Easy dinner recipes: Rich and comforting soups for Meatless Monday

Creamy mushroom and roasted onion soup
Rich, hearty and perfect for Meatless Monday.
(Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes it doesn’t get better than a comforting bowl of soup. Check out these ideas for rich and hearty vegetarian one-dish meals:

Creamy mushroom and roasted onion soup: If you’re craving a bowl of rich mushroom soup, this recipe delivers. No less than a pound of cremini mushrooms are simmered with garlic, shallots, onion and buttery Chardonnay for an aromatic base. Purée the mushrooms with heavy cream for a smooth, velvety finish, then stir in finely chopped roasted onion (the onion can be roasted ahead of time) at the end. A thin slice of Parmigiano-Reggiano completes each serving.

Sally Lunn’s carrot, lentil and cumin soup: Rich and full of deep flavor, you might never guess this soup is vegetarian. Or that it comes together so quickly and easily. Sally Lunn’s in Bath, England, was happy to share its recipe so you can have a little taste of Bath here at home.

Coral Tree Cafe’s vegetable soup: Craving a hearty vegetable soup? Fresh vegetables simmered with barley in a hearty broth make for a perfect one-dish meal. What’s more, your guests might not even notice it’s vegetarian.



Total time: 1 hour | Serves 8 to 10

Note: Adapted from Coral Tree Cafe in Los Angeles.

    2 tablespoons oil
    2 cups diced carrots


    2 cups diced onions
    1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    3/4 cup pearl barley
    1 quart vegetable broth
    1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
    2 cups quartered mushrooms
    2 cups diced zucchini
    Salt and pepper

1. Heat a medium, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until hot. Add the oil, then add the carrots, onions, bell pepper, thyme and barley. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden-brown, about 18 minutes, taking care that the barley does not burn.

2. Stir in the vegetable broth and marinara. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.


3. Cook until the barley is al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and zucchini, and season to taste with salt and pepper (the amount of seasoning needed will vary depending on the vegetable broth and marinara used). Cover and continue to simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, thin if desired, and season again to taste, and serve. This makes about 2 1/2 quarts of soup.

Each of 10 servings: 155 calories; 4 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 365 mg sodium.

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