Sunday, January 8, 2017

Tumeric Miso Soup with Tofu and Chunky Veggies for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Turmeric is known for its health benefits, including curcumin, the main active ingredient which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Very important to me as an asthma and allergy sufferer with a pretty bad flare-up this week. So, as well as taking a turmeric supplement, I am making one of my food goals this year to look for plenty of ways to get it into my daily diet. Heidi Swanson's Turmeric Miso Soup from Near & Far is a great way to reap the benefits as it has a healthy dose of black pepper--which helps the body better absorb the curcumin in turmeric, along with veggies, onion, garlic lemon  and miso--which all have beneficial properties of their own. Its warmth and sunny color is also perfect for a dark winter day.

Heidi says, "Turmeric is a powerful health-promoting root used across numerous traditional cultures, and I take notice of how and when it is used in cooking whereever I am. It punctuates different realms of Japanese life, taken by some as a hangover cure and sipped as a tea by others. ... Depending on what sort of soup you're after, you can prepare this either with or without the hearty chunky vegetables. I often serve it over brown rice or noodles to make a one-bowl meal."

Turmeric Miso Soup with Tofu and Chunky Veggies
Adapted from Far & Near by Heidi Swanson
(Serves 4)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (I used 2 bulbs)
1 large carrot, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (I used 3 medium carrots)
1 small yellow onion, quartered (I used one medium sweet onion, cut into chunks)
4 garlic cloves, quartered (I used 6 garlic cloves)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 Tbsp ground turmeric 

6 cups water (I used 8 cups of water + 1 no-salt veggie bouillon cube)
3 Tbsp white miso (I used 4 Tbsp) 

3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
10 oz firm tofu, cubed (I used 12-oz firm tofu, pressed overnight)

minced chives (+ extra fennel fronds), for garnish
lemon wedges to serve
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel, carrot, onion, garlic, and black pepper. Stir until coated, then stir in the turmeric, and immediately after the water. (I added a no-salt veggie bouillon cube here for extra flavor.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.  Pour the broth through a fine strainer , then return it to the saucepan over low heat.

At this point, choose whether to add the vegetables back to the soup. To make the miso easy to incorporate, stir a splash of the broth into it and whisk well, then add it to the broth. Taste and season with salt--as some miso brands are saltier than others, taste and add the salt to your likingas getting the salt and flavor right is important. Gently stir in the tofu and allow it to heat through, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve the soup in large bowls, garnished with chives (and extra fennel fronds if desired), along with a generous squeeze of lemon.

Notes/Results: This may not seem like the most exciting soup but it is quite complex in its flavor and really delicious. The balance between the sweet carrot and onion, the anise flavor of the fennel, the saltiness of the miso, the zip of the black pepper and brightness of the lemon juice, really mellow out the turmeric and make its slight bitterness pleasant rather than biting. You feel warm and healthy just scooping up the broth and chunks of vegetables and tofu. (Note: I used a local, GMO-free tofu that I really like and press it in my TofuExpress overnight before using to remove the excess water and give it a more chewy and meaty texture.) This soup is quick and easy to put together--I made a few changes--noted in red on the recipe--upping the amount of veggies and adding a salt-free veggie bouillon cube for a little extra flavor. You could make whatever changes you like to adapt it to your taste--changing out the veggies to your preference. My only caution is be careful with the turmeric and its bright yellow stains--don't splash it about while cooking and store it in a glass container. I will definitely make this again. 

I'm linking this soup up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is #FoodGoals week--our week to make any recipe from our current featured chef, Heidi Swanson, that meets our 2017 food goals.

We have good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some delicious dishes last week--let's have a look!

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen made Creamy Avocado Soup with Tortilla Cheese Topping and said, "Avocado in soup may sound a bit strange, perhaps not to those of you who have been tucking into trendy smoothies made with the Avocados - anyway think Mexican guacamole flavours! This is not a steaming bowl of soup and nor is it a cold soup, its warm, barely warm in fact as it is flashed under the grill for the cheese to melt and then served up immediately. No waiting around."  

Ali of Fix Me a Little Lunch is back with this pretty Blood Orange, Walnut, &  Bitter Greens Salad. She said, "For now, dandelion greens feature prominently in this blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad. I found my dandelion greens at Whole Foods.  Many natural grocers carry these greens in the winter.  You can also substitute other bitter greens for this salad – finely chopped chard would be lovely, as would arugula.  I also threw in a few strips of preserved lemon to brighten the salad and to add a bit of salt to cut the bitterness.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared this restaurant Cuban-Style Black Bean Soup she enjoyed on a recent ride. She says, "Another place we have eaten recently is the Habana's Boardwalk Cuban restaurant. I was always on about Gordo's restaurant but lately, they have gone downhill. Habana's in AHmazing. This grilled fish dinner was not expensive and you get fresh seafood, quality ingredients. A good portion of fish with peppers, onions and tomatoes in a wine sauce.  Plus black bean soup and Maduras for only $14.99."

Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Oh yes, tumeric is really healthy and this soup I'd like to have for lunch

  2. It might not seem the most exciting soup, but I do think it is beautiful and looks refreshingly clean and can just feel good eating it! Your photos make it appealing, and I would love to try it.

  3. Your soup looks delicious and I love the lovely colour. We use a lot of turmeric in our Asian cooking, and mostly we use it from the fresh root. I have a pot of turmeric plant, did not have the time to harvest yet, but it will be soon. Lovely soup!

  4. A one bowl meal sounds good to me, that's a lovely soup. I have started adding tofu to some of my soups, not the one I just linked with, and am loving the texture.

  5. This is one of many, many turmeric recipes I've seen today (and pinned)!


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