vegan supermarket soups

hart and soul soups

I love it when I find vegan things in the regular supermarket. I’m a big fan of mainstream adoption of vegan products, as it means that these products get seen and used by everyone, not just vegans. Don’t get me wrong, I love specialist vegan shops, but most non vegans are not going to go into one.

Normally I’m not fond of a lot of prepared package food, it often tastes awful, so I was really pleased and surprised when a friend introduced me to these soups that are available in Woolworths. They are so delicious that I ate them all weekend on a recent visit to her place and bought some when I returned home.

The brand is Hart and Soul and the vegan ones come in two varieties, a Thai flavoured coconut and pumpkin, and an Indian flavoured coconut, lentil, sweet potato and capsicum. There are no nasty ingredients in them. I’m having a hard time deciding on my favourite. Every time I eat one I think that is my favourite until I eat the other.

They’ve been perfect the last few days while I’ve had a cold.

blackened brussels sprouts, garlic and almonds

I’m not fond of winter, it’s cold with short days. But it is completely redeemed by being the season of brussels sprouts.

I know some people hate them, but they REALLY are great fried or roasted.

This time I pan-fried them in a little olive oil with garlic and chopped dry roasted almonds. A lovely combination of flavours and texture.

This works as a vegetable side dish or with some pasta.

I ate it with some pasta and a sprinkling of Vegusto Piquant cheese. I didn’t photograph it before I scoffed it down.


blackened brussels sprouts, garlic and almonds
prep time
cook time
total time
serves: 1
  • ½ tbs oil
  • 8 Brussels sprouts per person
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 dry roasted almonds
  1. Prepare the sprouts by removing the bottoms and any ratty looking outer leaves.
  2. Slice them vertically into 3mm slices.
  3. Heat the oil and fry the sprouts over a medium heat until they start to blacken and are tender.
  4. Add the garlic and fry for 30 secs.
  5. If the sprouts are still not tender put a tablespoon or two of water into the pan and cook until the water evaporates.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Add the chopped almonds and toss to combine.
  8. Serve as a dish on its own or with pasta.


Toulouse Lautrec Gratin of Pumpkin

After a year of not cooking much and not blogging at all due to illness, I’m ready to start again.

We celebrated the return of two of my sisters from overseas and the end of my treatment for cancer with a family dinner. As usual we all brought a part of the meal.

This time I made a dish I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages – the Toulouse Lautrec Gratin of Pumpkin from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book. It is a delicious dish of pumpkin, layered with an onion and tomato sauce and topped with breadcrumbs. It is actually a recipe from Henri Toulouse Lautrec that was part of a collection of recipes published by his friend.

It normally forms part of our family Christmas lunch and I’m not sure why I hardly ever make it at other times, other than that it is a bit lengthy to make. I’ve simplified the original recipe a bit, it calls for the pumpkin to be floured and fried. I’ve changed this to roasting the pumpkin instead. I also cut the pumpkin a little thicker and use more tomato for a slightly wetter dish.



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Toulouse Lautrec Gratin of Pumpkin
prep time
cook time
total time
serves: 6
  • 1 kg piece of pumpkin ( I use Kent/Jap pumpkin)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 400g cans of tomato (or fresh equivalent)
  • Oil spray
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Peel, seed and slice the pumpkin into slices about 7-10 mm thick.
  2. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and spray with oil.
  3. Bake in an oven at 180 degrees C until just short of tender.
  4. Meanwhile slice and fry the onions in oil until soft.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 mins to reduce a little.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Layer the pumpkin and tomato mix in a baking dish starting and finishing with a tomato layer.
  8. Top with breadcrumbs, spray the the top with oil and bake at 180 degrees C until the top is golden.


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