew with apples. I will think cinnamon and nutmeg that would go well in an apple pie, rosemary and thyme that would compliment the warm apples and arugula, sage and caraway seeds to elevate a bean stew with apples. I see the produce and I let my love of herbs and spices dictate what recipe I’m going to create.

Herbs and spices are also nutrition power houses.They contain an amazing amount of phytonutrients that our bodies need to thrive. Phytonutrients  are compounds found in plants that protect the plant from environmental threats and keep it healthy. When you eat plants, including herbs and spices, those phytonutrients fight to keep you healthy. Although not essential to your health, many believe herbs and spices, due to their phytonutrient density, can cure many diseases that still plague our country today.  In many cultures, herbs and spices are still used to this day as medicine to cure ailments ranging from headaches and soar throats to labor pain and inflammatory diseases. If science is your thing and you wanna read more about the power of herbs and spices, you can start by the following articles here and here.

Why am I telling you all this? Because if you follow my blog, you’ll notice that I use a lot of spices, many of which have incredible benefits to your health, including the ones in this soup. Especially the ones in this soup as 3 of them are in the top 10 healthiest and most beneficial herbs and spices. And those 3 are turmeric, fenugreek seeds and ginger. Here is a little explanation as to why each of these spices are beneficial for you:

Turmeric: according to Joe Leech, MS, over at Healthline, turmeric contains curcumin which is a remarkably  powerful antioxidant, that helps to fight oxidative damage and boosts the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point where it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.

Fenugreek: according to Dr. Axe, fenugreek can help with numerous digestive problems and cholesterol levels. It can also improve you athletic performance, increase milk flow in breastfeeding moms, increase libido in men, combat diabetes and reduce inflammation in the body due to fenugreek’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic and antitumorigenic properties.

Ginger: according to the people over at The World’s Healthiest Foods, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.

So not only is this soup very healthy for you, it’s also super quick and easy to put together. I created this with the busy moms and dads in mind. Those who, just like my husband and I, work hard all day but still want to feed their family nutritious and delicious foods. This soup is hearty enough on it’s own to make a meal but is so good when served with some warm bread to dunk it in.

I hope you enjoy this soup and let me know what you served it with!


Quick & Easy hearty pumpkin soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 portions
This soup makes for a hearty dinner of 4 portions or 6 smaller portions. You can serve it with some wholegrain bread and a dollop of vegan sour cream. You can also jazz it up a bit with some chopped cilantro or green onions as garnish. I made this soup with organic canned ingredients as I wanted to make it a quick and easy recipe that would take no time at all to put together. However, if you do have the time, you can totally soak and cook the small red kidney beans instead of the canned variety and use freshly cooked and puréed pumpkin. For the coconut milk, use the one in a can, not in a milk carton.
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, largely diced
  • 1 tsp palm oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, (freshly ground if possible)
  • 2 Cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 Cups coconut milk (if you want a rich creamy taste, use full fat. If you want less calories, use lite)
  • 1 1/2 Cup small red kidney beans, canned
  • 1 Cup vegetable broth (you can use 1 cup of water with 1 cube of vegetable broth)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a pan, on medium high heat, melt the palm oil.
  2. Add the onions and red bell peppers. Cook for 3 mins or until translucent.
  3. Add all the spices and coat the onion mixture. Cook for another 2 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the spices from burning.
  4. Remove the pan from heat.
  5. In a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients.
  6. Blend until the soup has a creamy texture. Our family likes texture in soups so I blend it for 3 minutes and thats enough for us.
  7. Return the soup to a pot to warm up.
  8. Enjoy!


Sunday night chili


Good morning beautiful people,

I’ve ben meaning to get this post to you earlier in the week, i.e.Sunday, but the day, and the beginning of the week, has gotten the best of me. Luckily, this chili is luscious and has set the tone for a wonderful week of delicious food creation.

