Celebratory Mustard Soup

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Because I turned vegan a year ago on this day (which I’ve cornily dubbed my ‘veganversary’), I couldn’t not post a recipe. And seeing as it is a special day, I give you one of my absolute favourites: mustard soup. Mustard soup, or ‘mosterdsoep,’ is a Dutch classic, but as much as I’d like to tell you that it reminds me of windmills, tulips and coming home to a bowl of this after a hard day of skating on frozen ponds (possibly saving the village by spotting a hole in the dike), I had never heard of it till I was in my twenties. Mosterdsoep was on the menu of a bar/restaurant where I was a bartender at the time, and I fell in love with it straight away. The creaminess of a roux-based soup with the tang of mustard and the luxurious feel of cream… gorgeous. Now, it being roux-y and creamy, you might think it’s not an obvious recipe to turn vegan, but it was pretty straightforward and I think this version is at least as good as the original.

Ingredients

1 1/4 l (1250 ml) hot vegetable stock
50 g vegan margarine (Try to find one with no trans fats. Remia’s Biologische Margarine is a very good Dutch one, imo)
40 g plain flour
4 tbsp mustard. I used a mix of Dutch (Groninger) and French (Dijon) here.
125 ml of soy cream (leave out if you like a more full-on mustardy flavour)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

– Make the roux by melting the margarine in a largish saucepan, then adding the flour.
– Cook the mixture for two minutes on a low heat, stirring continuously.
– Add a ladleful of hot stock to the roux and stir or whisk until absorbed. Repeat this step until you’ve used up half the stock.
– Add the rest of the stock to the pan, bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
– Add the mustard and stir until dissolved, then add the cream, if using.
– Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want to be fancy, garnish with snipped chives. Serve.

Avocado, Chipotle and Black Bean Quesadillas

img_2886First of all: Happy New Year! Secondly, I am crazy busy with work, so this is going to be a short one (yeah, it’s becoming a theme. I know ;-)).

So, these quesadillas: they’re loosely based on a quesadilla recipe that I had bought the ingredients for but which I then decided was too much work for lunch and adapted to my liking and workload.

img_2884A note on the chillies. I’ve used some chopped-up chipotle chillies in adobo sauce because I finally managed to get hold of a tin of those. If you don’t have them, use chipotle paste, or Sriracha with some smoked paprika for the smoky flavour. If you don’t like it hot, use only smoked paprika.

img_2885Ingredients for 2 quesadillas (one person)
2 flour tortillas
Dollop of chopped chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (or alternative, see above), to taste
1 ripe avocado, cut in half, flesh scooped out and mashed with a fork
Squeeze of lime juice (I used bottled)
Generous pinch of salt
3 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
4 tbsp black beans from a tin (I used a 100 g mini tin, drained weight 65 g)
2 tsp of nutritional yeast

Preparation
Heat your contact grill/sandwich maker to high.
Lay tortilla on a chopping board
Mix the mashed avocado with the lime juice and salt.
Smear one half of the tortilla with half the chipotles and their sauce (half because you’re making two quesadillas).
Top with half the avo mixture, half the coriander, half the beans. Sprinkle over 1 tsp of the nutritional yeast.
Fold over other half of the tortilla and grill until it shows griddle marks.
Eat and prepare the second quesadilla.