Tomato Basil Soup with Focaccia Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from totally awesome blog, Vegan Yack Attack! I think dipping bread in soup is one of the finest activities in the world. Promote that bread to a focaccia grilled cheese? BLAMMO! You’re living the life! You know, THEE life.
Tomato soup and grilled cheese is the ideal winter snack. And it makes me feel like I’m some sort of frontier settler like the American Girl doll I had, Kirsten (I always wanted Samantha though). Boy! What a hustle the American Girl dolls were. My doll’s clothes used to cost more than mine! I was driven to stealing money from my brother’s giant plastic Coca-cola bottle coin bank to buy those expensive doll dresses. I was a junkie! But then my brother caught me one day and it was so embarrassing. We had an American Girl intervention.
Vegan MoFo: Everything Stew »
Do you guys love my decorating skills? I know you do.
Those of you who were aghast at my suggestion last week to have a cupcake, possibly for breakfast, will be glad to know that a stew like this is as healthy as it gets. I used the Food Not Bombs technique of putting basically everything you have into it and simmering until everything is way overcooked. I swear it’s good. It’s also economical.
2 cloves of garlic (or more, if you’re nasty like me)
vegetable broth or water
every vegetable you have, especially if it’s in danger of going bad
some cooked beans
whatever spices you like, particularly salt and pepper
a fake meat product of some kind (optional)
In a big ol’ stockpot, saute onions and “hard” vegetables—to me this means peppers, carrots, celery and the like—for 8-10 minutes until soft. Crush or chop garlic and add to the pot, along with a bunch of spices (thyme, salt, pepper, rosemary, marjoram…). Stir and saute for a few seconds until you can smell the delicious smell of cooking garlic. Add the softer veggies (zucchini, broccoli, and so on) and saute for a while. Pour water or broth into the pot until everything is just barely covered. Add beans and fake meat if using, then bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer to your heart’s content. Taste and adjust spices. Serve on top of rice or quinoa, and/or with a side of crusty bread if you can afford it.
Watch this: Daniel Patterson’s Go-To Summer Soup »
Remember Archie, the tiny “chef” who helped his daddy cook this soup that I have now made variations of at least 20 times because it is so good and also Archie and his daddy are so freaking adorable? We now have a rival father-son soup-making video, courtesy Chow’s “My Go-To Dish” series: this video features super-fancy chef Daniel Patterson (of Coi! and Plum!) and his kid making a summertime soup of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, purslane, and basil. And things! It looks SO GOOD, you guys.
"Home is not a pursuit of perfection; home is pursuit of dinner. One of the things that’s really unfortunate is the fear of doing something wrong. Because you have to do things wrong. It’s like, how you learn, and if you’ve got good ingredients and you’re trying your best, in the end it’s gonna be fine." —Daniel Patterson, 2011 and FOREVER. Indeed it is! Kitchens are like chem labs for eating, they’re amazing and fun!
You may think you love Daniel Patterson now, but wait till the end of the video when he CHASES HIS SMALL SON AROUND THE HOUSE WIELDING HIS TINY BABY BEFORE HIM. You guys all I want is space for a small garden—herbs, a couple greens, vertical tomatoes—and a bunch of animals and babies. OK and the internet, I love the internet. But for real, let’s all adopt animals and small children and grow our own food and be friends with the neighbors and make this chilled eggplant soup. This is the summer of our aspiration. Yes, we aspire to soup. Shut it, soup is the best.
Morty’s Deli in the Tenderloin: nice sandwiches you got there! »
First of all, I love me a nice sandwich, and I love me vegan options in SF’s Tenderloin. I also love that Morty’s Deli’s motto is “…a nice sandwich,” and its logo is a basset hound. Hilarious! Plus they have beer on tap! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?
Morty’s is a kick-ass deli with more vegan options than the menu appears to have. You just have to ask; for example, the No. 174 can be made vegan with marinated tofu, even though the menu doesn’t say it. Tim, the handsome face behind the menu, says he recently started leaning toward veganism himself for health reasons. Go, Tim!
The vibe is coffeehouse-meets-deli, and the beer is free-flowing on weekdays till 8 p.m., so maybe look into weekend hours? The people demand beer and sandwiches on weekends!
Now I love to eat, so I ordered a whole lot. Of course, I started with a salad.
because salad is all vegans eat, AM I RIGHT?!
But on the realio, the lettuce, tomatoes, and tangy dressing were all crisp and fresh, and the homemade croutons were top-notch. (Not pictured: french fries, because I ate them too fast.)
Then came a Soy Reuben. I was super-pumped for this sandwich, maybe overly so, because sauerkraut makes me rather damp in the crotchal region.
