Today Sammy has mixed beans (tin of), tomatoes (tin of), tofu, and basil from her own plant. I couldn’t be prouder right now.
If you think Sammy has a bit of a thing for tinned legumes, it’s because she does. It’s not a hide-out-in-the-darkened-corner-of-the-club-because-I-know-this-is-wrong-but-it-feels-so-right type thing, nor is it the kind of ‘thing’ that could make her a little extra cash at a bucks night or things of the like. I think it’s just a you-taste-damn-good-and-I-can-keep-you-in-the-cupboard-and-you’re-heaps-cheap type thing. And no, she is not Austrian.
I don’t think I am actually here to pass judgement on Sammy so maybe I’ll just get on with it. I bet you wish I had of thought about that a few sentences ago…
Oh, and Sammy said it is getting a little cold in her parts… does that sound right? Let’s run with it. So I’m gonna make a (for the love of) legumes type soup with (I don’t really love) crisp tofu.
Please note, I am truly a fan of silken or momen tofu, but the firm stuff doesn’t really do it for me. Maybe next trip to the Asian supermarket you should try a couple of different types and see what you think…
MIXED BEAN SOUP WITH BASIL OIL AND CRISP TOFU
1 tin of mixed beans
1 tin tomatoes, crushed or whole
1 brown onion, fine dice
1 stalk celery, fine dice
1 carrot, peeled, fine dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped or something similar
a pinch of dried herbs, such as rosemary and thyme
750ml stock (whatever you have)
some chopped spinach or silverbeet or cavolo nero
firm tofu, sliced into 5-10mm thick rectangles
flour, eggwash and course breadcrumbs to coat
- Sauté the onion, celery and carrot until it starts to soften
- Add garlic and cook out for 1 minute
- Add tomatoes, beans, herbs and most of the stock and cook out on a low heat for 30-40 minutes (the thing to remember here is if you need your soup quickly it can be done faster. But for an optimum result I would suggest cooking it slower and longer, so the flavours get to hang out and really get to know each other. Become friends, you know)
- At this stage add greens and extra liquid if needed. Cook out for another 15 minutes
- While soup is going from being a heap of veg and some beans in a pot to being a great tasting soup, it’s time to make the garnish.
- Dredge the tofu in the flour, then through the eggwash, then breadcrumbs
- Heat 100ml of oil over a medium flame (What’s that? You’ve got an electric cook top? Ooh, sorry to hear that), and cook tofu for 2-3 minutes each side until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and season. Set aside
- In a food processor or blender blitz one large handful of basil, one clove garlic, 1 Tbls lemon juice and slowly add 200ml olive oil.
- Season and off you go.
NOW, TO PLATE UP, blitz the soup with a stick wizz or pulse in a blender one or twice, just to break up a few of the beans. Check the seasoning.
Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle (is there a better word for drizzle out there?) with basil oil. Cut the crisp tofu into triangles and serve on the side just like toast.