Hot Lime & Tofu Soup

A bowl of soup doesn’t need to be pedestrian. Neither does tofu. This Thai and Indian inspired offering makes restorative use of the spice jars, the seasonal veg basket and a bit of imagination. Whizzing and spicing the tofu to be formed into quick fried dumplings gives that which can be a pretty bland, uninspiring ingredient a little leg up in flavour and texture, and the autumn soup pot becomes a little more exciting.

Ayurvedic Note
We work on the proviso that you eat this soup on cold, blustery, damp days. The chilli, garlic and paprika have their place in these seasons, when our Kapha doshas are on the rise… less so, when Vata or Pitta are dominant. The balance here, however, comes from the coriander, tofu and coconut base – all things which dampen down fire, and so, quite naturally, balance out this soup, making it suitable for all. Which is a great thing, as it’s downright darned delicious.

Ingredients

For the soup:
Organic, extra virgin coconut oil
A thumb sized nugget of galangal root, finely chopped / 1 ½ tsp of jarred galangal
A thumb and a half of fresh ginger, finely sliced and chopped
Either a small thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric root, finely chopped or ¾ tsp of ground turmeric
2 large cloves of garlic
1 large, seasonal salad onion (not just for spring – we have some great red ones ready at the allotment). If you can’t find them in season though use a normal onion or a leek, finely sliced
1 hot red chilli (happily growing on the windowsill at the moment)
2 carrots (we used the funky purple ones here but regular ones are just fine) slice into fine matches or spears
1 ripe red pepper sliced similarly
1 tin of organic coconut milk
2 limes
Fresh coriander leaves and stems
Sea salt and fresh black pepper

For the dumplings:
A drizzle of good rapeseed oil
100g of plain tofu
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of paprika
A sprinkling of chilli powder
2 tsp of sesame seeds
Fresh coriander leaves

Method

  • 1 Make a paste for your soup by adding your ginger, garlic, galangal, turmeric and chilli to a food processor. Pour in a small dash of coconut milk and whizz briefly to a coarse paste
  • 2 Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan and add your carrots, peppers and onions, saving a small handful of salad onion slices and spears of carrot for dressing. Stir for a minute, add your paste and continue to cook for another couple of minutes
  • 3 Pour in the rest of your coconut milk. Stir well to combine and set to simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes or so
  • 4 For the dumplings, toast your seeds and spices in a dry pan until fragrant and slightly coloured. Add to your food processor with your tofu and a handful of fresh coriander leaves. Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of rapeseed oil and blitz to a smooth paste
  • 5 Heat a frying pan or skillet to smoking hot. Form your tofu mix into small balls and squash into the dry pan. Allow to fry until well-coloured before turning, colour the other side, remove and set aside
  • 6 After 20 minutes, season your soup with sea salt and fresh black pepper along with the juice of 2 limes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your palate, if necessary
  • 7 Dress with a smattering of your remaining onions and carrot, a sprinkling of sesame oil and a scattering of fresh coriander
  • 8 Serve your dumplings in the soup or on the side for dipping