Saturday, January 05, 2013

Mushroom, Asparagus & Tofu Soup

A Happy New Year to all!

The cold weather and short winter days have brought a 'stay cosy and hibernate' mood to my house this  holiday. Who knew teens could sleep so long?

This mood extends to the kitchen in the form of simple comfort food.  There's been a lot of mac 'n cheese and baked potatoes around here lately.  And, of course, soup...

This rich tasting Mushroom, Asparagus & Tofu Soup not only warms, but is a complete meal in itself. The secret to the richness is a little sherry (I used Harvey's Bristol Cream) and a little miso. I pureed some of the sauteed portobello mushrooms to thicken the base without adding any cream, so this is rich in taste, but not heavy.   If you want a heartier soup, try adding some cooked brown rice.

Mushroom,  Asparagus & Tofu Soup:

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp butter (or vegan butter or oil)
6 oz portobello mushrooms, skin removed, sliced and cut in half

1 tsp sherry
few drops of balsamic vinegar

1/2 small onion, finely diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger
3 cups vegetable stock
1/8 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp miso
8 stalks asparagus, hard stems removed, cut on the diagonal
4 oz firm tofu, small dice
Salt & Pepper (Soy sauce can be used in place of the salt)

Place 1 1/2 tsp olive oil in a saucepan and add the diced onion and half of the minced garlic. Cook over very low heat until softened.

Heat 1/2 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the other half of the minced garlic and cook over low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up to medium-high, and saute until still firm. Add the sherry and stir well. Add the balsamic, stir well and remove the mushrooms from the heat.  Add S&P.

Add the minced ginger and vegetable stock to the saucepan with the softened onions. Bring the stock to a boil. Turn to simmer and add the toasted sesame oil, miso and 1/3 of the cooked portobellos. Simmer for 4-5 minutes and remove from heat. With an immersion blender, blend the soup base. Return to the heat, raise heat to a simmer, and add the asparagus.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the remaining cooked portobello mushrooms.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the tofu.  Cook for a few more minutes, taste and adjust the salt and pepper (or use soy sauce). Enjoy!