Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Easy Vegetarian One-Pot. Delicious Fuss-Free Recipes for Hearty Meals

As any of my regular readers already know, I am an avid cook, vegetarian cookbook author and cooking instructor. I just love to spend time in the kitchen!

I am also a (big time) cookbook lover. I have an extensive collection of all kinds of cookbooks. I recently added another selection to my cookbooks of choice with:

This is a collection of one-pot vegetarian recipes created by a number of cookbook authors. There is something for everyone in this cookbook, and definitely not just for vegetarians.

A beautifully presented cookbook, brimming with inspiring recipes. And all with the "one-pot" theme/advantage. Making preparation and clean-up a breeze. And who doesn't appreciate saving time, while still enjoying a wonderful new recipe!

I've tried 5 of the recipes in this cookbook so far and have several others picked out to add to that, in the near future. The recipes I've already tested are:

  • Creamy Curried Parsnip & Butter Bean Soup (delish, turned me in to a parsnip-lover!
  • Penne with Blue Cheese, Pecan & Mascarpone Sauce (very rich and satisfying)
  • Smoky Hotpot of Great Northern Beans (good but I added a bit of seasoning to this one)
  • Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chickpea Stew with Coconut (loved it, oh so yummy)
  • Chickpea & Fresh Spinach Curry (ok but not on my list to make again)

My favorite of this group was the parsnip soup. Not only was it delicious and very satisfying; it also ended a lifelong dislike of parsnips for me LOL! The addition of the curry flavor to this soup turned a rather bland veggie into something to savor.  Definitely a keeper for winter soup recipes!

Here is the beautiful photo of  Creamy Curried Parsnip & Butter Bean Soup and the oh so easy and luscious recipe; courtesy of the publishers: Ryland, Peters & Small.

Creamy Curried Parsnip & Butter Bean Soup

This is a real winter warmer, perfect for a weekend supper at the end of a cold day. Don't overlook the parsnip- it's a really tasty root veggie and inexpensive too at the right time of year, just when you want to eat it most.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves,chopped
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
500 g/ 1 lb. parsnips,chopped
1 litre/ 4 cups vegetable stock
400 g. /14 oz. can butter/lima beans, well drained and rinsed
125 ml./ 1/2  cup single cream
1-2 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
warmed flat breads to serve

Serves 4

Heat the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.

Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the parsnips, stock and butter/lima beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the parsnips and beans are tender.

Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture in batches to the food processor and process until smooth. Return the soup to a clean saucepan and set over low heat. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chives. Serve with warmed flat breads.

A couple of minor "tweaks" I made with this recipe. I added a 2 more cloves of garlic as we love it here and I used white lima beans that I cooked myself, not canned. I had the time to do this step and I always prefer non-canned beans, when I'm not rushed for time. Canned beans (preferably organic) are a convenient choice though, when in a hurry.

I made chappatis from my own cookbook and they were a perfect choice to go with this soup.

Here are photos of two of the other recipes I've tried from this cookbook:

Penne with Blue Cheese, Pecan & Mascarpone Sauce
(Very rich and decadent, would be great for a in- a- hurry dinner party main dish)


Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chickpea Stew with Coconut
(I love the subtle flavor of coconut. Paired beautifully here with sweet potatoes. A great stew!)

I appreciate the variety of recipes and ingredients included in this collection and also the numerous (easy) methods of one-pot cooking used. Soups, salads, pasta, stir-fries, casseroles, stews, gratins and bakes,curries and tagines...it would take a long time to tire of trying out the choices in this beautifully designed cookbook. And with full-color, page-sized photos included throughout the 200 + pages.

Only one improvement that I think could have been made with some of the recipes, to improve them. Amounts given were a bit "sketchy" for some ingredients. Example:  1 onion, a handful of basil leaves....not a problem for me and certainly not something that was an "issue" in all of the recipes. But I do think that novice cooks ( I've been told this, again and again) in particular appreciate ingredient amounts to be as specific as possible.

 I also added a bit of spice here and there as I mentioned above, but that's the norm for me when I cook. We all have our personal preferences when it comes to flavors. 

I'm looking forward to more cooking adventures with  Easy Vegetarian One-Pot. I'm sure I'll be cooking up a lot more "keepers" from the cookbook, in the future. And any cookbook that results in 5 or more great recipes to enjoy again and again, I call it a winner!

Stop by the Ryland, Peters & Small website to read more about this cookbook and the many other fine books that they offer.

Easy Vegetarian One-Pot. Ryland Peters & Small, $23.95.

Photo Credit: Ryland Peters & Small

Overall rating for this book: Very Good. 4 out of 5.


  1. I just got a new slow cooker, so I will be trying this recipe next week. I hope I can get parsnips.

  2. Geraldine,
    This does sound like an excellent book.
    Thanks for providing one recipe. It looks and sounds so yummy, I think I might need to try this soup, over the holidays.
    You make vegetarian eating and cooking sound very appealing.

  3. You are a woman of many many talent, I admire you so much, wow

  4. Well you've awakened my hunger.. It all looks so yummy!

  5. Hi SandyL, Sounds like a good plan! Slow cookers have certainly made a comeback recently, haven't they?

    Hi Brenda, It's the time of year for root veggies, fall into early winter. As I said above, I loathed parsnips so I thought it was a good test of how much I enjoyed these recipes, to make this soup. It really is delish.

    Hi Lorraine, Thanks friend. You are so kind.

    Hi Hilary, I get hungry looking through cookbooks with great photos and this one certainly is in that category. ;<)

    Happy Cooking, G :<)

  6. Oh Dog! Those recipes actually sound really good!

  7. I haven't made any of these recipes myself yet and for me, that's the real test. The parsnip soup and the sweet potato stew were both good. And it is a very attractive book to look at too.


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