New England Pear Soup with Chervil

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pear soup

I get very excited when So Delicious comes out with new products.  Their dairy-free offerings open up all sorts of new recipe possibilities.  Which is why I felt gleeful when they rolled out their “Greek Style” coconut milk yogurts this year.  This new yogurt can be used most places you’d use sour cream or Creme Fraiche.  If you can eat dairy, by all means, go for the Creme Freiche, it’s hard to find excuses to eat full fat dairy. But bare in mind, the So Delicious Greek Style yogurt has no cholesterol and 9 grams of fiber per 6 ounce container! Have your tried this yogurt yet? Is it in your stores?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

New England Pear Soup with Chervil

Makes 4-6 servings.

This warm pear soup is light and elegant. It’s the perfect way to dress up lovely fall pears. My husband calls it “Divine!” And if you know my husband, yes, he really said that.

 

Ingredients: 

3 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 large pears (Comice, Anjou, Bartlett, etc. – just under-ripe is perfect because they’ll be firm enough to work with easily)
3 Tbsp. sunflower oil (or other mild flavored oil, such as safflower or canola, try Spectrum)
1 1/2 large shallots, minced (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. honey
3 cups organic vegetable broth
white pepper (black pepper will NOT do for this)
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh chervil (or chives), finely minced
So Delicious Plain Greek Style yogurt, (or Creme Fraiche – try Bellwether Farms)

Directions: 

Put lemon juice in a bowl. Peel, core, and dice pears into 1-inch chunks, adding to the bowl and tossing them in lemon juice as you work, to prevent pears from turning brown.

Heat sunflower oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add pears and drizzle with honey. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer pears to a food processor and pulse. Pulsing will prevent them from overflowing. Once pears are almost smooth, run food processor about 1 minute until completely pureed.

Return puree to pan, add broth and stir to combine thoroughly. Add a few turns of freshly ground white pepper, (or a couple pinches if it’s already ground). Stir in chervil. Heat soup to just below simmering point, do not boil.

Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and top each with 1 Tbsp. Greek Style yogurt or creme fraiche. Swirl through soup gently.

New England Pear Soup with Chervil  © 2013 by Cybele Pascal (this recipe originally appeared on Gaiam.com)

(Please note that all my recipes are free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Allergy Free Eggnog

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Every year I get asked to come up with a recipe for eggnog without eggs, dairy, refined sugar, you name it. And every year I get too wrapped up in holiday cookie baking. But luckily this year, I’m strarting early with beverages.

The tricky part about concocting an allergy-friendly vegan eggnog is that you must avoid the eggs. Most recipes rely on tofu instead, but that wasn’t an option because I wanted to be sure this recipe was safe for those with soy allergies, too. The other substitute for eggs? Nuts. But given my allergy-friendly cooking mandate, those are out, too.

I did see a pretty nifty recipe from Living Without, but it called for young fresh coconut, which is hard to find and potentially allergenic—and it also called for almonds. I decided the time had come to whip up a nog that avoided the top eight allergens and could be toasted by all this holiday season, food-allergic or not.

I soon discovered the key to creating a thick, creamy custard base (without eggs or heavy cream) is tapioca starch. (If you don’t eat tapioca, you can easily substitute cornstarch, potato starch, or arrowroot starch.)

The other trick is simplicity. There is no need to over-spice to compensate for the missing richness of eggs and cream. Less is more with eggnog. My kids and I had a grand old time standing around the kitchen drinking the entire jar of this recipe (I put rum in mine, and left theirs without!).

For cookies that go well with this eggnog recipe, check out my Gluten-Free Hemp Seed Wedding CookiesGluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps, or Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.

 

Allergy-Friendly, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free “Eggnog”

Serves 4

A delicious “creamy,” rich eggnog that’s much lower in fat and cholesterol than the traditional beverage—and allergy-friendly to boot! It’s also free of refined sugar. This recipe may be made with or without rum.

3 cups rice milk (or other vegan milk of choice)

2 Tbsp. tapioca starch

1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ cup maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated), plus more for garnish

¼ cup dark rum (optional)

Rice Whip topping (optional)

1.   Combine ½ cup of the rice milk with the tapioca starch. Whisk well until frothy. Add vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine.

2.   Combine 1 ½ cups of the rice milk with the maple syrup in a heavy pot. Whisk. Add nutmeg and whisk well to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add tapioca starch mixture to pot. Heat, whisking continuously, until it reaches a simmer. Once it’s slightly thickened, add the remaining cup of rice milk. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring continuously, until rich and creamy, about 4 minutes.

3.   Pour into a pitcher or large mason jar. Chill for at least four hours and up to 2 days. When ready to serve, stir or shake eggnog, mix in rum, pour into glasses, top with Rice Whip, and garnish with ground nutmeg.

Allergy-Friendly, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free “Eggnog”
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.