New vegans--you become the target for meat eaters because you strike them as so earnest; and your earnestness makes you vulnerable. You want to answer their questions. Better, fix them a big bowl of African Bean Soup.
Meat eaters think they are so original when they come up with arguments like "Hitler was a vegetarian" or "what about plants." When you've heard this for the one hundredth time, you wish they could find some new argument. You could point out that Hitler wasn't a vegetarian, but that takes you down the path that they know for sure he was. You could say, well so was Gandhi, but they don't care. You could say, well Hitler was against smoking, does that mean I should start smoking so I'm not like Hitler? But why step into their illogical justification for eating an unjustifiable diet?
They are so defensive and anxious. Really, help them just relax.
People are perfectly happy eating vegan food, as long as they don't know that's what they are doing. That's why this recipe is in my book, Living Among Meat Eaters. This is such a hearty, tasty soup, everyone loves it. I learned it from Jennifer Raymond author of The Peaceful Palate. When she sent this recipe to me, she wrote "Mmm!" next to it. I added "Great!" She kindly allowed me to include it in Living Among Meat Eaters.
African Bean Soup
· 3 tablespoons soy sauce
· 1 onion, sliced
· 2 small sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
· 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
· 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
· 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
· 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
· 3-4 cups vegetable stock.
· 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
· ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
· 1/3 cup peanut butter (I use ½ cup)
· 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
1. Heat ½ cup water and the soy sauce in a large pot. Add onion and sweet potatoes. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in carrot, celery and bell pepper. Check the water, if the pan is almost dry, add a little more water. Cover and continue cooking another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the tomatoes, stock, garbanzo beans, and cilantro.
4. Blend the peanut butter with 1/3 cup of water than add it to the soup along with the curry power. Stir to mix. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook ten minutes.
My variation today: I added chopped kale when I added the cilantro. I did not have enough vegetable stock but figured the peanut butter and tomatoes and curry would provide lots of flavor. They did.