Vego and Lovin’ It

A few weeks ago I did a challenge to go vegan for a day. A scary prospect for a fierce carnivore like me. I loved it! My body loved it too. So for the last few weeks I’ve been doing Meat-free Monday.

I’d actually been considering a more plant based diet, since working on the latest issue of Spezzatino magazine. I found the whole process eye opening as it showed me how much I’ve learned about ingredients and nutrition since my days as a cheese and pasta eating vegetarian in High School and University. However, one of my fondest memories from uni days is mornings spent at Vego’n’lovin’ it on Rundle Street with one of my dearest friends, Carolyn. We both spent a lot of our spare time (when we were procrastinating about assignments) trying to re-create their soup. We never cracked it.

With my return dalliance to plant-based eating I added more beans in my diet. My pantry started to develop a fair collection. I thought I’d give the recipe one more crack and have something pretty special to start my day. I LOVE soup for breakfast.

1tb oil
1 onion, diced
3 stick celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1tb malaysian style garam masala
1/4 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts ground coriander
1/4c dry fava/broad beans (soaked overnight)*
1/4c dry red kidney beans (soaked overnight, or 1/2c canned)*
about 3l chicken flavoured stock
1/4c dry mung beans, washed**
1/4c dry brown lentils, washed
1 tomato, diced
1 ear of corn, or 1 small can

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and cook the onion until golden.

Add in the diced carrot and celery and saute for a further 5 minutes or until soft, then stir in the spices and toast until aromatic.

Add the stock, kidney beans and broad beans. Bring the liquid to the boil then cook under pressure for 15 minutes. Add in the lentils and mung beans and cook under pressure for a further 15-20 minutes.

Add in the corn and tomato and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

NOTES: *If you don’t have a pressure cooker pre-cook all these beans for 45 minutes after soaking overnight.
** Carolyn rightly emailed me back saying she didn’t remember mung beans. These are my current favourite bean. The ‘correct’ recipe would be to replace the mung beans with more brown lentils.

About Michelle

Michelle is passionate about showing people how easy it is to prepare food that is healthy and packed full of flavour. She has just completed her first recipe book, Healthy Helpings: fast food for fit physiques. She began sharing her love of food in 2007, when she produced two series of the online cooking show ‘Healthy Helpings TV’, making fast food healthy and healthy food fast. In 2008 she competed in bodybuilding as a novice figure shaping competitor and she remains passionate about physique sports. She was a 2009 Australian Masterchef semi-finalist, and contributes articles to Oxygen Magazine Australia. Michelle lives with her husband on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, where she loves to search out new ingredients and food ideas from local farmers markets, health food shops and ethnic grocers, and take her two dogs on long rambles through the vineyards. Find out more about Michelle's book