Food and drink: Have a go at these tempting vegan recipes created by top Scots chef Paul Tamburrini

FOR some people their foray into veganism and changing what they eat may have come and gone with the end of what has become known as Veganuary.

But figures show for others this has not been turn-of-the-year craze, it has become a way of life.

According to the Vegan Society, there are now around 60,000 Scots vegans, and for most of them the choice is about animal rights.

They don't eat meat, consume dairy, eggs or even honey. They also don't use products like leather or anything tested on animals.

In 2018 demand for vegan haggis at Tesco in Scotland skyrocketed by 120%, while there were more than 100 vegan businesses in Scotland in 2019, up from just a handful in 2012-13.

And the society also claims that the number of vegans in the UK has quadrupled since 2014 to around 600,000.

This week renowned Scottish chef Paul Tamburrini has created some vegan dishes for you to try. With a tasty mushroom soup, "Greek-styled" stuffed vine tomatoes and poached strawberries and gazpacho you will be turning vegan in no time. Enjoy!

Mushroom soup with toasted pine nuts

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 small carrots, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 sprig of thyme

250g white quartered mushrooms

250g chestnut mushrooms

1.5 litres of vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

100g toasted pine nuts

A little extra olive oil for drizzling

Bread to serve

Method

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and carrots. Sauté gently for a few minutes without any colour, then add the garlic and thyme. Cook until the vegetables are soft without any colour.

Add the mushrooms with a little more olive oil to the pan and gently cook for 8/10 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in the vegetable stock and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard the thyme sprig – carefully pour the soup into a food blender and blend until super smooth. Adjust the seasoning and consistency if needed – keep warm until ready to serve.

Gently toast the pine nuts in a non-stock frying pan until golden brown

To serve - ladle the soup into individual bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.

'Greek-styled' stuffed vine tomatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large vine tomatoes

Salt and pepper

Sprinkle of caster sugar

A little olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 courgettes, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon dried oregano

100g basmati rice

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped flat parsley

Method

Pre heat the oven to 170C/gas3

Carefully slice the top of each of the tomato and set aside – these will be later used as "lids".

Scoop out the flesh of the tomatoes including the seeds being careful to make sure they are still intact with good structure.

Keep the flesh and place to one side – sprinkle the tomatoes with a little salt, pepper and sugar and set aside. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large heavy pan and gently sweat the onion, courgettes, garlic and oregano until thoroughly cooked. Add the rice and reserved tomato pulp and juice. Season, cover and cook the rice – stir in the chopped herbs and set aside.

Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture and place the "lids" on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Poached strawberries and gazpacho

Serves 4

For the poached strawberries

500g new season strawberries

100g caster sugar

100ml water

1 vanilla pod (optional), split & seeds scraped

4 crushed black peppercorns

Place the strawberries in a large bowl. Put the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil dissolving the sugar, and then add the vanilla pods and crushed peppercorns. Remove from the heat and pour the syrup over the strawberries. Leave to marinade for around 15 minutes.

For the gazpacho

250g very ripe strawberries, hulled

2-3tbsp icing sugar

Put the strawberries in a food blender along with the icing sugar and blend until smooth – pass through a fine sieve and discard the seeds. Cover and chill.

Place the poached strawberries onto a serving bowl and serve the gazpacho on the side.

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