In the heart of Salt Lake City, there’s a wonderful bookstore that from the outside, looks like an average-sized city shop. But once inside, one can get lost in its labyrinthine basement rooms, alcoves, nooks, balconies and stacks and stacks of books, both new and used. Wandering around inside is a great way to spend an afternoon.
My first stop in any bookshop is the cookbook section. The day I visited that Salt Lake bookstore, I walked out with three used cookbooks, one of which was a Cooking Light publication called Fresh Food Fast. I liked the idea of recipes with short ingredient lists, plus every item was paired with another recipe so that you could prepare a full meal off of one page. On the downside, the cookbook is rich in meat and dairy, and also relies heavily on pre-packaged products. Nevertheless, I’ve been able to cull out some good eats from its pages.
I did some major overhauling on both the soup and the sandwich recipes, so I won’t go into to detail, but simply put, I replaced anything dairy with a vegan counterpart and nixed pre-packaged items for “the real things,” plus added flavors and ingredients here and there. Cooking oil was out. This soup/sandwich combination is really nice. The soup isn’t sweet as one might expect and it has a nice warm kick from the fresh ginger. The sandwich is where a little sweetness comes in, but the sprouts and cashew cream nicely temper the juicy pears and sticky cinnamon swirl in the bread. Perfect rainy day lunch combo.
2 tbsp. orange juice, water or vegetable broth
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz. sliced carrots
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1 tsp. orange zest
1/2 cup unsweetened, plain soy milk
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
dried thyme, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in the orange juice, water or vegetable broth, just until they being to soften. Add the sliced carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, ginger and orange zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and return the liquid to the saucepan. Stir in the soy milk, maple syrup, thyme and black pepper. Gently reheat – don’t let it boil. While the soup heats, prepare the sandwiches.
Pear-Walnut-Cashew Cream & Sprouts Sandwiches
4 slices Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
1 tbsp. walnuts, roasted and chopped
2 tbsp. cashew cream*
1/2 cup fresh sprouts
1 Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
Lightly toast the bread, then spread cashew cream on all four pieces. Sprinkle one slice of each sandwich with the toasted walnuts. Divide the pear slices between the sandwiches, top with sprouts and gently press the sandwiches together. Slice in half and serve alongside the soup.
*I used the cashew cream recipe in Vegan Yum Yum, by Lauren Ulm.