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Soft June 25, 2008

Posted by tuimeltje in dinner, non-food veganness, rant.
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Today kind of sucks on the vegan product front. First I read some disconcerting stuff about palm oil and Earth Balance (see also this post), and while we don’t actually get Earth Balance here, palm oil seems to become more common and is probably found in vegetable margarines here, as well. The one I have refuses to specify which plant fats it uses, but Alpro minarine lists something palm on the package.
Of course, the other options might not be neutral, either.
Then I re-read about Ecover losing it’s vegan logo (Dutch forum, but the first message with most of the relevant info is largely in English) and learn that the owner of Ecover is also rather high up at the company in charge of guarding the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Which, apart from making me want to look into making my own laundry soap and washing-up liquid a bit more seriously (this looks interesting, if I can find properly vegan soap flakes), also has me wondering if Alpro‘s beliefs are little more than a clever marketing ploy making us feel good and slightly smug about using their products. It’s quite possibly better than some alternatives, but that doesn’t automatically make it good, now does it?
I hate this world sometimes.

Anyway, on to the food.

While I had intended to make two different things with the two leftover aubergines, I found them with icky bits today. And after cutting off the icky bits, I didn’t think I’d be able to properly hold them for roasting. So, Bonnie’s baba ganoush suggestion will have to wait until I get me some more auberines. I definitely want to see if I can properly roast them on a candle flame.

Instead, I used what was left to make this PPK recipe I found while looking for peanut soup. I didn’t have a good few of the ingredients and have no clue how much aubergine I used and how to adjust the other ingredients appropriately, so the amounts are probably a bit off.

The missing ingredients were the shallots, the hot chili, the ginger, the ground cayenne pepper, the roasted diced tomatoes (I have a can of diced tomatoes, but didn’t feel like adding the whole thing), the green beans, the lemon juice (I have other plans for that lemon. You just wait), the coriander leaves (I have some frozen, but I thing this requires fresh), and the garnish.
To make up for this, I added part of a pointy red pepper (sweet, not hot), some not-tabasco (which is not particulatly hot, really. Will find new brand should I ever buy more), some kale, a bit of sereh, a tiny bit of kentjur (a ginger-like spice. Never used it before, but found it at the floating Chinese supermarket recently and decided to buy the jar), and your basic black pepper.
I forgot to take an ingredients picture, so you’ll have to just visualise them this time.

While I’m not sure I stuck to the recommended cooking/frying times, I did attempt patience with regards to the simmering and the salting. For some reason that bit of the directions seemed important enough to follow.

Result:
soupish

It’s nice and comfortably peppery, but somehow I expected something more exciting. It’s kind of like a spicy satay sauce but with bits in. Not too unexpected. Still, again not too strong a peanutty flavour. I should really make me a proper peanutty soup without adding veg. Though I must say, these finely-chopped-kale cubes make for easier eating than the not-so-finely-chopped gai choy. And the aubergine bits are very nice and soft this time. I’ve certainly had different.

The soup is a fair bit runnier than I’d expected. I thought it’d be more a kind of stew rather than a soup. It looks thicker on the picture and it’s the sort of thing that I feel should be thicker. Maybe I’ll let it simmer some more so some of the water will evaporate.

Since the recipe mentions it tastes better the next day, I will refrain from eating the whole thing this evening and leave some to try tomorrow. Of course, after having written this, I want to eat more. Figures.

ETA 26-06-2008: I heated some up this evening and while I’m not sure I can properly compare and tell you whether it’s improved the way I was told it would, I can tell you it was most tasty. It made me feel pleasantly warm, the kind of warm you get after eating slightly spicy or gingery food. That kind of glow radiating out from your stomach. Comfortable.
The peanutty flavour was present, but wasn’t that prominent. Like part of the soup rather than the soup. And while I didn’t quite manage to boil it down the way I’d hoped, it did seem to be a little less fluid.
All in all, it’s a soup I will remember and probably make again some day.

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Comments»

1. VeggieGirl - June 25, 2008

Still looks good to me!! Yes, definitely try some tomorrow.

2. tuimeltje - June 25, 2008

:) Thanks. I’ve tried some of that basic self-discipline and didn’t eat more than the one bowl so I’ll see if I can boil it down some more tomorrow and see how the flavour has improved.

3. The Happy Vegetarian - July 5, 2008

On the vegan product front:

Have you seen the FairFood site yet? Of course it’s not 100% vegan — BUT — It compares a bunch of Dutch brands and rates them as Buy, Inbetween and Don’t Buy — and then gives a reason why:

http://www.fairfood.org/

Just thought you would find this interesting!

Natalie

4. tuimeltje - July 6, 2008

I hadn’t, and it looks very interesting indeed. Thanks! I’m sure I’ll get some good use out of that site.


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