Always exciting to meet more vegan bloggers. Jocelyn from The Vegan Hostess is new to the VBU! family and we welcome her with open arms. Here she is in her own words, “I’m Jocelyn and I’ve been vegan for about six years, but I was a vegetarian for the decade prior. That means I haven’t had meat in well over half my life. I recently started my blog, The Vegan Hostess. I’m a lawyer/ non-profit professional by day, and cat snuggle/ vegan blogger by night. I’m hoping that I can inspire others to find joy in vegan cooking, as well as, learn some awesome recipes to use for potlucks to win over the omnivores among us!”
I recently bought a new cookbook called “Thug Kitchen” at the recommendation of my friend Alicia (check out her blog). Now at first glance I thought – alright it’s supposed to be a funny cookbook that might have a few good recipes…let’s give it a try. I was wrong! This book is FULL of amazing recipes!
One of the first things I attempted to make was certainly not the easiest recipe, nor the one with the shortest prep/cook time. No, certainly not. However, it was an amazing, hearty dish that will serve as my work lunch this entire week. Since I haven’t had meat in as many years as it takes to be able to drive a car, I can’t say I’ve ever eaten chicken and dumplings. But I can say that I think this chickpea and dumpling soup hits all of the highlights – and it might even be better. Make it and see for yourself!
The first thing you need is to take a hearty shopping trip. This recipe uses the ‘trinity’ – onions, carrots, and celery. It also requires some basic vegan household staples like almond milk, flour, kale, and chickpeas. You can see my cluttered table of ingredients below.
The first thing you do is make the dough which honestly was kind of fun, although time consuming. This involves the basics – flour, baking powder, spices, and enough almond milk to get the right dough-like texture. Oh, and lots and LOTS of chives!
I spent the next hour or so chopping and cooking veggies and getting the ‘soup’ going. This recipe certainly isn’t for those who already don’t like to cook. I enjoyed this because I love prep work, and I love an excuse to use my big soup pot! The recipe calls for the cook to make a ‘roux’ though it doesn’t call it that. A roux is a soup base which is a staple for many southern dishes. It’s a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil and flour, stirring on low heat, while slowly adding in some other liquids – white wine, vegetable broth, etc. The great thing about making roux the soup base is that it will give your soup a thick, creamy feel without dairy or butter! All of that stirring and simmering is worth it! Trust me!
Eventually, the soup began to look like a soup and I have to admit – I was shocked at how fast the homemade noodles cooked and how great they tasted! (Can you believe I had never made dumplings before…or even my own pasta – and I’m Italian!)
This soup is so good, I had to get seconds! It was like a warm blanket for my stomach. It has some kick due to using cayenne, but the flavors were all very well-balanced. This is certainly the perfect meal for a cold January evening.
Overall, I give this recipe, and the end result, an A+. It’s time consuming, but it turns out an excellent product. I’m going to be very sad when my leftovers runout.
So do you have a favorite ‘comfort food’ recipe? Please share!