The Problem with Vegan Recipes…and a Bomb-Diggity Coconut Curry Bisque

A couple of weeks ago, James and I were out for a hike with the pups and stopped to talk to our friend, Jane, who sometimes lives across the street from us on Denman Island and other times lives in Calgary.  She mentioned that she’d been reading through this blog for vegan meal ideas, but sometimes found the list of ingredients in my recipes a little, ahem, daunting.

The moment she said this, I realized it was completely true (though it had not even occurred to me before).

I also realized that the problem is that almost all my recipes are adaptations of a meat/cheese/egg-based recipe OR are my attempt to reproduce something I’ve tasted somewhere. Thus, I keep adding things until I achieve the taste I’m after.

On top of that, I think vegan recipes in general tend to have way more ingredients than omni recipes. In fact, when I first made Rebar’s twelve-ingredient Kung Pao sauce, I was so impressed that I sent the recipe to my brother-in-law, Paul, who is a master chef.

He took one look at the recipe and said, “Not a chance, dude–WAAAY too many ingredients.”

Well….hang onto your hats, my darlings, because today I created a recipe that has a record-breaking number of ingredients. It’s REALLY freakin’ delicious though…and it took me most of the afternoon to figure out. At a certain point, I even went out for a hike: I wasn’t quite happy with the soup when I left, but realized what was missing as I was walking.

Of course, this all started because Annie texted me a link to Happy Planet’s Thai Coconut Soup, with which she is currently obsessed. I had a look at the ingredient list and decided to take a whack at reproducing it. I soon realized, however, that unless I wanted to add a ton of salt, I’d need to add more spices….and more vegetables…and at some point, it shifted from a soup to a bisque.

It now bears no resemblance to the soup Annie wanted me to reproduce, but it is absolutely delicious. I will make this one again in a heartbeat (though I’ll definitely try to streamline it a bit in future).

So here we go!

Vegan Coconut Curry Bisque

8 servings

Blend in the Vitamix (set on “soup” function so it preheats):

  • 1 TBS coriander
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 TBS red curry paste
  • 1 TBS Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
  • 2 TBS sambal oelek
  • 1 thumb-sized chunk of ginger
  • 28 ounces fresh, chopped tomatoes (or 1 28-ounce can)
  • 1 can coconut milk

Meanwhile, saute in the Instant Pot:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped (keep the seeds in for some extra heat)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped

Once, the onion is translucent, add the contents of the blender and…

  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, chopped

Close the Instant Pot and set for 0 minutes. Yes, you read that right: ZERO minutes. By the time the pot is up to pressure, the zucchini, peppers, and grape tomatoes will be cooked and the soup will be heated through.

While you’re waiting for the Instant Pot to achieve pressure, throw the following into the Vitamix and blend until smooth:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp miso
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

Do a controlled quick release and open the Instant Pot. Pour the contents of the Vitamix into the Instant Pot, and hit “saute” until it re-heats. Next, stir in…

  • 2 TBS lime juice
  • freshly ground pepper

Top with chopped fresh cilantro.

Oh man, this is SO good, and SO rich. It’s definitely company soup, and because it contains both coconut milk and cashews, a little goes a long way! The recipe makes 12 cups, so about 8 cup-and-a-half servings.


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