Monday, July 7, 2008

Soupathon is On!

So I have decided to start making some soup.  Marvelous time, I know, since the sweltering heat of summer is just kicking.  But when you want soup, you want soup.  The first round is a triathlon of sorts, mainly due to the three soups in this post.  The next meet will be held at another date in the near future perhaps when it is a bit cooler.  I hope you enjoy.
Szechuan Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Chopped medium onion
2 Minced cloves of garlic
1 tsp. Curry powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Ginger Powder
1 tsp. Thyme
1/2 tsp. Dry basil*
1 tsp. Chili flakes (or to taste)
3 c. Water**
3 1/2 Chopped large carrots
2 Chopped medium sweet potatoes
3 tbsp. Soy sauce
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp. Peanut butter (not generous)
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
Saute first nine ingredients for 6 to 8 minutes, until onions are soft, in a medium to large sauce pan.  Add the next three ingredients, plus 2 tsp. Soy sauce and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes until all vegetables are very soft.  At this point blend in a blender and return to sauce pan.  Add peanut butter, hot sauce and remaining soy sauce and cook another 5 to 10 minutes.  You may need additional water if you find the consistency to thick.  I would probably add more next time to make it soupier, as you can tell by the photos, quite thick, but lovely.  You can top it with some chopped cashews or peanuts.  Ideally, I would have topped it with vegan sour cream but I do not have any and have not found a good way to make it here yet.  If you have, do try.    
*Fresh basil would be even better if you have it. About 1 to 2 tsp. chopped.
**Use vegetable broth if you have it, I did not, but water works famously.

The next soup is my veganized Doen Jang Chigae which is actually a korean bean paste stew.  But it is more soup like to me, so I'll label it soup.  Looking at the pictures it does look stewy~thick soup~stewp?  Anywho, it is very delicious and simple.  Some have compared it to a ass kickin miso.  I'll let you decide

Doen Jang Chigae

1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Sliced hot green pepper
1/2 Chopped medium onion
1 Chopped large carrot
1 Chopper stalk of celery
1 Minced Clove of garlic
2-3 tbsp. Korean soy bean paste*
2 c. Water
1 tbsp. Korean chili flakes (or to taste)
1/2 Chopped cabbage
1/4 Chopped bell pepper (red or yellow or both)
1/2 Chopped medium zucchini
1/2 c. Cube extra firm tofu

*I used sunchan doen jang which is a brown paste with no added oil.  Some are red and with oil, I am sure it would work just as well, but perhaps with a different taste.
Saute the first six ingredients for 8 to 10 minutes, in a medium pot.  I used a stone pot on a gas stove, how it is traditionally made, but I have made it in a regular sauce pan and it works well too so do not fret.  Add bean paste and cook for another minute.  Then add the water and chili flakes, cook another couple of minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes cover.  No need to bring to a boil in stone pot.  I do briefly when using a regular one though.

Now to tomato some soup or soup some tomatoes.  Mmmmm, how I loved tomato soup growing up, the Cambell's variety, with what I called butter fingers for dipping.  Basically, it is just sliced bread with butter cut into strips or 'fingers.'  This soup which is much healthier and heartier kind of reminded me of soup from the past.  The recipe, more or less, is from Persistent State Vegetarian and it goes like this:

Classily Classic Tomato Soup

1 tbsp.  Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. Whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. Water
2 Chopped stalks of celery
2 Chopped medium carrots
1 Chopped medium onion
2 Minced cloves of garlic
1/2 c. Tomato paste
1 tsp. Dried basil (2 tsp. fresh if you have it)
Salt and Pepper
1 c. Water
3 Chopped very ripe tomatoes
1/3 c. Soy milk
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Make a roux by mixing the flour and oil in heated sauce pan. It will make you soup thicker as it cooks.  Drop in the next five ingredients in and cook 5 to 10 minutes.  Add tom paste and basil, cook two more minutes.  Then add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook another 10 to 15 minutes until all veggies are quite soft (especially if blending).  Next, add the soy milk and cook 3 minutes longer.  Now it is time for the blend and return to the pot on low heat.  Here is where you make the gastrique, which is just caramelizing the sugar with the vinegar until syrup like.  Pour into the soup. Stir and eat.  I found the gastrique really kicked the soup up a few notches from damn good to amazing.  I hope it makes your tummy happy. 


zlamushka said...

I am so happy to have discovered your blog. I love veagn food (used to be one myself for almost two years). I ll be comming back more often :-)

...barbara... said...

thank you
i am glad you like it...
there will probably be some food inspired by you posted soon :)

Mallika said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! I am a big fan of soup. Yours look delicious!

...barbara... said...

thanks mallika...
i am lovin the bloggy world thus far...
let me know if you give any of the soups a trial run :)

Liz² said...

ooh, I just stumbled onto your blog and I'm glad I did! It's very cool, and oh my gosh, these three soups look *amazing* - I basically live off of the carrot and tomato variations, and that korean pot looks so interesting, I think I have to get some bean paste and try it!

...barbara... said...

thanks liz....
you made my day....
warning the doen jang chigae can become slightly addictive :)....