This blog is usually about making things. Today it's about making dinner. This one is very high in protein, something we vegans often get accused of forgetting about. It's also delicious, the refuting of which we battle almost daily to our immense amusement. (If we didn't like it, why the hell would we eat it?) ;)
* 100g leek
* 250g mushrooms (I used 100g Forestiere, 100g large flat and 50 g Shiitake, but whatever you have is good)
* A chilli
* 2 cloves garlic
* 10ml Olive Oil
* Oil for deep-frying
* Tofu for the croutons (I used about half a packet of Cauldron tofu). I froze it beforehand, and then microwaved it, mopping up all the water that came out of it. It's tougher this way. Said half-packet is probably enough for two folk, really.
* 250ml stock (I didn't make my own, sorry. I used a teaspoon of Vecon Concentrated Vegetable Stock and added that - as per the instructions on the container - to 250ml water)
* 50ml vegan single cream
* Lots of black pepper
First off, the ingredients above should be considered an advisory. I like thick soups. I like soups so thick they could be considered super-dense new elements unknown to science, but I will accept soups slightly less dense than your average pâté.
1) Get the tofu out of the freezer, use the tap to wash off the external ice, then pop it on a plate and begin microwaving it. Have several (paper) towels ready to mop up the surplus water.
2) Chop your leek, mushrooms and chilli. Begin to fry them. Do not add the garlic unless you prefer it cooked to raw. Intermittently stir the vegetables while performing the next few activities.
3) While the vegetables cook, press the water out of the tofu. Be aware that hot water is hot. You aren't a customer at McDonald's. Pop some flour in a bowl, cut the tofu into chunks, and ensure that each side is covered in tofu.
4) Add some oil to another saucepan, and add the floured tofu chunks. Deep fry them. Once they are crisply golden brown all over, pluck them out with a fork and spoon, and deposit them on a piece of (paper) towel, which will absorb the excess fat.
5) While they deep fry, add the stock to the vegetables, and let it bubble away on a high or low heat (depending how thick you want the soup to be). If you want the soup to be thinner, use more water, of course.
6) Pop the 50ml of soya cream into a jug. Crush and chop the garlic, and add it to the same. If you dislike garlic, you will already have cooked it. Remove a couple of slices of mushrooms from the vegetable mix and set them aside. Add the reduced vegetables and stock to the garlic and soya cream, and with a food-processor whizz them together. Add black pepper as desired. I like things fairly spicy, so I used forty twists of the pepper-grinder.
7) Pop the tofu croutons in a bowl, and pour the soup over them. Add the slices of mushrooms previously set aside as a decoration, and serve.
8) Devour rapaciously.
Here's a photo with flash and another without. I suppose chicken might be a good stand-in for the tofu for anyone wholly opposed to its use. I hear it's not so flavoursome. After half a lifetime, you do forget these things. Sorry. Imperial Guardsmen are for scale purposes only. :D