Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup + My Alaska Earthquake Story

This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

I’m not sure if you may heard the front page news, but on Friday Alaska had one of it’s biggest and most destructive Earthquakes to date. I posted some photos of our house and a couple of the collapsed overpasses and roads on my social media sites, which you can see here.

I’ll try to keep my story short.

I was at work when it hit. It was 8:30 in the morning and I had just settling in, drinking my coffee and looking over our patients and schedule for the day. When our building began to shake I sat for a second or two assessing how severe this was going to be. We get a lot of earthquakes in Alaska and most of them are minor. However, when the earth continued to shake I fell under my desk. The shaking became so violent, more than I’d ever felt, and all I could think about was Oliver and Todd at home. “Are they safe, are they safe, are they safe,” was all that rushed through my mind.

Finally, the shaking stopped after what felt like forever but turned out to only be a couple minutes (which is actually an etinerity when you’re in a massive earthquake). We ended up evacuating our clinic and I raced home. There were ambulances everywhere and the roads were packed. None of the roads I had to travel on were damaged but the photo below is ten minutes from my work.

Photo by Marc Lester

Photo by Marc Lester

Todd and Oliver made it through unscathed (well, except for Todd’s left foot). Oliver was standing on his stool pictured below when it started. Todd grabbed him and they huddled under our dining room table until the shaking stopped. When I got home we proceeded to clean up A TON of broken glass and dishes over the weekend. Lots of large, custom framed art pieces I did broke. Several potted plants took a hit. Items flew off of shelves and Oliver’s room looked like a herd of dinosaurs stomped through, with lamps and monitors swinging off the desk. Everything on any table or desk fell to the floor. Several pieces of our siding cracked and there are a couple cracks in our interior walls but no serious damage. There’s a huge gouge in the earth in our front lawn that I literally stuck my ENTIRE hand in! It was crazy that the shaking actually opened up our childproof cabinets!

Oliver walked around most of the day pointing sadly at everything and telling us, “Broke, broke, broke..”. The aftershocks have been keeping everyone on pins and needles as we continue to experience very large quakes. Everytime one comes rumbling to life Oliver shakes his head pleading, “No, no, no…” It’s heartbreaking seeing him in so much fright.

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

We are so thankful no friends or family were hurt and nothing of super valuable or sentimental broke. Our family is definitely shaken though and I’m compelled to hold my babies a little tighter. There are many families who lost their homes and important objects. Several roads literally just fell into the earth. The highway to Anchorage and our international airport have both opened back up and we are all on our way to getting back to our lives.

In the aftermath, I’ve learned to slow down and truly cherish the little moments. Also, to keep a few gallons of water handy in the pantry. In addition, command strips are not earthquake proof. Our art will now be re-installed with nails… #liveandlearn

Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup


Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup
By
This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 small/medium zucchinis, diced
  • 1 medium bunch of broccoli; florets only, chopped
  • 16 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt or table salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • dash of white pepper (black pepper will work)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, dry-saute the onions and garlic until they become fragrant and soften. Add the sweet potato and saute an additional 5 minutes while preparing the rest of the soup.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. Serve hot.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 4
Produce On Parade - Simple Creamy Vegetable Soup - This is a wonderfully simple and delectable soup. Chunks of hearty sweet potato, zucchini, and broccoli swim in a flavorful, creamy broth for a quick and healthy meal that’s great for a weeknight. This really is a new favorite meal that’s a great way to use up any leftover canned coconut milk in your fridge.

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

I’ve made a lot of vegan mac and cheese. All kinds. If you can think it, I’ve probably made it: some good, some bad but this one is my absolute favorite. It also happens to be exceptionally easy. A staple in our house, I hope it will become one in your house as well. This vegan version is oil-free and oh so creamy and delicious.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese - I’ve made a lot of vegan mac and cheese. All kinds. If you can think it, I’ve probably made it: some good, some bad but this one is my absolute favorite. It also happens to be exceptionally easy. A staple in our house, I hope it will become one in your house as well. This vegan version is oil-free and oh so creamy and delicious.

Noticed some changes? Produce On Parade got a bit of a makeover! What do you think of it? I hope you like it; we felt we needed a bit more of a modern feel. Something clean and shiny, eh. If you have any comments please let me know through the brand new contact page at the top right on the screen. I'd love to hear what you're thinking.

Anywho, what I am thinking is... comfort food. A teething Oliver is getting up every two hours to nurse #whatdidwedo and then with me working full-time, this is one dead momma. I literally ran into a wall today, in front of a patient. That's what three intermittent hours of sleep get you. I need food that is fast and filling and yummy. Last night I was really craving mac and cheese, so we whipped this up in no time. I thought it was about time I shared this recipe. It's always the staples that I have yet to share for some reason.

Not only is this dish killer but it happens to be the only vegan mac and cheese recipe that is Todd approved. He doesn't like the sweet potato or butternut squash mac and cheeses. Nope, this is the only one. Oh well, makes my life easier!

Produce On Parade - Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese - I’ve made a lot of vegan mac and cheese. All kinds. If you can think it, I’ve probably made it: some good, some bad but this one is my absolute favorite. It also happens to be exceptionally easy. A staple in our house, I hope it will become one in your house as well. This vegan version is oil-free and oh so creamy and delicious.

