Friday, September 30, 2005

IMBB #19 Vegan - Thai Carrot & Ginger Soup and Flora Salad

It's time again for IMBB once again and this time Sam at Beck & Posh came up with the Vegan idea. Timely too, after yesterday's over the top so not vegan dinner. In one day we've gone from one extreme of the food spectrum to the other. What fun!!!

After such a rich dinner the night before, I thought we'd have soup and salad for dinner. But not just any soup and salad, especially since my honey is not really a soup guy. So I chose an old favorite of his - Thai Carrot and Ginger Soup from Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cookingand a new recipe - Flora Salad from Fresh at Home. Normally I’d spread some pesto on toasted focaccia, but,in deference to vegans everywhere, I used an olive tapenade instead. The three tastes married well - the spiciness of the soup, the sweetness of the sautéed shitake mushrooms accompanied by a sugary dressing and the saltiness of olive tapenade on toasted rosemary focaccia.

Spicy Thai Carrot & Ginger Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp, fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp red Thai curry paste (Bonnie Stern actually calls for 2 tsps but we’re wimps)
2 lbs/1kg carrots, grated
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper
¾ cup coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup shredded coconut, toasted

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook the ginger, onion and garlic until fragrant (about 5 minutes). Don’t let the garlic burn or it will just taste bitter. Add the curry paste and stir until blended.

2. Add carrots, stock, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the carrots are tender – about 20 minutes or so.

3. Puree soup and return to heat. Add coconut milk and heat for five minutes. Taste for seasonings.

4. Combine cilantro and toasted coconut in a small bowl and use as garnish for each serving.

Flora Salad
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
4 cups shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
2 tbsp tamari
4 cups baby spinach (they suggest 8 cups but we were three and even using 6 cups, there was enough to make a frittata from the leftovers.)
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (if using canned, rinse and drain well)
1 cup each sunflower sprouts and buckwheat sprouts (I couldn’t find either so I used 1 cup of green pea sprouts)
6 tbsp toasted pecan pieces
Poppy Seed Dressing (of course I didn’t have poppy seeds so I made it without – still tasted fine)

1. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté mushrooms and tamari for about 5 minutes until they are tender and brown and most of their liquid has been absorbed.

2. In a large serving bowl, toss the spinach, chickpeas and sprouts with the some of the dressing. It’s very sweet so use sparingly.

3. Top with sautéed mushrooms and toasted pecans and serve.

The book actually says this serves 2 using 8 cups of spinach. All I can say is those are some hefty appetites!!!

Poppy Seed Dressing (for us it was without the poppy seeds). I was sure I had some in my crazy spice cupboard but I couldn’t find any when I needed it. I’m sure it will turn up when I’m looking for sesame seeds – I found two packages of those today.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes 1 cup


¾ cup raw, unrefined sugar (probably ½ cup would do – this was over the top sweet for me but the contrast with the spicy soup made it work. In future, unless I was doing the same combo I’d cut down on the sugar).
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar ( I actually added more to cut the sweetness)
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 cup sunflower oil
4 tsp poppy seeds (I had to leave this out)

1. Put sugar, mustard, salt vinegar and onion in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. With the machine running, pour the oil through the feeder tube very slowly to emulsify the dressing. It comes out very thick.
3. Pour in a bowl and mix in the poppy seeds.

It’s very sweet, so use sparingly.

The tapenade is one I've used before and really added to the very distinct taste triligy.

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Babe_KL said...

ruth, that's a rather different side of thai soup from the usual tomyam. sounds yummy, cant wait for you to post the pics up.

boo_licious said...

Ruth, everything sounds great. I bet the pixs are just as wonderful.

Ruth Daniels said...

Well the pics are up finally. Technology IS wonderful - but only when it works ;)

Thanks for dropping by

glutton rabbit said...

Hi Ruth, the soup and salad sounds good. It must be delicous...

Anonymous said...

hmmm.... i'm intrigued by the use of honey in the soup... gotta try that sometime! and thanks for the poppy seed dressing! i had that once at a restaurant and loved it, but have never tried making it myself -- perfect timing since i've got a bunch of homegrown poppy seed pods.

Ruth Daniels said...

Stef, wow, homegrown poppy seeds. Do they really come from beautiful poppy flowers?

Thanks for dropping by.

Sam said...

Great entries, Ruth - thanks for taking part in IMBB19.

we have had so many great sounding vegan soup entries - yours included, I swear I am going to be eating healthful soups all winter this year.

Salad sounds fab too, tapenade is a great example of something totally satisfying and totally vegetable.


Joycelyn said...

hi ruth, both look so wonderful - i think even the most die-hard carnivore would not miss their meat tucking into these vegan goodies...i especially love the sounds of the soup...

Shauna said...

Gorgeous, Ruth. As always. This soup looks scrumptious!

Ruth Daniels said...

Sam, J, Shauna, thanks for the kind words.

One thing I really love about Fall - the soups!!!

Anonymous said...

Fyi... honey isn't vegan.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for pointing out that honey isn't vegan. Being a carnivore who eats vegetarian meals often, I don't really give "vegan" much thought. And you made me stop to think. Eggs, cheese, butter are obvious to me. I just didn't stop to consider where honey comes from.