Sweet Potato Soup, White Bean Hummus, Pretty Pasta, Fruit Tart, and Pudding Cake

Sometimes there’s just no way to group the subject of your post into anything more than an eclectic title. This post is kinda just a buildup of the past couple days, so you’ll just have to deal with it!

A couple days ago, I made the Nutty Sweet Potato + Kale Soup from Kath Eats Real Food after seeing La Belle Vegan enjoy it! :) I followed the recipe except I added a Tbs of PB into the actual soup because, well, why not?!

This soup is insanely wonderful. It’s really thick and creamy, and it has so many yummy ingredients–sweet potatoes, peanut butter, vanilla, raisins, kale, garam masala–what’s not to like? Don’t let the fact that vanilla and kale are in the same recipe scare you! Also: it tastes way better the next day!

Next up are a few things I made for a dinner party for our friends, the Levenbergs (This is a little shout out to you guys if you read this! We had so much fun last night!). For an appetizer, I made the White Bean Hummus with Thyme and Basil from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (and Dreena just posted the recipe on her blog. Coincidence?), and my sister and I made homemade whole wheat pita chips for dipping (just cut up some pita into triangles, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder, and bake at 350ish for 20 or so minutes, flipping halfway through).

It comes out a lovely pale, almost sea-foam, green color, and it tastes as good as it looks! Bursting with the flavor of fresh herbs.

The main course was Whole-Wheat Shells with Asparagus, Peas, Feta, and Mint from the April issue of the Vegetarian Times. I’m always a bit skeptical making magazine recipes because I feel like they’re not as tried ‘n true as cookbook ones and I’ve had a couple so-so magazine meals, but I’m glad I went for it here because this dish came together beautifully. I used Sunergia Mediterranean Herb Soy Feta (I wanted to make my own–there’s a recipe for almond feta in the same issue, but I neglected to notice that it had a shiitake load of prep time until the day of, so that was a no go). On a quick side note, I can’t recommend Sunergia enough! Their feta is possibly the best soy cheese I’ve ever had in terms of how well it resembles the real thing. It has a nice salty, tangy bite to it, and the same crumbly texture. Definitely try it out if you can!

My favorite part of this recipe was that every ingredient was green. Asparagus, peas, basil, mint, green onions. The varying verdant shades were really gorgeous, and the dish was light and fresh.

For dessert I made the Fruit Tart from the Joy of Vegan Baking. It has a Shortbread Crust (with only 3 ingredients!) that is brushed with jam (I used strawberry), topped with Pastry Cream (I made the banana variation, which I highly recommend), decorated with fresh fruit, and finally, glazed with more jam. Here she is half naked:

And fully clothed:

You almost don’t want to cut it up. Almost.

Last, but not least, and from a completely different night, Chocolate Banana Pudding Cake! I know, I know, calm down. Try to resist jumping up and down with excitement. This is a recipe that will be in Dreena Burton’s new cookbook that she was kind enough to let me test as a veganversary present of sorts. Thank you so much, Dreena! I wasn’t able to make it for my veganversary because of school work at the time, but I made it last night to celebrate my 21st birthday…3 weeks late, haha. It probably seems weird that I made my own birthday cake, but I love baking so much, that it would have been torture for me to sit back and watch someone else make it! I’d never made a pudding cake before, and the concept of pouring boiling chocolate water over a pan of cake batter just prior to putting it into the oven was intriguing to me.

Here it is fresh out of the oven:

You’d never know there was any pudding-y goodness lurking under there, would you? At least until…

Wha-BAM!

God bless you, Dreena. My mom said this may have been the best vegan dessert she’s ever had–and with me as her daughter, she’s had A LOT–and I just might have to agree.

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10 responses to “Sweet Potato Soup, White Bean Hummus, Pretty Pasta, Fruit Tart, and Pudding Cake

  1. Oh! Wow! That food looks SO GOOD! Just to pick out one dish, I totally agree with adding peanut butter to the sweet potato soup. Jane (DD) and I love a spicy peanut butter and sweet potato stew, so I know they go beautifully together.Happy Birthday for three weeks ago!

  2. What an amazing spread you have there! Everything looks beautiful, especially those desserts!I've had the same problems with magazine recipes. They either come out really good or really boring.

  3. heehee! I love those massive catchup posts, they're like smorgasbords! there is so much yummy here, but I'm so drawn to that amazing fruit tart and the vanilla-kale soup especially! I really need to get around to trying that one. (oh, and I totally agree with your PB addition, that stuff is welcome anywhere practically)

  4. Wow! So much goodness, I just can't keep up with it all. That fruit tart is one of my favourites from JOVB – just made one for Monsieur Fish's birthday. And I need to check out that white bean hummous recipe!

  5. Happy belated birthday!!!!Okay, so I'm gonna take your word on the sp soup. Vanilla and kale together freak me out…actually vanilla in soup freaks me out (unless it's one of those fancy fruit soups…which I'm also weirded out by). But that hummus, oh my! Can you believe I don't own Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan?! I'm not sure what's wrong with me. That's next on my list.And the puddin' cake!!! I think I would die of happiness if I ate a bite of that.

  6. Cooking With Dia

    Cool post. I love the picture of all of the fruit. Nice arrangement!!

  7. i’m gonna have to try that nutty sweet kale soup! it looks great – and i love your addition of PB into the soup! mmmmmm! dan & i will have to try Dreena’s white bean hummus as well – so delicious look’n! i need to get my hands on some of that soy cheese! i haven’t had “feta” in forever! i'm really dig'n the fruit tart & pudding pie as well! oooh, so awesome!

  8. Jen aka Jewbacca

    nora, sorry it's taken me so long to get to your blog. i love your comments and appreciate you visiting me, that pain in the ass vegan! anyway, your blog is amazing and all that food looks gorgeous. and i love pudding cake–just love it. i like making the one out of vegan-a-go-go, which i believe is out of another one of kramer's awesome books.

  9. Nora, Hi! I found your blog through La Belle Vegan’s comment section and just wanted to introduce myself before commenting because my mother instilled a very strict attention to proper etiquitte at a very young age. I’m Emily. :D Now that I’ve satisfied my inner Emily Post I just have to say , “Oh do Do DO try Pbu!” It's so delish I couldn't keep it to myself… although I did very briefly consider patenting the stuff and selling off jars on Ebay. But then I got stuck trying to figure out how I would keep it cool if it had to shipped anywhere farther than an hour away from my little dwelling and decided to post the recipe instead. ;PAll of your photography is great! What a wonderful viewpoint! That soup? WOW!!!Have a wonderful Wednesday! With Love, EmilyP.S.- Do you mind if I "follow" you and add you to my blogroll?

  10. The pudding cake was truly one of the best desserts I have ever eaten and I am an experienced and highly skilled baker, if I don't say so myself! I say that not to brag, but to stop any lurkers for thinking..oh it was just tasty by vegan standards!

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