Veggie victory: Moosewood Soup

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Basic Needs Initiative team partnered together to virtually host their weekly Cooking with CSUMB hands-on food demonstrations led by faculty and staff. On March 25, Transfer Center Student Success Coordinator Jacinto Salazar guided viewers through the process of recreating Moosewood Soup in the convenience of one’s home.

“Moosewood Soup is plant-based,” Salazar said. “It’s super healthy containing lots of vegetables and seasonings.”

Salazar often wings the portions of ingredients thrown in the soup. Drawing inspiration from a meal train that started six years ago when his daughter was born, Salazar was given the soup from fellow colleagues and simultaneously discovered a new favorite. 

“One of the secret ingredients is liquid aminos or soy sauce,” Salazar said. “The combination of cinnamon and the liquid aminos really gives it an in-depth flavor.”

Dicing the onion and garlic prior to filming, Salazar showed viewers how to chop sweet potatoes and celery to an appropriate bite-size. Throwing the pieces of veggies into a bowl before dumping them into the soup pot, Salazar saves his vegetable scraps in a heart-shaped bowl, freezing them to later make a vegetable stock in his InstantPot. 

Using a variety of spices such as turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and dried basil, Salazar completes the veggie-filled concoction with tomato, green bell pepper and cooked chickpeas. In a large pot, saute the onion, celery, sweet potato and garlic before adding three cups of vegetable broth and spices, covering with lid and simmering for approximately 15 minutes. 

“You can use canned tomatoes for this dish,” Salazar said. “Be sure to get low-sodium tomatoes as too much sodium can throw off the flavors.”

Letting the soup cook through, Salazar adds the tomato and chickpeas towards the end, continuing to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. This dish is versatile and gracious towards student budgets and schedules. There’s the option to prep the vegetables in advance, as well as stretching the uses of each ingredient for future meals by creating an essential stock required in a variety of recipes. 

Resuming after spring break on April 8, Cooking with CSUMB will be teaching viewers how to make goya champuru and a berry cream parfait. Lucky Otters who stay tuned for full demonstrations are eligible to win $25 e-gift cards to use for groceries. 


2 tablespoon olive oil 

2 large onions chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1 stalk of celery chopped

2 cup chopped and peeled sweet potato

3 cup vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoon paprika 

1 teaspoon turmeric 

1 teaspoon dried basil

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 cup chopped tomato (fresh or canned)

1 large green bell pepper chopped

1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas

1 tablespoon soy sauce or liquid aminos or tamari

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