For this month's No Croutons Required I asked you to look at restaurant menus, find a soup or salad that is suitable for vegetarians and makes you think "Mmmmmmm!" and then come up with your own recipe for it.
We only have a few recipes this month, but as you will see, they are all pretty darn great.
The Ordinary Vegetarian
Smashed Pea and Barley Soup
California Pizza Kitchen
"My soup is an imitation of the Smashed Pea and Barley Soup at the California Pizza Kitchen . A chain restaurant in the US that is surprisingly forward thinking, with several options for vegetarians and vegans (details on their site). Their soup servings are surprisingly small unfortunately, and the small taste I had of the Smashed Pea and Barley Soup left me wanting more. Two days later I created my own."
Green Gourmet Giraffe
Parsnip Soup with Walnut Ravioli and Carrot Cream
56-58 St Mary's Street,
"Jacqueline had suggested checking out menus online at favourite restaurants. The one I first thought of was David Bann, the wonderful vegetarian restaurant I visited in November on my trip to Scotland."
"So I went back to Bann’s menu online expecting to see ‘soup of the day’. I was delighted to see a dish called ‘Walnut tortellini and parsnip soup’. It even had a description: ‘Homemade pasta filled with toasted walnut and our own cheese curd, served with a lightly spiced parsnip soup and carrot puree’. I looked no further. This sounded wonderful. This would get me out of my soup rut."
A Homemaker's Diary
Morocco Inspired Broken Wheat Salad with Grilled Vegetable and Tofu
Olive Bar and Kitchen
"I tasted couscous salad first in Olive Bar and Kitchen and was completely hooked, so with my Moroccan theme dinner party thought of doing this my way. I wasn’t having couscous in my pantry and neither Spar Super market nor Spencer was able to supply me this. Thus I decided on broken wheat or Dalia and am glad that I did. It has come out so good that even today we made it again for dinner. This time I served it with fried tofu and poached egg, and we again fell in love with the dish. It’s a complete meal in a platter that serves you carbohydrate, protein and vegetables. It’s truly an amazing dish, which could be whipped up in 30 minutes and therefore makes it perfect for weekday’s dinner too. Guess this will make good lunch box option as well."
Earth Cafe Redux Spinach and Lentil Soup
16-20 Turner Street,
"Definitely the best soup I've eaten in a cafe or restaurant in years though was the spinach and lentil soup from Earth Cafe in Manchester which I already blogged about. When I tried to recreate it that time I put mushrooms in it, and made a nice soup, but not that like the original. But I have to admit that I have a cheat now. The soup was so amazing that I emailed the cafe afterwards to tell them, and to ask if I might possibly be able to have the recipe. Lovely people that they are, they estimated a recipe based on four people and sent it back to me. I don't like to reproduce it directly since they were so nice as to pass it on, but the copycat theme made me think to make a variant on it this week, based on what we had in the house. It was pretty much as good as the one I had at the cafe if memory serves correctly - thick and earthy and pleasingly green. The original recipe called for quite a lot more lentils than I used, but I made mine to eat the next day and it thickened up lots. If you're eating it straight away I'd think about adding some more."
Jacqueline (me) - not in vote
Salad of Watercress, Beetroot and Goat's Cheese
56-58 St Mary's Street,
"If I had to choose my favourite restaurant, I would choose David Bann's in Edinburgh every time without fail. I love visiting Edinburgh and it is a such a treat to eat in a vegetarian restaurant. Having said that, I would visit Bann's wherever it was. It draws you in with it's sophisticated decor and constantly changing, ecclectic menu. So, I knew immediately where to go to find a salad that would inspire me.
I took the title of this salad and kept it quite simple, leaving out the radish and green beans they had included in their dish. I am sure it is good with these added ingredients and I bet the presentation of their salad was very artisic and not thrown together like mine, but I was very pleased with my salad. Such a good mixture of flavours and textures, which makes this recipe a keeper."
London, Ontario, Canada
"This is a quick and easy salad that I ate for all the years that I patronized one of the then, many, Hungarian restaurants in Toronto. The place has since closed down, but I miss this simple salad. The Korona, a Hungarian restaurant served a delightful cucumber salad."
Lisa (not in vote)
London, Ontario, Canada
Tomato Corn Chowder
Under The Volcano
215 Piccadilly Street,
"My contribution to the copycat round is this tomato corn chowder that I would always order when I visited Under the Volcano here in London Ontario. Unfortunately, this delicious soup is no longer on their menu, but thankfully, I was able to get a basic idea of the ingredients thanks to my friend Mike and have come up with my own creamy version. I have made it before, but this time I was able to replicate this Mexican soup more to my liking."
Please vote for your favourite in the voting poll. If you have any problems voting, email your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner will be announced on the 28 February 2010.