18 February 2007

Tofu Noodle Soup (on my Top 5 list of soups)

Tofu Noodle Soup
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, I use even more!)
1t. oregano (all seasonings are dry)
1t. basil
1/4 to 1/2t. paprika
1t sea salt (I use low-sodium bullion)
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 but other times I like 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.

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