It was tasty, even though we had to sub dijon mustard in for the Russian dressing. However, might I suggest pressing the tofu a little more? I know tofu preparation can seem formidable, but it really doesn’t taste right to me unless it’s good and dry before you marinate and cook it. Juicy seitan? Good. Juicy tempeh? Excellent. Juicy tofu? Kinda gross and floppy. However, the flavors were good, the sauerkraut (UNGFDHGFDNGFGHT) was crunchy and tart, it came on real rye bread, and I would order it again.
The winner of the day was the Garden Sandwich (order without cheese). It was super-amazing: hummus and veggies, including ARTICHOKES and avocado and greens, on an onion kaiser roll. The hummus was supremely flavorful and added just the right amount of creaminess to the crunch of the veggies. It’s a basic sandwich, but it was my favorite.
Other options: daily made-from-scratch vegan soup (and the french onion soup is vegan if you order without cheese, HUGE bonus to me), Shroomin’ Sandwich, build your own sandwich, gluten-free bread, beer, delivery (HELLO SANDWICH BUDGET), and did I mention BEER?
Another thing I like about Morty’s is you don’t have to be like, “Does this have mayonnaise on it?” or “I want that without cheese,” because you can just say, “Make it vegan” and they totally know what that means. Seriously, get in there. N.B. I tried to pay for at least some of my huge order, but Morty’s was having none of it. Thanks, Morty’s! I’ll be back, not in a Terminator kind of way.
Recipe: Dave Arnold’s vegan clam chowder! »
Oh, Eater; often you are ridiculous (and mean!), but very occasionally you have some great features. Like Ask Dave Arnold, in which the director of technology at the French Culinary Institute answers reader questions. For this installment, Dave explains how he would make a vegan clam chowder, and it is fascinating! Here’s his summary:
Make kombu dashi.
If making New England, make nut/rice milk.
Sauté mushrooms and add to dashi with crumpled nori and smoke powder.
Make seitan and simmer in dashi for an hour or so.
Remove seitan and sautee (this should make it chewier and tastier).
Sauté onions, sweat some celery, add dashi and diced potatoes. Bring to boil.
For Manhattan: Add tomato juice, diced tomatoes, and sautéed seitan. Cook till potatoes are tender.
For New England: Cook till potatoes are tender, add seitan and nut/rice milk and reheat to just below the boil.
This comes after like eight explanatory paragraphs and a photo of some hidaka kombu. It sounds really, really tasty, almost makes me wish it weren’t the exact opposite of chowder weather. Maybe some vegans in the Southern Hemisphere want to make it? It’s winter in New Zealand!
Oh snap, the LA Times is featuring a recipe for vegan “clam” chowder. Thanks for those scare quotes, copy editors, because otherwise we might all be confused about whether there were “really” “clams” “in” the “chowder.”
The dish uses soaked cashews for creaminess and smoked mushrooms for smokiness and my personal favorite, kombu, for that taste of the sea. Looks hella involved and hella good. Thanks, Los Angeles!
Guest recipe: A professional chef’s perfect spring meal »
I never used to like salad until I worked at Parc. They paid way more attention to their salads than any vegan place I’ve worked at and you can tell—the dozens of hours I spent learning to cut herbs and shallots cleanly and efficiently, and then the seasoning conferences over a five-gallon bucket of sherry-shallot vinaigrette. Often a sous chef would taste each individual salad for seasoning before sending it out. There are salads on a level beyond that, too.
The crazy thing is that the difference between a sweet/greasy/goopy bowl of lettuce for two people and a great meal in salad form can be some chump change and maybe 10 to 15 minutes’ worth of work. While it is currently green almond season, I haven’t found them growing around Philadelphia, so here is a recipe for a cold spring soup and salad both using last year‘s almond crop and some of this years best baby vegetables:
1 clove garlic
½ lb. blanched almonds (you can either get these pre-blanched or you can do it yourself by putting raw almonds in a pot of boiling water for about two minutes, then putting them in an ice bath and rubbing the skins off.)
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
½ cup plus one Tbsp. olive oil
1 oz. of rustic bread
½ oz. slivered almonds
2 oz. olives
1/4 oz. shallots
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or just use more lemon juice)
1 bulb baby fennel
2 small radishes
2 baby carrots
1 big crimini mushroom
1 baby beet
1 cup small flavorful greens—arugula, pea shoots, purslane, etc.
8 leaves parsley
½ bunch chives
We start with the soup.
