Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Best Vegan Italian Tomato and Mushroom Soup

My method for really good mushroom soup is to get the mushrooms very dark before you add anything else to the pot. Then deglaze the mushrooms with the wine.

Treating the mushrooms in this way gives them a depth that permeates the soup.

So these first few steps laid out below are very important to achieving the deep flavor that makes this soup so satisfying and craveable.

1 pint sliced white mushrooms, chopped small
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can garbanzos, rinsed
1 can small red bean, rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 poblano, diced
2 tbls sriracha
1/4 dry white wine
5 cups water
2 1/2 tbls olive oil

1 tbl salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps turmeric
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps italian seasoning (oregano, rosemary, basil)

Why buy a pint of sliced mushrooms only to chop them smaller? There are a lot more sliced mushrooms in a pint than there are whole mushrooms in a pint. You could also use 2 pints of whole mushrooms.

Add your mushrooms to a cold stock pot and add 2 tsps of the salt. Bring the pot up to medium high heat and allow the mushrooms to cook down over the dry heat. They will release some liquid into the pot. This is good.

After the mushrooms have been cooking for a few minutes and are making a lot of noise add in the olive oil. Stir to coat the mushrooms in the oil and continue sauteing until nicely browned, about 5-7 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and cook off the wine for 2 minutes.

Now that our mushrooms have received the proper pampering, we can begin layering in the other ingredients.

Add tomatoes, poblano, jalapeno and garlic and cook down for 5 minutes.

Add water, sriracha, spices, remaining salt.

Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add both beans.

Continue to simmer for at 10 more minutes.