Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mushroom Barley Soup and Strawberry Ice Cream

I've been very blog lazy lately.  I made a couple of tasty items, but did I take pictures?  Nope!  I will of the Mushroom Barley Soup and post it, but I'm afraid the Strawberry Ice Cream is long gone.

First, the soup.  I belong to the Eat 2 Live Yahoo! group founded by Susan Voisin.  Recently, Susan posted a link to her recipe for Mushroom Barley Soup with Cannellini Beans and Cabbage on her website FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I had two packages of mushrooms in my refrigerator, so this was the perfect recipe to use one of them.

I made this soup using organic mushroom broth to replace the vegetable broth.  Also, I used pinto beans instead of cannellini beans, and I used two cans versus one can.  I upped the mushrooms to 8 oz. of sliced baby bella  mushrooms and I used green cabbage instead of red cabbage.  

I don't ever have sherry in my house.  I had some Tokay Port Wine, but the bottle was unopened and it's a sweet wine, not a dry wine.  So, I used 2 tablespoons of Pinot Noir instead.  No, it's not the driest of wines, but the measurement was small and I figured it would do in a pinch.  I don't have spicy hot paprika, so I just used a teaspoon of the smoked paprika that I do have and added some red cayenne pepper and dried jalapeno flakes.  It had enough of a kick.

The soup is very thin and very light.  Normally, one wouldn't think soup would be an ideal meal in June, but it's been rainy and in the mid 60's here in Chicago, so it worked.  I like the lightness of the soup as it saves on calories.  I wouldn't make this soup in the coldest winter months unless I altered the recipe to make it into a creamy mushroom soup.  It's a good cool summer day soup.

I've been on a frosty dessert kick for the past couple of weeks in a determined attempt to use my ice cream maker more often.  After reading through several dozen ice cream recipes, I settled on Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream by David Lebovitz.

I altered the recipe a bit as I don't buy rice milk.  I decided to use 3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk and 3/4 cup SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer.  Instead of honey, I used agave and I used slightly more than 1 1/2 pounds of organic strawberries.

The ice cream was icier than commercial ice creams.  I thought the texture was between ice cream and a sherbert.  The strawberry flavor was more pronounced than in commercial ice creams. The appearance was very close to the picture on David Lebovitz's recipe page.  It was a very deep pink.  I did have leftovers and it froze very well.  While the ice cream did get a bit hard, it wasn't like a rock and 30 seconds at 60% power in the microwave softened it to perfection.

I did a nutritional analysis on the version I made and the calorie count was under 170 calories per CUP.  It was about half of the calories of the watermelon sorbet I made a couple of weeks ago.  Shocking!  That was just an added bonus to an already tasty treat.  I'll be making this recipe again. 

My next frosty treat adventure will be some type of vanilla ice cream.  I have some Newman O's and I think I'll throw some of those in during the last 5 or 10 minutes of processing to make Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.  I promise to take pictures of that.

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