This hearty and wholesome soup is a winter delight. Goes wonderfully with a blazing fire. The aromas of lavender, rosemary and thyme are calming after a long day at the office, or on the slopes.
1 cup small dried white beans – soaked overnight (I use a dried variety of yellow wax beans from my garden)
2 large white-fleshed potatoes (or 4 small/medium) – cut into 1 cm cubes with skins on
6 cloves of garlic – coarsely chopped
⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 sprigs of fresh or 1 tbs. dried rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh or 1 tbs. dried thyme
¼ ts. dried or fresh lavender flowers (or 2 drops of food grade essential lavender oil)
½ ts. white pepper
½ ts. sea salt
4 + cups of fresh water
1 cup soft/silken tofu
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. water
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbs. all-purpose unbleached, or brown rice flour
½ cup (about 8 pieces) of veggie bacon, ham, smoked slices, or smoked tofu — cut into small (1-1.5 cm squares)
1 tbs. grapeseed, coconut (aroma-less) or other high temperature mild-flavoured cooking oil
2 green onions –sliced thin
remaining fresh parsley
Drain and rinse soaked beans (should have 1.5 – 2 cups).
Add beans to a large saucepan with chopped potatoes, garlic, yeast, salt, pepper and water.
Tie rosemary and thyme in a bundle using a (natural) twine or string (do not use a rubber band or plastic bag tie) and add to pot. If using leaf-only dried herbs, rub and crush herbs as you add them to the pot.
Bring all ingredients to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Keep lid ajar to prevent from boiling over.
Stir occasionally and add water if necessary.
Cook until potatoes and garlic are soft and begin to dissolve (about an hour).
In the meantime heat a small frying pan on medium heat. Add oil evenly. When hot, pan fry smoked veggie meat slices, turning regularly, until crispy (about 5 min.). Set aside, or simply turn off stove ring.
Once the potatoes are soft, remove the bundle of herbs, and add lavender to the soup pot, rubbing between fingers.
Smash the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to begin the thickening process.
Keep simmering on low heat and stir every few minutes.
In a blender or tall bowl/mixing cup (if using a hand wand) add tofu, olive oil, and water. Blend until smooth.
Fold tofu cream into soup and add half of the chopped parsley. Apply lid to pot and keep heat on low.
In a glass or mug mix flour with enough cold water to make a thin smooth cream. Stir steadily and evenly into soup bringing it up to a soft boil. Stir well.
Turn off heat, apply lid and let rest for a few minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with smoky ‘meat’ crisps, green onions and the remaining parsley. Add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Serves 4 as a meal.
Goes wonderfully with a fresh baked baguette.