Ask a Chef

Ask a Chef: Kevin Archer

Ask a Chef: Kevin Archer

“How can I create a cream-free base for creamy soups and sauces?”

We asked Kevin Archer, who heads the Compassionate Cuisine program at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) in Saugerties, N.Y., a haven for abandoned and abused farm animals; the program teaches how to avoid using animal products in the kitchen without skimping on nutrition or flavor. Here’s what he suggests.

â?¢  Cashews or almonds work in a variety of soups; pecans are especially suited to butternut squash soup. Use one part raw shelled nuts to three parts water or vegetable stock; grind the nuts in a high-speed blender, then add the liquid. Blend until completely liquid, with no pulp. Use in soup as you would any dairy or nondairy milk.

â?¢  Cut dense vegetables, such as potatoes, butternut squash, or celery root, into 1-inch pieces. Sauté in oil in large soup pot; add diced onion, followed by garlic and dried herbs, such as oregano or rosemary. Continue to sauté until the veggies soften. Run the mixture through a blender with just enough water or vegetable stock for the desired consistency; return to the soup pot an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

â?¢  The simplest method for producing a cream-style soup is to use coconut milk. For every 2 quarts of water or vegetable stock, add one can of coconut milk. The subtle flavor is perfect for cream of mushroom soup or tomato soup.

March 2011 p.25

you might also like