By Erica Leibrandt
One dreary January day, after all the Christmas décor had been madly stripped away, and I had but a few morsels of food laying about the house (but an unnaturally bloated body thanks to the recent excess of the holidays), I came up with this wonderful recipe.
Both rich and clean tasting, exotic and homey, I am convinced it can solve the lion’s share of problems in this world. Or at least in my world, where the best solutions seem to come in the shape of yummy food.
Chunky Vegetable Soup with Tomato, Curry, Ginger Broth
You will need:
I 28 oz. can diced tomatoes + juice
6 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbl curry powder
2 bay leaves
2 Tbl grated fresh ginger
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Serrano chili, whole with the top cut off (seeds removed if you like things mild)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 large or two small zucchini, cut into half moons
2 cups frozen spinach (approx.)
1 15 oz. can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbl olive oil
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. sea salt
Heat oil in a large pot. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt. Turn heat down to low and sauté until mushrooms release juice and onions are soft, 5-7 minutes. Add all other ingredients, bring back to boil, lower to simmer and cook until zucchini is tender, around ten minutes. Check spices and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a few baby spinach leaves to garnish if desired.
To make this more of a meal, I add 1 block of pressed and drained medium firm tofu cut into bite sized pieces. To take it to the next level, heat 2 tsp. of sesame oil in a large nonstick pan, lay the tofu down and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes. Flip and repeat, then stir it into the soup (You can do this step while the soup is cooking).
You may also add (at the last minute—just heat through) roasted chicken torn into bite-sized pieces, any cooked grain, crumbled tortilla chips (I know it sounds weird, just trust me) or a lightly fried egg or two (non-vegan version) on top of each bowl right before serving.
Erica Leibrandt is a 200 hour RYT, level 2 Reiki practitioner and a master’s student in clinical counseling at Northwestern University. Mother to six, Erica is partial to vegan food, good scotch and is frequently able to win staring contests with dogs. Her writing credits include The Sun Magazine, Yoga Journal and Elephant Journal, where she was a featured writer with over 500 articles. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Photo: (author’s own)
Editor: Dana Gornall