In all honesty, I made this chili on Saturday night, after my son went to bed and I had the entire house all to myself, surrounded by peace and quiet… with Stingray’s Nothing but 90’s music channel playing in the background. Blissful! The reason I made this  Sunday night chili on Saturday, goes beyond the fact that I wouldn’t have time to make it on Sunday because I had to go shopping for warmer clothes for my baby. It actually had everything to do with spices and giving them the time and rest they need to fully develop.

See spices are kinda like humans: when you get a good night sleep, you are so much more efficient the next day. Spices are the same. When given time to rest, they give you the best of themselves and pack whatever dish they’re in with loads of yummy flavour. Ever noticed how things like curries, soups and stews, taste better the next day? Yup, it all has to do with giving spices their time to rest. Now if you really want to get technical with this, according to the Institute of Food Technologists, [leftovers often taste better the next day] generally because chemical reactions continue to take place that produce more and/or new flavor molecules. Some flavor enhancement may involve the breakdown of proteins to release amino acids such as glutamate and small nucleotides that interact to enhance savory, meaty umami taste, or reaction of amino acids with sugars to produce new flavor molecules by the Maillard reaction (browning), which can occur when the leftovers are reheated.

Now that we’ve got the science part down pack, let’s get back to this chili. It’s creamy, luscious and uber satisfying. And because this recipe easily makes for 8 portions, you and your family can enjoy the leftovers in your lunch the next day or even the day after that. It keeps very well for up to 3 days in the fridge.

The reason behind all this lusciousness is due to one secret ingredient: pureed pumpkin! This beloved halloween vegetable is very versatile and has a subtle flavour without overpowering the dish. It also adds quite a nutrition punch. 1 cup of pureed pumpkin gives you 763% of vitamin A (important for vision, regulates genes, supports the immune system and facilitates red blood cell production), 49% of vitamin K (important for cardiovascular health and bone restoration, helping to prevent osteoporosis and atherosclerosis) and 28% of dietary fibre and we all know what that’s important for! Delicious and nutritious, I’ll take that any day!

Now this recipe is a bit spicy, because that’s how we like our food in my family. But if this recipe packs too much heat for you, don’t hesitate to tone it down. I use tomatillo salsa in my chili, which tends to be spicy. If you want to control the spice level, use mild regular salsa instead. The recipe also call for jalapeño. Again, if you don’t want too much heat, make sure you remove all the seeds before adding to your chili as that’s where pepper gets all its heat. I also add chipotle spice which is also quite spicy. If that’s not your thing, add more smoked paprika to keep that smokey flavour without the heat.

There is one last ingredient you’ll find in there that might surprise you, and that is cacao powder. Yes, like the cacao powder you use in desserts. I started using cacao powder in my chilis decades ago, after going to an ice cream parlour with my parents (in my pre-vegan days) and ordering their Mexican ice cream. To my surprise, the chocolate ice cream had cayenne pepper in it. At first, I was turned off and totally disappointed (I tried to exchange it with my dad but to no avail!). But the more I ate, the more I enjoyed it and it actually accentuated the chocolate flavour. When I first tried it in my chili, I noticed the chocolate enhanced the chili’s flavour. You’ll also find chocolate in most authentic mole recipes.

I hope you and your family enjoy this chili as much as we do! Let me know if you’ve added your own twist and secret ingredients to this chilis.


Sunday night chili
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This chili packs a nice punch of heat. If that’s too much for you and your family, make the adjustments I suggested in my post. This chili is also quite filling in and of itself because of all the beans but you can easily serve it over some steamed rice and topped with corn chips and vegan sour cream.
  • 2 tsp palm oil
  • 1 onion, finally diced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 30oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 1 cup corn kernel (I use yellow and cream)
  • 1 cup white kidney beans, cooked
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs roasted garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 Tbs cacao powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a cast iron pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the diced red bell pepper and jalapeño.
  4. Add all the spices except the cacao powder. Stir the spices to evenly coat the onion mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring constantly to avoid the spices from burning.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, pureed pumpkin and salsa. Stir to combine and reduce to low heat.
  6. Add the corn, beans and cacao powder. Stir.
  7. Let the chili simmer for about 20 minutes and then serve with vegan sour cream, corn tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime juice.