Monday, February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday Meal

When Oprah challenged her entire staff to go vegan for an entire week, some people were extremely hesitant about it. It was around this time last year that they all went a week without any animal products. By the end of the week, the consensus was that it was actually easier than they had orginally anticipated (perhaps also because all of the lunch options in the cafeteria were made vegan for the week) and everyone felt better inside and out during their week off meat. Many people continued with a vegan/vegetarian diet following that challenge!

During Lent, Tomislav and I have decided to give up meat. Meat is a huge part of Croatian diet (and really, lifestyle). There are a lot of customs and traditions based on making, cooking, and eating meat so it definitely is a challenge for us and we'll be tempted in many ways. I love a good challenge though! I made this absolutely delicious vegetarian soup, which could be a great starter or light meal for lunch or dinner.

The color is so beautiful! This is a carrot-ginger soup inspired by a recipe I saw in Bon Appetit magazine. So simple, I knew it would be good so I really wanted to try it! Here's the page I ripped out of the magazine with the recipe-


The recipe calls for roasted peanuts and chili butter on top of the soup. I didn't have peanuts on hand when I first made it so I skipped them but I did make the chili butter (so good!). Of course, if you'd like to make this vegan, omit the butter.

Ok, so for the chili butter you mix butter with green onion and dried crushed red pepper (if you do make it, it makes the soup so luxurious then and the red pepper gives it a little heat that melts in beautifully with the soup). Put the butter mixture in the fridge to harden up.

For the soup:
1.5 lb carrots cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 big onion -chopped
1 white skinned potato - chopped
2 tbsp minced ginger
5 cups (or more if you want it thinner) of vegetable broth
6 tbsp roasted peanuts (again, I didn't have this when we had the first bowls of soup and it was still so yummy but later we did buy some and the crunch was just awesome!

Sauté all the veggies for ten minutes until they are a bit softened:
Then, add the broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Cool a bit and then purée in batches until smooth. (I had to do it 4 batches because I only have the Magic Bullet but it worked great!) Add salt and pepper at the end. If you want to add the chili butter (or maybe just a bit of chili flakes) and the peanuts, do it right at the end. We squeezed a bit of lime into our soups one time and that was nice too.


After Oprah and her staff did the week long vegan challenge, they decided to continue having meatless meals one day a week at their office cafeteria, hence, meatless Monday! It's a great idea to reduce the amount of animal products you eat, even if it is just for one day a week. Or if not for a whole day, try having just one meat meal a day and the rest vegetarian, and definitely try the carrot-ginger soup!

This soup is silky and so flavorful. Next time, I will make a much bigger batch because we gobbled it all up quickly. But the point is, I will definitely be making this one again!


  1. Matt and I are doing the same thing. Things are going well so far, tonight we are having zucchini patties, similar to potato pancakes. I'll have to try this recipe out!

    1. This is so late, especially since tomorrow is Easter but how did your meatless Lent go?! I'm making this soup right now (as per T-Slav's request...aka insistence!) so his parents can try it tomorrow for Easter lunch. I also made a ham that he is dying to try! It really wasn't as bad as I thought, these last 40 days! Tomislav is SUPER pumped to eat meat again but I think I could handle it even longer ;)

  2. I love that you've referenced Oprah and her vegan for a week bit! I was inspired when she did that on the show and really wanted to continue it in my life, but I never did. You may have just gotten me back on track! :)

    1. Oh, Oprah <3 I wish I could watch her channel here because I miss her! Sometimes I youtube old clips....go O!



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