One limitation often put on going vegan is losing those old family recipes — but not anymore. Whenever I’m missing my family and homeland, I turn to cooking. This year I finally decided to find a way to honor those traditions in a vegan-friendly way. The result was a nourishing meal that brought me back to walks with my grandmother on a lonely country road, surrounded by emerald hillsides dotted with sheep and fairies.
Traditional Vegan Irish Stew
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 leek (cut finely)
3 carrots (cut small)
3 celery stalks (shred with a knife)
1 small rutabaga (cut small) *This absolutely makes it!
1 large potato (cut small)
1/4 red cabbage, shredded or cut finely. *This will color the broth.
1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), beef flavor
1 sprig of rosemary (or thyme)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
water (as the veggies make the broth)
Some salt/pepper to taste
I’d never used TVP and was skeptical about it on the whole. It is a soy-based veggie protein source, with a really nice texture that adds to the soup. It doesn’t seem processed or feel like you’re eating meat, and compliments the dish.
Start with the butter and leek and cut everything the same size, nice and small, and with a knife shredding the celery and cabbage. The red cabbage gives the soup a nice color. Cut each veggie and pile it in the bot on low to medium heat. Add your spices, but it doesn’t need much. Stir. Add water to top. Add the Wholesome Textured Protein. Let it cook. Add more water for consistency that you like. Salt and pepper to taste. I would omit a broth, as all the flavors really come out. Serve hot.
You can add barley for more of an Irish taste, though it’s not gluten-free. Quinoa (for protein) or rice is another option, but not needed.
This recipe pairs well with a gluten-free Irish soda bread and a quiet night with family.
Do take the plunge and try it. Really. It’s incredibly amazing. (If you’d like other vegan recipies, let me know in the comments.)