Thursday, January 10, 2013

An All-Purpose Soup Recipe from a Temporarily Dairy-Free Vegetarian

Have I mentioned that baby H. is NOT a fan of the moo juice? Not that we ever had milk in drinkable form in the house, but nature's perfect food (for baby cows) is behind many of the things that make life more delicious. The stretchy, melty mozzarella on a pizza, for instance. That delightful heavy cream in an afternoon coffee. A tangy burst of sour cream in a burrito. The double chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream in a Sunday sundae. Or the queso to the side of a chimichanga...

Ahem. I'll stop myself there so I don't start sobbing.

Turns out that when I eat dairy, the little mister has a bad habit of spitting up profusely and refusing to sleep for entire days at a time. I suppose I shouldn't put it like that. Poor thing was in pain, after all. But after 13 hours with a baby who is obviously exhausted by unable or unwilling to take the usual trip to dreamland, a mama can get kind of sarcastic.

The good news is that when I cut out all dairy from my diet - thereby cutting all dairy out of his - H. stopped barfing and started sleeping. Yay! The bad news is since we already don't eat meat but aren't vegans and I am a reluctant chef, figuring out what to cook has been a challenge.

How reluctant am I? Were I to become independently wealthy, I would eat out or order in for every meal forever and ever. That's why it's doubly unfortunate that I'm the household's primary cook by virtue of my schedule.

Figuring out this dairy-free cooking thing is a real pain in the rear. I don't want to delve whole hog, if you'll pardon the expression, into fancy vegan recipes that require ingredients I've never heard of. Buying expensive high-end shop ingredients will bust my food budget wide open, first off. And if I have to cook, which I do *sigh*, you better believe I'm keeping things simple.

So soup it is. As I've lately discovered, with an immersion blender, you can easily soupify ANYTHING. And with a potato base or the addition of some unsweetened coconut milk, you can even make it kind of creamy. I like cream soups better than all other soups except for lentil soup.

dairy-free soup recipe

Here's my go-to formula for awesome never-eat-the-same-one-twice soup:
  • onion and garlic
  • some bullion cubes in water or go straight to the broth
  • Lawry's, awwww yeah
  • a pinch of marjoram 
  • any other spices and herbs that are hanging around
  • chopped up potatoes, if'n you want
  • vegetables, roasted if you like or straight outta the freezy if you don't
  • coconut milk, but only if you really want to
Saute the onion and garlic in plenty of olive oil. If you're using taters, saute them up, too, until they're kind of soft but not really. Add your broth or water and the spices and herbs, and heat it up to a nice wild boil. At this point, you can cook down the potatoes first or say to heck with it all, and toss in everything else. The size of your pot will determine the quantities. Keep on boiling, though take it down a notch so it's gentle, until everything is kind of mushy. Turn off the heat and blend it. No need to ask 'Will it blend?' It will. Serve with some hot from the oven biscuits. Aw, yes.
We have eaten A LOT of soup these past few weeks while we wait for H. to outgrow his dairy sensitivity. Luckily, soups lend themselves to an almost infinite number of variations so we haven't eaten the same one twice. But I fear I will grow tired of soup eventually if it turns out H.'s dietary peccadillo lasts more than a few months.

Dairy-free dinner recipes, anyone?

P.S. - I was featured at Parent Society! Go check it out!


  1. I'm am so sorry about your temporary loss of dairy. I'll eat a bowl of ice cream for ya :)

    Seriously, though, that soup sounds really tasty. I have never been a big fan (unless I am sick), but my hubby likes to bring soup to work for his lunches, so I think I should see if he's like this one.....

  2. The beauty is that you can put anything at all in this soup! Anything!

    Enjoy your ice cream *pouts cries*


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