Vegan Bechamel sauce

A good white sauce is great base for many other things, so here is the version I have concocted for vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free uses. The herbs etc. might seem superfluous in a white sauce, but in the absence of cheese, it is good to get some kind of flavour going on.

200ml unsweetened soya milk
100ml water
1 small onion
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp nutmeg, grated
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2tsp vegetable oil
2tsp cornflour

Slice the onion finely, then add it and the soya milk, water, cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper to a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then take off the heat and allow to sit for 20 minutes before straining off all the herbs and spices. Measure the remaining sauce in measuring jug and, if it’s less than 200ml, add water.
In another saucepan, put the oil and the cornflour. Stir together, then slowly add the flavoured soya milk, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil (keep stirring!) and you will see it gently thicken. Take off the heat.
This sauce tastes great poured over cooked leeks or used in one of my recipes (eg. Broccoli bake).

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