Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tofu Vegetable Soup #SundaySupper

After a week of enjoying 30C+ temperatures here, a thunderstorm has sent our temperatures diving. Don't get me wrong, we're not in the -40C range (yes, I remember you, December), but there's a distinct September nip in the air that makes a walk outside the perfect reason o cook up a pot of soup. Of course, the garden is still thriving enough that we're able to "shop" for ingredients to make produce-heavy lunches and dinners, a real treat - especially now that school and work have both ramped up again, keeping us from spending 24 hours a day ankle deep in dirt. We're also in that "interseasonal" period between Summer and Fall, packed with the sweetest of peppers and tomatoes, the last of the herbs, zucchini and eggplant, and the first gorgeous carrots, beets, potatoes and winter squash. The merest touch of that truly fresh flavour from the backyard adds such wholesomeness to our meals that it's impossible not to want to showcase it in a dish all its own.

Such is the case with this soup. A coupling of the desire for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup after coming in from the rain and the gorgeous colours of a bounteous harvest, pretty much our whole garden and fridge stock found its way into the pot. Eggplant, zucchini, carrots, onions, tomatoes and herbs came straight from the backyard (freshly rain-washed, I might add), while locally-grown kale, garlic, leeks,and cauliflower met up with organic tofu to round out the rest of the broth. For a bit of a richer, "gourmet" edge, I tossed in a Parmesan rind as well, and finished the works with a handful of whole grain pasta. Whether freshly made or reheated the next day, it's a fabulous way to bid the height of the growing season farewell for another year and hunker down for the Winter with the jars of home-preserved goodness I made this season (recipes appearing here soon!).

Tofu Vegetable Soup

We're celebrating the bounty of squash this week for #SundaySupper, be it the Summer goodness of zucchini, crookneck and pattypans, or the Fall / Winter pumpkin, acorn and butternut varieties. Alice of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen and Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva are co-hosting this week. Thanks ladies!

Starters – Appetizers & Cocktails:

Pickles & Relish:

Soups & Salads:

Main Dishes

Side Dishes:

Sweets to Start or End the Day:
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Tofu Vegetable Soup
Serves 6
12 oz extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cubed
pinch black pepper
¼ tsp Cabernet (or regular kosher) salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large leek, sliced
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
1 (extra) large zucchini, diced
1 large carrot, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups chopped cauliflower
10 cups water
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but definitely use if omitting Parmesan rind)
rind from 1 wedge Parmesan (optional)
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary, whole
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Cabernet (or regular kosher) salt
1 cup whole grain small-cut pasta (use a GF pasta if desired)
1 small bunch kale, shredded
  1. Toss tofu, pepper and ¼ tsp Cabernet salt in a bowl until coated.
  2. Place the oil in the bottom of a large, heavy pot and place over high heat.
  3. When shimmering, add the tofu in one layer and brown on all sides. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, leeks, eggplant, zucchini and carrot. Cook until softened and browned, adding a touch of water if things stick too much.
  5. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes and cauliflower and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add water, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, Parmesan rind, herbs and black pepper. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove the Parmesan rind.
  8. Stir in the salt, tofu and pasta. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until pasta is cooked.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in kale until wilted. Serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 246.1
Total Fat: 8.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 348.0 mg
Total Carbs: 34.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.0 g
Protein: 12.7 g