SPRING IMMUNITY SOUP.
My adaptation from a recipe by the incredible Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. I love her culinary endeavors, unfortunately as residents of a small town in Montana, some ingredients are hard to come by. Even the simplest of recipes can become challenging when you start missing the staple ingredients to make a meal really pop. Luckily, this one is easily modified and can continue to be tweaked depending on your preferences and time of the year.
A couple things: feel free to omit the asparagus. I like to have it as it’s a seasonal item on the menu right now, but not everyone is wild for asparagus. The soup is remarkable with or without. Be careful not to saute the vegetables for too long, you don’t want them to be complete mush by the end, you have to use your best judgment based on thickness of slicing. I usually hover around 3-4 minutes. Another key, I like to squeeze some of the moisture out of tofu before slicing, I have found it holds its shape slightly better. To do this you can roll it in a couple paper towels or a tea towel to absorb some of the extra juices.
For the mushrooms, Heidi recommends using enoki, nameko mushrooms or black trumpets. I can’t find any of that here, so I either use a late winter chanterelle or cremini. Be adventurous with it, mushrooms are pretty adaptable.
I like to ladle this soup over a heaping pile of brown rice + drizzle with some olive oil before serving it up— piping hot of course.
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, quartered and sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peeled + grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper, plus more to taste
1-2 teaspoons red miso
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, trimmed + thinly sliced
1 bundle fresh asparagus
8 ounces firm tofu, sliced into thin slabs
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
To serve: lots of chopped green onions, sliced watermelon radish, microgreens or pea shoots
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, and stir in the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and ginger. Gently sauté just until soft, you don't want any browning. You can add more water or a little more olive oil.
Stir in the white pepper and 10 cups of water. Turn up the heat to bring the broth to a steady simmer, and hold there for about 15 minutes. Add the asparagus, mushrooms, tofu, and salt, and gently simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir well, taste, and adjust with more salt or water if needed. Ladle the soup into shallow soup bowls and top with lots of green onions, pea shoots, and a few watermelon radish slices. Add a finishing drizzle of olive oil, and enjoy!