Mock Seafood Chowder

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Mock seafood chowder is essentially a hearty vegetable soup with the addition of special ingredients that mimic the textures of seafood. The flavor can be likened to a spicy minestrone. For less spiciness, reduce the Old Bay™ seasoning and omit the cayenne pepper. The chowder has no real seafood flavor of its own but this flavor can easily be added by including some dried seaweed of your choice, to taste. If you prefer this seafood flavor but others in your household don’t, consider garnishing individual servings with the seaweed.

Ingredients:
• 1 can (about 17 oz.) green jackfruit in water or brine*
• 1 can (15 oz.) oyster mushrooms*
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 ribs celery, diced
• 1 carrot, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced (2 tsp minced)
• 4 cups vegetable broth
• 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with liquid
• ½ lb. potatoes, peeled and ½-inch diced
(i.e., 1 average-size russet potato)
• ½ cup fresh corn kernels (1 ear of corn) or canned corn kernels
• ½ cup loosely-packed chopped Italian parsley
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tsp Old Bay™ or Chesapeake Bay™ seasoning
• optional: pinch of cayenne pepper
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

* Canned green jackfruit has no real flavor of its own, but has an uncanny resemblance to shredded crab when cooked. It can be found in Indian and Asian markets or purchased through the internet. Look for the label “Green Jackfruit” or “Young Green Jackfruit” and be sure that it’s packed in water or brine (preferably water) and not syrup. You may notice cans of ripe jackfruit packed in syrup stocked nearby but don’t be tempted to substitute as it will be too sweet.

Canned oyster mushrooms can be found in Asian markets and are very inexpensive (a dollar or two per can) compared to their fresh counterparts, which are sometimes found in farmer’s markets or specialty food stores. However, fresh oyster mushrooms can be used if you prefer.

Technique:
Drain the liquid from the can of jackfruit and rinse the fruit thoroughly (especially if it was packed in brine) and drain in a colander. With a sharp knife, remove the tough core from each chunk of jackfruit and discard. Break the chunks apart with your fingers and remove the soft seeds and discard. Wrap the stringy pulp in a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove any excess remaining water. Place the jackfruit in a food processor and pulse a few times to shred. Do not purée! Set aside in a bowl.

Drain the oyster mushrooms and remove any tough stems. Slice half of the mushrooms into strips and dice the remaining half. Set aside in the bowl with the jackfruit.

In a large soup, add the olive oil and place over medium heat. Sauté the onions, celery and carrots until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, jackfruit and oyster mushrooms and sauté and additional minute or two.

Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes with liquid, potatoes, corn, parsley, bay leaf, Old Bay™ or Chesapeake Bay™ seasoning and cayenne pepper and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for about 1 hour or until the vegetables are very tender.

Season the chowder with salt and pepper taste, as desired. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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Eggless Egg Flower Soup

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Ingredients:
• 1 block (14 oz.) soft to medium water-packed tofu
• 4 cups vegan chicken broth
• 1 small carrot
• 1 can (15 oz.) straw mushrooms, drained
or 8 oz. white mushrooms, quartered*
• 3 green onions (white and green parts), chopped
• ¼ cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
• ⅛ tsp ground white pepper
• 2 T unmodified potato starch, cornstarch or arrowroot powder
• sea salt or kosher salt, to taste

*If you will be using fresh mushrooms, sauté them in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil until they have released most of their liquid before adding them to the soup.

Technique:
Drain and lightly press the tofu to remove excess water. Place the block of tofu on a work surface and using a very sharp knife, slice paper thin strips from the narrow side of the block. Use a light touch to glide or scrape the knife through the surface of the tofu. Don’t try to create perfect slices as ragged pieces will look more realistic. If slices are too uniform, tear them with your fingers.

Continue until you have sliced through ½ of the block. Reserve the intact remaining tofu for another recipe, storing it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. If you won’t be using the remaining tofu within 24 hours, re-submerge it in fresh water in the container.

Place the tofu fragments in a soup pot, add the broth and place the soup pot over medium heat.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot and discard or compost the peel. Now using the same peeler, peel strips of the carrot into the soup pot. It’s not necessary to use the entire carrot; just add enough to create some color.

Add the mushrooms, onions, cilantro and white pepper. When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.

In a small dish, dissolve the starch in just enough water to make a liquid (this is called a slurry). Add the slurry to the soup while stirring. Continue to simmer and stir until the soup thickens. Taste and add salt if needed. The soup is now ready to serve.

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Chilled Cucumber Buttermilk Soup

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This cooling and refreshing signature raw soup is perfect for serving on a hot Summer day. It’s also rich in nutrients and probiotics which are beneficial for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Ingredients:
• 2 large cucumbers
• ¼ cup chopped sweet yellow onion
• 2 cups Cultured Buttermilk (from The Non-Dairy Formulary)
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste
• thinly sliced cucumber rounds, cold-pressed olive oil and minced chives or dill for garnish

Technique:
Thinly slice several cucumber rounds with the peel intact and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve the soup.

Peel the remaining cucumbers, cut in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Chop the cucumbers and add to a blender with the onion, ¾ teaspoon salt and the buttermilk. Process the mixture until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a container and season with black pepper, to taste, and additional salt as desired. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top with the cucumber rounds, minced chives or dill and a drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil.

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Cream of Brussels Sprout Soup

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This velvety, delicious soup makes an elegant first course or light supper. This recipe yields about 6 cups.

 

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Cream of Brussels Sprout Soup
This velvety, delicious soup makes an elegant first course or light supper. This recipe yields about 6 cups.
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Instructions
  1. If using fresh Brussels sprouts, trim the tough stems and outer leaves. Frozen sprouts should be thawed before using.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring the butter, chik'n broth, white wine, Brussels sprouts and onions to a rapid simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Partially cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender, cover and begin processing on low speed. Hot liquids can expand explosively if the blender is immediately run on high speed, so start on low and hold the lid on the blender with a dish towel for safety). Increase the speed to high and process until smooth.
  4. Return the purée to the soup pot and add the nutmeg and white pepper. Stir in the heavy cashew cream. Add salt to taste. Gently cook on low heat until heated through, stirring frequently. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped chives if desired.
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New England “Clam” Chowdah

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Tender diced potatoes, celery, onions and oyster mushrooms are combined together in this creamy and satisfying chowder. Canned oyster mushrooms can be found in Asian markets and are very inexpensive.

Ingredients:
• 3 T Better Butter (from The Non-Dairy Formulary or The Gentle Chef Cookbook) or commercial vegan margarine
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 large ribs celery, diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 can (about 7.5 oz. drained weight) oyster mushrooms, drained, tough stems removed and diced
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 4 cups chik’n broth (see The Gentle Chef Cookbook for broth options) or vegetable broth
• 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
• 2 bay leaves
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
• sea salt or kosher salt as needed
• 1 cup heavy cream (from The Non-Dairy Formulary) or commercial vegan cream substitute

Technique:
In a large soup pot, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté an additional minute.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir thoroughly to distribute.

Slowly whisk in the broth. Add the potatoes, bay leaves and black pepper. Bring the chowder to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt if needed and add additional pepper if desired.

Stir in the heavy cream and cook and additional minute or two. Serve.

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New England "Clam" Chowdah
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