Friday, February 3, 2012

Mandarin Soup

Year of the Dragon

I’ve been sharing a lot of soups lately, mostly because it’s winter. The weather has been tricking me into thinking spring is coming on, but I’m still in full-on soup mode. Hey, they’re delicious, filling, and most contain everything you need for a complete meal! And, we’re still celebrating the Chinese New Year with this delicious Mandarin Soup that I’ve been making for more than 15 years.

When I was a newly married, bright-eyed baby, I had very little confidence in my cooking. So, early on I gravitated toward simple recipes that didn’t take me outside of the self-imposed comfort zone. One of my favorite wedding gifts was from my friend Cathy, 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes. This 500 page tome starts with the basics of stocking your kitchen, travels through entertaining as a vegetarian, and finishes with a trove of soups, entrees, breads, sides, salads, desserts, and so much more. If you’re need great starter vegetarian cookbook or want to kick start your meal ideas, Carol Gelles’ is your girl! This soup is inspired by Carol's Mandarin Soup.

Total Prep & Cooking Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4

Mandarin Soup

1 Cup Boiling Water
2 Cups Shitake Mushrooms – Sliced
5 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 TBSP corn starch
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 TBSP Cold Water
1 Cup Carrots – Julienned
1 Egg – Beaten
1 Cup Extra Firm Tofu – Diced
2 Cups Fresh Spinach or Kale – Torn into pieces
1/2 Cup Bamboo Shoots
1/2 Cup Baby Corn
Thinly sliced scallions to garnish
Sesame Seeds to garnish

Pour the boiling WATER over the sliced SHITAKE MUSHROOMS and put aside.

In a little bowl, whisk together CORN STARCH, SOY SAUCE, and COLD WATER.

In a large stock pot, add the VEGETABLE BROTH, and whisk in the soy sauce mixture. Add the mushrooms with their liquid and the CARROTS to the broth and bring to a boil, stirring or whisking continuously. After boiling, slowly stir in the EGG, being sure to break it up to ensure a silky texture.

Lower the heat to medium and add TOFU, SPINACH OR KALE, BAMBOO SHOOTS, and BABY CORN. Continue to simmer until the spinach or kale is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. The kale will take a few minutes longer to cook, if you choose that option.

Garnish with SCALLIONS and SESAME SEEDS. Enjoy!

If you’re wondering why I try to incorporate more vegetables and vegetarian meals into my diet, I’ll be posting more about the Carbon Footprint Debate in the coming weeks. But here’s a bit of *cough* light reading from the New York Times. What are you doing to be more green?

Thanks for reading!


No comments: