HERBED LEMON & ASPARAGUS SOUFFLE (VEGAN, SOY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE)

From my searches online, it seems that the vegan souffle is one of those culinary holy grails. Most recipes available seem to utilize tofu or other soy products to mimic the texture of one made with eggs, though, and since soy is out of the question for me, I needed to find another way to recreate that unique texture, and fulfill a craving that I've had probably since Thanksgiving. I think this recipe is extremely convincing, and I'm pretty excited about the possibilities for future variations. Today was a gorgeous spring day in Boston, and I feel blessed that this lovely recipe was a part of it! 

In my last run to a local Indian market that recently relocated (Little India moved from Union Square to the old Milk Row warehouse by Market Basket), I picked up a bag of coarse chickpea flour or maghaj flour, and though I've been limiting my consumption of flour lately, the few times that I've experimented with it have yielded really interesting results that have me scheming up both savory and sweet dishes. The coarse flour behaves differently than its fine counterpart, and because it's a little bit harder on the digestive system, I've thought it the perfect flour to try soaking/fermenting a bit prior to cooking, a process that I've wanted to better acquaint myself with for a while. The flavor of the flour is wonderfully enhanced by the light fermentation, and no doubt aids in the slight rise of the batter when it bakes in the oven. I love that the ingredients are pretty minimal, too, and are fresh and seasonal for most this time of year. If you tolerate allium, I would definitely recommend carmelizing some shallots and adding them to the batter. I'm going to do my best to not think about how unbearably divine that would be. This is my second submission to Ricki & Kim's SOS Challenge for April, and I hope that you are able to enjoy it soon! 

HERBED LEMON & ASPARAGUS SOUFFLE
YOU'LL NEED:
TWO 4" RAMEKINS 
BAKING SHEET 
 
1/2 CUP COARSE CHICKPEA FLOUR/MAGHAJ FLOUR
1/2 CUP WARM WATER
1 TBS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

3/4 CUP ASPARAGUS PUREE
JUICE & ZEST OF HALF A LEMON
1/3 TSP APPLEWOOD SMOKED SEA SALT (OR SMOKED SEA SALT OF YOUR CHOICE)
1/4 TSP AGAR AGAR POWDER*
1/4 TSP DRIED PORCINI POWDER (OPTIONAL)
PINCH OF STEVIA
1/4 CUP ARUGULA
1 TSP FRESH MINT
1/2 TSP ROSEMARY
GHEE OR OIL OF CHOICE FOR GREASING 

COMBINE FLOUR, WATER & VINEGAR. MIX, COVER AND LET SIT IN A WARM SPOT OVERNIGHT OR 8+ HOURS. WHEN READY TO PREPARE, PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT**. MIX TOGETHER ALL INGREDIENTS, ADDING THE HERBS LAST. GREASE THE RAMEKINS GENEROUSLY, AND FILL WITH BATTER. PLACE ON A BAKING SHEET AND BAKE FOR 35 MINUTES, OR UNTIL THE TOP IS A LIGHT GOLDEN BROWN.

*I'm still experimenting with agar agar, so since this is served warm, I'm not sure how necessary it is to the overall texture. What do you think?

**The thermometer inside my oven shows that my oven is always about 25 degrees under what I set it, so my oven was actually set at 375, registering at 350.

2 comments:

sjschieb said...

I went vegan before learning to cook so I never dabbled with making a souffle so I am intensely excited to make this recipe!

I used up all of my chickpea flour and am kinda dreading making more. Perhaps lentil flour will work just as well?? I will have to wait for asparagus season in Michigan to try this one out ;)

KRIS said...

Yeah, I too didn't really learn how to cook until becoming vegan, but I used to love eating the incredible carrot souffles that my sister would make!
Well, whatever flour you use, it must be somewhat coarse, or the texture won't be quite right. And though another legume flour may mimic the texture, chickpea flour is the only one that I've found that so strangely mimics the flavor of eggs. So if you want a more authentic souffle experience, I'd say that hopefully by the time asparagus is in season there, you'll have a desire to make more chickpea flour. It will be worth it!

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