11 November 2006

Tofu Noodle Soup (Post 1 of 2, #2's Below)

I am absolutely hooked on this tofu noodle soup. Talk about comfort food, this soup is so flavorful and seriously addicting, I have made it five times in the past two weeks. It's just all around soul-soothing. It all started when Ray started coming down with the flu. I told him I'd kick it for him with my cooking (lots of garlic, ginger, tumeric, etc.). It was only the day before that my wonderful soup book by Nava Atlas came in the mail. I decided the first recipe I'd make would be Mock Chicken Noodle Soup (page 54 if you have the book). I didn't like the name at all since I'm not a fan of real dead meat nor fake meats, but reading the ingredient list, it didn't sound chicken-y at all, especially with tofu (I think seitan can be subbed easily). I decided to have a go at it, especially because I convienently had all the ingredients on hand. Minus the baked tofu, but I fried (lightly) up my own and it came out wonderful. My only issue with this book is that it calls for one teaspoon of "salt-free seasoning", forget the salt-free, that's fine, it's the whole mix up of spices in one container (minus good curry powder) that I don't care for. I don't like seasonings like this guy does. So, I decided to think up what the hell would be in mock chicken noodle soup. Besides the called-for dill (which totally ties the whole soup together). I made up my own spices using almost everything in my spice rack, sort of, and the soup came out wonderful. I used way more than 1t. of spices!

Since I have made this recipe 5 times now, I made it the first time following the recipe almost exactly, minus the baked tofu and my own seasonings, plus more. The next few times I tweaked it around, and I'd say I've come up with close, but my own modified version of this recipe. The photos you see here are from my modified and very different, more medicinal than the original version. It is so wonderful, the leftovers are good but the noodles absorb a lot of the water so you have to either add more water and add more seasonings or just eat really non-brothy soup.

Leslie's Tofu Noodle Soup (adapted from Nava Atlas Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons and modified by me, Leslie)
This yields about 4 quarts.
1T olive oil
3 large celery stalks, diced small
4-5 carrots, peeled and diced small
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2t. minced or grated fresh ginger
1 yellow onion, small, diced
8c water
2 boullion cubes (or broth equiv)
1 to 1.5t dried dill (you must add this!)
1t. oregano (all seasonings are dry)
1t. basil
1/4 to 1/2t. paprika
1t sea salt
1t black pepper
1t tumeric
1/2t thyme
8oz thin noodles broken into 1.5" sticks
8oz firm tofu, pre-baked, pre-fried, or make your own like I do using firm tofu, pressed, heat up a bit of olive oil in a pan, place 1/2" thick squares on the pan and add all of the same spices you put in the soup plus optional breadcrumbs and heat until golden brown. Dice small.

Method: In a large stockpot (I use 6 quarts), heat olive oil and add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and ginger. Heat on medium and add 2T of water (I just grab a bit from the sink in my palm). Put a lid on and let it "sweat" for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Carefully take the lid off (the steam is quick and hot) and turn up the heat. Add the boullion or broth, water, and all the spices. Bring to a rapid simmer and then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Take the lid off, increase the heat again but not as high, and add the noodles. Cook them 5-8 minutes, until al dente. As soon as you throw the noodles in is a good time to start sauteing the tofu. Heat the tofu in a bit of olive oil, and a pinch of each spice in the soup, plus 1T soy sauce (optional, but good) and mix and heat until crispy and brown. The noodles should be soft but not mushy now. Lower the heat even more, add the tofu. Stir, serve immediately. If you don't serve immediately, you can choose not to add the tofu right away. I like to put it in at the last minute and Ray likes it soaking, even overnight. It's up to you. There are many spices total, but they totally make the soup wonderful. I even use a lot more tumeric and ginger, as I said above, we were trying to kick the flu.

Oh, and Dreena told me about a ginger tea that I think also helped kick it. Not to mention I didn't even get one symptom of illness (hence the veganness). No one needs to be sick or even close to love this soup. It is wonderful, healthy, full of healing ingredients and easy and quick to make. I'm addicted I think. You should be too.
See the next post below for post 2 of 2.


Kris said...

I do believe this soup is getting added to my bulk cooking queque. I stil have to make the quinoa one, as well. Jim has this weird problem with quinoa, he'll eat it but he has a pyschological block over the little tails that keeps him from enjoying it. I think the tails are cute! Anyway, yummy post, as usual, and I'm glad to see your camera is fixed.

Anonymous said...

Wow leslie this soup looks truly amazing, and im so happy you share a recipe too!

b36Kitchen said...

That looks like a soup that would battle any kind of sickness and get rid of it fast. It's beautiful! Very healing.


Eat Peace Please said...

