Vegan Cream Soup Base

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Vegan Cream Soup

There's nothing I love more than a creamy soup.  Especially when there are fresh veggies around. Unfortunately, not everyone I cook for eats dairy, so I eventually found myself tackling a gluten free and vegan cream soup base (because living without it was not an option, obviously).  

The base we're making here is called a bechamel sauce, and is the base for a ton of deliciously creamy things - think cheese sauce, hollandaise sauce, poor man's Alfredo sauce and tons and tons of other sauces and creamy stuff that's escaping my sleep deprived brain right now.

The base itself, in a traditional bechamel sauce, is simply browned butter, mixed with flour and then cream, milk or chicken stock is added to thin it out.  Voila, creamy sauce.  The same base is used in many cream soups and is the reason us gluten free humans usually can't dig into a delicious bowl of creamy something or other.

Replacing the base for the soup is easy enough.  Rice flour for wheat flour and vegan butter for regular butter.  Problem solved.  Or so I thought.  But cooking in my house isn't cooking unless one of the people you're about to cook for comes up with a new thing to ban from your culinary arsenal.

I'd been making take out soup for literally everyone once I got the dairy free version down, and then my mom found out she couldn't eat green peas anymore.  Unfortunately I can't have soy, and the Soy Free Earth Balance uses pea protein, so I found myself on the wrong side of a whole new problem, which led me to Olive Oil. 

It's my go to now in all of my soup bases.  I love the taste of Olive Oil and most of it is drowned out with "cheese" and garlic and other delicious things, but if you're not a fan of the taste, stick with the vegan butters.

The recipe I pictured here is cream of cauliflower and to keep things simple, I'm going to give you the directions for the cream of cauliflower soup, but this base can be anything.  Put in some Daiya "Cheese" for a cheese sauce, go a little rogue and just start adding spices to make a killer creamy sauce you'll eventually name, or make a pot of mushroom soup or corn chowder or clam chowder if that's how you roll.  The possibilities are endless. 

With flour and fat and some sort of liquid, you can make magic, just ask a french chef!

DifficultyBeginnerYields6 ServingsPrep Time20 minsCook Time10 minsTotal Time30 minsCategory, , , , , , ,
Vegan Cream Soup
Yields6 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time10 minsTotal Time30 mins
 ¼ cup Vegan Butter/Butter/Olive Oil
 ¼ cup Rice Flour
 6 cups Veggie Stock/Chicken Stock (Make Sure it's Gluten Free)
 1 tbsp Salt
 1 tbsp Granulated Garlic
 1 tbsp Onion Flakes
 1 tsp Lemon Juice
 2 cups Veggies/Soup Ingredients (Mushrooms/Cauliflower/Broccoli/Corn)
 1 Onion (chopped)

In a large soup pot, add your oil or butter and heat it up over medium heat. Once it's melted, add in your flour and begin whisking it together.

If your mix looks like this, you'll need a bit more flour. Add by the tablespoon until it starts to look like the next image.

When your base looks like this, you've got the right flour to fat ratio.

Next, you're going to start adding your liquid. In my case, I'm using some homemade vegetable stock. You can use milk, water, alternative milks (coconut, almond, soy, etc), soup stocks, whatever you want as long as it's liquid and you like the taste. Add it cup by cup, whisking in between each addition.

The mixture is going to keep thickening and devouring your liquid as you add it. Don't add too much at a time (that's how you get lump sauce/soup)

When you get to the consistency you're looking for (a bit thicker for sauce, a bit thinner for soup) let it heat right up to boiling - keep whisking while it happens. The sauce may thicken a bit more as it approaches a boil.

For soup, you want it to coat the spoon, but not clump. Like this.

This is the stage where you're going to start adding your flavors. In this instance the soup was for me, so I was using real cheese. I've made it with Daiya with no problem. Make sure to add enough salt, pepper and spices to make the base taste the way you want - this is going to be the main flavor of your creation so you want it to be awesome. I usually use salt, garlic, onion and a bit of lemon juice to make it pop. You can be generous with the salt (assuming you didn't use a salty soup stock, because you're not going to be eating this entire pot all on your own in one sitting (I'd hope)

When you have the base the way you want it, you're going to want to add your soup ingredients. It's best to give them a quick sautee with some onions (if you like them). Cook the vegetable through and pour them with their juices right into the soup base.

Heat it back up on low-medium heat while stirring. Give it a taste and then adjust as necessary.

Voila. Creamy stuff. This base freezes beautifully for up to 3 months, it reheats well and it's generally kind of all purpose awesomeness. I always have at least 1 kind of soup in baggies in my freezer for quick lunches and dinners.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 Cup

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 218
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8.7g14%
Saturated Fat 1.3g2%
Sodium 540mg23%
Potassium 481mg14%
Total Carbohydrate 32.3g11%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
Sugars 11g
Protein 5g10%

Calcium 52%
Iron 1%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Ingredients

 ¼ cup Vegan Butter/Butter/Olive Oil
 ¼ cup Rice Flour
 6 cups Veggie Stock/Chicken Stock (Make Sure it's Gluten Free)
 1 tbsp Salt
 1 tbsp Granulated Garlic
 1 tbsp Onion Flakes
 1 tsp Lemon Juice
 2 cups Veggies/Soup Ingredients (Mushrooms/Cauliflower/Broccoli/Corn)
 1 Onion (chopped)

Directions

1

In a large soup pot, add your oil or butter and heat it up over medium heat. Once it's melted, add in your flour and begin whisking it together.

2

If your mix looks like this, you'll need a bit more flour. Add by the tablespoon until it starts to look like the next image.

3

When your base looks like this, you've got the right flour to fat ratio.

4

Next, you're going to start adding your liquid. In my case, I'm using some homemade vegetable stock. You can use milk, water, alternative milks (coconut, almond, soy, etc), soup stocks, whatever you want as long as it's liquid and you like the taste. Add it cup by cup, whisking in between each addition.

5

The mixture is going to keep thickening and devouring your liquid as you add it. Don't add too much at a time (that's how you get lump sauce/soup)

6

When you get to the consistency you're looking for (a bit thicker for sauce, a bit thinner for soup) let it heat right up to boiling - keep whisking while it happens. The sauce may thicken a bit more as it approaches a boil.

7

For soup, you want it to coat the spoon, but not clump. Like this.

8

This is the stage where you're going to start adding your flavors. In this instance the soup was for me, so I was using real cheese. I've made it with Daiya with no problem. Make sure to add enough salt, pepper and spices to make the base taste the way you want - this is going to be the main flavor of your creation so you want it to be awesome. I usually use salt, garlic, onion and a bit of lemon juice to make it pop. You can be generous with the salt (assuming you didn't use a salty soup stock, because you're not going to be eating this entire pot all on your own in one sitting (I'd hope)

9

When you have the base the way you want it, you're going to want to add your soup ingredients. It's best to give them a quick sautee with some onions (if you like them). Cook the vegetable through and pour them with their juices right into the soup base.

10

Heat it back up on low-medium heat while stirring. Give it a taste and then adjust as necessary.

11

Voila. Creamy stuff. This base freezes beautifully for up to 3 months, it reheats well and it's generally kind of all purpose awesomeness. I always have at least 1 kind of soup in baggies in my freezer for quick lunches and dinners.

Vegan Cream Soup Base
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