brussels sprout and potato soup

brussels sprouts and potato soup

OK so it isn’t pretty and it is a kind of khaki colour, but this soup is delicious.

It packs a flavour punch enhanced by the caramelised flavours of onions and brussels sprouts and it is velvety smooth from the background of broken down potato.

I like mine with a teaspoon of cashew cheese stirred through. It adds to the flavour and creaminess. Other good toppings are dill (I am currently in love with dill as a herb) and crunchy fried onions.

I made this soup on a recent nasty, windy, cold day in Melbourne with hail and rain pounding outside and it was lovely to sit with the bowl warming my hands and eating it with some crunchy sourdough toast.

frying brussels sprouts and onions

 

brussels sprout and potato soup
 
prep time
cook time
total time
 
author:
recipe type: soup
cuisine: vegan
serves: 6
ingredients
  • 400g brussels sprouts
  • 700g potato
  • 1 tbs oiive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 5 cups stock (I used Massel)
  • salt to taste
For Garnish
  • extra crisp fried onions
  • soft cashew cheese (I used Botanical Cuisine Lemon and Dill)
  • dill
instructions
  1. Trim the base of the sprouts and cut into ½ cm slices.
  2. Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes
  3. Peel and chop the onions.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large pan
  5. Add the onions and the sprouts and fry until they brown
  6. Add the garlic and fry for a minute
  7. Add the potatoes and the stock
  8. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until the potato is falling apart.
  9. Blend until smooth using a stick blender or a blender.
  10. Serve garnished with any or all of the garnishes.

 

a caterpillar’s dream

mini vegan cupcakes

A Caterpillar’s Dream is a vegetarian, largely vegan cafe in Kew near the Junction. For a long time I’ve known about their cakes, but not the rest of the menu. I found myself in Kew recently and needed lunch so I headed in. There are a large number of vegan options on the menu that includes the pretty standard cafe fare of the burgers, pancakes, sandwiches, and breakfast food along with some asian staples like dumplings and rice paper rolls. Breakfast is available until 3 pm, and I almost went for the vegan tofu benedict, but instead I opted for the ‘chicken’ burger with chips.

The burger was a crispy faux chicken burger with tomato, beetroot, spicy relish and salad in a good turkish bread bun, served with chips. I enjoyed the burger, the bread was good, the patty super crispy and with good texture and bite.

 

faux chicken burger

I was too full after the burger to eat anything else, but after hearing so much about their cakes I had to get some. So I took home some mini vegan cupcakes for later. I chose four – carrot, tiramisu, red velvet and cookies and cream, all packaged in a cute little box. I’ve eaten two and they are wonderful. They’d make a nice gift.

This is decent, above average, cafe food that hits the spot. It probably isn’t going to become my favourite cafe, but it is really nice to have another vegan option when out and about. I’ll definitely be going back to try breakfast. The cakes are another thing entirely. They will set the world on fire, or they should. They are delicious, possibly the best vegan cupcakes I’ve had. My biggest disappointment was that they had run out of vegan vanilla slices! :(

A Caterpillar’s Dream
Shop 4, 26 Princess St,
Kew, VIC 3101
99396133
www.acaterpillarsdream.com.au

best macaroni cheese ever – really!

P1010395 (1)

How many times have you read another recipe promising the “Best Mac Cheese Ever!”, rushed to make it and ended up with another disappointment?

I have, countless times. I’ve tried them all, nutritional yeast, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower. All of them either wrong or awful. Most of them I tried giving as leftovers to my dog Jess, but she sensibly rejected them.

I used to make dairy macaroni cheese using a variation of a recipe by Heston Blumenthal, that used no milk just a mixture of cheese in a wine reduction and stock.  It was great then, not at all gluggy, sharp and adult in flavour. I think of it as macaroni and cheese for grown ups.

So I gave it another go recently using a mixture of vegusto piquant, daiya cheddar and tofutti cream cheese. I’ve tinkered with it, veganising it obviously, but also simplifying it a bit and using less wine as the original is pretty sharp.

I think it is a winner. Jess isn’t getting any leftovers from this one, even though she’d probably love it.

It also works wonderfully as a cheese sauce for cauliflower and broccoli.

 

best macaroni cheese ever - really! :)
 
prep time
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author:
serves: 4
ingredients
  • 200 g macaroni
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200 ml dry white wine
  • 300 ml hot vegetable stock (I used Massel)
  • 60 g vegan melting style grated cheese (I've used both Daiya Cheddar and Mozzarella successfully)
  • 20 g vegan hard parmesan style cheese ( I use Vegusto Piquant)
  • 10 g cornflour
  • 80 g Tofutti cream cheese
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Cook the pasta in salted water until done. Drain.
  3. Mix in the truffle oil.
  4. In a saucepan, reduce the white wine over a high heat to 30 ml.
  5. Add the hot stock to the reduced wine.
  6. Mix the grated cheeses with the cornflour and add to the saucepan.
  7. Stir until the cheese has been melted and incorporated into the sauce, then stir through the pasta.
  8. Cook over a medium heat until the pasta is warmed through.
  9. Stir in the cream cheese.
  10. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  11. Place into an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven until nice brown spots start to appear.

 

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