Our trips to Café Atlántico in DC have taught me to think of food in unexpected ways. I love when they take familiar flavors and present them in very usual ways. This notion of deconstructed food inspired our dinner tonight.
When I ate meat my favorite hot sandwich was the Reuben. I loved everything about the sandwich, the crusty bread, salty sauerkraut, the gooey cheese. So how I am going to make this healthy you ask. Since I have all but eliminated oil and earth balance there is no point to include the bread. After much thought I remembered a sauerkraut soup that I saw in the October issue of Gourmet magazine. I used that recipe as a starting point and turned it into this soup.
Deconstructed Reuben Soup
makes 3 servings
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (allow to stand for 10 minutes so the allicin can develop)
2 stalks celery, diced
½ cup water
1 cup drained sauerkraut (5 ounces), rinsed
1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour, then drained
½ cup dry oatmeal, ground into flour
1 roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (to mimic Thousand Island dressing)
2 cups water, or as much as is necessary to get the texture you like
1 teaspoon coriander seed (to mimic corned beef flavor)
black pepper to taste
1 juniper berry (to mimic corned beef flavor)
Veggie bacon bits – for garnish (to stand in for corned beef)
Avocado - for garnish
Tomatoes, diced – for garnish
Sweet pickle relish – for garnish (to mimic Thousand Island dressing)
Water sauté the onion, garlic and celery until the water is gone. Combine the onion, garlic, celery, sauerkraut, drained cashews, oatmeal, red pepper, tomato paste and water in your blender. Process until smooth. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and cook over low heat until it beings to thicken. If you have a Vitamix you can cook the soup in the blender, just process to hot.
Top the soup with veggie bacon bits, diced avocado, diced tomato and pickle relish. Serve hot. If desired you could serve this soup with crispy croutons on top to stand in for the bread.
Nutritional Information (doesn’t include the garnish ingredients):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 154.8
Calories From Fat (29%) - 44.69
Total Fat - 5.34g
Saturated Fat - 0.96g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 222.46mg
Potassium - 474.63mg
Total Carbohydrates - 24.34g
Fiber - 5.54g
Sugar - 4.53g
Protein - 5.34g
This is one of my more unusual soup ideas. My husband is not a big fan of sauerkraut so I wasn’t certain what he would think of this. I intentionally kept the amount of sauerkraut low for my hubby, who actually liked this. He agreed that it is reminiscent of a Reuben but with much less fat. When I asked what he would do to make it more like a Reuben he had no idea other than to make a sandwich, which was or course not the point.
Overall we both thought this reminded us of the flavors of a Reuben in the form of soup. Obviously you will be able to tell it isn’t a Reuben but it does hit many of the flavors of the sandwich in a form you can enjoy more frequently since it is healthier. Next time I may make some crispy potato or tofu cubes for on top in place of bread. I may also now try to make a corned beef style tofu for this. I think there are a lot of ways this can be changed or expanded upon.
Each serving of this soup contains approximately 1,900IU of vitamin A, 7omg of vitamin C, 65mg of calcium, 150mg of phosphorus, 65mg of magnesium and 10mcg of selenium.
Tomorrow’s kitchen experiment is almond milk yogurt. I have no idea how this is going to work. But we will see. I hope to get the yogurt culturing early in the day so I may have a verdict on the results by dinner time. I will keep you posted.
I hope you are all having a great evening!