I am not a vegan by any stretch of even the most delusional lunatic’s imagination. It’s difficult to admit it to you guys, but I covet all things animal. However, it would be unfair to describe me as an ‘average meat eater’ – meat finds its sordid way onto my menu once, maybe twice, per week. After all, meat can be both healthy and expensive; my diet naturally contains a good proportion of vegan and vegetarian food. It seems to me amongst the various communities of meat eaters there is a lot of negativity directed towards veganism. Though it is often true that I don’t entirely agree or understand why people ‘turn’ vegan, you won’t encounter any such negativity here. I’m perfectly cognisant of the fact vegan food can taste just as good as that which contains meat or dairy, sometimes more so. Indeed, I feel privileged to be, for the first time, part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck.
Traditionally, parsnip is a vegetable the male members of my family struggle to get along with – my dad certainly won’t eat them. Put a roast parsnip in front of me and you’ll be more likely to encounter a torrent of abuse than a gastronomically fuelled embrace. However, when incorporated into soup, my opinion of the humble parsnip changes entirely – they are no longer an odd tasting root-vegetable; they become something far sweeter with a considerable depth of flavour. It is for this reason that I paired them with sweet potatoes, a combination that seemed to work exceedingly well. The addition of freshly chopped chives then had the privilege of taking this soup to the next level, providing the freshness root-vegetable soups often require.
So, there you have it – my first VVP post and hopefully not my last! I hope everything was to everyone’s satisfaction, perhaps this experience will provide even great impetus to create more vegan delights. Thank you to Somer for successfully convincing me that this was a good idea. Do enjoy the next link in the chain that makes up the Virtual Vegan Potluck!
P.S. I’m so sorry for the fact I’ve managed to post two sweet potato recipes in a row – silly Frugal!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup
• 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
• 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 1 litre vegetable stock or bouillon
• A handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
• Salt and pepper
• Olive oil
1. Prepare your ingredients and pop them on a baking tray with a good drizzle of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and a hefty twist of black pepper. Pop in the oven and bake until brown.
2. Set the roasted vegetables aside and heat a little oil in a saucepan. Squeeze the innards of the roasted garlic cloves into the oil and fry gently for 2 minutes. Tip in the rest of the veg and add 800ml of the stock. Depending on your personal taste you may like to add the remaining 200ml, or even more, but that’s up to you.
3. Blend the soup using either a food processor or hand blender. Season to taste and serve immediately with fresh chives and a hunk of bread.
Cost: True vegan food does tend to be exceedingly cheap and it’s simple to see why – it’s hard for it to contain anything particularly expensive. Of course, a knob of butter would have gone down well, but I thought I’d remain entirely within the spirit of things. This soup should set one back no more than £1.80 – bargain!
So, who came before and who came after? Well, click on these images below to find out!