Low-Fat Creamy Crucifer Soup (Non-Dairy)
Yield: 6 hearty servings, (about 1 1/2 cups each)
Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil Add to list
- 1 large onion, peeled, diced (about 1 cup) Add to list
- 1 large garlic clove, minced (add more if desired) Add to list
- 1 large bunch fresh curly kale (averages about 3/4 to 1 lb) or other kale, or collards, cleaned and cut as directed Add to list
- 1 turnip, scrubbed, trimmed, peeled if non-organic or waxed, diced (about 1 cup) Add to list
- 6 cups water Add to list
- 1 pound fresh, drained tofu (organic silken-style tofu is recommended) Add to list
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mellow white or mellow brown miso paste* Add to list
- Freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/2 teaspoon, divided) Add to list
- Freshly grated black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon) Add to list
Choose only dark green leaves, and discard any yellowed leaves. Clean greens thoroughly in plenty of running water, since folds of curly leaves can hide dirt and sandy grit. Dice the stems, including the portion leading up through the leaf, and set aside. If leaves are very broad, slash lengthwise once or twice, then cut crosswise in half-inch widths. All parts are to be used.
Sauté onion and garlic in oil in heavy-bottomed soup pot, on medium heat for two or three minutes, until softened. Add the stems and leaves of the greens, then the diced turnip, and cover with 6 cups water, pushing under the water if necessary.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes, just until turnips are softened, and stems and greens are a bright green and barely tender.
To cream the soup: First, open and drain tofu, break it into about four chunks, and place in a bowl of hot water briefly, just to remove the chill, then drain again. Use a ladle or dipper and add portions of broth, greens and tofu to a blender or food processor (working in two or three batches as needed), along with 2 tablespoons of the miso paste.
Use a thick folded towel to hold down cover of processor or blender firmly, and insulate your hands against the hot food.
Pour blended soup directly into a serving container, such as a soup tureen or large bowl (preferably pre-heated with hot water).
If desired, leave some greens or turnips less creamed, for texture and appearance. Stir together, taste, and if desired, re-process one cup with a little extra miso, and add back.
Grate about 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, stir in, and garnish with another 1/4 teaspoonful. Add the fresh grated pepper. Serve with hearty bread or freshly baked muffins or cornbread.
* Mellow Miso: mildest flavored, lightest colored of the traditional Japanese food made of fermented soybean and rice or barley. Mellow misos make excellent, delicate, light soup broth, slightly sweet and salty.
Recipe by, former PCC Nutrition Education Manager