Friday, January 2, 2009

Soup: Tofu with Sea Vegetables and Mushrooms

This 10 minuted soup has amazing healing properties, and it is SUPER yummy with great contrasting textures. The presence of mushrooms, tofu AND sea vegetables along with miso perpetuate nothing but wholesomeness and well being.

If you're ever in need of a feel-good soup because you've caught a nasty bug, or even if you're trying to recover from a long night of over-celebration, this soup will bring you back into the realm of the living. I also recommend it for regular ingestion if you've subscribed to the idea of living to be 100 years old.

For more info on the amazing health benefits of mushrooms or sea vegetables, simply do a Google search and you'll be bombarded with information and studies. I touched on the miracles of tofu and miso in this older recipe: Post Birthday Soup.

Soup: Tofu with Sea Vegetables and Mushrooms
4 cups water
1 palm-full (see photo)dried, wild mixed mushrooms
1" strip kombu seaweed
1 generous pinch of bonito flakes (optional)
1 palm-full (see photo) Instant Pacific Sea Salad by Emerald Cove (or your favorite blend of sea weeds) such as nori, haziki, wakami, kombu, etc)
1 Tbsp red miso paste
1 Tbsp miso tamari or soy sauce
1/2 lb firm tofu cut into 4 slabs

In a small soup pot, combine water, mushrooms, sea vegetables and bonito flakes.

Bring up to a simmer, reduce heat, stir in miso, and tamari or soy sauce.

Add tofu slabs and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Spoon into 2 bowls for an entree or 4 bowls for a smaller serving.

Soup: Tortellini and Chorizo with Kale

The tortellini you find in the refrigerated section at the grocery store are a HUGE time saver. You can actually freeze them, then go directly to boiling water to cook them for a last minute meal.

Here I make a hearty, feel-good soup with Asiago-herb tortellini and the spicy satisfaction from chorizo sausage. A few handfulls of kale and other veggies boost the nutritional content as well.

Feeling under the weather? This is a version of Chicken Noodle Soup that is sure to satisfy the soul.

If you can't find the fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section, you can use the dried tortellini that's in the dried pasta aisle. If you use the dried tortellini, cook it according to package directions until just al dente (tender to the bite) and add it into the soup when you add the sausage in the directions below.

Although Chorizo is traditionally a pork sausage, chicken and turkey varieties are also available and very tasty. The lovely part about chorizo, besides the spiciness, is the golden-red color it lends to dishes because of the spices used in the sausage.

Soup: Tortellini and Chorizo with Kale
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb pkg Asiago-Herb Tortellini (fresh pasta)
1/2 cup red kale, julienned
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
2-3 links Chorizo sausage (depending on how meaty you want it)
1 carrot, diced
Aged Asiago cheese for grating as garnish

In a soup pot, heat water, chicken stock, onion garlic and carrot until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer.

Meanwhile, cook chorizo in a separate pan. Cut into chunks. Add to broth.

Add fresh (or par-cooked dried) tortellini, kale and tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Spoon soup into bowls and top with grated Asiago cheese.