Sunday, January 24, 2016

Essential Kitchen Equipment to Cook Delicious Vegan Soup

The Vegan Soup Challenge starts soon. It's a challenge to enjoy one delicious bowl of homemade vegan soup every day for 21 days in February. (It's free to join so check out the details here.)

When developing my first wellness challenge in 2015, I knew that vegan soup would be the perfect food to focus on. Besides being easy to cook and a good source of veggies, I believe the fact that you don't need fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, or lots of cooking space makes vegan soup accessible to almost everyone.

Here are things you should have in your kitchen to cook souper awesome vegan soup:

Big bowl: Handy for washing greens and for holding chopped ingredients before they go into the pot.

Big pot with lid: 6 qts is ideal. If you only have space or budget for one pot, I recommend getting a dutch oven because it can be also be used to braise, saute, and bake.

Cutting board: To chop veggies.

Colander: To rinse and drain beans and veggies.

Chef's knife: A sharp knife is the safest knife.

Pot mitt: Get two to protect your hands while lifting hot pots.

Big mixing spoon: Useful for sauteing and stirring. I love silicone or stainless steel because they can go in the dishwasher and withstand high temperatures.

Soup ladle: I especially love this one because it's kinda small and bends slightly to make it easy to get leftover soup into mason jars.

Immersion blender: A low-cost option and totally suitable for most of the recipes used during this challenge. 

Measuring cup: I like to use two sets- one for dry ingredients and another for wet.

Measuring spoons: Two sets are handy in this case, as well.

Mason jars: Useful for storing leftovers-- make sure you get wide-mouthed mason jars if you will be putting them in the freezer. You can re-use tomato sauce and pickle jars if you aren't planing on freezing the jars. Plastic freezer storage bags can work too.

Sharpie marker: For labeling leftovers.

Here's some stuff you don't need need, but can be useful and fun:

Crock-Pot/ Slow cooker: Let soup simmer slowly while you're sleeping or out at work.

Pressure cooker: Useful for cooking beans from scratch in less time.

Cute soup bowls: This sweet little heart-shaped bowl is on my wish list, as is this dreamy set of turquise stoneware bowls.

Asian-style soup spoons: I'm drooling over these cherry blossom porcelain spoons.

Thermos or insulated travel bowl: Bring soup to work or school and keep it hot for up to 5 hours!

Can opener: For when you can't find Tetra packed beans and tomatoes or just don't wanna make beans from scratch.

Vegetable peeler: Useful you don't like potato or carrot skins. Personally, I don't peel anything but butternut squash. However, I like using this for getting out potato spuds.

Food processor: For making soup toppings like pesto and hummus. Also useful for blending fresh cilantro or parsley with oil to preserve it.

Cute cat apron to match your pot mitt: Protect yourself in style!

Am I missing anything? What do you think belongs in the kitchen of every vegan soup chef? 
Are you participating in the Vegan Soup Challenge this February? Get all the info here. 

Olivia Lane Lovejoy is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

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