Early mornings are chilly. There are gourds at my bodega. I've eaten a three pound bag of candy corn. IT'S SOUP SEASON, PLAYBOYS. And I love it. As a vegetarian, making a soup that's savory and rich enough to satisfy both me and my animal-eating fiancé was trickier than I thought. I can't chug down gallons of trendy bone broth like every other #foodie in New York can, so I turned to a vegan alternative that's equally rich and satisfying.
Warning: this is not a quick, throw-it-together in your undies while simultaneously online shopping and watching Jeopardy type of meal. Sorry, but as they say, good things take time (I usually don't advocate this because I have no patience, but this time, those people are right).
Bon Appétit's recipe for Umami Broth was easy to make and packed a punch. It just took a little time to simmer to completion. I made it a few days before I made this full meal. Night-of, I put some of it into a pot, let it come to a boil, and added bok choy and thinly sliced carrots and cooked until carrots were fork tender. Finished it with some chopped scallions, chili flakes, and sliced jalapeno (because I couldn't find Thai chilis and you have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to grocery store visits for one meal).
Also made this carrot ginger dressing, which made a shit ton. I ate with pretty much everything the days following. It's a bit richer and tastes like a better version of the dressing sushi takeout gives you with your salad... "salad"....three strips of iceberg lettuce and a carrot shred. This soup night, we ate it with a side of boiled broccoli.
CRISPY RICE. YOU TAKE OLD RICE. PUT IT IN A POT WITH A LIL' MILK, OLIVE OIL, AND BUTTER, AND LET IT CRISP UNTIL A HEAVENLY GOLD CRUST FORMS. THAT'S ALL I NEED TO SAY ABOUT THAT.
V E G A N U M A M I B R O T H S O U P
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Yields: approximately 2 quarts
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 4 6x4-inch pieces kombu
- 2 medium onions, unpeeled, halved through root, very thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, unpeeled, very thinly sliced, divided
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 6 sprigs parsley
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (I subbed a shit ton of cracked black pepper because I didn’t have any. It seemed fine.)
- 2 heads baby bok choy, base root removed to separate leaves
- 1 jalapeño or Thai or fresno chili (jalapeño is inauthentic but it’s all I had okay?)
- 1 scallion, light green and white parts thinly sliced for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 300º.
- Whisk miso, oil, and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl.
- Crush mushrooms and kombu with your hands over a rimmed baking sheet. Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic, and parsley and toss to combine.
- Drizzle miso mixture over vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Bake, tossing halfway through, until vegetables are slightly shriveled and mixture is fragrant, 60–75 minutes.
- Transfer vegetable mixture to a large pot. Add peppercorns a shit ton of cracked black pepper and 4 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until broth is reduced by half, 60–75 more like 1-1.5 hours (maybe my burner is trash?).
- Let broth cool, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.
- In an appropriately sized pot, divvy out how much broth you’d like to eat right then; freeze the rest
- Bring pot to a boil; add carrot slices. Reduce to a simmer, leave for 15 minutes.
- Add bok choy; let simmer for 5 minutes
- Serve with drizzle of sesame oil, chili pepper slices, and cilantro
C A R R O T G I N G E R D R E S S I N G
Adapted from Saveur
Yields: approximately 2 cups
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
- 1⁄8 cup soy sauce
- ½ tbsp. Sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 medium yellow onion (about 6 oz.), roughly chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Combine oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, carrots, and onion in a food processor, and process until smooth
- Season with salt and pepper. Unused dressing will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.