Quinoa Tomato Avocado with Carrot Ginger Sesame

Quinoa Tomato Avocado Salad - Carrot Ginger Sesame Dressing - The Lotus and the Artichoke

Here’s a quick and healthy vegan recipe for one of my favorite salads. It’s great for lunch on its own, or as an appetizer before a soup or lighter meal. Instead of quinoa, you can use other grains like couscous or bulgar, or use the dressing, avocado and tomato on fresh greens, like spinach or arugula.

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Carrot Ginger Zucchini Soup

Carrot Ginger Zucchini Soup - The Lotus and the Artichoke vegan cookbook

I’ve been making variations of this vegan Carrot Ginger soup recipe for over ten years. The inspiration came from a former co-worker from South Africa that I met while working as an English teacher with Berlitz Language School in my early years in Berlin. The recipe she gave me after a dinner party was for Carrot Ginger Pumpkin soup. I’ve modified it over the years to include potato (for a vegan creamy texture) and use soy milk instead of cream. I often use other vegetables (in this case zucchini) instead of pumpkin.

I love to cook with what I have in the kitchen, and I change up this soup accordingly all the time. This is an all-year soup that you can vary in thickness and spice according to weather and whim. Like thicker soups? Easy: add less water. Not in the mood for thick wintery soup? No trouble: increase the water and/or soy milk slightly. It’s also easy to make a more Indian version by increasing the appropriate spices, and I’ve even turned this into a sort of dal (lentil) fusion soup using a cup or two of boiled red lentils along with the vegetables before puréeing. If you want a more European and less Asian soup, replace the cumin and coriander with fresh thyme, basil, rosemary and add some tomato paste or 1 chopped tomato.

This soup works great as a starter served along with a healthy salad (such as my Arugula Pear Walnut salad favorite) warming up to a nice, hearty meal. It impresses guests every time and everyone always asks for more. You can double the soup and have enough for several days (you won’t get bored of it, especially if you have plenty of good bread, tasty crackers, or your own tasty croutons.) It can also be frozen and kept for a quick, delicious future meal when you’re too lazy to cook.

Do you have any other suggestions or ideas? Share your thoughts and experiences!

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