Kris, I'm glad you are adding the soup to the routine. It's on mine too! I forgot to mention that not only have I made the soup 5 times, I have had leftovers each time, so I've probably ate it 10 times in the past 2+ weeks! I absolutely love the quinoa tails. I think they're cute too and tell Jim that's where all the good stuff is stored.

Johanna, the soup is amazing! You're welcome for the recipe, I hope you try it.

Jenna, healing, yes! Thanks for visiting again.

Anonymous said...

This looks so healthy and delicious. I love the fact that all the ingredients are ones I always have on hand. This will definitely go into my rotation as well. I don't know why but for some reason, this sounds really good to me to eat for breakfast (and I'm normally not a savory type of breakfast food person - I usually prefer toast or muffins or cereal). Thanks for sharing your recipe!

madeinalaska said...

oh what I wouldn't do for a bowl of your soup right now! I am a big NOODLES in my soup fan! And all of your spices -looks so pretty! thanks for sharing the recipe.

Candi said...

Leslie, this one looks great! I need to get that cookbook!! Thanks for posting your version of the recipe! I think I'd love all the spices you added. I agree with everyone that I love how it uses ingredients I already usually have.

PS> I think your photos look great! :) I hope your camera isn't making you work too hard to get these awesome shots!

Eat Peace Please said...

Hey Crystal. I like that it is the ingredients I usually (and most always) have on hand as well. I had it first thing one day, it's good for breakfast.

Julee, I can only imagine needing this soup up in Alaska. I made it and it was 90 degrees last week!

Candi, my camera still sucks! All these photos are pre-camera-incident and I have just been lazy about posting these. I really don't know how to reset it, the manual sucks and I'm missing out on some good food and Killian photos! Thanks for your comments.

theONLYtania said...

Seriously, that soup looks amazing. Don't take this the wrong way, it's a compliment it just doesn't sound right... that looks like REAL soup! And by that I mean soup I might buy somewhere, that's so great! I bookmarked this entry.. definitely making that soonly.

And about the jazz, I'm not sure if you've said this before but is giggin Ray's main job? Or just a side thing.

aTxVegn said...

If anybody's cooking can cure the flu, it yours for sure. Awesome job on the soup. I haven't had a noodle soup in ages. I love Nava's soup book too.

Great buy on the purple potatoes! Aren't they fun!

Hope Ray is better soon. I was lucky enough to get a free flu shot at my office.

Freedom said...

Leslie I love those purple potatoes! They're so pretty - purple is my all time favourite colour! I'm (pleasantly!) shocked at your recent abilities to create your own recipes - keep em coming! If you come up with any raw ones, well, then I'll be really interested. Have you made anything else from Juliano's book?

Eat Peace Please said...

Tania, thanks for your compliment on the "real soup". I have to confess, I made it again last night and have leftovers! I love it. Ray used to gig as his main job now he gets to be picky and choosy about what gigs he takes because he teaches. Now he teaches elementary school and last year he taught high school. So, not a side-thing, but more of a duo thing.

Atxvegan, a flu shot?!?! NO!!! They are made with eggs. Well, they really are used to manufacture the flu virus and besides not really being that good for you, it is totally not vegan. Good luck with that. As for your comments on the soup, I appreciate your comments. The soup worked wonders (he's not sick anymore, he really was for a day or two). I appreciate your kind comments.

Freedom, I haven't met anyone besides my mom who's favorite color is purple. Well, my mom's are purple and red- together. I haven't made anything from Juliano's book. I may soon because I have some oranges lingering around and he always calls for OJ. I'll let you know. Thanks for your comments.

bazu said...

Hi Leslie,
I just had to chime in and say that soup looks fantastic. I like the idea of tofu. You are a wonderful person to have when you have a cold!

Oh, I just read your comment on Candi's blog, and I totally agree with you. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels 'dirty' when I shop in a conventional grocery store. I can't help but look around at all the carts filled with a)gallons of milk b)pounds of assorted chicken parts and c) soda and feel grossed out.

Amber said...

That looks totally awsome! I love noodle soup!

maybepigscanfly said...

Extra Spices make everything taste perfect!


Vicki Hodge said...

i'm also lovin' Nava's book - is yours the new vegan edition? this soup looks so awesome & perfect for what ails ya. i can see all the spices! :o)

Mary said...

I'm going to make this tonight for my boyfriend and myself, as I feel myself coming down with a cold. :( I hope it helps!

~Rei's Veggie Land~ said...

Hi, this soup looks amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe, would be making it this weekend.. =D Would it be alright if i use mixed herbs instead? It's really hard to find all these herbs in singapore!

Fairly Odd Tofu Mom said...

I love Nava's soup book - this looks like such a great soup recipe too - YUM!

(Enjoyed your blog too!)

Lolo (VeganYumYum) said...

Oh man, I have a terrible cold right now and would give my left leg for a bowl of this soup. This looks amazing - I'm going to have to head the the grocery store as soon as I can leave the house!