The organic veg box this week contained a head of chicory. I know full well that my beloved spouse isn’t going to touch it with a bargepole so I decided to eat it myself. A quick Google revealed this Chicory Soup recipe, which I veganised for my lunch. The proportions are a little different on my version, due to the available ingredients. This amount made one meal-sized soup. Chicory has a nice bitter flavour, and the sweet, browned onions work well with it.
1 medium onion, sliced finely
1 head chicory, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
500ml strong vegetable stock (see note)
Olive oil or vegan margarine for frying
Pepper to taste
Parmezano (or equivalent “old sock” powder) to garnish (optional)
Fry half of the onion until it is dark, dark brown. Put to one side and fry the chicory, leek and other half of the onion in a saucepan until the leeks soften. Add the stock and dark brown onions, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Blend and serve. Season to taste and garnish with fake parmesan.
Note: I used a kosher fake beef broth as stock. This comes as a powder which has to be added to boiling water, so add water to the soup and add the powder when it comes to the boil. Any strong-flavoured vegetable stock can be used – adding a bit of yeast extract to a milder one would work nicely.