tinola is a soup-based dish in the philippines.  it is made with chicken, chayote, garlic and ginger.  i usually eat this dish when i’m sick or when it’s a cold rainy day.  this is definitely a filipino comfort food.


>vegan pho


i love pho!!! pho is a vietnamese beef noodle soup garnished with mint, basil, lime, and bean spouts.  i researched on different pho recipes online and put this recipe together. 

this is my first attempt trying to cook pho.  with all the spices that are used in this dish, it was quite overwhelming and discouraging.  although i could have easily gone down the street from my place and ordered vegetarian pho for $4.00 (pho broth is usually made with beef broth and there’s no compassion in that!), i was determined to make this dish!   not only was it DELICIOUS but it’s VEGAN!    when you’re actually making the broth, the spices may seem overpowering but when all the ingredients come together at the end, it all seems to balance out nicely. 

broth ingredients:

1 filter ball
5 star of annise
1 tbsp corriander
1 tbsp fennel
6 whole cloves
1 dried cardamon pod
1 cinnamon stick
3 inch sticks of ginger, peeled
1 white onion halved and peeled
8 cups of vegetable broth

jalepenos, sliced
lime, sliced
cilantro, chopped
1 stalk of green onions, sliced
1/2 white onion, sliced thinly
sriracha hot sauce
vegetarian hoisin sauce

Rice Stick Noodles:
Banh Pho Viet Mien Lao
** soak for 25 min


1)  in a large pot bring vegetable broth, onions, and ginger to boil.  add all of the spices, except the cinnamon stick, into the filter ball.  add the filter ball to the broth mix and the cinnamon stick.  cover and turn the heat down to medium low.  simmer for about 20-25 minutes.  when the broth is finished, take out the filter ball and spoon out the ginger, onions, and cinnamon stick.
2)  while you’re waiting for the broth to cook, prepare soup garnish and soak rice stick noodles with warm water in a large bowl.
3)  in another pot, boil water and add noodles.  cook briefly for about 3-5 minutes.
4) when the noodles are soft, drain and spoon into a large bowl.  add the pho broth and garnish with

>cabbage and brussel sprout vegetable soup


back to reality and back to work this week.  today, i cooked up a soup that i’m going to take to lunch this week.  the great thing is, i can freeze the rest of the soup in individual containers and take the left over for lunch anytime!  

1/4 cup of olive oil
1 bunch of celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 head of garlic, minced
2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
1/2 of cabbage, shredded
8 oz of brussel sprouts, halved
1 -15oz can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
280z plumbed tomatoes, drained and chopped
10 cups of vegetable stock
1 tbs of salt
1 tbs of pepper

1.  In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.
2.  add celery, onions and carrots.  saute until onions are translucent.
3. add garlic, potatoes and vegetable broth.  bring to boil then simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
4.  add the rest of the vegetables and simmer until the brussel sprouts and cabbage are soft.

** i adapted this recipe from the eat clean cook book. tweaked it and made it my own.**

>vegan sinigang (filipino soup)


sinigang is a soup dish from the philippines that is sour in taste because it is flavored with tamarind, calamansi, or gauva.  this soup usually made with beef, pork, milk fish and shrimp and stewed with onions, tomatoes and veges.  here’s my take on vegan sinigang, which is really easy to make.  just don’t add meat! ha.


>black bean and potato soup


lately, i’ve been in the mood for soup.  i think its a mixture the cold weather and me getting over a cold. here’s a soup recipe i just put together.  enjoy!

1 1/4 cup chopped carrots
1 1/4 cup chopped onions
1 1/4 cup chopped celery
1 can of organic black beans, drained
2 large sized russet potatoes, cubed
4- 5 cloves of chopped garlic
14 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of corn (optional)
1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeño pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper
2- 4 tbs of olive oil
chopped cilantro
garnish with sour cream and chopped avocados or guacamole (optional)

1)  heat olive oil in a large pot, on medium high heat
2)  saute carrots, onions, and celery for 6-8 minutes
3) stir in cubed potatoes and garlic. cook for about 5 minutes.
4)  add broth (at this time, you can add the vegetable bouillon) and stir occasionally.  cook until the potatoes are close to tender
4) add black beans and corn. cook for 8 minutes.  at this time, add jalapeno, cilantro and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
5)  transfer soup into a food processor or blender and puree soup.
6) transfer puree back to pot and simmer on low for another 10 minutes.
7) ladle into a bowl. garnish with cilantro.  dollop with vegan sour cream or guacamole (even better… chopped fresh avocados).
** pictured with the soup- vegan whole wheat quesadilla**

>vegan arroz caldo (filipino rice porridge)


arroz caldo is a filipino rice porridge, which literally translates to rice soup.  it’s usually made of shredded chicken, garlic, ginger, and chicken broth.  this is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold night or to have when you’re trying to get over a cold.

the version i cooked today for dinner is far different from my dad’s recipe (i may have to just keep that in the family, right bryan??).  this type of arroz caldo is what you will usually encounter at a filipino restaurant.  this particular arroz caldo recipe takes me back to going to max’s restaurant with my mom after school and having a merienda, or afternoon snack. yum.

