Here I am, once again reviewing the newest 30 minute vegan cookbook from serial author Mark Reinfeld, Soup’s On! Like my previous review in this series, I’m going with recipes I’ve never tried before.
First up is the Cream of Mushroom Soup (page 127), which I’ve only ever had the canned kind. Homemade is super easy to make and much more mushroomy. Most of the recipes include a list of possible variations, it’s very handy to customize to your own taste preferences.
I did quite a few: subbing out different kinds of mushrooms; sautéed the garlic and onion in oil; used coconut milk instead of soy creamer (that last one wasn’t actually an official variation but I figured what the hay).
I also made the Vegan Crème Fraîche (page 195) to go on top. Never tried regular crème fraîche before, so I didn’t have anything to compare. While it tasted fine and added a richness, I could do without it. Although the author likes to suggest it as a topping for a number of recipes, I didn’t think the soup needs it.
I didn’t plan on making the Creamy Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup (page 125). Much too lazy to go to the store, I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand for this particular recipe (don’t you just love it when that happens? And with the recipe variations, the likelihood of that happening is greatly increased). And just like that, another canned soup bites the dust in favor of making it myself.
Holy Mole Soup with Veggies (page 145), any soup that’s got chocolate chips in it is a soup with my name on it. So much flavor. But it felt like it needed a little something to help soak up all that flavor, so I served it with rice and roasted tofu.
I got a package of Happy Pho brown rice noodles that I’ve been itching to try after gobbling down Strawberry Spring Rolls using their brown rice spring roll wrappers. Saving the spice packet that came in the box for another day, I made the Vietnamese Pho Real Bowl (page 74).
I had to adjust the cooking time as the noodles only took 1 minute instead of the 7 minutes in the recipe. But I love the star anise in the broth and I’ve since made it numerous times throwing in whatever noodles and veggies I had available.
That’s the thing about this cookbook, the recipes really are endlessly adaptable and pretty easy too. I didn’t try any of the raw or dessert soups as I’m waiting for Spring and Summer fruit and veggies to hit the local farmer’s market to dive into those recipes. And then, soup’s on.
Vietnamese Pho Real Bowl
Serves 6 to 8
6 cups vegetable stock or water
3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
3 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons seeded and diced hot chile pepper, or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon mirin (optional)
8 ounces beef- or chicken-style seitan, with marinade
3 ounces uncooked thin rice noodles
1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1. Place the vegetable stock in a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the rice noodles, cabbage, lime juice, green onion, and cilantro. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the rice noodles and cabbage and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lime juice, green onion, and cilantro and stir well. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick before serving.
- For a gluten-free version, replace the seitan with cubed and roasted tofu.
- Add 1 cup of small broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, or snow peas.
- Add 2 tablespoons of chiffonaded Thai basil instead of, or in addition to, the cilantro.
- Add 2 tablespoons of miso paste and stir until dissolved just before serving.
From the book The 30 Minute Vegan Soup’s On by Mark Reinfeld. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2013. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com
Disclosure: I received the book free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the book expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.
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