Friday, August 27, 2010

Cream of Green Vegetable Soup + Strawberry Spinach Salad With Sesame-Miso Dressing

We eat alot of soup around here.  This one was flavorful and comforting last night.  Not to mention it contained so much broccoli, bok choy, celery, and parsley in drinkable form that I knew I was doing something really good for my health.

The health factor doesn't exactly make it sound appetizing, but trust me, it's yummy.

The soup (recipe below) contains an entire huge head of bok choy, minus the tough stems and base, but the main flavor is broccoli - I only used the stems this time because we ate the flower part two nights ago.  Years ago I used to save the stems of broccoli, chop them up into tiny pieces, add them to a can of cream of broccoli soup with some water, and simmer until the broccoli was tender.  I did the same thing with canned cream of celery soup, and canned cream of mushroom soup, adding fresh vegetables and water to thin it out, so my soup felt more special.

Something else different about this soup is that it contains no base of sauteed vegetables.  I wanted the taste to be very light and fresh, closer to the raw vegetable without caramelization.  The added benefit is that the soup takes even less time to make. It's almost too easy, if you're like me and enjoy the time in the kitchen.

I also made a salad last night... usually I prefer a salad with just a little lemon juice or ume vinegar; I don't like a thick dressing on my salad, it's just too much.  But last night I wanted a suculant dressing, something that you want to drink.  I know for certain that anything white miso touches turns to gold.  So I made a sesame miso dressing (recipe below) and it got a thumbs up from Chris as well.  I know when he volunteers a "This is good!" he means it.  The secret, besides the finger-licking dressing, are the tofu cubes, which you marinate in the dressing for a few minutes before pouring it all on the salad. Add some strawberries, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and a big bunch of fresh baby spinach leaves, and you're done.

Cream of Broccoli, Bok Choy, Celery, and Parsley Soup:
5 cups vegetable broth
3 broccoli steams and/or florettes
3 stalks celery
1 tsp dried thyme
1 big bunch bok choy
big handful fresh parsley
lots of fresh ground black pepper
1 block silken tofu

Bring the broth to a boil.  Add the broccoli, celery, and thyme and simmer until tender. Add the bok choy and parsley and simmer a couple more minutes until tender.  Add the pepper and silken tofu, then puree in three batches in the food processor. Return to the pan, simmer another minute, and serve!

Sesame Miso Salad Dressing:
3 tbsp white miso
3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp plain sesame oil or vegetable oil

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