The husband of a teacher from my high school is going through chemo right now. The family is vegan and the school is providing food for them on the day he has chemo. I am not home right now so I cannot make anything but I was wondering if you all have ideas about easy things my non-vegan mom could make for them? Thanks!
I will never forget the first time that I had potato leek soup. I was about 12 at the time. I spent the day with my Dad at work, he is a farrier who travels to many different barns every day shoeing horses. It was a cold winter day, and we stopped at this cute little VT country store, and I chose to have the potato leek soup for lunch. We went to our next stop, and while my dad was shoeing a horse, I sat in the truck and enjoyed this soup. It was so good, creamy, potato, peppery, full of leek flavor. They even served it with this amazing bread that was crunchy, and I actually couldn’t really eat it, because at that time I had braces.
It is amazing how much food can impact our lives, not just our health, but our whole person and spirit. It seems so silly that I remember that day so clearly, but honestly every fall when it starts to get chilly out, I wish I could taste that soup again. I have tried to create it myself many times, and have never really been successful. But finally, tonight I did it and I am so excited to share the recipe with you all!
Creamy Potato Leek Soup
4 small leeks, about 1.5 cups (white and light green parts thinly sliced)
2 ribs of celery thinly sliced
3 large cloves of garlic minced
Salt & Pepper
2 Bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
6 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hr
1 cup water
juice of one lemon
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
additional salt and pepper to taste
additional sprigs of rosemary for garnish
Soak cashews in water.
In a large pot on medium heat pour in olive oil, to cover the bottom of the pot. Add leeks, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Add bay leaves and rosemary, and let cook for a few minutes while you prepare the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the pot and the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Prepare cashew cream. In your blender, combine cashews, water, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.
When the potatoes are soft, easily pierced with a fork. You can use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. I like it creamy, but with some potato chunks left. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can pour soup into a regular blender to puree.
After you have blended the soup, stir in the cashew cream mixture to the pot. You can add additional salt and pepper to taste if you like.
To serve place in a bowl, with freshly cracked pepper, and a sprig of rosemary. The rosemary makes a pretty garnish, and when you eat, you can take your fingers and run them down the sprig to remove all of the little leaves into your soup.
I find it amazing how a bisque can transform the most meager of ingredients into a bowl of decadence. Take celery, for instance. Not everyone’s favorite star ingredient, nor is it exactly hailed for it’s deep and rich flavor, but let the bisque work it’s magic and you might change your mind about things.
Unfortunately, a bisque usually implies butter and cream – which is partly what makes them so delicious, but also the reason they’re not that great for you and tend to be pretty heavy. Vegan bisques are better I guess, but a lot of those use a ton of vegetable oil or fake non-dairy cream stuff as a substitute, which isn’t not particularly nutritious either. I find the fake dairy stuff oily and weird anyway. The point being, bisques are as fattening as they are delicious and I just can’t get passed that. Enter Silken Tofu as our rich and creamy substitute that’s actually loaded with protein and we’ve got a truly magical bisque here…
We all love our extra firm tofu, but when it comes to pureeing or adding texture and protein, silken tofu is where it’s at. This slippery stuff incorporates right into just about anything when blended well. Great for smoothies and when it comes to bisques, silken tofu is heaven sent for those of us looking for a healthy non-dairy alternative (and you seriously can’t tell the difference in this case).
We tend to think of celery as a base ingredient or something we toss in as a background ingredient for some extra flavor or crunch. But I think we forget how incredibly flavorful celery becomes when it’s cooked down and all that off-putting stringy stuff transforms to velvety texture and rich flavor. For this soup we cook it down until it’s very tender and falling apart, like this. and then whip it up (using and immersion blender, food processor, or blender) until it’s sliky smooth.
This soup tastes clean and rich at the same time. It’s buttery and smooth with a fantastic balance of sweetness and heat from the cayenne pepper. Nobody will believe that it’s so healthy, delicious and dairy free! Super simple to make and freezes great. Truly magical.
Coop+prep time: 35 mins. Serves 4-6. Freezes great! Vegan. Reserve a little of the raw chopped celery for adding on top of each bowl of soup for some nice and fresh crunch!
Entire large cluster of celery
Half a white onion
One clove of garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or some red pepper flakes)
3/4 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or agave nectar
Small pinch black pepper
3/4 container silken tofu (or more if you like it creamier)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
Dice celery (including the leaves), garlic and onion. Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan or soup pot and sauté celery, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper until celery begins to break down a bit (about 6-7 minutes). Add water, cover, reduce heat and cook at a simmer until celery is very tender and falling apart (about 15 minutes).
Spoon all the celery mixture into the food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one). Add the cayenne pepper, silken tofu and puree away until nice and smooth. Add a bit more water if it seems too thick.
Serve it with some raw diced celery and celery leaves sprinkled on top!
The commitment to officially say “I’m vegan” was a decision I deliberated about for a long time. Now that this once extreme lifestyle now feels familiar, I have just enough perspective to wish I could go back and give my pre-vegan self (or someone else in my shoes) a few pointers.
Bryan, what are you doing? Cam demanded, his voice collapsing into the register of parental exasperation. My hand, grasping a ladle full of steaming amber liquid, froze in mid-air. Cam had rounded the corner of the kitchen in the midst of preparing our apartment for a dinner party, a duster…
Please comment on this disrespectful and degrading article. I am extremely angry right now.
be RESPECTFUL of my food choices!
Apparently common courtesy is too much for people to handle these days.
The fifth annual Chicago Veganmania in just a few more weeks :) A free (& awesome) event all day on Saturday, September 21, 2013! Lots of food, cooking demos, animal rights/rescue groups, guest speakers, merchandise, kids corner/crafts, and much more!
1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (Pure Pantry) 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp cayenne powder 1/2 tsp dried minced onion 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp, almond milk or soymilk 2 tsp neutral-tasting oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 large Hass avocado 3 Tbsp high-heat oil, for cooking (refined coconut preferred)
8 organic corn tortillas 1 1/2 cups finely shredded green or purple cabbage, (1/4 head cabbage) 1 tomato, diced
Lime Crema Topping: 1 Tbsp lime juice, plus zest of 1/2 lime 1/3 cup original soy yogurt (Original Whole Soy, not unsweetened) 1/3 cup reduced-fat vegan mayonnaise (Veganaise) Dash sea salt and finely ground black pepper
In a large bowl, add gluten-free flour, baking powder, sea salt, garlic powder, chili powder, minced onion, cumin, almond or soymilk, 2 tsp oil, and lemon juice. Whisk until uniform. Set aside.
Pre-heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 3 Tbsp oil.
Slice avocado in half, and divide into 8 pieces. Dip sliced avocado into batter. Add battered avocado to pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until golden.
Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, combine lime juice, zest, yogurt, mayonnaise, sea salt and pepper in a bowl, and set aside.
Heat tortillas on a warm skillet until pliable. Fill with 1 piece battered avocado and garnish with shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, and lime crema. Serve immediately.