Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons

I had the chance to try Nava Atlas' Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons this week. It is arranged by season, which is my favorite type of cookbook. It has a lot of creative recipes, like Puree of Spring Greens--the perfect way to use up your Spring CSA surplus. Of course I will be using real chicken, clams, sausage, etc. when I cook from this book because we are not vegan. But we do cook dairy free, so this is a great addition to our cookbook shelf (Shelves.).

I made the Onion and Garlic Broth, which I am really excited about because:

  • it is quick and easy
  • it is a flavorful addition to soups or risottos, etc.
  • I always have the ingredients in my house
I used the broth in Barbara Kingsolver's Vegetarian Chili, and it added a nice depth of flavor.

Onion and Garlic Broth--Quoted directly from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons
Makes about 6 cups

This broth may be used as an extra-flavorful soup stock or as an alternative, with a little extra kick, to a basic vegetable stock.

It's also a soothing remedy for the common cold!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped, or 2 medium leeks, white parts only, chopped and well rinsed

4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry red wine

6 cups water

Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan or small soup pot. Add the onion or leeks and sauté over medium heat until golden.

Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion or leeks brown lightly. Add the wine and water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. You may leave the onions and garlic in if you wish, or strain the stock through a fine strainer. Discard the solids or puree them and add to soup for a thicker consistency.

Per cup:

Calories: 42 Total fat: 2 g Protein: 1 g Fiber: 1 g

Carbohydrate: 4 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 9 mg

There is an Accompaniments section at the end of the book that has several muffin, scone and bread recipes. Scott made the Focaccia Bread recipe. Twice. We love this bread!

Focaccia Bread--Quoted directly from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons

Makes 1 round loaf, about 8 wedges

Although this excellent traditional Italian bread is yeasted, it does not take as long to make as other yeasted breads, since it only requires one rather brief rising. If you are making a long-simmering soup, this bread will likely fit into the time frame. It’s a natural pairing with Italian-style soups such as Minestrone (page 00), but it’s good with most any tomato-based soup.

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

Coarse salt

Dried oregano or rosemary

Pour the yeast into the warm water and let stand to dissolve for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and two tablespoons of the oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt. Work the yeast mixture in using your hands, then turn out onto a well-floured board.

Knead for 5 minutes, adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Shape into a round and roll out into a circle with a 12-inch diameter.

Place on an oiled and floured baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

When the dough has finished rising, poke shallow holes into its surface with your fingers, at even intervals. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top evenly, followed by the garlic, coarse salt, and herbs.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread is golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped. Serve warm, cut into wedges, or just have everyone break off pieces.

Per wedge (8 wedges per loaf):

Calories: 206 Total fat: 7 g Protein: 5 g Fiber: 3 g

Carbohydrate: 31 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 294 mg

This review was written for Go Dairy Free.

1 comment:

  1. That bread sounds delicious! I may just try that on the weekend.