Saturday, December 4, 2010
Vegan Non-Clam Chowder
It seems like the picture upload is working without problems again. I still have no idea what was wrong, so I just hope it was a temporary bug on Blogger and won't happen again.

For the past two weeks, the weather here has been beautiful, but freezing cold. Last night, it finally started snowing a bit, which meant the temperature climbed up a few degrees. Unfortunately, it also meant that the beautiful, white frost covering on the trees disappeared. Hope we get the fairytale landscape back for Christmas! We still have plenty of snow, however, and the weather forecast predicts a white Christmas in most of Scandinavia this year.

The lake has frozen over. Some brave people were already skating on the (not very thick) ice! 

The cold had also painted some lovely frost flowers on the windows of our garden storage. I snapped a few quick pictures thinking I'll go back for a better one today - but now they're all gone. :(

When the weather is cold, my favorite foods are warm soups and dishes with lots of chili. I had seen a vegan clam chowder on Jeni's blog during MoFo, and knew I wanted to make it as soon as possible. A few days ago, I stocked up on cashews and even bought liquid smoke (which I never have on hand) - and started cooking. Then I re-read the recipe, and realized I didn't have cauliflower - I have no idea how I forgot to buy it! I did have some broccoli, however, so I decided to use it this time. To avoid getting green soup, I decided to puree the potatoes instead of the broccoli. Another change I made was to use a mushroom called Albatrellus Ovinus (Sheep Polypore) instead of oyster mushrooms. This mild, light-colored mushroom is native to Northern Europe and parts of North America, and we had some in the freezer from this fall. I feel stupid buying mushrooms in the store when we have a freezer  full of them, which is why you often see me substituting wild mushrooms for cultivated ones. I also threw in a ripe avocado.

In the end, the soup turned into something very different than the original recipe - but it was really, really tasty, so I'll write down my version here as well.

Vegan Potato, Broccoli and Avocado Soup
  • 2 tbsp heart-friendly vegan margarine, divided
  • 1/4 lbs oyster mushrooms, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 2 c vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 c water
  • 1/3 c onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 c starchy potatoes, diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 ripe avocado, pureed
  • 1 tsp green pepper or black pepper, to taste (I prefer green pepper for the milder flavor)
  • fresh parsley, to granish
In a blender, grind cashews to a fine powder, then add 1 cup of vegetable broth.  Blend until smooth, and set aside.

In a skillet, saute 1 tablespoon margarine and oyster mushrooms for about 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pot, mix 1 tablespoon margarine, onion, garlic, and potatoes. Saute for 5 minutes, then add bay leaves, thyme, white pepper, remaining vegetable broth, water, cashew mixture and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are quite soft. Remove the bay leaves.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the broccoli florets, and cook for about 8 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.  Stir in the mushrooms and avocado.

Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and some fresh parsley. Serve hot.

The soup appears curdled, but it was just the cashews, which I obviously didn't grind fine enough. 

You can find the original recipe here - and I really intend to make it soon, too (this time with the right ingredients ;)). As you can see in the adapted recipe above, I also omitted the liquid smoke - somehow I just don't think it would have tasted too good with my combination of ingredients, but I dare you to try. ;)

Have a nice weekend!
posted by Seglare at Saturday, December 04, 2010 | Permalink |


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