Tuesday, June 09, 2009

More Tofood

Asparagus is already out of season where I live.
I kept one final bunch in the fridge a little past its shelf-life — stalks still vibrant, but the bud tips were beginning to get soft.
And, since I happened to have half a tub of silken tofu left over from the chocolate-tofu pudding, I employed an old Mollie Katzen trick, and made a "cream of" soup without cream.
Let me make this as simple as can be.
You cook your vegetables. I cooked the asparagus in an oiled pan with minced green garlic, adding a splash of liquid to help soften things. You could put your aromatics in the pan at this point, too. Bay leaf, salt, whatever you like. A bit of dill is surprisingly good with asparagus.
You put your cooked vegetables into the blender (I cut up the asparagus spears into handy pieces) with a big splat of silken tofu.
You blend. Really, you should blend really hard. I never got past the first button on the blender, and there were actually still chunks of asparagus. I should have set it on "cement mixer." (And I think that's why the tofu looks a little curdled in the photo. It's not curdled; it just wasn't blended hard enough.)
You return this mixture to the stove, heat it, and adjust the seasonings. I added lemon juice and I forget what all. Definitely some liquid to get the texture right.
Put the soup in bowls. I topped mine with a dab of Greek yogurt; Cranky is responsible for cleaning out the fridge of dairy items I can't eat, so he got a dab of sour cream.
My point is just that making a cream of vegetable soup is really easy, and you don't need cream.

18 comments:

hkydiva said...

Makes me wish I had some old asparagus in my fridge...

dancingmorganmouse said...

I'm having mine with cream anyway *slinks away feeling guilty*

Zoomie said...

Looks like the full moon I've been seeing out my window at night, only shiny.

Kel said...

Im all for not using cream in a soup- who thinks hot cream sounds good anyways ? erck! thanks for the tofood reminder

Kevin said...

CC,
I understand your lactose problem (at least intellectually) so I won't berate you on the use of to..., tof...., that congealed soy bean snot. I have a suggestion for next year though, try adding some raw sorrel to the asparagus soup. Gives it a nice tangy edge.

Anna Haight said...

Isn't it sad about the asparagus? It's so at the top of my list. I cheat and get nonlocal sometimes...

cookiecrumb said...

HKYDiva: Yeah, darn. That's IT for this year, unless you buy Chilean produce.

Mouse: No guilt! I love cream. Been devouring it all my life. Something happened...

Zoomie: I know. It is the most non-food-looking photo of food. That's why I picked it to publish here. I'm contrary that way.

Kel: Ha ha. Hot cream. It's hot when it comes out of the cow! But yeah, use silky tofu.

Kevin: If we weren't friends, I'd be SINGED by your disdain for congealed soy bean snot. Wish I had thought of the raw sorrel! I have some leaves in a pot on the patio.

Anna: We like to eat seasonally, and then our hearts are broken when the season ends... Nutty humans.

Greg said...

That looks and sounds good. I have used both cooked rice and potato to give pureed soups a "creamy" texture.But I do likes the cream better.

EB of SpiceDish said...

Isn't it a sad sad moment when you realize this will be the *last* batch! gasp!

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: I'm so glad you mentioned potatoes and rice as thickeners/enrichers for soups (and sauces, too, I presume). Just when I'm feeling a little weepy about this new dietary restriction, along comes you with your great suggestions.

EB: Still feeling weepy about losing cream forever... Sniffle. Asparagus -- that'll come back next spring! I can wait. :)

Chilebrown said...

Asparagus out of season? Excuse me, I have to leave and have a good cry.

J-in-Wales said...

I have the carnivore's deep, deep suspicion of tofu. This and the last post have almost - but possibly not quite! - tempted me to try it again. That would be, oooh, about 25 years since the last attempt.

Zoomie said...

Just be careful how much flour/rice/thickeners you add to the soup. They can kill the flavors dead. I think that's why cream soups have been so popular - they add flavor rather than taking it away. Nothing ickier in the world than New England clam chowder choked with raw flour.

cookiecrumb said...

Chilebrown: Curses on you for turning me into such an asparagus lover! We will commiserate together until 2010.

J-in-Wales: Go easy there, girl. If you hate it, don't force yourself. As for that chocolate pudding, though... it was JUST like pot de creme au chocolat, without the creme. Might be worth trying. :)

Zoomie: I am a firm believer that New England clam chowder should be thickened with the inherent potatoes, nothing more. I hate a soup you can stand up your spoon in.
And for flour in other dishes... What would gumbo be without it?
It's all in the sensibility. As Jane Austen would say of gumbo.
I am looking forward to experimenting with rice.
:D

Zoomie said...

I think rice is the best thing to try - flour gets so gluey if not cooked in butter first. Gelatinous is not a descriptor that I like much in food - hence okra is out, gumbo is suspect and stand-your-spoon chowdah intolerable. :-)

namastenancy said...

I use tofu all the time but never thought to make a creamy type soup with it. What a brilliant idea! Plus, lower in all the "bad" things that cream has :-(. I hope that avoiding dairy products is helping you with your nausea and other bad things happening to the body????

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Happy to share a good idea. Really easy.
As for my health, my appetite and mood have greatly improved. So simple! Thank you for asking.

Sweet Bird said...

I still haven't tried that method of making broccoli-cheese soup with silken tofu that you told me about. I need to do that.