My faith in El Paso’s vegetarian/vegan restaurant scene was renewed this past October when I attended Opus World Bistro’s vegan wine dinner. I had planned on blogging about the dinner and the restaurant, but I brilliantly forgot (again) to replace the SD card in my camera. I took cellphone pics, but they don’t do Chef Michael Ross’s food justice. The pics are on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (they’re grouped here>>). I’ll have to return another time to dine and take pictures of regular menu items. In the meantime, you NEED to eat at Opus World Bistro now. While, the wine dinner’s menu items are not on their regular menu, there are plenty of other tantalizing vegan options to choose from. You can view the menu here>>
Prices are a little high, but well worth it. Chef Michael assembles dishes that creatively and deftly make use of seasonal ingredients and textures. As of now, you can print out a coupon from their website. If I still can’t convince you to make it out to the westside and invest in a good meal, you can try making this soup that is inspired from one of the wine dinner dishes. Sweet pea tortellini, cardamom carrot vegetable broth & fresh fennel was the first course and my second favorite dish of the night.
My soup is different, but like I said it’s just an inspired dish. I love the flavors and the complexity the cardamom adds. It’s quick and easy and you can use either butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots. This has to be one of the best soups I’ve created since the Smoky Tomato Chickpea soup I created for Vegan Mofo & the Earth Balance recipe contest.
Cardamom Scented Fall Soup
¼ cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 cups butternut squash, sweet potato, or carrots, ½” dice
2 cups water or vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon caradomom seeds
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
salt & pepper
- Saute onions until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add squash, season with salt and pepper, cooking for 5-10 minutes.
- Add stock or water, bringing to a simmer. Place cardamom seeds in a tea infuser, sachet, or wrap in cheesecloth; add to pot.
- Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
- Remove cardamom. Puree in a blender or use a handheld immersion blender.
- Add peas and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Garnish with cilantro or your favorite herbs.