Monday, November 10, 2014

Creamy "Chicken" and Dumplings

This is vegan comfort food at its finest.  Great for those cold nights, or if you need some "chicken" soup to make you feel better.  Easy to throw together and so delicious.

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1 Tablespoon vegan margarine
1/2 cup onion, (about a half an onion) chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed (or minced if you don't have a garlic press)
8 cups water
3 Tablespoons 'Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base"
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 cups celery, (about 3 large stalks) chopped
8oz Butler Soy Curls (one package)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon pepper
12oz bag frozen peas/carrots
1 7.5oz tube of refrigerated 'homestyle' biscuit dough (Pillsbury and P$$t brand are vegan)
a bit of flour

1.  Soak the cashews in plenty of water (make sure they are covered) for 3+ hours, up to overnight.  If you don't have 3 hours - soak them as long as possible while proceeding with the recipe.
2.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of margarine in a soup pot on medium-high heat.  Cook onions until translucent (about 2 minutes) and then put garlic in and cook for an additional minute.
3.  Add 8 cups of water, the bouillon base, poultry seasoning, celery, and cook for a couple minutes on medium heat.
4.  Place soy curls into broth.  Cook on medium heat, almost to a boil, for 10 minutes.
5.  Add in soy milk, frozen peas/carrots, and heat up again to almost a boil.
6.  While the soup re-heats, drain the water from the cashews, and place them into a high powered blender (I have a 'Nutribullet' that works great).  Fill the blender with fresh water until the cashews are barely covered with water at the top.  Blend on high for about a minute.  This will make 'cashew cream' - you can check the consistency by rubbing a bit between two fingers.  If it is gritty at all, continue to blend.  It should be completely smooth in texture.
7.  Add the cashew cream, salt, and pepper to the soup and heat through to almost boiling again.
8.  While the soup re-heats, open the biscuit dough and cut each round dough-disc into fourths with a pair of kitchen shears (in half and in half again).  Place pieces on a plate dusted with flour.
9.  Place pieces of dough into soup and simmer for about 15 minutes to cook through, then serve immediately.

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