Hearty Soups for Veganuary

It’s the perfect time to try going vegan – or just start incorporating more vegan dishes into your diet.
January 18, 2024
Sugar Baby Pumpkin Soup Photo by Consciously Kosher

Did you know that it’s Veganuary?

It’s the perfect time to try going vegan – or just start incorporating more vegan dishes into your diet.

“There are those that believe vegan cooking can’t be hearty, but those people are clearly not in the know,” Danny Corsun, founder of Culinary Judaics Academy, told the Journal.

Corsun’s Black Bean Soup is a go-to in his house when they want to eat a dairy-free meal; they are already meat-free.

According to Corsun, this vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free soup is easy to make and, thanks to some basic aromatics and Cuban spices, incredibly flavorful.

“This delicious soup is very much both hearty and vegan and is a fantastic way to start off a meal.” – Danny Corsun

“This delicious soup is very much both hearty and vegan and is a fantastic way to start off a meal,” he said. “Or have two bowls with a side of roasted corn and sweet potato and make it your whole meal.”

Don’t forget the good crusty bread for dunking!

Black Bean Soup
by Danny Corsun

The recipe yields quite a bit of soup (6 to 8 servings); it is easily halved, or you can freeze the leftovers.

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped fine
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
4½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp red pepper flakes (use ¼ tsp if you’re sensitive to spice)
4 (15-oz.) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 – 2 tsp sherry vinegar, to taste, or 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional garnishes: Diced avocado, vegan garlic-herb soft cheese, extra cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, tortilla chips and whatever else you can think of.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, carrot and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beans and broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the broth is flavorful and the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Puree about 4 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth (beware the steam that escapes from the top of the blender, it’s very hot). Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the cilantro, vinegar/lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish and serve.

Dawn Lerman’s 450-pound ad-man dad coined the award-winning slogan for Campbell’s home style brand, “Soup is Good Food.” He credited Lerman’s flavorful, anti-oxidant-rich Mushroom Miso Soup with finally conquering his lifelong battle with obesity.

“I first learned how to make this miracle broth as a kid, when exploring the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle,” Lerman, a nutrition expert and author of “My Fat Dad: A Memoir of Food, Love and Family, With Recipes,” told the Journal. “Infused with garlic, ginger, shitake and tofu, this soup said, ‘I love you,’ and brought my dad comfort in a way my words never could.”

Miso is a traditional Japanese fermented soy or rice paste.]“Its healing power is often compared to chicken soup, especially when paired with immune boosters like garlic, ginger, onion, and shiitake mushrooms,” Lerman said.

Mushroom Miso Soup
Photo by Dawn Lerman

Vegetarian Mushroom Miso Soup

1 (2–3 inch) fresh organic ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ organic onion, chopped
1 Tbsp oil of choice
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup sliced mixed raw mushrooms (shiitake, portabella, maitake)
8 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup organic dried Shiitake mushrooms
½ lb. tofu, diced
¼ cup organic miso paste (There are many types of miso to choose from. I like sweet white miso — this is a paste not a powder — and you can add a little more if you like a strong miso flavor)
1 head of roasted garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
2 organic carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon tsp of salt (preferably a truffle salt or good-quality Himalayan salt) or more to taste

In a stockpot, sauté the ginger and onion in the oil until the onion just begins to sweat. Add the raw garlic and raw mushrooms, and cook until browned. Then add the water or broth to the pot and bring to a slow boil. Add the dried mushrooms and tofu and carrots, , and then lower the heat.t, Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the shiitakes are fully reconstituted.
While the pot of mushrooms is simmering, ladle about 6 ounces of the broth into a separate bowl and add the miso paste to it; stir until dissolved. Next, add the mashed roasted garlic to this mixture. Once thoroughly combined, add the garlic-miso mixture back into the pot and add salt to taste. Stir well and enjoy all the healing properties of this magic broth.

Michael Tanenbaum loves Pumpkin Soup. Pumpkins, he explains, are packed with vitamins and minerals.

“They are a very good source of potassium, magnesium and zinc in the diet,” Tanenbaum, founder of the website Consciously Kosher, told the Journal.

“They also contain the powerful antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as beta-carotene, which converts into copious amounts of vitamin A in your body and gives the pumpkin its signature orange color.”

Why add pumpkin into a soup?

“Soup is very hydrating,” he said. “It is also easy to digest … and it makes your insides feel warm and comfortable on those cold winter days, even in SoCal.”

Sugar Baby Pumpkin Soup

1 sugar baby pumpkin, halved, seeded, brushed with oil andbaked, cut side up, in the oven on parchment paper at 350°F, until soft
1 big sweet potato (or 2 medium-sized potatoes), peeled and diced
1 medium onion (preferably yellow)
8 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/3 cup raw unfiltered honey
Pinch of sea salt (plus more to taste)

In a large pan, sauté the onion in 2 Tbsp avocado oil until they are transparent.
To a large saucepan, add the onions and 4 cups of boiling water. Add the potato, boil for 10 minutes.
Peel the pumpkin.
Add the pumpkin to the saucepan. Add more water if needed to cover the pumpkin.
Toss in cinnamon, pumpkin spice and salt.
Boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes, then blend with a hand blender.


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