Uncategorized · Vegetarian

No Dairy Please

Corn & Basil Soup-The Duo Dishes

A little cream does make things taste good. Things like risotto, alfredo sauce and maybe even a piping hot bowl of soup. Cream adds heft, more body if you will. Yes, cream is a mighty good thing. Sometimes. But sometimes you don’t need it. And that’s when you know you’re getting unadulterated goodness that travels from spoon to mouth. In order to cut out a few calories, you can find easy ways around the cream dilemma. Or maybe calories aren’t your concern. Perhaps you had it on your list, and dangit, you forgot! No matter. There are ways to work around that dang cream, so you still end up with a creamy, satisfying dish.

Soup is one of those guys that tastes good going down after you’ve swirled in a bit of cream. Plus, you notice how the dairy thickens up the brew. If you’re going dairy-free, you can swap out a few different thickeners that may not seem like thickeners to you at first. The list does not include flour or cornstarch either. Rather, you can go for natural thickeners–ones that live in the starch family. Pureed white rice and potatoes and breadcrumbs work well if you stir them in. Another vegetable in the starch family is corn. Once blended, the starch content is released and provides a pleasantly sweet, guilt-free creaminess. If you like your soups completely smooth, blend the entire thing for a velvety bowl ready for a spoon. Or, leave a few chunks, so each bite requires a little bit of chewing. Either way, you should be pleased with the outcome.

Corn and Basil Soup – Serves 6 to 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegan butter substitute (or unsalted butter)
6 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
3 cups vegetable broth or water
36 ounces frozen or canned corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt*
10 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a deep pot over medium high flame. Once melted and combined, add the celery, carrot,s onions and peppers. Stir well and cook until they begin to soften and the onions turn translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.

2. Add the vegetable broth or water, corn, cumin and cinnamon, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Use a slotted spoon to take out 2/3 of the vegetables and drop into a blender. Ladle out all of the liquid in the pot and add to the vegetables in the blender. Blend until completely smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes. Pour the blended corn and vegetables back into the original pot.

4. Stir in the sliced basil and salt, making sure the remaining vegetables in the pot are fully incorporated. Serve immediately.

*If you’re using a canned or boxed vegetable broth, you may be able to side with less salt. If you’re using water, you may find that you’ll want to add more. Always season to taste.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


24 thoughts on “No Dairy Please

  1. This is the antithesis of the milk braised pork I just made, which uses about 17 and 1/2 gallons of milk and cream.

    Good idea about corn as a thickening agent.

  2. I love a little cream or sour cream swirled on top of soup, but potato is one of my favorite soup thickeners. Corn is so great in soup. I had a chicken, corn, spinach broth for lunch today. This sounds really good, esp the corn and peppers.

  3. oh yeah… everything about this is right… corn and basil! imagine bread or a pizza or polenta… good stuff. and bread crumbs sound much better than cream, which i hate in soup… ick ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Corn and basil sounds like an amazing combination!! I’m in the camp that says you don’t NEED cream in soup… especially if you have some Greek yogurt on hand. But it’s true that sometimes you don’t need anything like that ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Delicious soup can be so easy to make vegan! This looks really great, and definitely lighter than ones containing cream and lots of other fattening ingredients.

  6. wow your diet seems more and more restricted! All is good as long as the flavors are still there. The bell peppers are the key ingredients for your corn soup I bet ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day!

  7. I try to avoid cream (a bit lactose intolerant) – this soup certainly doesn’t suffer from the lack of it. Beautiful color – I thought it was a carrot soup at first! I usually think of pureeing at least a portion of the vegetables in a soup to thicken it, and I wonder if that would work with pasta dishes as well? Your blog redesign looks fantastic! Happy Valentine’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Adding a touch of polenta to soups, stews, and chili is actually my new favorite way of thickening them! I should totally try this puree method. Looks delicious.

  9. I am a cream-fiend. But I agree, sometimes you don’t need it. This soup looks like one gorgeous bowl of flavor-awesomeness! Will have to try this one, too, Maybe for a mom’s night in.

  10. Hmmm – this soup has delicious and comfort written all over it. Wish I was enjoying a bowl of it right now for lunch instead of this boring sandwich I am about to eat.

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