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Recipe by Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

I’ve made a lot of vegan mac and cheese. All kinds. If you can think it, I’ve probably made it: some good, some bad but this one is my absolute favorite. It also happens to be exceptionally easy. A staple in our house, I hope it will become one in your house as well. This vegan version is oil-free and oh so creamy and delicious. Inspired by BuzzFeed. *A high powered blender works best. If you don’t have one just soak the cashews in boiling water for 20 minutes prior to use.

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup raw cashews*
  • scant ¼ cup large-flake nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz dry pasta shells

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil for the vegetables. Boil the potatoes and garlic clove for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and boil for 5 additional minutes. Add the onion and boil for 7 additional minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are boiling, add the remaining ingredients except the pasta to a blender. Drain the veggies saving the water (1 ½ cups), add them to a blender along with the saved water; blend on high until smooth and creamy. It makes about 4 cups of sauce.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta and cook according to the package. Drain and return to the pot. Stir 3 cups of the sauce into the cooked pasta, reserving 1 cup for stirring in later if all the mac and cheese won’t be all eaten immediately. Serve hot.
Produce On Parade - Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese - I’ve made a lot of vegan mac and cheese. All kinds. If you can think it, I’ve probably made it: some good, some bad but this one is my absolute favorite. It also happens to be exceptionally easy. A staple in our house, I hope it will become one in your house as well. This vegan version is oil-free and oh so creamy and delicious.

CSA Fennel, Zucchini, & Tomato Pasta

CSAs are wonderful, but if you’re not exactly sure what to do with fennel, armed with an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes, they can be overwhelming. This delicious pasta dish makes use of three CSA items (we had fresh mint in ours so that makes four!) in spectacular fashion. Sweet, roasted fennel and zucchini blend with umami miso and nutritional yeast and tart cherry tomatoes for a lovely summer pasta dish.

CSA Fennel, Zucchini, & Tomato Pasta - Produce On Parade - CSAs are wonderful, but if you’re not exactly sure what to do with fennel, armed with an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes, they can be overwhelming. This delicious pasta dish makes use of three CSA items (we had fresh mint in ours so that makes four!) in spectacular fashion. Sweet, roasted fennel and zucchini blend with umami miso and nutritional yeast and tart cherry tomatoes for a lovely summer pasta dish.

I'm cooking a lot these days but just don't have a much time for recipe development and photography. Most evenings I just throw together a meal and only after it's done and tasting how scrumptious it is wish I would have measured everything; then I could have shared it! Who wants to recipe develop when you can spend that time snuggling with an adorable seven month old?? I'm trying though. I actually have a few recipes on the way, photographs and everything! Hurray me!

Todd and I have been trying to get our lawn in order and generally spending as much time outside with Oliver as possible. Fall in Alaska is so fleeting and it's always a scramble to make the most of such an inspiring season. The air is crisp and refreshing, fluttering leaves dance in the breeze, as golden light filters through the birch trees; it's one of the most magical times up here but it never lasts.

Our CSA is in full swing and we are enjoying its bounty. With just the two of us consuming a large share, it can test my ingenuity on using up all those beauitful veggies! This recipe used up four of the CSA items, so it will definitely be placed on the rotation. I hope you love this meal as much as we both did. 

CSA Fennel, Zucchini, & Tomato Pasta - Produce On Parade - CSAs are wonderful, but if you’re not exactly sure what to do with fennel, armed with an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes, they can be overwhelming. This delicious pasta dish makes use of three CSA items (we had fresh mint in ours so that makes four!) in spectacular fashion. Sweet, roasted fennel and zucchini blend with umami miso and nutritional yeast and tart cherry tomatoes for a lovely summer pasta dish.

CSA Fennel, Zucchini, & Tomato Pasta

Recipe by Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

CSAs are wonderful, but if you’re not exactly sure what to do with fennel, armed with an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes, they can be overwhelming. This delicious pasta dish makes use of three CSA items (we had fresh mint in ours so that makes four!) in spectacular fashion. Sweet, roasted fennel and zucchini blend with umami miso and nutritional yeast and tart cherry tomatoes for a lovely summer pasta dish.

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed sliced into ½ inch thick short wedges
  • 1 extra-large zucchini, quartered and chopped
  • dash of seasoning salt
  • 8 oz dry penne pasta
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained but ½ cup of the liquid reserved
  • 1 ½ tbsp red miso
  • 1 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 heaping cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and arrange the fennel and zucchini in a single layer on two large baking trays coated with a nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle with olive oil if you like and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and tender.
  2. While the veggies roast, bring a medium pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook al dente according to the package. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and saute the garlic for about 5 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Whisk in the chickpea liquid, miso, and nutritional yeast until the miso is clump-free. Stir in the roasted veggies, cooked pasta, chickpeas, and tomatoes; cook until the entire mixture is warm. Remove from heat and stir in the mint leaves; taste and salt as needed. Serve warm.
CSA Fennel, Zucchini, & Tomato Pasta - Produce On Parade - CSAs are wonderful, but if you’re not exactly sure what to do with fennel, armed with an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes, they can be overwhelming. This delicious pasta dish makes use of three CSA items (we had fresh mint in ours so that makes four!) in spectacular fashion. Sweet, roasted fennel and zucchini blend with umami miso and nutritional yeast and tart cherry tomatoes for a lovely summer pasta dish.