Thursday, April 14, 2011

Asian Root Vegetable Tofu Stew

It was fabulous at the start of this week in Minnesota, gorgeous, sunny and up to 70 degrees, but not so much at the end.  Today it is a bit windy and there are a few sprinkles starting to fall...snow is possibly in the forecast for overnight tomorrow.  Yuck!  I thought spring was supposed to be here?  I was making salads and wraps on Monday and Tuesday, but now I want something warming and substantial to take the chill away.  I can tell the weather is affecting other people as well because our customers in the deli I work in are buying lots more soup today!  I don't blame them.  We have a soup at work called "Spring Chicken"  and it is funny because people request it year round, no matter what season it is.  I have never tried it being a vegetarian, but it always smells amazing!  Tonight I decided to create a stew using some of the same veggies that are found in that soup.  Most importantly rutabagas and carrots in a delicious broth.  But I have swapped out the onions for leeks and shallots and the cabbage for kale, because that is what I happened to have in my fridge. 
I also gave mine a little bit of an Asian flair with some miso, mirin and tamari.  I love these three ingredients in a broth, they give it so much flavor!  Since my soup had no chicken I added some baked tofu for a protein source.  The stew was delicious!  Delicious just tender veggies in a rich vegetable stock with meaty definately warmed me up!  I am bummed that I won't be hot soup again because it is going to be too warm outside after this week... just kidding.  I want it to be warm and can live without hot food, I will be happy to be outside!  On the off day though when it rains, and the wind is blowing  and I want something warm, I can make this again!  Using whatever is in season at the time of course!  Here is the recipe if you are in a cool part of the country and need a little warm up!   

Asian Root Vegetable Tofu Stew
Serves 3

1 10 oz block firm tofu, diced
peanut oil
1 Tbsp peanut oil
2 large shallots, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
2 cups carrots, sliced on the diagonal
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup mirin
2 Tbsp tamari
2 cups potatoes, cut into medium cubes, or sliced if very small
2 cups rutabagas, cut into medium cubes
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
freshly ground pepper
1 small bunch kale, torn into bite sized pieces
2 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp arrowroot, dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and toss tofu with just enough peanut oil to coat.  Place on baking sheet, and bake until starting to brown at edges.  Remove from oven.  Meanwhile, Add peanut oil to a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallots, leeks, and carrots, and saute until they are softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add mirin, tamari, potatoes, rutabagas, stock, sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add tofu, and kale, and cook until kale has just wilted, then add miso and arrowroot mixture, and cook until soup thickens slightly.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.  Serve hot! 


Sandra said...

Love those roots, and great looking stew especially on cold spring days:)
Great post Amy!!!

janet said...

This looks delicious! I also love soups with miso, tamari and mirin. :) This week it will be raining, and possibly snowing! So something like this will warm me out nicely. :) said...

Your stew sounds amazing! I love the inclusion of all those root veggies... beautiful job.