We love local partnerships at Vie that run deep. Founder, Lynsie Steele, happens to have an amazing and talented friend who has caused quite the stir over the last many years as a popular food blogger focusing on real food. You might know her… She’s Kath Younger from Kath Eats Real Food (KERF) and we are so happy to partner with Kath in highlighting Vie’s Top 5 Soups.
Lynsie recently sat down with her to chat about life and food (and what it’s like to be a female entrepreneur in this ever-changing and demanding industry). Take a peek…
A conversation between two moms: Vie Founder, Lynsie, and her amazing friend, Founder of Kath Eats Real Food
L: How has your cooking style changed after having Mazen?
K: Well I have to admit I don’t love cooking as much as I used to! Before I could spent an hour creating a meal without interruption. Maybe a glass of wine and some good music kept me company. These days cooking is a lot more stressful. Sometimes because I am being interrupted by NERF darts every two minutes and sometimes because my little guy is too hungry to wait for me to complete the recipe and needs a snack NOW! But what I have found is that the more organized and prepared I am, the more smoothly dinnertime goes. My mom told me that my grandmother advised her to “Make dinner in the morning.” While I am rarely sautéeing garlic at 9am, that advice from a 1950s mom of two was on point – you gotta think ahead! Meal plans like Vie do that thinking for you!
L: Do you find that your meal planning has become more challenging now that you’re trying to match Mazen’s eating styles with what you want to make both for yourself and work?
K: If I had all the time in the world, I would create my own recipes every night based on what I was craving. I’d maybe even go to the store every day or every other day to buy what I’m in the mood for! But as a mom, that is totally unrealistic. The more organized I am before it starts, the smoother the week goes and the less stressed I am at 5:00 everyday.
L: How much time would you say you spend in the kitchen? Is this more or less than you want to?
K: For dinnertime, probably an hour a night (less on crockpot days!) That includes prep, cooking, and cleaning. I actually wish I could spend more time in the kitchen getting creative during the daytime, but unless I’m working on a recipe post for my blog, I find myself more productive on the computer.
L: Do you ever take advantage of big batch cooking to save time during the week?
K: Yes, and when I do I thank myself 100 times all week long. I wish I did this more, but I struggle with not wanting to spend my Sunday (or Saturday or Monday) in the kitchen. I rarely find the stars aligning with all of the ingredients, a block of time, and the enthusiasm to cook everything all at once. Again, this requires planning and it’s something I work towards every week! I’ve been trying to do a mini prep day with a soup, a salad, and a fish salad like canned salmon to use for lunches during the week.
L: What’s your favorite Vie meal that you’ve tried so far?
K: We just made the bean and potato soup with pesto! I loved how creamy it turned out without any heavy cream.
L: What’s your favorite grocery store? Do you ever do online shopping for food now that there are so many options available in our area?
K: I love Whole Foods because I know everything in the store has been chosen for a good reason. I think their produce section is unbeatable. I also love the shopping experience, the bulk bins, and the hot bar for an on-the-go lunch. It might be a little more expensive than some of the other stores, but I think the quality of the meat and produce are worth it.
L: What’s your favorite dish that you had growing up?
K: My mom used to make homemade tomato sauce every summer and she would simmer it on the stove for hours. I can still dream up the smell of the sherry she’d add at the very end!
L: What’s your favorite thing to make Mazen?
K: While he’s not the world’s most adventurous eater, my child loves kale! I recently introduced him to kale chips, and he now reminds me: “Don’t forget to add the salt mommy!” (I think he likes the salt more than the kale!)
L: What is Mazen’s favorite meal to make with you?
K: Homemade pizza! Pizza is his favorite food, and he likes to sprinkle on the toppings.
L: What’s your dream soup recipe?
K: A hearty grass-fed beef chili, made in the crockpot so it’s hands off, with a huge dollop of Greek yogurt on top!
Here are the Top 5 Vie Soups that Kath has highlighted on her blog:
SOUP Three Sisters Vegetable
Yield 4-6 servings
Perfect for the Vegetarian or Vegan subscriber, this soup showcases typical end-of-harvest produce available in our area. It is a tradition American Indian soup filled with squash, potatoes, beans, corn and fire-roasted tomatoes.
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow squash, trimmed and sliced into rounds
1 zucchini, trimmed and sliced into rounds
1 bag baby potatoes
1 bag frozen green beans
½ bag frozen fire-roasted corn
1 large 28-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½-1 tsp salt and pepper, to taste
Water to cover (start with 1 quart)*
- In a soup pot set over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add yellow squash, zucchini, baby potatoes, green beans, fire-roasted corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, rosemary (the whole sprig--you’ll remove it later), salt, pepper and water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are done and flavors have melded.
- Serve hot with leftover garlic bread, or add rice for a stew.
Notes: You can also add leftover Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce to thicken and add flavor to this soup!
Coconut Lime Shiitake
Yield 8-10 servings
Think of this as that favorite soup at your local Thai joint, only made at home in 15 minutes without all of the schlepping to-and-from the restaurant. It's light, bright, lime-y and filled with creamy coconut milk.
The shiitakes offer a nice "meaty" bite, too, which makes this the perfect plant-based soup!
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups water
3 limes, juiced
2 Tbsp green curry paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 pkg fresh shiitakes, sliced thinly, stems removed and reserved for stock if desired
1 lime leaf *optional
- Sauté onion and garlic in coconut oil until softened, 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, water, lime juice, and green curry paste.
- Mix to combine, then add soy sauce, shiitakes and lime leaf (if using).