A lot of people are familiar with tomato gazpacho, a cold soup of Spanish origin. Tomatoes have only been in Europe since the 1500s, but Spain is home to another great soup served cold that predates that by a long-shot, sometimes called white gazpacho. This is an almond-based soup, creating creaminess from the delicious fats and proteins found in almonds, as well as from stale bread and olive oil which is added in. While non-dairy milks and creams are common now, they (and their close relatives like this soup) are also common throughout history, all over the world—from Chinese soy milk to Spanish almond cream, and hickory nut milk of the Creek Native Americans. One thing common to all of them is the fresher they are, the better. I’ve taken the basic soup recipe from Jose Andres’ Made in Spain where he makes it with figs and marcona almonds instead of the salad.
- One day before making this soup, cover your almonds with 3 cups of water and let them soak overnight. Starting things a day in advance is something I really like—it’s so un-american. Because I don’t like America [.pdf].
- The next day, bring a small pot of water to a boil and toss in your garlic. Boil for about a minute, then drain and let the garlic cool.
- Put the almonds with their soaking water in a blender with the garlic, sherry vinegar, olive oil and your bread. Puree until smooth, at least two minutes. I find a lot of people think that like 15 seconds in a blender is enough—maybe for your low-fat triple banana goji berry smoothie, but not for most things. Salt to taste—this recipe will take a good deal of salt so start with 2 tsp.
- Pour this through a fine mesh sieve. At first, not much will come through. If you have a chinois you can push the liquid through. If not, instead of pushing (which will push the grainy stuff through as well) tap the side of your strainer with a spatula. The liquid will dribble through. This is the only annoying part of this recipe as it can take a good five minutes of tapping. The result will be worth it.
The vinaigrette (you can make this up to 3 days ahead):
Unlike the soup, you will want this vinaigrette to be chunky, so either use a food processor or mince these things with a knife.
- Spread your slivered almonds on a sheet tray and toast them in the oven at 325 for about six minutes, till golden (you can do this another day in advance, too). Let them cool. Pulse them through a food processor or just crumble them in your hands. Put them in a bowl.
- Drain (and pit if necessary) your olives and put them in the food processor until they are pretty evenly minced, scraping down the sides with a spatula if need be.
- Mince your shallot and juice your lemon.
- Mix the almonds, olives, lemon juice, vinegar (if using), oil and shallots in a bowl. Whisk together. Season with salt and pepper and adjust your oil and lemon juice/vinegar as necessary.
- Using a mandolin, a sharp knife, or a vegetable peeler, shave your fennel, mushroom, radish, and carrot as thin as possible while maintaining evenness.
- Then shave your beet, keeping it separate.
- Pick your parsley leaves. Mix your non-beet vegetable shavings with your parsley and greens and dress with the green olive vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste as you mix.
Ball up one portion of salad (1 medium handful) to place in the center of each bowl try to get some height. Pour ¾ cup of soup into each bowl, around the salad. Place 3 or 4 beet shavings on top of each portion. Mince your chives. Drizzle your soup with olive oil and sprinkle it with chives and coarse sea salt. Serve with toast or, preferably, fresh grilled bread.
Mark Tinkleman is committed to a radically better future for all of humanity. He is a cook by profession, was trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute, and has worked at award-winning vegan and omni restaurants in New York and Philadelphia. He lives with his beautiful partner and their cat in Philadelphia. Go Philly!
Mark Bittman posted some damn fine-looking soups, and they’re all vegetarian, mostly vegan. Who will come over and make all of these for me, and we will have a soup party?? That kinda sounds like the SADDEST party, but I promise, it’ll be fun. Actually, I can’t promise it’ll be any more fun than watching me cry along to episodes of Drop Dead Diva* on Instant Netflix. There have to be a few dudes who are into that, right? Sexy!
*You see, she is a SKINNY girl trapped in a FAT girl’s body. Hilarity/crying jag ensues!
Oyster mushroom and corn chowdah TONIGHT at 20th & Valencia! »
SF Relais soup stand is BACK for another go! Tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 9, they’ll be at 20th and Valencia Streets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and ready to take your hard-earned monies (under $5! deal!) for a giant bowl of the good stuff. Delicious. If you want to keep abreast of their happenings in the future, follow them on twitter and get prepared for tasty vegan soup and stew in the Mission on the regular! Man, I love being vegan in the SF Bay Area. Life is good. Except for when it’s shitty. LIFE!
Vegan Lamb Stew TONIGHT in the Mission! »
Brand new soup stand, Relais, is premiering tonight (Sunday, Feb. 6) in the Mission on the corner of 20th and Valencia. They’re serving up vegan lamb stew and it promises to be fucking deeeeelicious because these people are talented chefs for real. The feast goes down from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and we’ll see your hot vegan asses there! Or hot vegetarian asses! Or hot omni asses! Whatever! STEW! Oh, and you can follow them on twitter to stay abreast of further delicious soup and stew happenings. STEW!
NO STEW FOR YOU! Except, yes. There is. This post used to be about soup. Ugh, just ignore me.