Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Creamy Comfort Soup and Mini Beanballs

So today I wanted something warm and comforting, and to help Vegan Sister, something cheap and fairly quick.  Maybe it's the cooler weather or maybe it was yesterday's uncomfortable-Thanksgiving that inspired this craving, who knows?  Now I remembered seeing a gorgeous picture of a creamy soup featuring green beans primarily.  Upon searching every single cookbook I have and most of the blogs I frequently read, this proved to be an elusive recipe.  So if you are the proud owner of something that sounded like the above, yeah I know it's kind of vague, please let me know.

Needless to say, I improvised.  But prior to the creamy green bean soup craving, I've been wanting meatballs.  I made some Beanballs from Veganomicon for the first time.  Now these are pretty cheap and not too time-consuming, but I don't think Vegan Sister has vital wheat gluten available in her area.  I'm not an expert on cooking with vital wheat, but I think you could substitute some flour.  At least that's what I've heard other bloggers say.   I decided to make some tiny beanballs for the soup and some big ones for a meatball sandwich to have at lunch tomorrow.

This is the first time I've made these and well, honestly, I wasn't super impressed.  However, the Teen Daugher was, which makes this recipe a keeper.  To me, they really tasted like smooshed beans in a ball shape, which was probably the point.  I guess I was expecting something more exciting?  I don't know.  I did like the smaller ones better than the bigger ones.  I made the small ones about the size of a dime, and the larger ones about the size of a quarter.  The small ones 'poofed' in my mouth, which seemed slightly humorous to me.   :)

I snacked on the bigger ones while making the soup, unashamedly dipping them in big globs of BBQ sauce.  The Teen Daughter loved these!  Currently as I write this she is stealing the leftover ones, cold, from the fridge.  She loves my Black Bean Burgers (keeps telling me I should put the recipe in the blog) and said the beanballs are like mini Black Bean Burgers.  This is high praise coming from her, believe me.

Serves about 2-4 people depending on how hungry they are.

4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large clove Garlic, diced finely
1/2 Yellow onion, separated into rings (use whatever onion you have on hand)
1 cup chopped Carrots
1 cup cut Green Beans
2 cubes Veggie Bouillon, or 3-4 Tablespoons loose Veggie Bouillon
   or 5-7 cups homemade Veggie Stock
1/4 cup Vegan Margarine
1/8 to 1/4 cup flour
Salt & Pepper to taste


Place potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion in large stockpot with bouillon and enough water to cover the veggies by about an inch (if using veggie stock, just use this instead of the water/bouillon mixture).  Boil until potatoes and carrots are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.  Note: I kept the onion in rings so that I could remove them prior to serving -- Teen Daughter won't eat onions.  Feel free to dice yours and leave in the soup.

Melt Margarine into a pan and slowly add flour until mixture is thick and bubbly.  Add to soup and simmer soup for about 10 minutes.  At this point, add salt and pepper to taste. Note: If you want a lower fat version, use mashed potatoes to thicken the soup (or instant mashed potatoes).  You can even mash/blend some of the mixture to make it creamy.  Add beanballs to soup immediately before serving.

The Spouse and I like a few splashes of Hot Sauce added our bowls to make this extra tasty.   :)


aimee said...

That looks lovely. And please, post your black bean burger recipe! I'm always looking for new versions!

Erik said...

I wonder if it is possible to make the beanballs without gluten? I have an unfortunate intolerance of gluten.
(Many of my friends would say I am intolerant of a lot more than that, but let's stick with the gluten for now).

Reni said...

Erik, I have been mulling over what to use instead of the wheat gluten. The bean balls actually stick together pretty well by themselves if you squish them.

Next time I try these, instead of the wheat gluten I'm going to use some cornmeal. I think that could work pretty well. :)