>lentil lemon and garlic soup


2 lemons, juiced
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cubes of vegetable bouillon optional (i used it in this recipe to add more flavor)
5 oz of diced carrots
5 oz of diced celery
5 oz of diced onions
** i just bought the mirepoix mixture at trader joe’s and used it for this recipe… it’s a quick and easy soup starter**
5 cloves of minced garlic
4 tbs olive oil
1 1/2- 2cups of cooked lentils
1 large potato, pealed and diced
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
hot sauce (i used sriracha) 
cilantro for garnish (you can also use parsley, basil, etc.)

1)  heat olive oil in a large pot, on medium high heat
2)  saute carrots, onions, and celery for 6-8 minutes
3) stir in diced potatoes and garlic. cook for about 5 minutes.
4)  add broth (at this time, you can add the vegetable bouillon) and stir occasionally.  cook until the potatoes are close to tender
4) add lentils and lemon juice. cook for 5 minutes.  at this time, season with salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes.
5)  transfer soup into a food processor or blender and puree soup.
6) transfer puree back to pot and simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
7) ladle into a bowl. garnish with cilantro, olive oil, paprika, and lemon slices.
** soup goes well with garlic bread**

>mushroom soondubu jjigae (korean hot pot soft tofu stew)


i first tried korean hot pot soup a couple of weeks ago at a korean hole in the wall restaurant in milpitas. they actually had a mushroom vegan version. it was delicious!!!

here is my take on korean hot pot soup. i had it today for dinner and surprisingly it turned out pretty good… considering that this was the first time i’ve made it! a very comforting dish on a cold evening.


2 packages of soft tofu
tofu broth seasoning
7 oz enoke mushrooms
1 small package of beech mushrooms
1-3 tsps red chili powder
4 cups of vegetable broth
chopped green onions
sesame oil

1)prep and clean mushrooms. to make sure all the dirt is out, i personally like to soak the mushrooms in water a couple of times until the water is clear. set mushrooms aside.
2) bring vegetable broth and tofu broth seasoning to boil in a medium pot.
3) add tofu and break apart in pot. cook for about 5 minutes.
4) add mushrooms and chili powder. simmer for 3-4 minutes.
5) remove from heat. garnish with green onions and drizzle with sesame oil.

>spanish onion potato soup


i love this soup! it’s my husband’s specialty.  he’s been surprising me with vegan dinners and this is one of the first dishes he’s cooked me.  get ready for the the sweet aroma of the garlic, onions and tomatoes to fill your home.

to accompany this dish, i made a green been salad. i thought a cold salad would compliment this soup.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large potato, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 oz canned chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 1/2 pint vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped thyme for garnish.


  • heat olive oil in a large pan. add the onions, garlic potato and paprika and cook for 5 minutes.
  • in a separate pot, boil tomatoes, thyme and stock. add potatoes to the pot and simmer f0r 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • add some of the vegetable broth to cornstarch and mix together to form a paste. next, stir the paste into the soup. simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until soup has thickened.
  • break the potatoes up slightly. sprinkle chopped thyme to garnish.

>10 minute "accidental" spinach soup


getting ready for our trip down to sd for the weekend and cleaning up the apt before we leave… i realized that i hadn’t eaten dinner yet and it was already 9pm. my quick and easy go to meals are usually pasta dishes or trader joe fixtures. this is what i usually turn to for dinner during my monthurs work week.

tonight i was craving for pasta. i decided to cook a simple vegan pesto spaghetti. as i was cooking, i wanted to add some veges to the pasta. i noticed i had a bag of frozen spinach in my freezer. i chopped up some garlic and sauteed a half a bag of frozen spinach. instead of adding the spinach to my pasta… i randomly decided to create some kind of spinach soup. earlier this evening i came across a can of tomato paste as i was cleaning out my pantry and figured i can use that as a base. when i walked into the pantry to grab the tomato paste, i saw a can of trader joe’s tomato bisque soup…. perfecto! my accidental spinach soup was born.

3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup of sliced white onion
1 tbl of olive oil
2 cups of vegetable broth
10 oz frozen or fresh spinach
1 80z can of trader joe tomato bisque soup
a pinch of the following- thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes.
salt and pepper to taste
parsley for garnish

1. on medium heat, saute garlic then add spinach.
2. add vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients. simmer on medium heat for 10-20 minutes.
3. add salt and pepper to taste. garnish with parsley and vegan parmesan cheese.
4. enjoy

* use a can of diced tomatoes or tomato soup instead of tomato bisque.
* add beans, potatoes, carrots, etc. be as creative as you want! this is a pretty versatile soup.

**vegan pesto spaghetti also show in photo**