15 Aug

Soup

From Deborah Kremer, Chief Soup Chef at chateau Kremer. She wrote this last fall in email to share with friends and even though she says fall, I say all year long.

Hello Hello Hello !

Welcoming the fall weather with warm, hearty, and nutritious soup is what this time of year is all about. Ok, that and tight budgets and time and health.  So soup it is !

Here is a very basic soup that I use to build different styles and types.  It usually takes me 25 minutes from start to letting it simmer until it’s time to eat. You can let it stew longer if you wish.

The measurements are not exact and to tell the truth, until I was making it tonight I didn’t pay attention to the amounts of herbs and spice. So tonight I did just for you darlings.

The finished amount can feed four with side dishes and leave a little for next day’s lunch.

  • 1 medium to large onion—-chopped
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu
  • 2 cans coconut milk (or 1 can coconut milk and 1 can water). Add more coconut milk and water as desired.
  • 1 to 2 cans of cannellini beans/white kidney beans
  • 2 tsp of bouillon per 2 cups of liquid, either vegetable or chicken base (beef is too heavy)
  • mushrooms sliced, any amount (or none at all)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (add more or less, depending on your love for garlic)
  • 1 tsp oregono
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • kale, as much as you like. We like it alot.
  • Optionally, cooked rice or quinoa for the bottom of your soup bowl

Directions:

You can use a saute pan and a pot, or a deep pan for sauteing and souping. We use either, depending on how big the batch or how much room we have on the stove while cooking. These instructions use the one pan method.

  1. Add a splash of oil to pan and warm up or soften the onions and garlic. Set them in a bowl.
  2. Add the mushrooms, sauteing until they are light brown. Alternately barely cook them or leave them raw. Set them aside with the onions.
  3. Cube the tofu. Add a bit more oil to the pan, then add the tofu. Let it cook for a minute or two and gently stir it.  When it become easy to stir, add the herbs and spices.
  4. Crush the herbs and spices with your fingers as you add them. Let the tofu soak up their flavor for a few moments. Now put Tofu into pot and
  5. Add the coconut milk (or milk and water), bouillon, and beans. Stir in the sauteed onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
  6. If you’re making rice or quinoa, start it now while the soup simmers.
  7. Let the soup simmer until it tastes right. Add the kale and turn off the heat.
  8. Add cooked rice or quinoa in the bowl before adding soup, or use rustic bread. Sprinkle cheese on top–it’s like frosting for soup.

For additional flavor and overall goodness add:

  • curry spice
  • ginger (either or both for a Morrocan-style flavor)
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • zucchinni—–add next to last since they are a softer vegetable and may mush
  • green beans (frozen or fresh)
  • Any other firm vegetable in your kitchen

To prep hard vegetables like carrots, you may want to microwave or steam them for a moment (only to just inject the heat or they’ll turn to mush in the soup). Alternately, grate them, providing a fun twist on texture, or jullienne them and saute until they start to soften.

We’ve made at least a dozen variations on this recipe. Remember to have fun and experiment with the flavors to complement your tastebuds! Be sure to taste along the way.  If you’re trying a new herb or spice, start with small doses.

© 2011 Deborah Kremer