Friday, October 25, 2013

Spinach Miso Soup with Tempeh Croutons

I've made some recent posts bragging about the lovely Indian summer in San Francisco.  Apparently, it's now over because it's been freezing cold here!  I know San Franciscans are notorious for complaining about cold weather that would be considered warm in other parts of the world, but still.  It's cold and all I want to do is eat soup.  So, here's a quick and easy soup recipe for the cold fall/winter days to come.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cups of water 
2 bouillon cubes
4 cups of spinach, coarsely chopped (I used Bloomsdale spinach; you can use any leafy greens)
2 tablespoons miso paste (I used brown rice miso)
1 8-oz. package of tempeh, cubed
Shredded red cabbage, for garnish (optional)
Cashew cream, for garnish (optional) -- I used this recipe and thinned it out with some water so that it could be easily drizzled.
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant and soft.
  2. Add the water and bouillon cubes and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the spinach, cook for 2 minutes or so, and then stir in the miso paste.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (I did this in batches)
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the tempeh cubes and sauté for 2 minutes or so, until crispy and browned on all sides. 
  6. Add a few pieces of shredded red cabbage to the tempeh and sauté for a minute, until soft.
  7. Pour some of the soup into bowls, drizzle with cashew cream, and top with the tempeh croutons and red cabbage.  

I suppose this soup doesn't really have to be blended, but I preferred the texture that way.  It also creates a soup thick enough to prevent the tempeh croutons from instantly sinking to the bottom of the bowl.  The cashew cream didn't really add much flavor here, since the soup is super savory.  But it made for a nice presentation and color contrast.  And as I mentioned above, you can use any leafy greens that you have on hand...Swiss chard, bok choy, or the ever popular kale.

I really loved this soup.  It would make a great base for other soup creations.  Try adding in some rice, pasta, lentils, etc. to give it some more bite.  I ended up drinking most of it out of a cup.  So, I guess we can call this a warm and savory green smoothie. :)

Ok, maybe not.