After spending nearly a week on the road, I was asked what was the first meal I ate once back at home. Well, this was it. Soup – a BIG bowl of it. It’s an easy one to throw together, is full of flavour, and can be served within an hour. It’s packing leeks, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, water chestnuts, vermicelli brown rice noodles *under the pile of Ginger & Maple Glazed Tofu – and topped with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, black sesame seeds, & freshly chopped green onions. This bowl of goodness totally recharged my core, which had been chilled for days. Ahh, just love this one for the cooler months – on repeat.
- 1 cup firm tofu - gently patted & pressed dry
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tamari *gluten free
- 1&1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 2 tbsp grape seed oil
- 2 tbsp plant based butter
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced - white & light green part only
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1.5 L vegetable broth *low sodium
- 1&1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
- 1 - 227ml can water chestnuts, sliced
- 175g vermicelli brown rice noodles
- 4-6 baby bok choy, stems removed - leaves only
- 1&1/2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
- 5-7 green onions, chopped
- black sesame seeds
- toasted sesame oil
Once pressed & patted dry, cut the tofu into about 3/4inch cubes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the maple syrup, tamari, and grated ginger. Stir well. Add the tofu cubes and gently fold to coat. Allow to marinate for about 10-15mins.
Add the oil to a pan and heat over med. Once up to heat, carefully add the tofu cubes one at a time, spaced out. *Don't pour in all the tofu at once - the remaining marinade will be added towards the end of cooking. Brown each side, or at least 4 sides, flipping as you go. The marinade will darken in colour as it cooks. If the heat seems too high, turn it down slightly.
Once the sides of the tofu are browned, turn the heat to low and add the remaining marinade. Gently stir the tofu in the marinade as it cooks down and thickens - takes a few minutes.
Remove from heat. Ready to serve.
*I add any extra marinade left in the pan after cooking to my soup broth.
In a large pot over med. heat, add the butter. Once melted, toss in the sliced leeks and place the lid on the pot, stirring periodically. Sauté until the leeks are fragrant and semi-tranclucent (about 7mins). Remove the lid. Add the garlic and ginger - stir. Cook for another 3mins.
Pour in the vegetable broth and add the sea salt. Stir well. Bring to a rolling boil. Add, in this order, the chopped cauliflower, water chestnuts, and brown rice noodles - the cauliflower takes longer to cook, so if it's added first, it sits at the base of the pot (warmest spot). Bring back up to a boil, then cook for another 3mins. *Still no stirring...a little poking is fine.
After the cauliflower/water chestnuts/noodles have boiled for about 3mins, add the broccoli and bok choy. Don't stir. Use a wooden spoon or ladle to gently nestle the broccoli and bok choy into the broth. Place the lid on and turn off the heat - they'll continue cooking.
*This is when I cook the tofu. See instructions above.
Once the tofu is cooked, the soup should be ready to serve. Remove the lid and now give the pot a gentle stir - I like to keep the noodles somewhat together so they're easy to fish out of the pot and pile into a bowl.
When the soup has been added to a bowl, top with chopped green onions, the Ginger & Maple Glazed Tofu, black sesame seeds, and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Enjoy!