This past week was all about trying out my new Vitamix blender. For my very first recipe, I made a potato soup following a blog recipe specifically intended for the Vitamix. It turned out to be the worst thing I’ve ever cooked. The thing of it is, the Vitamix’s blades go so fast that they can turn whole veggies into hot soup. However, this rapid whirring does not actually cook the soup. The internet seems quite divided on whether or not putting raw onions into Vitmaix soups is a good idea. I can say with total confidence that I am now firmly in the camp of “No freaking way, never again.”
The soup emerged as a greyish sludge (which I had been expecting since I opted to leave on the potato peels for flavor and nutrition). It was so acrid and bitter (from the half a raw onion I’d blended into the mix) that it was inedible. I should have just thrown it away, but instead I spent an inordinate amount of time cooking it on the stove, trying to mellow the onion, adding sprinkles of this and that in an attempt to recover it. The soup barely made it over the line to “edible,” but the acrid flavor stayed with me all night. Ugh.
Well, lesson learned! The Vitamix is not a place to dump raw veggies and expect them to turn into soup. Duly noted.
Luckily for me, for Disher, and for the sanctity of dinner, I had also made tomato basil scones to go with our soup. And the scones totally saved the day. They were savory and just a little bit sweet. They were moist but light, bursting with tomato flavor, and truly beautiful to behold. They were incredibly easy to make, they were undetectably both gluten-free and vegan, and they handily used up the half a bunch of basil threatening to wilt in my fridge. We ate a bunch (okay, I ate a bunch!) and then I froze the rest. They’ve reheated beautifully – I’m going to make a second batch soon and freeze them all, as they are perfect for a tired-night, no-cook supper of soup and scone.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Tomato Basil Scones
The original recipe for Tomato Rosemary Scones is from Vegan Brunch, and I found it online here. I’ve changed it a bit, reduced the sugar (maybe less is needed since basil is a sweeter herb?) and made the directions more clear. The original recipe has directions for making triangular scones – the directions here will result in drop scones, as shown above.
3 cups gluten-free baking mix + some extra in case dough is too sticky
(1 teaspoon xantham gum if your mix doesn’t already contain it)
2 tablespoons baking powder (or less if your mix already contains it – I used 1.5 tablespoons additional with a mix that contained baking powder)
2.5 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce (about 1 1/2 cups) (*see note)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.
In another bowl, combine wet ingredients and basil.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Gently mix with a wooden spoon.
Add a little extra flour if the dough seems sticky. In the bowl, use your spoon to gently divide your dough in two, and then into quarters, and then divide each quarter into thirds.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into 12 mounds on the cookie sheet (like drop biscuits).
Place scones on the baking sheet and bake 14-16 minutes or until the tops are firm. Remove and let cool a bit on plate or cooling rack. Serve either warm or at room temperature.
*Note: I made “tomato sauce” by putting a can of ground tomatoes in the blender just until the consistency was smooth and even. I recommend using plain tomatoes as opposed to a flavored pasta-sauce type of tomato sauce.