Man, Deborah Madison has yet to do me wrong, recipe-wise. Tonight’s dinner is from her Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen. Described as a light, restorative broth, it managed to be filling enough that I couldn’t finish the whole bowl and full of crunch and texture from finely diced cilantro stems, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms. I’ll post the recipe, but first, I need to make an announcement in the name of science.
An Important Announcement In The Name Of Science
Say you have tofu that is a little past its expiration date. It looks fine. It feels fine when you squish the package. You may feel tempted to cut a small piece off and eat it to check if it is okay to eat. You’re just throwing it in soup after all. How bad could it be? The answer is: Very, very bad. Awful. Do not do this. Not okay. Put on your coat, go to the store, and get new tofu. You’ll thank me.
Recipe for Green Coriander and Ginger Broth
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1.5 tablespoons of roasted peanut oil. Note: Madison recommends an oil by Loriva. I don’t have any of that in the house, but I’m pretty sure I’d like some.
- 2 slices of fresh ginger, about 1.5 inches wide, smashed
- sea salt
- 2 teaspoons finely diced jalapeno chile. Note: Don’t touch your eye or any tender bits after chopping jalapeno. Scrub your hands first. I learned that from science.
- 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
- 1/3 cup of cilantro stems, finely chopped. You’ll use the leaves later.
- 2 bunches of scallions, including 2-3 inches of the green part, finely sliced.
- 1 cup finely diced celery or thinly chopped Chinese celery.
- 1/2 carton (8-10 oz) soft tofu packed in water, drained and cut into small dice.
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves.
- 1 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving
- Cover the mushrooms with 5 cups of boiling water while you do the rest of the chopping and prep. Chop everything and have it ready in little bowls or cups before you start cooking the soup proper.
- Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add ginger and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, give it a stir, and then add garlic and chile. Stir fry for 2 minutes, adding the cilantro stems during the last 20 seconds or so. Reduce heat to medium, add the scallions and cook until bright green, about 3 minutes. Next add the celery and another dash of salt, then the soaking water from the mushrooms poured through a sieve. Squeeze the mushrooms when you remove them from the water to get more broth.
- While the soup is simmering slightly, chop the mushrooms and add them to the soup. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the tofu, give it 2 minutes to heat through, then add the chopped cilantro and soy sauce.
- Serve the soup immediately with a few drops of roasted peanut (if you’ve got the good stuff) or sesame oil (if your peanut oil has a dapper peanut with a top hat and monocle on the side) in each bowl and extra soy sauce for those who wish.
Madison recommends that you consume this right away, but that it might work for lunch the next day. I’ll report back on the condition of leftovers. For science!