Monday, September 22, 2008

Hey Giada, I veganized your soup!

I like to watch the Food Network pretty much because I'm obsessed with food. I know that most of these shows are very meat centric but every once and a while I'll watch a show that features a dish that I would love to make at home. I like Giada's Everyday Italian because she features hearty and simple Italian dishes with fresh flavors. She does make a lot of meat but there are several dishes that can be veggie-fied. This weekend she made a beautiful Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup which looked so creamy and delicious. And it was totally veganizable. (Is that a word?) Here is my adapted version, suitable for animal free diets! Mine features added cauliflower because I wanted to add a vegetable element. Worked wonderfully and gave it a nice flavor!

Giada's Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup Veganized

2 TB Earth Balance margarine
1 TB olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 sage leaf (I didn't have this so I crumbled in a pinch of dried sage leaves)
2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups steamed cauliflower florets, chopped (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1/2 cup plain soymilk
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the Earth Balance, olive oil, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans (and/or steamed cauliflower) and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when they are blended. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pan. Puree the remaining soup. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add the soymilk and the pepper and salt to taste. Keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

Edit: This soup also tastes good with a squirt of lemon!

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