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Vegan “Cream” Alternative

By • May 11th, 2005 • Category: Light Bites, Potatoes, Grains, and Beans, Soups and Stews, Vegetarian Tips Print Print

One trick I learned in Italy while making vegetable minestrone or potato leek soup was how to thicken a soup without cream. My non-dairy option can also be added to mashed potatoes or pasta sauces to add extra protein and a rich delicious flavor.

My substitute “cream” consists of cannellini beans, puréed in a food processor until smooth. Simply stir bean paste, a tablespoon at a time, into your soup or sauce to add a rich, creamy texture. This is a wonderful alternative to heavy cream or even a flour based thickener.

Since you will have to open an whole can of beans, here’s a tip for the leftover beans. Place the remaining beans in a bowl and add one very finely minced garlic clove, a little salt, pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil to create a delicious spread for chewy bread or steamed vegetables. It resembles hummus but has a milder flavor and is much easier to make. The best part is you’ll love the taste while you’re replacing the butter and use up your leftover beans. Give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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is Toni Fiore was raised by an Italian-American father and a German mother who instilled in her a sociable nature and the love of travel and of good food. She has lived in Italy and Germany and now resides in southern Maine. She is the author of: Totally Vegetarian: Easy, Fast, Comforting Cooking for Every Kind of Vegetarian
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