Three January vegan soups in the mid-Hudson Valley

Mid-Hudson Valley restaurants have been serving some great vegan soups. In this post, I feature three, with pictures of varying quality (I apologize for this and for not comprehensively covering offerings everywhere. This is by no means a top three list!)

  • Chili (V), one of the soup specials a few days back from the veg-friendly Sissy’s Restaurant on Wall St. in Kingston (dish pictured below). The soup was obviously chunky and colorful with a variety of ingredients.

  • Borscht at Kingston’s vegetarian Outdated: An Antique Café, also on Wall St. (Parts of the area’s Catskill Mountains were once known as the “Borscht Belt,” an allusion to this dish of Eastern European origins.) The soup is pictured with a side salad, ordered from the regular menu.


  • Jamaican Jerk Red Bean and Rice soup from the (more or less strictly) vegan Garden Café Woodstock, another special. Soups of this type occasionally appear on the restaurant’s menu board, and this one was served just last night.

All savory and delicious!

In other news, as of yesterday, this site has moved permanently to a domain of its own–the former redirect URL  Readers may want to bookmark or otherwise take note of our new address.

Hot and sometimes bitter Hudson Valley vegan food in late fall

Just days ago, T, The New York Times Style Magazine, noted a recent fashion for bitter foods—a seemingly odd preference for bad-tasting food. I have always enjoyed many bitter flavors, such as dark-roasted coffees that are relatively bitter, rather than smooth-drinking, and in fact my mother has a remarkable (to some) liking for marinated foods, including tomatoes dressed with vinegar. I do also, though to a lesser degree. Of course, perhaps this accounts for the fact that I have never been to Lagusta’s Luscious Commissary and neglected them in a regrettably half-baked discussion of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in this area in this post. It offers sweets and tea, along with light food all day, according to an entry in the site.

An example of popular bitterness cited in the article is the popularity of molé sauces in Mexican food eaten in the U.S. Dr. Joel Furhman’s ultra-healthy website store offers a sauce for bean dishes it calls an Olé sauce. The directions advise the home chef to water-sauté vegetables, then add sauce and beans and simmer. Hudson’s omnivorous Mexican Radio has long offered a molé sauce along with two other vegan sauces for its enchiladas. The magazine article offers an interesting appreciation.

I have also not mentioned Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, which is fund raising to pay for hay during the winter with its Hay Every Day drive.  Donors who help feed the animals every day can watch their hay being eaten in videos provided by the shelter.  I should mention their snack bar as another place regrettably omitted , though the Sanctuary is closed for the season and does not reopen until spring.

Aba’s Falafel draws raves from friends who enjoy their offerings at the Rhinebeck outdoor farmers’ market during the warmer months. Its new storefront operation is located at 54 E. Market in the same village.

Outdated: An Antique Café in Kingston (vegetarian but not vegan and with many interesting foods) has recently been open Friday and Saturday nights until 9 pm, rather than its usual 4 pm. It has retro chic and is housed in a place with interesting nooks and crannies. I might mention it features some Lagusta’s Luscious candy in the case at the front counter. It will be open Christmas Eve until 4 pm, according to a sign on the door.

Then there is, another worldwide web presence, a project of Woodstock Animal Rights Movement (WARM), an organization with headquarters in the Catskill Mountains village of Woodstock. The operation once boasted a bricks-and-mortar store in the village.  The website’s store sells pro-vegan merchandise bearing the slogan “meat free zone” which was developed as part of a campaign to create meat-free zones much like nonsmoking areas in buildings.