I just joined the community, and just restarted the vegan lifestyle. I was last summer, then utterly wasn't, then vegetarian (but eating fish), then I went to China and, my god, there was no paradigm, and now I'm back to vegan. Anyway, I wanted to share with you what I've been cooking, since I just improvise, and if it turns out well, I try to repeat the results.
Chopped garlic (I used minced garlic I have in a jar)
Olive oil (1-2 tablespoons... I didn't measure... well, anything)
One leek, chopped
Three Yukon gold potatoes, cut into about 1/2 inch chunks
About 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional - but I think it rounds out a cheesy/creamy flavor)
One zucchini, sliced/chopped in some fashion
One head of broccoli
About 8 cups of water or so (depends on how big your soup pot is and how thick you want it - mine turned out pretty darn close to what I wanted)
One vegetable bullion
Salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste
Okay, the process
In the soup pot heat some olive oil
When it's good and warm, thrown in about 1-2 tablespoons of garlic and the leek pieces. Sweat them, not sautee. If you hear sizzling, it's too hot!
After they've sweated, and the leeks seem more transparent, and there's a good aroma, go ahead and add water and your bullion.
I added enough water to come up about 2/3 of the pot, and I can't tell you what volume the pot is because I'm not a fan of measuring. But, remember, it can't be full because potatoes take up room!
After the water heats up, and when you get a low boil, add the chopped potatoes, and this is when I added the nutritional yeast, if you want to do it.
After the water comes back up to a low boil let it sit a bit, til the potatoes are getting soft, but not falling apart yet. Then add the zucchini, and let it come back to a boil.
Chop up the head of broccoli however you want to - nothing needs to be pretty because it's all gonna get stick-blender-ed anyway.
When the zucchini gets softer, and at this point, the potatoes should be at falling apart level, add the broccoli, and let that cook until it gets soft enough to be tender. For me, this is just after the broccoli transitions from "bright green" to "muted green"
Once you're at that level, turn the heat off or low and make sure it's not at a boil. Then, take your stick blender and start getting everything all kinds of chopped up. The broccoli was a bit of a pain to blend because it had this nasty habit of floating, but then it was all good.
At this point, I added a bit of salt (didn't need to add too much due to the bullion), some fresh ground pepper, and some salt-free herb blend, to taste. You can add these at any point, I suppose, but I wanted to test the flavor after all the veggies were blended.
This made a HUGE pot, and I had a serving last night, have one at work today, and have 6 more in my freezer!
1 pre-made vegan pie crust from the freezer section, or make your own if you are ambitious. I am not.
1 packaged soft silken tofu - drain liquid off, and press a little more out of it if you want. I set it between towels with a bag of coffee on top for about 5 minutes to wick off a bit more of the liquid, but it'd be fine without doing that, too.
1 cup chilled/cool baked sweet potato (I guess they're technically yams if they're orange, but either way - to bake it, just wrap it in foil and set it in a baking dish until it's done.. about an hour? I put them in a dish because they leak sometimes)
About 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar
About 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I don't measure)
[note - I am out of vanilla extract, so I used some vanilla-flavored syrup and cut back on how much sugar I would have used]
Roughly 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I think I used too much, at about 4-5, and it turned out SUPER cocoa-y)
In your food processor, dump in your sweet potato (not the skin), the cocoa, etc, etc, etc, essentially everything except the pie crust. I put the cocoa in before most other stuff so it wouldn't create a dust cloud when I started to process it.
Blend it until smooth and you can't distinguish any bits of sweet potato or tofu. About 1-2 minutes. It was the consistency of chocolate pudding, and actually, just like that, it would have been a GREAT pudding (I know I licked the spoon when I was done!)
Transfer contents of food processor to pie crust and bake about 45-60 minutes at 350. When it was done for me, the crust had browned nicely, and the filling had "set" somewhat - it looked darker, and a couple cracks had appeared in it. It could have spent more or less time in and been just fine.
I let it cool on the stove for about an hour, and then chill for two in the fridge. It made a really nice consistency in the end, and was like a rich chocolate mousse. I was a bit disappointed I couldn't taste more of the sweet potato, but I think that's because I overdid it on the cocoa.
I'd be happy to post more recipes that I create/augment - I'm a big fan of experimentation, and I love reading all the ideas you all have posted so far.