WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dairy-free, Soy-free, Corn-free, Vegan Potato Soup

Abby has been wanting potato soup for weeks now. Simple enough if you can eat dairy,soy, corn etc- But what if you can't?

I decided I could use coconut yogurt and rice milk thickened with potato starch.

But, the big dilemma- Abby doesn't tolerate pork. How can you have potato soup without ham or bacon?

Make bacon out of your chickpea Nofu of course! :-)

You will need:
Chickpea Nofu
Coconut amino's(soy free soy sauce)
Maple syrup(grade B has a stronger flavor, you could use maple extract too if you tolerate it.)
Apple cider vinegar( I use braggs)
Dark brown sugar

First I made my "marinade" for soaking the chickpea nofu. I used almost equal amounts of everything except the vinegar and salt. I just used a dash of the vinegar and a shake of salt(will need more salt later)

Then I cut my nofu as thin as I could without it breaking. I pressed my slices of nofu between paper towels for about an hour( between paper towels,between two plates with something heavy like cans on top)

Then in a dry non-stick pan(no oil!) I turned the burner on low and carefully added my slices of chickpea nofu. You want to cook it uncovered super slow and frequently flip it. The first couple flips you have to be extra careful as until it starts to dry it will want to stick. I usually cook slow for 30-40 minutes on the lowest temperature. I flip every 5-10 minutes and gently press each slice. The point of this part is to "dry" the nofu as much as you can.

When it seems dry(should not be darker then golden brown usually develops some fine cracking) I remove from heat and put the pieces into my marinade. I cover the nofu in the marinade and place in fridge overnight. Believe it or not, soaking even for 2 days and those dried slices will not get mushy! (if they do, you did not dry your nofu enough.)

The next day I grill the nofu hard either on the stovetop or grill. The sugars will caramelize and brown up nicely. When it nice and brown(like the pic above) I remove from heat. I dice it and salt it heavily. I then fried it in a touch of coconut oil till very crisp. The end result was slightly sweet, hint of maple, salty and crisp- close enough to bacon to make a nice topping for the soup.

Seems like a lot of work, and though not hard was time consuming. Worth it though when you cannot eat pork,dairy,soy, etc.

The Potato Soup:

3 scrubbed peeled and diced potatoe's
1 diced yellow onion
2 grated carrots
1 Tablespoon parsley(dried is fine)
salt and pepper
1-2 cup plain coconut yogurt depending on how rich and creamy you want it.
1 cup plain original rice milk( a touch of gluten in this item, use what is safe)
1 tablespoon potato starch(mixed into the cup of rice milk)

I threw the onions,potatoes, carrots, parsley, in with a couple cups of water to just cover.(you could use chicken stock instead for a non-vegan version) It takes about 15-30 minutes to boil till soft. Don't drain, that water is part of the broth. I mixed in the yogurt, salt and pepper into the potatoes. I slowly added the rice milk mixed with potato starch about 1/4 cup at a time to make sure it did not get too thick.

Done. Topped with chickpea bacon. You could also add chopped green onion, or some green pea's for extra color. We added the carrots to get some yellow/orange color to the soup to make her forget there wasn't any cheese and of course add value. Abby said it needed a bit more salt, but was definitely a make again item.

We are going to try freezing the leftovers, if there are any! :-)


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