Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

For the cold days ahead of us, this soup fills all the requisites: light and filling, packed with protein from the tofu and egg that go along so well  with the 2 varieties of mushrooms. A rich broth made with chillies, ginger and garlic adds heat and a spicy oriental flare to the soup. The original recipe calls for bamboo shoots instead of my second type of mushroom. It is from Jamie Oliver and you can find it here .

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilly
sea salt
ground white pepper
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and diced
250 g shitake mushrooms , cleaned
250 g buttom mushroom, finely sliced
vegetable oil
3 tbs low-salt soy sauce
3 to 4 tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp honey

1.5 litres hot vegetable stock
150 g firm tofu cut in 1 cm cubes
2 green onions chopped
½ bunch of chives chopped
1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Peel the garlic and deseed the chillies, then roughly chop and place into a pestle and mortar, adding a pinch of salt. Peel, finely chop and add the ginger, combining it well.
Finely slice the buttons mushrooms and separate the threads of the shiitake mushroom.

Heat a tbs of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the chilli paste and mushroons and fry for a little bit.
In the mean time mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, the honey and the white pepper. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute, then pour in the hot stock and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced.

Add the tofu, the spring onions and chives.
Once reduced, remove the soup from the heat. Using a chopstick, stir the soup in a clockwise direction until you get a little whirlpool, then slowly add the beaten egg, stirring continuously to form thin ribbons. Stir in the tofu and return to the heat for 1 minute to warm through. Season to taste with soy and vinegar, then serve immediately with the spring onions and chives on top.

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Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce

Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce

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Gnocchi may seem difficult to make if it is your first time. But believe me, it is not! Specially if you are not feeding a big crowd, around 45 min for this recipe for 6 – 8 portions.
If you are a vegetarian that’s the entrée for any occasion, if you are not, add some grilled chicken or fish and make the gnocchi as your good and healthy carb side, as I did.

For better results with the texture, bake the sweet potatoes and then mash it, instead of boiling them.

Pure comfort, this gnocchi has a firm but light texture, with a very subtle sweetness from the sweet potato. Best part is to know that is healthy, or healthier than the gnocchi made with regular potatoes.

Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 onion thinly sliced
8 oz (225 g) care mini mushrooms thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme or basil
3 tbs fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg

For the gnocchi

2 cups puréed cooked peeled sweet potato (about 2)
1 egg
1 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Start with the gnocchi: in large bowl combine together sweet potato, egg, salt and nutmeg. Using wooden spoon, stir 2 cups of flour and slowly work your way on adding the remaining flour. The dough will be soft and sticky, pulling away from the sides of the bowl but still sticking to spoon and fingers. Resist to the temptation of adding extra flour.
On well floured surface and floured hands, roll dough into log, divide into quarters. Gently roll and shape each quarter into 3/4″ (2cm) diameter rope. Cut each rope with a sharp knife, into 1/4″ pieces. The dough is soft and the pieces will not have the same shape, but do the best you can. I really think I could have done a better job.
In a large pot boil lots of salted water. Start cooking the gnocchi ( in 2 batches or more if necessary) : gently get them in the water (do not throw them all at the same time like we do when cooking pasta), give it a stir and wait until they float. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to your pasta drainer. Wait for the water to be boiling again to cook the next batch.

In large skillet melt 2 tbs of the butter over medium heat, add onion, stirring and cooking until softened. Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 2 min. Set aside in large bowl.
In the same pan melt remaining butter over medium heat, stirring until nutty brown. Add gnocchi, cook, tossing, around 5 min and finally add the mushroom and onion mixture, combining well.
Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a few curls of Parmesan cheese.

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Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!