Well, you aren't going to believe this, but it's absolutely true: I'm on a diet. I made a friendly little wager with my older brother, my dad, and our friend J.C. Each of us ponied up our share of dough, stuck it into an empty water bottle, filed it up with water, and froze it at a secret location. The idea is for each of us to lose 10%. The one who loses the most by Labor Day weekend gets the "frozen assets." Simple enough, right?
My strategy is simple: eat vegan until 6 p.m. Mark Bittman came up with the concept he calls VB6. Having been vegan on and off for large periods of time, this is not too tough for me. In fact, I have rather enjoyed it. I feel better, and I have been dropping a pound a day for the past 10 days. No kidding.
So how do you fill up eating vegetables? Soup is the answer. Yesterday I made this spicy and flavorful soup with the ingredients I had on hand.
7-10 large organic carrots
1 large fennel bulb
1 orange bell pepper
1 large sweet onion
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger
1 can light coconut milk (+ one can of water)
3 loves garlic
2 Not-Chicken cubes
sriacha hot sauce
juice of 1 lime
s & p
8-10 shiitake mushroom caps (sliced and sautéed in sesame oil)
4 green onions (chopped)
Roughly chop pepper, carrots, and fennel and toss them with olive oil. Arrange those vegetables flat on a baking sheet and stick them under your broiler. They should stay under the broiler long enough to get some color. In a large soup pot, sauté the roughly chopped onion, shallot, garlic, and ginger in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the roasted vegetables, coconut milk, cubes, and a few good squeezes of hot sauce. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 10-15 minutes so that the carrots can soften. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup smooth. Garnish with mushrooms and onions.
Be on the lookout for more delicious vegan fare and wish me luck. I want to win!