|To meat or not to meat: that is the question!|
There is something unnatural about making anything "Buffalo" vegetarian in my humble opinion. Buffalo chicken wings, Buffalo CHICKEN dip, Buffalo CHICKEN soup, etc. The words Buffalo and chicken just belong together. Anything else is an unholy abomination!
While I am at it, you know what else is unnatural: Velveeta "cheese product". Velveeta happens to be a key ingredient to this recipe so let us get unnatural together!
Anyway today's story goes like this: the wifey was having a bunch of new hires over. She does not know of any food restrictions but thought there might be a vegetarian in the mix. (Aside: LIES! There was not.) She asked that I be accommodating to vegetarian. Now as opinionated as I am about food, Doctor Who, or the terrible state of modern driving, I always try to accommodate reasonable food restrictions. So I decided to give my beloved Buffalo CHICKEN soup recipe the vegetarian once over. The original recipe (ok the original, original recipe is linked here) is list below, with the minor vegetarian changes noted in parentheses.
2 bunches green onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup flour
3⁄4 cup milk
3⁄4 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth)
2 cups diced cooked chicken (neglected for vegetarian)
1⁄2 cup Frank's RedHot
4 ounces Velveeta cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄2 teaspoon celery salt
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
Sauté (medium to medium-low heat) the green onions and celery in the butter until the celery is tender.
Stir in flour until smooth and slightly golden.
Slowly add milk and broth. Stopping to mix thoroughly as you go.
Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cheese has melted and well mixed.
"Come on baby, just the tip?" Er I meant to say just not the tip. I used the whole green onions except the rooty tip.
This quantity of Frank's and cayenne makes for a pretty spicy soup. I recommend reducing the Frank's down to 1/3 cup to reduce the heat if desired. That said, it a critical flavor component. Without Frank's this is not the same soup. So if you want something with no heat, move along.
The celery adds some crunch to this recipe. Based on your tastes that could be a good or a bad thing. Respond according. By which I mean add/reduce, chop bigger/smaller pieces of celery, etc to your taste, not send me your pro-celery socialist propaganda.
Just for my own curosity I just Googled "pro-celery socialist propaganda". Sadly it was entirely less interesting than I had hoped. Anyone out there a graphic artist who wants to work me up a new logo? I cannot pay you, but it would be great exposure. <wink, wink>
I have tweeked this one way or the other plenty of times: add some garlic instead of the garlic salt, more or less celery, more or less chicken, etc. It is a pretty forgiving recipe and can easily be modified to personal taste.
I always buy the big block of Velveeta. DO NOT DO THAT. I think it is two pounds or something.
By the way, this freezes well. Make a double batch. No: octuple since you bought the big block after I told you not to!
The original recipe is amazing and I love it. ♥♥ <obligatory Doctor Who nod>
The vegetarian modification... did not taste any different. Let's face it when you have that much Velveeta and Frank's a bit of chicken is not going to sway the taste one way or the other.