Spinach and Shitake Mushroom Soup with Crispy Baked Tofu Croutons

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on November 9, 2009

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I love soups and make versions of this recipe often in the cold months. Sometimes I add rice noodles to this soup to make it more filling but this time I didnt. The tofu croutons are wonderfully crunchy and make this otherwise thin soup rather satisfying. We had a huge bowl for dinner and I’m looking forward to eating the left over for lunch :)

tofu-croutons

I love these tofu croutons in the soup, they are crispy on the outside, meaty inside absorb flavors fabulously. I also love snacking on them with some hot sauce or sriracha to dip. Toss tofu cubes in some corn starch before baking, this makes the croutons extra crisp. You could add any kind of seasoning you like to the tofu cubes; I stuck with salt and pepper. Garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika will all be great; add these to the tofu about 10 minutes before the end of baking to prevent the spices from burning.
 
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Spinach and Shitake Mushroom Soup with Crispy Baked Tofu Croutons Recipe

serves 4-6

2 oz dried shitake mushrooms
1/2 tbsp canola oil
2 leeks, chopped thinly and washed
3 tbsp garlic paste
3 tbsp ginger paste
8 cups water, vegetable stock or mushroom stock
3-4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sriracha or chili paste
1 large bunch of fresh spinach, washed
Salt (keep in mind soy sauce and stock are already salty)

Soak dried shitake mushrooms in 3 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add leeks and saute on high heat till leeks are soft. Then add ginger and garlic pastes and cook for about 2 minutes. Removed shitake mushroooms from the boiling water, reserve the soaking liquid. Squeze out some of the water and cut the larger mushrooms into half. Add the mushrooms to the leeks, ginger and garlic and saute on medium-high heat for about 1 minute.

Add 3 cups of the mushroom soaking liquid and 8 cups stock to the soup pot. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 6 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar or lemon juice, sesame oil, spinach, salt and immediately turn off heat. The fresh spinach will wilt into the soup and doent need any more cooking. Taste and adjust soy sauce, vinegar or lemon juice and sriracha. Serve with tofu croutons on top. For a more filling meal, add some cooked rice noodles or vemicelli to the soup. If you like thicker soup, mix 3 tbsp of corn starch with a little water and add this to the soup at the end, but before adding spinach. Bring the soup with the corn starch slurry to a boil and then turn off heat. This will thicken the soup.

Tofu Croutons Recipe

1 block (19 oz) firm tofu
1 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tbsp corn startch
salt and pepper
other optional seasonings – garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika

Heat oven to 375 f. Drain tofu and pat dry. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss tofu cubes with corn startch, salt and pepper. Drizzle oil over the tofu cubes. Place on a non-stick baking sheet (or a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment). Bake for 45 minutes or untill the tofu croutons are golden. If using any of the optional sesaoning listed above, remove tofu from oven 10 minutes before end of baking time and toss the croutons with sesaonings, return to oven. Let tofu croutons cool a little before removing them from the baking sheet. Serve with soup.

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Comments

comments

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nags November 10, 2009 at 1:37 am

tofu croutons are such a lovely idea! i love the asian feel of that soup :)

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2 Chakh...le...Re!!! November 10, 2009 at 2:07 am

tofu croutons sounds great. Such a heart healthy soup. Yummy!!

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3 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 10, 2009 at 4:33 am

Your photos are absolutely stunning! I can’t stop looking at that opening photograph? :o

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4 shaz November 10, 2009 at 8:55 am

This soup sounds so warming – I love shitake mushrooms and tofu. Sometimes I bake tempeh and get a sort of chippy, croutony thing – like what you’ve done to the tofu here. Certainly adds a new dimension to an old favourite.

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5 Soma November 10, 2009 at 11:24 am

What a neat idea to make tofu croutons. So much more feel and texture and healthy too. Love the deep color of that soup and I love mushrooms!

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6 Jacqueline November 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm

What a great idea for croutons and gorgeous, gorgeous photos!

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7 n33ma November 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I get totally mesmerised by your clicks!

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8 lisaiscooking November 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Your soup sounds delicious, and I love the tofu croutons! I make broiled tofu fries which are kind of similar. They sound great dipped in sriracha too.

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9 a2zvegetariancuisine November 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Spinach & mushroom that is a nice combo, looks delicious. Your clicks are awesome.

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10 Dana November 11, 2009 at 3:39 am

I could eat huge bowls of that everyday, especially if there are rice noodles lurking underneath there. Love the idea of those croutons!

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11 Hélène November 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I love tofu croutons. So good. Really nice pictures.

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12 Michelle November 11, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I really don’t know why you’re doing this course because your photography is already so darn good! :-)

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13 Su-yin November 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I think this is a fantastic idea, and it looks perfect for winter. :) Toppped with some white soba – mmmm. I especially love the tofu croutons, I’m a huge fan of tofu and I can imagine how it would go really well with this soup. And a nice change from normal croutons as well!

Thanks for the recipe.

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14 Sophie November 12, 2009 at 3:19 am

What a marvellous looking soup & I so love your croutons!!

MMMMMMMMMMMM,…

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15 Laavanya November 12, 2009 at 12:08 pm

That first picture has me salivating and the thought of tofu croutons – oh yum.

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16 Olga November 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm

well, you know i love mushrooms. beautiful soup. and yesterday I made fried tofu for a freelancing recipe I was doing: great minds think alike!

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17 Smitha Rao November 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm

something about your pics. They get me Sala. Excellent use of props, lighting and ofcourse the presentation of the dish is impeccable. Honestly, I don’t like spinach nor mushrooms, you made me think about it twice now :)

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18 miss v November 13, 2009 at 9:55 am

heck yes to tofu crutons! i’m going to have to whip this up – although i don’t have spinach. so i’ll throw in a little seaweed instead. yum!

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19 Cham November 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Tofu croutons something I ve never seen before. This soup is simply superb with mushroom and green!

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20 Malar Gandhi November 16, 2009 at 9:12 am

Tofu Croutons, sounds super healthy…lovely idea my friend. They look perfect…and your pictures are breath taking:) Awesome:)

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21 jbell November 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm

fabulous soup! just made it last night and loved the tofu croutons! I added in 2tsp Hoisin sauce and substituted cayenne pepper for the chili paste and it still came out amazing!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

@jbell, im glad you liked it! chili paste is awesome with anything!

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22 nithya at hungrydesi November 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Really great photographs and the dish looks amazing. I love the tofu croutons (and that they seems so healthy) – can’t wait to try them.

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23 Raymon Holmes December 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Thanks for the spinach tufu shitaki mushroom soup rescipe it was excellent and filling. I have made it twice and my wife has been eating it every day she’s addicted. Now I have to make it again this weekend. I will try some of your other recipes as soon as she gets her fill of this one. By the way I’m not much of a cook I have to follow the directions and they were good thanks.

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24 Vinolia December 9, 2009 at 6:14 am

we love soups at home too; especially for cold winter nights, it’s so soothing and filling at the same time !! your soups sounds delicious with those crispy tofu croutons, changes from the usual bread !!!

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25 Anusha January 23, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Loved the soup, not so much the tofu croutons- they came out quite hard, must be something I did. The soup was really really good- great recipe!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Glad you liked the soup. How big did you cut the tofu pieces? I’m guessing that if they were too small/thin they may have gotten hard in the oven :)

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