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Spring Will Soon Be Sprung

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Snow Formations on the Hike

Snow Formations on the Hike

As a super rainy day winds down I am feeling pretty good! I got a bunch of school stuff done today and got a new umbrella. Pretty productive day. I can feel the weather changing though, day light savings is the first step! We also were able to get out for our first hike of the year, at least until the snow forced us to turn back. I’m looking forward to finishing that hike in a month or two when the white stuff has completely melted. The mountain air felt so good, my brain was slightly loose for the rest of the day! In a good way.

Deep in the Woods!

Deep in the Woods!

I’ve been thinking about making a hearty version of miso soup for awhile now and today seemed as good a day as any. It also borrows a bit from the Japanese dish Agedashi Tofu which I am a huge fan of. If you haven’t tried it/heard of it, check it out here. It’s delicious addition to a night out with  veggie sushi! I am a big fan of Japanese food and flavours. I especially love their food presentation.

I’ve had a half pack of soba (buckwheat) noodles in the cupboard for awhile now and I’ve been meaning to use them up. I had miso paste and tofu in the fridge so I decided to start cooking! Here’s the result:

Hearty Miso Mushroom Soup with Soba Noodles and 5 Spice Tofu

The Soup

The Soup

Yield: 4 big servings or six smaller


For the Soup

4 garlic cloves minced

10 button mushrooms, diced

1 med. onion diced

4-6 handfuls fresh spinach leaves

1 t sesame oil

5 c. water

100 g soba noodle (dried)

hot sauce (optional, to taste)

1/4 c. miso paste

1 t soy sauce

For the tofu

1 lb firm tofu cut into 25-30 cubes

1/4 fine bread crumbs

1 t  ground cumin

1 t chili flakes

1 t 5 spice powder

salt and papper to taste

1/3 c. canola oil

-saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes in the sesame oil

-add water, miso paste and soy (hot sauce)

-bring to a boil and add noodles , cook 6-7 minutes (you could cook the noodles first as they do get a bit gluey, the soup will reduce quickly if you let it boil too long)

-meanwhile heat the canola in heavy bottomed wide pan

-combine the spices and bread crumbs and toss with the tofu until they are coated

-shallow fry the tofu 6-8 cubes at a time (you can keep them hot in a low oven on a tray if needed)

=get out 4-6 bowls and place a handful of spinach in each, add 2-3 ladles of soup over the spinach and top with 5-6 crispy tofu cubes!

-top with sesame seeds if desired

Close Up with the Kitchen  in the Background! Here's Where the Magic Happens! Well, Sometimes.

Close Up with the Kitchen in the Background! Here’s Where the Magic Happens! Well, Sometimes.

This soup is very quick so you get the fun of a homemade soup with out being glued to the stove for 2-3 hours. Soba noodles are not only tasty, they are also good for you and are full of amino acids, antioxidants and some protein too, of course the tofu int his recipe also contains protein! You could also add the spinach directly to the soup 2-3 minutes before serving. This recipe is vegan also! Enjoy.


Thunderball and Flatbread

We recently got a blu-ray player so we’ve been building our library of discs and just discovered they’re releasing cheap James Bond collections. I am a huge Bond fan and have always wanted to own all of the movies so we’re buying them whenever we see them. I think the best way to watch Bond is to watch a bunch in a row, you must saturate yourself in suave. There have been a few different Bonds and here’s how I order them in terms of awesomeness: 1. Sean Connery (except for Never Say Never Again because he’s too old) 2. Roger Moore 3. Pierce Brosnan 4. Daniel Craig 5. Timothy Dalton 6. George Lazenby (extra minus points for the waste of the best Bond girl ever, Diana Rigg with the lamest Bond ever). But I digress; I also like to cook while watching a movie, especially when I’m making bread or pot stickers or anything that has a few steps and waiting time.

I’ve been going through my Gourmet mag collection, rereading the wonderful articles, drooling over the amazing photos and grieving it’s demise. Come back Gourmet!!!! Come back!!! Anyway, I’ve been getting re-inspired and an article about middle eastern cuisine that included a fun recipe for Algerian Flatbread caught my eye. I had almost all of the ingredients and decided to give it a go. We threw on Thunderball and I got doughy! I’m not going to post the recipe but you can get it here. The only thing I would change is to increase the spices a bit as the flavour didn’t really come through that much. It was tasty though and great for dipping, we used guacamole but hummus would be good too.

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We had a bunch of vegetables in the house and one of the blogs I like to follow, Lark & Linen had a post a few weeks ago about cream of broccoli soup and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I grabbed some half and half and made some up. It was super easy so I’ll just describe what I did rather than make a formal recipe.

Chop up 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, half an onion, 3-4 garlic cloves and 3 broccoli crowns. Saute in a large pot, cover with water and a pinch of veg boullion. Simmer until the veg are soft, ladle into a blender in batches and puree (be careful with the hot liquids). Whisk in 1/2 – 2/3 cup of half and half, salt pepper to taste and voila! Soup! Easy and yummy, I’m going to make more today with zucchini instead of broccoli. You could also add some parmesan. There’s no pics because I forgot and we ate it all! I did manage to get a couple of shots of the broccoli pre-soup however.Give it a try and you won’t regret it!

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the annotated zoetrope

The Zoetrope, or "Wheel of Life," is an instructive Scientific Toy, illustrating in an attractive manner the persistence of an image on the retina of the eye; by revolving the cylinder by the hand, and looking through the openings, the images passing rapidly before the eye are blended, so as to give the figures the motions of life in the most natural manner.

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