Monday, January 16, 2012

My Weekend & Vegan Broccoli & Potato Soup!

Hope you all had an amazing weekend! 

I went to a free boot camp on Saturday morning and almost died (yes, I swear - it was the hardest workout I've ever done), then I got to have some quality time with my friend Katy.  We all went to an art gallery for an open house, and see my friend Marco's band play - again for FREE!  I love all the free stuff I'm finding so far! ;) 

 I loved this girl's work - it was really beautiful! 

There was another artist there that we really loved - he did all kinds of portraits (very design-like), and they were very colorful.  I was a little intimidated to take pictures of them though since we were standing there talking to him!  Ha! 

My friend Marco (on the drums) plays for a band called Doubters.  I'm not sure if that link worked, but it should go to their Facebook page!  They were really awesome - very 90's alternative rock, and made me think of early Thermals stuff.  I enjoyed the show a ton, and you should go check 'em out sometime if you're ever in the Denver area!! 

 Katy & I were tappin' our feets and boppin' around the whole time!  They really got us going! 

Sunday I had book club (no pics unfortunately), but it was a lovely time! 

That night I decided to use up some ingredients that I had in the fridge, and came up with one of my new favorite recipes!  I have been crazy about soups lately (probably the cold weather & all).  

Vegan Broccoli & Potato Soup
Makes about 6 servings

1 head of broccoli (just the florets), or about 1 1/2 cups frozen
1 medium baked potato* (diced)
1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 a package of Firm Tofu (pressed with a paper towel to remove extra moisture, and cut into large chunks)
1 cup Soymilk (or Almond milk), unsweetened 
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
4 cups (approximately) low-sodium Vegetable Broth
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp Braggs liquid amino acids (or Tahini / Soy Sauce) 
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil
Whole wheat bread (optional - for croutons)

Place a large pot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil.  Add the onions & the garlic, cooking for about 2-4 minutes, until slightly clear. 

Add the broccoli, and cook stirring for about 1 minute.  Add the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, Braggs, brown rice, and baked potato.  Cover & simmer for about 25-30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place the tofu in your food processor or blender.  When the soup is done simmering, scoop out part of the chunky stuff (very little liquid), and add to the food processor on top of the tofu.  Blend until smooth, place in a large bowl, and set aside.  Add the rest of the chunks into the food processor (you'll have some broth left in the pot), and blend well - then return everything (including the bowl you set aside) to the pot.  

Turn stove on medium heat, and add the soymilk, and the salt & pepper.  Keep an eye on it, as sometimes soymilk can bubble over - just keep it medium to low & simmer for another 5 minutes or so. 

If desired, cut whole wheat bread into cubes and place on a cookie sheet.  Spray with spray oil (Butter-flavored is best), and sprinkle with garlic salt.  Pop into the oven at 450 degrees for about 5-6 minutes (or until slightly brown).  They might still be a little squishy, but John and I liked them that way! 

*You may not have a baked potato lying around, but I had this leftover from earlier in the week - that's why this recipe is so great for leftovers!  But just as a tip, baked potatoes are GREAT meal starters for vegetarians / vegans.  You can make a bunch on a Sunday to start your week, just leave 'em in the foil and stick 'em in the fridge. 

I love to heat up some of Amy's Vegetarian Chili and dump it over top of a potato, or do a Mexican-style theme with beans, brown rice, Daiya "cheddar" shreds, tomatoes, hot sauce, and shredded lettuce.  Sometimes when I'm being really lazy I will make a can of vegan cream-of-mushroom soup, add a little cornstarch to thicken it, and slop it over a baked potato like a gravy!  It's SO GOOD and great on a cold winter's day!  

They are also great thickeners for soup (as you can see!).  An added bonus: potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber - and for the thrifty vegan, you can't go much cheaper than potatoes!  Win-win!  :)


Becky Lou said...

Hi Beth!!! that soup sounds great- I'll try it soon!

jenni said...

ok beth, this is my dinner tonight!although i've never been a fan of tofu :/)

Beth B said...

Awesome!! Jenni, the tofu is just kind of a thickener to make it creamier. You can't even taste it, I promise! :)