Sunday, August 09, 2015

Soup and a Sandwich: The Protein-Packed Vegan Edition

An herbaceous fresh (or frozen) green pea soup is light and floral on the palette, just the thing for more delicate summer appetites.

In hot weather you really only need half a sandwich with your bowl of soup. Both your digestive system AND bathing suit will approve.

Tofu Salad Sandwich and Garden Pea Soup with Herbs and Sourdough Crumble

Reheated soup for lunch, with leftover tofu salad, hummus, toast and cashews.

If properly drained of moisture, the tofu salad should keep well for at least three days, refrigerated and tightly covered.

Don't skip the croutons; they add a necessary textural contrast and rich, toasted flavor to an otherwise very light soup.

Making you own hummus at home isn't just easy and economical. The embellishments are limited only by imagination. Above, we added a leftover, cooked sweet potato and some raw red bell pepper to the usual mix of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic.
At Cafe Drake HRV we sometimes press tofu with a bottle of gin. Just saying. Other useful weights for the process include a cast iron skillet or a similarly heavy pan.


GARDEN PEA SOUP WITH SOURDOUGH CRUMBLE

Summer 2015 at Cafe Drake HRV has been a season of voracious cookbook reading. This soup appears, albeit a different version, in  Sara Forte's inspirational The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon. Our variation eliminates the dairy, trades leeks for onions and switches up the seasoning. Both ours and the original recipe are excellent!

Begin with a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 T. olive oil and 1 large onion, roughly chopped. Cook the onion until it's soft but not too browned. Sprinkle with salt and then pour in 4 cups vegetable broth. Bring the stock to a simmer and then continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups frozen or fresh green peas, a good bit of black pepper and 2 T. each fresh marjoram, parsley and chervil. If you don't have chervil, use tarragon instead. If you don't have fresh herbs, dried will do with the exception of the parsley.

Cook for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a blender and puree until very smooth. This may take a couple of minutes or more. Return the soup to the pan and stir in a spritz of lemon juice. Taste for salt and add as much as you like. Cover and keep on the lowest heat possible while you:

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rip a few slices of dark sourdough bread into small pieces. Toss with 2 T. olive oil and toast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Halfway through toasting, shake the baking sheet around so the croutons brown evenly.

Serve the soup hot, topped with the crumbled, toasted sourdough bread. Fresh chives make a lovely but not essential garnish.




TOFU SALAD

If you think you won't like it, you're the person who needs to try this recipe most of all. It's summer on a sandwich and surprisingly substantial and filling. 

In a large mixing bowl, mash 1 block of firm tofu with a fork. The tofu should be well drained of water. (It's easiest to do this by wrapping the tofu in a clean kitchen towel for 30 minutes, pressing to release as much liquid as possible). Keep the tofu a little chunky and not entirely smooth.

Add 3 scallions (thinly sliced), 2-3 T. minced lovage (or 1/2 t. celery seeds), 1 T. tamari or soy sauce, 1 t. vegetable oil, 1/2 t. turmeric powder, a large pinch or two of sea salt, 1 t. Dijon mustard and 2-3 T. vegan mayonnaise.  Mix until everything sticks together.

Serve on sandwiches with sliced cucumber and sprinkled with paprika. Or as we did, seen above, on toasted and mayo-smeared whole wheat rolls, augmented with thin slices of tomato and lettuce.


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