Friday, March 05, 2010

Creamy Carrot-Ginger Soup, Vegan Sausage-Fennel Saute with Crimini Mushroom, Grilled Baguette

One of my wife's sitar teachers, and Shri Indrajit Banerjee (whom I photographed on his last visit) is visiting from India and came today to spend two nights with us. He is performing tomorrow night and we plan to eat out after the concert at an upscale restaurant called Piedmont; they assure me if we call ahead they'll have good vegan choices.

Tonight, I prepared the carrot-ginger soup that my wife and I love in my VitaMix, substituting raw cashews for tofu. It's so easy and tasty! Today fennel root was on sale, and I came up with the idea of making a saute with fennel, Field Roast Grain Meat Company's apple-sage artisanal vegan sausage, and crimini mushrooms (incidentally, I found a site describing twelve ways to cook fennel).

For the main course, I simply sliced the fennel into large 1/2" or so chunks; cut the vegan sausage into 3/4" lengths; cut a quarter onion into a 1/4" dice; and sliced into thirds 3/4 pound of the mushrooms. I started sauteeing over medium heat the sausage and onion, adding the mushroom as the onion started clarifying (perhaps two minutes). I let the mushroom cook down for about 4-5 minutes, then added the fennel, as well as a little bit of jalapeno, cut into a 1/4" dice. I cooked for another 3-4 minutes, sprayed one or two pumps of roasted garlic juice and a few shakes of Colgin Liquid Smoke, and served.

I picked up a fresh French baguette from Weaver Street Market today. I cut it into appropriate lengths to serve and sliced each piece into half lengthwise. I applied a little Earth Balance margarine to the cut sides and grilled on my saute pan, pressing down, till the cut side was gently browned. (Normally I describe my meal with quantities for two adults with our baby nibbling, but tonight this was enough to include Indrajit.)


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