Meatless Monday – Carrot Coconut Soup

Carrot coconut soup and Tofu triangles

Carrot Coconut Soup & Marinated Tofu Triangles over Farro

I absolutely love soup, especially when it’s bright, colorful and full of flavor like this Asian inspired carrot soup.  While making the soup, I opted for sauteeing the carrots and onions in Earth Balance Coconut Spread instead of butter.  This spread is vegan, lactose free, gluten free and non-GMO and can be used in place of butter. It smelled heavenly while cooking and intensified the coconut flavor of the soup. I may have to try it tomorrow morning on toast.

I would normally serve the tofu with a long grained brown rice but I’m enjoying experimenting with grains I haven’t used before.  I chose to boil the farro in water for about an hour and enjoyed the nutty, al dente result, however, you can soak the uncooked farro in water overnight to reduce the cooking time and soften the texture.  Farro is the oldest cultivated grain in the world and was very popular during biblical times.  It is less popular now because modern wheat has a higher yield and is more profitable to grow.  It is a whole grain that has twice the fiber and protein of modern wheat.  It is not gluten free but the gluten molecules are weaker so it is easier to digest.  Farro also contains a carbohydrate called cyanogenic glucosides which has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels. In addition to vitamins and minerals like iron, niacin, magnesium and zinc, it is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. (www.3fatchicks.com)

If preparing the entire meal, I would get the farro started cooking, then marinate the tofu while you chop the carrots and onions and get the soup going.  The rest should fall together easily since all three dishes can sit and wait in their various stages until you’re ready for them.  The farro can be cooked the day before and brought to room temperature before using.  The tofu can be marinated in the refrigerator up to 24 hours ahead. Enjoy!

FARRO

Ingredients:

1 cup dried Farro

5 cups water or vegetable broth (I used a combination of the two)

½ tsp salt (if you don’t use broth)

1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise then sliced into half circles

8 brown mushrooms, wiped clean with a papertowel then sliced

1 Tbsn olive oil

  • Add the farro, broth and water to a stock pot and boil on high for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. Let sit, covered.
  • Just before serving, heat a heavy skillet on medium high and add olive oil, zucchini and mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes, stirring to brown both sides.  Add farro and mix well.  Serve.

TOFU TRIANGLES

Ingredients:

1 container extra firm organic  tofu

1/3 cup sesame oil

1 tsp chili oil (optional)

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsn rice vinegar

1 garlic clove

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced or grated

1 tsp honey

  • Drain tofu and pat dry with papertowels
  • Slice block into 4 slices, then cut each slice into 2 triangles
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients in a container that is wide enough to marinate the slices in a single layer.  Add the tofu and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least a half hour (the longer the better).  Turn at least once to coat the other side.
  • Broil the tofu for a few minutes on each side until browned in a glass baking dish with half the marinade.  Simmer the other half of the marinade in a small pan.
  • Serve the tofu over the farro and drizzle with remaining marinade.

CARROT COCONUT SOUP

Ingredients:

¼ cup coconut spread (or oil/ butter if you prefer)

1 lb large carrots with stems removed, (scrubbed not peeled to retain nutrients), chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

1 can 13/5 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

Thai style chili sauce or Sriracha for garnish, optional

  •  Sautee carrots and onions in coconut spread in a large saucepan over medium heat until softened, about 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Let cool slightly.
  • Puree in a Cuisinart or blender until smooth.
  • Return to pot and add broth.  Let simmer another half hour or until you are ready to serve.
  • Drizzle with chili sauce if you like your food extra spicy.

One thought on “Meatless Monday – Carrot Coconut Soup

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