Indian soups and Garam Masala

Last night’s new recipe met with mixed results. This time around I made a cauliflower, potato, and lentil soup with some Indian flavor, a recipe from Nava Atlas’ wonderful Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. While I was pleased with the Indian flavor that the Garam Masala gave the soup, Huyen thought it was a little bit too overpowering, negating the taste of the cauliflower. I think had we used larger chunks of potato and caulflower rather than dicing them so finely, it might have turned out a little better.

I must admit, though, I’m becoming a fan of Garam Masala, a blend of cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cloves, and black pepper that’s traditionally used in North Indian cooking (the South Indian version has fenugreek and turmeric and more coriander). has a some good information on Garam Masala, as well as some recipes for making your own. Like curry, when it’s used in soup, it makes the house smell wonderful (one of my favorite by-products of cooking an Indian-style dish).

Harvest Deli

During our visit to the Finger Lakes last month, we had lunch at the Harvest Deli (good pictures on their For Sale page), a conveniently located vegetarian food court-style eatery in Ithaca. I had a wonderful vegan Cuban Seitan-Steak Sub sandwich. They had a nice variety of ethnic vegan options and a full line of smoothies and juices. Ithaca has a lot of vegetarian choices, but the Harvest Deli is definitely worth a stop if you’re spending the day shopping in the Ithaca Commons.

Faux chorizo (chourico)


Hm… the recipe for Portuguese Chouriço and Kale Soup sounds mighty good. I wonder if it can be successfully de-meated. Obviously, either Unchicken broth or vegetable broth would be substituted for the chicken broth, but the main ingredient is where it gets a little tricky.

The soup’s main ingredient is chouriço, a smoked pork sausage seasoned with paprika, crushed pepper, garlic, and other spices. The trick would be trying to get the right levels of seasoning on a sausage substitute. I found a page about how to make your own chouriço, which might be helpful. I think I’ll start directly with a store-bought imitation sausage and attempt to marinate it in a similar way.

It should be an interesting experiment. The soup sounds like it would be nice and warm and spicy, a good combination for cold winter nights.

Turkey visits Vegetarian Times

Some Sabot Publishing employees were feeling a little bummed because they were downsized and facing their final days with their respective magazines. But something managed to make them laugh: a wild turkey on their stoop. What makes this story interesting, though, are the magazines published inside the office: Better Nutrition and Vegetarian Times. The turkey must have known it was safe. :) Read more