Sunday, December 1, 2013

Vegetarian Tofu and Bok Choi Soup

Tofu soup
If you are like me, after the excesses of the holidays, you need a nice, light soup to balance all those cookies, pies and turkeys you devoured. While I'm not a vegetarian, I do enjoy having many vegetarian recipes in my repertoire. Not only is it healthy, but it means I never have to worry about what I'm going to feed the many vegetarians and vegans in my life.

This soup is very simple and fast to assemble, but it does require a little pre-planning to drain the tofu properly. See, tofu is basically a big sponge. It'll absorb whatever flavors you want. And like any sponge, it needs to be wringed before it can absorb anything. The easiest way I've learned to do this is to cut my block of tofu into thick slabs, layer them between cleans towels and press between two cutting boards. To really squeeze out the packing water, I pile some heavy cans or pots on top. 30 minutes is enough to get most of the liquid out, but longer is fine.

Tofu and Bok Choi Soup

6 cups vegetable broth (chicken is fine if that's what you have and don't care if you're eating vegetarian)
2 slices raw ginger
1 clove garlic
2 dried chili peppers
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 head bok choi, chopped
1 carrot, shredded or julienned
1 red bell pepper, shredded or julienned
1 block tofu, rinsed and drained, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Heat six cups of broth until simmering. Add ginger, garlic, chili peppers and onion.  Let those steep in the broth for about fifteen minutes. Add bok choi, carrots, peppers and tofu and stir until tofu is heated through and vegetables are bright colored. Serve immediately.

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