- Cook on low heat until shiitakes are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Taste, adjust seasonings and serve hot.
Add chicken, shrimp, beef or fish if you like for an added protein boost!
Scorched Pepper & Peanut
Yield 8-10 servings
One of our favorite soups for its light-yet-rich broth, this soup is packed with detoxifying shiitakes, plenty of green and crunchy peanuts + rice noodles. The ingredient, however, that really shines is the scorched peppers, which are sweet and when roasted in the oven develop a depth of flavor that's hard to beat with simple roasted peppers from a jar.
Try this simple soup and as always don't forget to play around with it a bit and add extras like asparagus or sugar snap peas!
1 pkg vermicelli rice noodles
1 bag sweet peppers
1 pkg mixed mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced in slivers
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp red chili paste
2 limes, zested & juiced
1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 quart vegetable stock
½ pkg baby kale
½ bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
1-2 cups peanuts, roasted and unsalted
- Heat a pot of water to boiling. Remove from heat, add noodles, and let sit 3-4 minutes, or until softened but not mushy or falling apart.
- While water is coming to a boil, preheat oven to a high broil.
- Cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil and scatter peppers evenly on it.
- Place sheet pan under the broiler in the lowest part of the oven. Allow the broiler to scorch the peppers for 10 minutes. Remove when the peppers are browned or even a bit charred.
- In a large pot, heat coconut oil, chili paste, mushrooms, garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
- Add lime zest and juice, fish sauce and beef or veggie stock. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add baby kale, pour over noodles individual bowls, and top with cilantro, scorched peppers and peanuts.
Top with a drizzle of sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce) for an extra pop!
SOUP Creamy White Bean with Pesto Drizzle
Yield 8-10 servings
Using white beans in soups has long been a healthy way to add creaminess and a smooth mouth-feel (puréed soups are so "in"!) so of course the texture of this soup is something we really love but what we love the most is the bright green & herbaceous pesto drizzle that goes on top as a garnish.
You'll love mixing together the simple flavors of the puréed beans and potatoes with the nutty-basil flavor of the pesto.
1 large pkg basil (or 2 cups of any herbs you choose: parsley, cilantro, scallions, chives)
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup grated parmesan *optional
2 cloves garlic, left whole
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bag white beans, cooked (2 cups reserved)*
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1-2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
- Make pesto first by combining basil, pine nuts, parmesan*, garlic, red pepper flakes, half of olive oil, pinch of salt and lemon zest and juice in a food processor or blender. Set aside.
- Sauté onion and garlic in the rest of the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add beans (minus 2 cups), potatoes and chicken or vegetable stock. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Puree soup in a blender, add the rest of the beans and add salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cook until heated through and top with pesto to serve.
*If you don't want to cook your dried beans, simply replace with 5 cans.
Also, as a meaty additions, brown up some Italian sausage (spicy or sweet) and crumble on top after you drizzle the pesto!
Yield 8-10 servings
Our favorite chili anytime, the Rosada simply refers to the unique pink bean that is used. Find them in any Latin section or in a Latin market. If you can't find them, simply substitute in some small light red kidney beans (or really any bean you want).
This soup really tastes like the kind of chili that you'd use to top a hot dog at a county fair. It's filled with cumin and thickens up a lot during cooking. We hope you enjoy! And don't forget to garnish with your favorite toppings: we like the way the crunchy radishes work with the soft beans.
1 bag rosada beans (pink beans, dried)
1 thumb-sized piece kombu (seaweed)
lots of water
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef *optional
3 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder and paprika
2 tsp salt
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 quarts water
4 cups cooked beans (or more if desired)
radishes, cut into julienne
tortilla chips (we used nacho flavored flax chips from Wegmans)
oregano and paprika
- Rinse beans and place in a large ovenproof pot with a lid.
- Cover beans with water to 2 inches above where the beans end.
- Bring to a boil and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- While beans are boiling, preheat oven to 250 F.
- Once timer goes off, transfer pot (with lid) to the oven and set a timer for 60 minutes.
- Check beans after 60 minutes and make sure there's still enough water to cover beans.
- Continue cooking for up to 30 minutes more if beans are not tender, but don't overcook. You still want the beans to be intact and not completely mushy!
- Drain and use or freeze.
**If you've got a pressure cooker, make them in here in 30 minutes!
- Sauté onion and beef together until browned (about 10 minutes) with spices.
- Add tomatoes, water and beans and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 25 minutes.
- Taste, adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serve with desired garnishes
Finally, when asked about the challenges surrounding being a female entrepreneur in the food industry as it currently stands, here’s what Kath had to say:
L: What’s it like being a female entrepreneur and blogger in the food industry with so much shifting every day?
K: There is so much good content online these days that it’s sometimes hard not to get caught in the comparison trap and wonder if what you’re doing even matters. But the bottom line is you have to do you. Because you are an expert in you! So if you lose focus of your goals, always go back to your roots and do what you do best.
Food is passion and being in this industry is hard work. It’s nice to work alongside and have the support of such a leader like Kath. Vie appreciates her taking the time to answer our questions and introduce herself to you. Don’t forget to check her out!
As a special gift to you, take advantage and try Vie for yourself! Use promo code katheats when you subscribe for a Meal Plan and get one month free. That’s 8 meal plans a week and over 220 recipes all based on sale items at your favorite stores. If you don’t have the Vie sale grocery stores in your area not to worry – with Vie you can shop at your favorite store as usual, just make sure to choose sale items when possible to save even more.