Say the word "vegan" in a foodie circle, and people still think of strange green drinks and rabbit food. It is hard to convince people that vegan food has not only progressed in the field of gourmet cuisine, but also in the area of fulfilling comfort foods. Yes, burgers, pastas, and even rich and hearty stews are a few wholesome ingredients away thanks to recipe creators like Tamasin Noyes. When we requested a good savory dish for the winter, she quickly delivered with the recipe below. It combines a childhood favorite of mine, barley, with a somewhat new-to-me food, tempeh, and an array of delicious spices and flavors.
Tempeh is one of the few soy foods that is given the thumbs up in most health circles (even some of the anti-soy groups wave tempeh on). Unline tofu, it is fermented and has a dense, almost meaty texture. Fortunately, these days, tempeh is fairly easy to locate, and can be found in most major supermarkets.
Tami Noyes ~ With Thanksgiving around the corner, there is no better time for this easy one-pot-wonder of a meal. Hearty and delicious, this recipe is almost hands off. You don’t even need to steam the tempeh ahead of time. The range of broth is given so that you can make this soup as thick or as thin as you like. If desired, add minced parsley for a garnish. Serve with a salad on the side and you won’t be tired of cooking before your Thanksgiving prep begins.
Barley with Tempeh
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, tempeh, herbs, salt and pepper. Saute 12 to 15 minutes, until softened. Stir in the barley and wine and continue to cook until the wine is absorbed. Add 4 cups of broth, the carrots, the tomatoes and tamari. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer 50 to 60 minutes, or until the barley is tender. Add up to 1 cup additional broth if desired. Add peas and cook 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serves 4 generously
Article, recipe, and photo by Tamasin Noyes, author of American Vegan Kitchen. Tami's cookbook covers everything from diner comfort foods to modern bistro fare, with a solid focus on flavor. For even more of her recipes, you can visit Tami at her blog Vegan Appetite.