Thursday, October 2, 2008
VEGAN PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH-STYLE "CHICKEN" CORN SOUP
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More vegan comfort food! When I had company, I was trying to make some easy dishes that would feed a crowd and that omnivores would like. I had reconstituted Soy Curls® (see info here) and lots of corn. I remembered this soup from somewhere in my memory. It usually just has corn in it, but I added some celery and carrots for body and interest. I left out the usual hard-boiled egg that is sprinkled on top, of course! It was a winner.
BRYANNA'S VEGAN PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH-STYLE "CHICKEN" AND CORN SOUP
This is so simple, but my DH and omnivore guests just gobbled it up! It's really low in calories, but it seems "rib-sticking"! The quality of the broth is REALLY important to this recipe. Other alternatives to the broth paste I suggested are below in Cooking Tips.
8 cups good vegetarian "chicken-style" vegetarian broth
(I used Superior Touch "Better than Bouillon" "No Chicken Vegan Base", which is a paste-- see Cooking Tips below for alternatives and measures)
2 cups re-hydrated Soy Curls® or other vegan chicken sub, in strips
(2 oz. dry-- see here for info on Soy Curls® and how to reconstitute)
2 to 3 medium carrots, scraped and diced small
2 stalks celery, with leaves, sliced
1 3/4 cups egg-free tagliatelle , broken up (4 "nests") (dry flat pasta, often sold rolled up in "nests" see photo below-- check label as it is sometimes made with eggs)
OR egg-free ribbon noodles
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen sweet corn kernels
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Mix together the broth, Soy Curls®, carrots, and celery. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and corn. Turn the heat down and simmer, covered, until the pasta is tender. Taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley or chives.
Nutrition (per serving): 141.0 calories; 10% calories from fat; 1.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 718.6mg sodium; 218.7mg potassium; 27.2g carbohydrates; 3.0g fiber; 3.9g sugar; 24.2g net carbs; 7.4g protein; 2.4 points.
CHICKEN-STYLE VEGETARIAN BROTH
The product you use should contribute full flavor, not just saltiness. Unfortunately, many vegetarian broth powders do not deliver in the flavor department! And, sadly, the major organic brands are inadequate--too salty and not enough real flavor.
Brands of instant vegetarian broth, or bouillon, powders, pastes, and cubes seem to vary from region to region, even within North America. Many readers use brands that I have never heard of, or cannot get where I live in Western Canada. Fortunately, we can now order specific brands online if we can't convince our local grocer or health food store to carry the ones we like.
HERE ARE SOME THAT I LIKE:
#1 Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning Powder, a German brand which is widely distributed in the USA and in Europe. It is the #1 choice for the recipes in this book. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find it in Canada, but Canadians can order it from veganessentials and the shipping to Canada is very reasonable.
Seitenbacher is MSG-free and "All natural; Vegan; No Gelatine; No Dairy; No Meat; No Eggs; No Artificial Flavor Enhancer; Fat Free; Cholesterol Free; Gluten Free; No Oil". (Another good MSG-free broth powder is Massel-- see below.)
#2: An excellent homemade alternative is my own broth powder mix. It's easy and cheap to make and has excellent flavor--but you must use 2 teaspoons for each cup of water.
#3: One of my favorite broth products--but not a powder: "Better than Bouillon" "No Chicken Vegan Base" (a paste) is delicious (and it's what I used in the soup above). Ask your health food store or grocery store to carry it. "Better than Bouillon" also has a "No Beef Vegan Base", which is good, and a "Vegetable Base", which also comes in an organic variety, but, while it's good, I wasn't super-impressed with the Vegetable Base. (Unfortunately, their "Mushroom Base" contains dairy products.)
#4: "Massel Ultracubes", labeled "Chicken", "Beef", or "Vegetable", but they are all totally vegan and are now available in the USA from amazon and Vegan Essentials (which also ships to Canada, with reasonable shipping fees).
Massel also makes and excellent chicken-y vegan broth powder.
Massel broth products are Kosher and contain no trans-fats, no MSG, and have good flavor.
For 1 cup of broth , use 1 cup water and add:
* 1 teaspoon Seitenbacher (or Massel) vegetarian broth powder
* OR 2 teaspoons Bryanna's Homemade Broth Powder (see recipe here )
* OR 1 teaspoon Superior Touch "Better than Bouillon" Vegan No-Chicken Base
* OR 1/2 a cube Massel Ultracubes Vegetarian "Chicken" Bouillon Cubes