Sunday, March 1, 2009

southeast asian rice and tofu soup

Friends of mine gave me one of the Moosewood cookbooks for my birthday, and it has loads of soup recipes. Two hundred seventy-five plus recipes. And since it was quite cold here in Boston last week, I felt the need to make some soup. But with so many choices, I was not sure which soup to make! I settled on this one, a light, warming soup with just a hint of spice. Very restorative, super healthy, quite tasty. In making it again, I would add an extra chili, because I would have liked extra spice. Also, f you would like the soup a bit thicker, I recommend adding a bit more than the recommended 1/3 cup of rice.

Southeast Asian Rice and Tofu Soup
from the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special

Spice Paste

3 fresh lemongrass stalks
1 small piece of ginger root
1 fresh chili (seeds removed for a milder spice)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onions or shallots
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt

Trim the root ends and tops of the lemongrass, leaving a 5-to-6 inch stalk. Remove any tough outer layers and chop the inner stem into very small pieces. Peel the ginger and thinly slice. Combine all of the spice paste ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until quite smooth. If necessary, add about a tablespoon of water to facilitate blending. Set aside.


1 cup thinly slices onions
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup raw white rice, such as basmati
6 cups basic vegetable stock (see recipe below)
1/2 cup green beans, topped (I also added snow peas, because, why not!)
1 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
8 ounces tofu, cut in small cubes
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk (optional, but highly recommended!)

In soup pot, saute onions in the oil over medium heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in rice and stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the green beans, snow peas, peppers, tofu, lime juice and salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes (I like my veggies crunchy!). Finish with coconut milk and cilantro. Serve, sprinkled with extra cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Basic Light Vegetable Stock

10 cups water
2 medium onions, quartered
4 medium carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and smashed
2 large potatoes
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 fresh parsley springs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp whole peppercorns

Wash the veg well, removing any soil or sand. Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot, cover, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. When the vegetables are quite soft and have lost their bright colors, the stock is done.

Strain stock through large colander or sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Stock can be refrigerated for 4 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.

- e

1 comment:

Chris said...

Lemongrass is one of my favorite ingredients, but I often find myself using it without restraint and regretting it later. I am a huge fan of herbal soups (they're so easy but super flavorful!) so thanks for sharing this recipe.