Potato, Cabbage, and Canadian ‘Bacon’ Chowder

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5 Tbsp. margarine
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. tomato sauce
4 cups vegetable or faux chicken broth
1 head cabbage, shredded
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (4.5-oz.) pkg. vegetarian Canadian bacon slices, diced (try Yves brand at Yvesveggie.com)
1/2 cup instant dried potatoes
1 cup liquid nondairy creamer or soy milk

• In a large pot over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp. of the margarine. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the flour and stir to coat. Add the tomato sauce and broth, stirring continuously until thickened. Add the cabbage, potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
• Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp. margarine. Add the diced “Canadian bacon” and fry until browned and slightly crispy. Add this, along with the instant potatoes and nondairy creamer or soy milk, to the soup. Stir and continue cooking, uncovered, until the soup is heated through.
• Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Makes 4 servings

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