Romesco is a classic Spanish sauce made of ground tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, and almonds. We turned it into a twist on cream of tomato soup, with lentils added for a nice protein boost. Choose the vegetable broth option.
Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange, and Cucumber
This Southwestern-inspired soup hits all the right notes: solid protein from the beans, crunchiness from the cucumber, creaminess from the avocado, a sweet hit of acidity from the citrus, and a hint of spice.
For inspired vegetarian cooking, we often turn to the flavors and techniques of India. In this dish, cooking the dal (or stew) with some seasonings, then adding more seasonings at the end, infuses it with layers of flavor.
It’s not just the depth of flavor that makes this curry a winner, but also the way it lends itself to improvisation. Once you get the proportions down, you can change up the main ingredients; try eggplant or tofu instead of winter squash, and toasted almonds instead of cashews.
Earthy sweet potatoes add depth to this vegetarian chili. New Mexico chile powder is fruity and mild, so don’t be scared off by the generous amount called for here. Feel free to swap in any other kind of chile powder you have on hand—just use less of it.
If you stock your pantry with tamarind paste (made from the sweet-sour fruit by the same name), a few spices, and canned chickpeas, this tasty dish makes an excellent last-minute meal, as it comes together in only 30 minutes.
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Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True
Spiced Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Spinach
This gently spicy dish uses a North Indian technique called tadka or chaunk: seasonings are sizzled in hot oil or clarified butter, then swirled into the lentils right before serving for a massive flavor boost.