Monday, September 23, 2013

Yes I Can! Vegan-ize!

One of the loveliest things about fall is soup. Soul warming, body-bracing, comforting soup. Fall is sneaking up on us here in the desert. The warm days are cooling down quickly now and the evenings are perfect for hearty end-of-harvest soups. Mike and I recently spent time with the wonderful Wimmer family and I had the opportunity to cook vegan for them. I love to challenge myself to find simple tasty recipes we can all enjoy. Out of that challenge came this recipe for a delicious vegan version of an asparagus soup that I had just helped our dear friend Susan Ryan prepare for her company. The weather was rainy and cool, perfect for this soup conversion! This very tasty recipe, originated from the Deerfield Inn in Deerfield, MA and contained butter, half and half and chicken broth. With just a few adjustments we were all enjoying the vegan version just as much as the original. Serves 6

Creamy Leek & Asparagus Soup ~ Vegan-ized!

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 leek, white part only, finely chopped
2 cups chopped asparagus spears (tough ends removed)
2 cups soy creamer
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp kosher salt
White pepper to taste

Swirl olive oil in a saucepan, place over low heat. Add onion, celery, leek and asparagus. Cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the vegetable broth; cover and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.

Carefully place vegetables and broth in a food processor or blender to puree, working in batches OR if you have an inversion blender (I love mine), it is ideal for blending this soup right in the pan, right on the stove top. Blend to desired consistency. We prefer a little texture in our cream soups.

If you have used the blender, return the soup to the pan and the stove top, add the soy half and half, salt and white pepper to taste. Reduce heat and cook 3 minutes until warmed and steamy. Add asparagus tips for garnish (Oops, forgot to save a few, hence the showy parsley leaf) and enjoy!
                           Me and darling Elise Wimmer, post soup and Maria Wimmer enjoying vegan dessert.
Maria made the most delicious tofu recipe (more on that later) as the main course to our vegan meal and dessert was simply Coconut Bliss ice cream and fresh raspberries. The perfect finish to a great day!

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