Monday, March 2, 2009

Zucchini-Lemon Soup. Thai Curries


This is a very forgiving recipe, and you can adjust the amount of zucchini used according to your appetite and to the desired thickness of the finished product. Although I have included tofu in this recipe, I often make it without tofu altogether and it is delicious that way too.

3/4 lb zucchini squash, sliced but not peeled
1 or two slices onion, chopped, or to taste (less rather than more, in this case)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of half a lemon
4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
crushed chilies to taste
juice of half a lemon
half a pack of soft tofu, roughly cubed

Put all except the lemon juice and the tofu into a soup pot and cook until the zucchini is just done.

Blend the soup with a wand blender but preferably in a blender jug along with the lemon juice and the tofu. The soup should be creamy and a lovely fresh pale green colour. You may need to add a little water to get it to the consistency you wish.

Return soup to the soup pot and reheat gently. Serve garnished as you will - I used cilantro for the soup in the photo because we like the taste and it also goes very well with the lemon.

Variation: you may wish to use fresh or dried herbs along with the zucchini etc. in the soup pot. Italian herbs go well, but be careful not to overwhelm the fresh taste of the zucchini and lemon.

And now for a change of pace :)


Wanting some Thai curry (yes yes, the whole thing with - gasp - coconut milk and all!) I decided to make my own for the first time in ages. The impetus was seeing some lovely fresh Thai basil and some fresh kaffir lime leaves along with lemon grass at our local asian shop. I also picked up some of their tofu - a real treat when we can get it. Stopping at another shop, I got a small jar (yes, I know it's cheating) of Thai
yellow curry paste - the kind without fish paste of creatures of any kind in it. It's good to make your own paste, but this was to be a relatively quick meal and I didn't think I'd have the time. I found organic light coconut milk at my health food store, so all was set.

No real recipe here, except to shred a few kaffir lime leaves, grate some ginger, peel and finely chop the lemon grass, chop a little onion and garlic, and defrost and chop some Thai red chlies which I always have in the freezer. This all went into a large pan with some cubed eggplant, a diced potato, and (a little later so that it didn't get overcooked) a red bell pepper - and of course the Thai basil and enough of the Thai curry paste to make it just right (which in our lexicon means HOT).

By the time the rice was ready, so was the curry!

We've had variations on this over the last week - including one with sweet potato and green snap peas - and it's been lovely every time. I do so love Thai food.

What Have These Vegans Been Cooking?

Original recipes have been in short supply around here lately (the cold weather has frozen my creative side), but that doesn't mean we've been having take-out food. We have been doing the usual salads, fresh fruit and lots of greens, but doing them simply. Soups have been important, because of the weather, and lately more stews and bakes than earlier in the year (or so it seems to me right now). Check below:


Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This is another case of taking one's favourite recipe for home-cooked pasta sauce, adding a little crumbled tofu or tvp, simmering until blended and putting atop one's favourite kind of pasta. Have a lovely green salad first (in the North American way) or after (in the Italian way) and you've got a lovely meal, right? Yumm!

Below you have two similar ideas:



They were made at quite different times, but I recall flavouring each with Indian spices and herbs. And both were what I call spicy hot! Eggplant was important to each (it blends so nicely with lentils) and apart from that and some carrot, perhaps a little sweet potato, it's more or less a free-for-all as far as the vegetables go.

The soup made a lovely light meal with a salad, and the stew was consumed as a main course with crusty homemade whole wheat bread. What a treat! Shall work on these some more and post the recipes when I'm happy with them.

More soon - I'm still having trouble with the photo thingie on this new computer :(