Leek, Red Pepper and Potato Soup

2 red peppers
4 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks (washed thoroughly and diced
8 cups potatoes (peeled and chopped)
5 cups chicken broth
1 sprig thyme
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Chives

Roast red pepper under broiler until skin is blackened. Place in bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Wait ten minutes then peel off skin. Remove seeds. Chop up. Add peppers leeks and sauté w olive oil for 5-10 minutes, til soft. Add potatoes, broth and thyme. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool 10 min, then puree. Place over medium-low heat. Heat heavy cream on low til steaming. Add warm cream to soup and stir. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle w/ chives.

This recipe is from the book "Vegetables" by the Culinary Institute of America.

Peanut Stew with Winter Vegetables & Cornbread Dumplings

Stew:
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 c diced onions
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tspn cayenne
1/2 tspn sea salt
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 lg cloves garlic
2 c diced white potatoes
1/2 c diced carrots
1/2 c diced parsnips
2 c diced sweet potatoes
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 c veg stock
white pepper
1/4 c flat leaf parsley

Dumplings:
1/2 c ww pastry flour
1/2 c cornmeal
2 tbsp thyme
2 tspn flaxseeds
1.5 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn sea salt
3 tbsp soymilk
1 tbsp olive oil

Warm the oil in a lg sauce pan over med heat. Add onions, paprika, cayenne, and salt and saute til soft. Add ginger, garlic, and vegetables and saute until soft ~7min. Decrease  to med. low. Put the peanut butter, tomato paste, and 2 c of stock in blender and mix til smooth. Pour into sauce pan and stir in remaining stock. Bring to simmer, partially cover, and cook ~ 30 min.

For dumplings, put 5 c water in med saucepan and bring to boil. Sift flour, cornmeal, thyme, flax, baking powder, and salt into med bowl and stir with a whisk until blended. Make a well in center, ad soy milk and oil, and stir until it forms a batter. Lower heat of water and maintain slow simmer. With soup spoon, drop tbsp into water, waiting 15 sec between dollops. When batter is used up, cover and simmer until dumplings are puffed (~10 min). Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a plate. Serve each bowl of stew with a few dumplings on top and garnish with parsley. 

From my daughter Anna, who got it from the Afro Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry and wowed us with it over the holidays!

Arugula Potato Soup

3 tsp butter
2 onions or leeks
1 1/2 lbs. of potatoes
2 1/2 cups of broth or water
1/3 cup milk,
1 bunch of arugula
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Saute onions, leeks for about 20 minutes. Add chopped potatoes, broth, ginger and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Puree half the solids and return to soup. Add milk and bring to a boil. Add steamed arugula and cook an additional few minutes! Serve nice and hot with yummy bread.

Not sure where this old standby came from, but it's a great variation on a familiar theme.

Root Vegetable Gratin

Root Vegetable Gratin

1 onion, sliced
2 cups fennel,
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs mix of sweet potato, potato, celeriac
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken or veg stock
2 cups grated gruyere cheese
2 tsp thyme
2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
2 to 3 Tbsp melted butter

Peel and slice veggies 1/4" thick. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a deep baking dish. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and fennel. Sautee about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Combine mixture with remaining vegetables, cream, stock, cheese, thyme, 1 Tbsp kosher salt and 1 1/2 tsp black pepper. Pour into baking dish. Mix breadcrumbs and butter and distribute over top of dish. Bake 1 1/2 hours uncovered, til very tender when tested with a knife. Let set 15 min and serve!

I made this for a meal train for friends who recently had a baby, and it was a big hit. Recipe and photo from Smitten Kitchen blog.