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Monday, March 19, 2012

Japanese Inspired Vegetable and Tofu Soup

Yesterday was a beautiful day, but cold.  I have no idea when I became so intolerant to cool weather.  I mean, I’ve survived through -35 while walking to work.  -2 should be spring weather and a breeze, right?  I blame the sun for deceiving me-I thought it was warmer outside then it actually was. When I discovered it wasn't, all I wanted was to make something to warm me up!

Whenever I make soup, I generally just throw the ingredients together, loosely follow a recipe and pray it turns out.  I rarely record the quantities of the ingredients I use, so I never get to share the recipe.  This is something I'm working on (I promise!).  I made this soup last September and thought about it lots since then. It’s the perfect soup for when you want something light, meatless, and lots for leftovers.  As I said, it isn't a heavy meal, but it is a healthy one.  I love adding the tofu, I try and find excuses to incorporate it in meals.

Gavin isn’t a huge fan of miso, so I knew I wasn’t allowed to use it otherwise I would be eating by myself.  This soup doesn't take too long to make, and it’s packed full of vegetable goodness. All of the ingredients were available from our local grocery store, so no need to panic when you can’t find those ingredients you’ve never heard of before!  

Japanese Inspired Vegetable and Tofu Soup
(Makes approx. 10-12 servings)

For the Base
10 cups vegetable broth (preferably low sodium)
5 sheets nori, cut into 2X2 inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoon ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced finely
1 ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 large yellow Yukon gold potato, diced into ½ inch cubes
½ medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 turnip, sliced finely
2 radishes, diced
2 cups sliced, shredded cabbage
2 celery ribs, diced
2 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
1 package (450 grams), cut into ½ inch cubes
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce

For garnish
Julienned carrots
Green onions, sliced diagonally

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add in the nori, ginger, garlic, pepper and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, covered.

Add in the potato, onion, carrot, turnip, radishes and cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Add in the cabbage, celery, portobello and tofu. Let cook until slightly tender approximately 5-10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, let stand for 5 minutes, garnish and serve.

Source: Adapted from the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2

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