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Enjoy the Comfort of Plant-Based Soups and Stews

Article by Itzel Wiewel

Photography by Itzel Wiewel

Originally published in Bend Lifestyle

"Cheesey" Broccoli Soup

Fall in Bend means brisk and colorful walks through Drake or Shevlin park that hopefully lead to a cozy soup waiting for you at home.Broccoli cheddar soup is an easy to prepare, one-pot type of soup. It has become a staple for my family during the colder months. You add all the ingredients and forget about it. It is homey, comforting, and the perfect healthy and reinvigorating meal for a cold or rainy day. I like chopping up crusty French bread into cubes and toasting them with a little bit of olive oil for fresh croutons to add on top.


6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

3 carrots, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 cups broccoli, chopped

32 oz. vegetable broth

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


1.     Peel and dice the potatoes, carrots, onions, and chop the broccoli.

2.     Combine all the veggies and liquids in a pot. 

3.     Simmer on medium heat until all of the veggies are tender.

4.     Smash with a food masher or fork.

5.     Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.     Top with homemade croutons for the perfect finishing touch. I usually cube a portion of a crusty French baguette or loaf and sauté with a bit of olive oil or bake until crunchy for simple scrumptious croutons. 

Note: Don't worry about the liquid not covering the vegetables completely, it is going to reduce down to be thicker.


Hearty Beef(less) Stew

Hearty and healthy is the best combo. When my husband was craving a classic comfort stew, this recipe hit the spot and he didn’t miss the beef! It tastes unbelievably like a traditional beef stew but is entirely plant based. At first, I was unsure how to get that deep beef flavor but was inspired to try, and experimented until it came out just right. The combination of portobello mushrooms and liquid aminos (or soy sauce) had the effect I was seeking. Your kitchen and the whole house will smell amazing.  May your family enjoy this “beef” stew as much as mine does. (It goes perfectly with some crusty French bread.)


1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 large portobello mushrooms, cubed

1 Tbsps liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

4 colorful carrots (purple, white, orange), diced

1 lb. baby gold potatoes

2 celery stalks, chopped

10 oz. frozen peas

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 quart vegetable broth

1-2 cups of water (enough to barely cover potatoes and veggies)

a couple of sprigs of rosemary and thyme

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Salt to taste


  1. Dice a whole yellow onion and the carrots. Chop the celery, cube the mushrooms, and mince plenty of garlic. 
  2. Set the stove to medium-high heat and add the olive oil to a large pot.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for five minutes or so until softened, then add the minced garlic cloves and sauté for another five minutes. 
  4. Next, toss in the cubed mushroom and add the liquid aminos. Let it sauté for about 10 minutes, using a wooden spatula (there are plenty of reasons to use a wooden spatula, but that's up to you) to mix it once in a while. 
  5. Continue adding the carrots, potatoes, celery, peas, tomato paste, veggie broth, a cup or two of water (just enough to cover the potatoes), garlic salt, 1 bay leaf, and finely chopped flat-leafed parsley. Simmer until you can stick a fork through the baby potatoes. 
  6. Some lightly toasted crusty bread is highly recommended. Also, consider a bit of chili flakes for a kick. Enjoy! 
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