Warming Broccoli and Bean Soup with a Lemon and Garlic Tahini Sauce

Wow the temperature has dropped here in Dublin but the problem is that one day it’ll be freezing cold and the next mild and pleasant. It’s this kind of fluctuation in temperatures that is spreading colds like wildfire so I’m dead set on not being afflicted by a dreaded winter cold. I’m a big fan of ginger and its flavours but ginger also offers medicinal properties to help fight off colds and flu. This soup is packed with healing and immune boosting ingredients, we’ve got garlic, onion, turmeric and of course the vitamin rich broccoli.

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Apart from this soup being super good for you it is also incredibly tasty. My favourite ways to eat broccoli are stir-fried in some sesame oil and garlic like my Chinese Garlic Broccoli  or in a soup. I remember the first time I tried it in a soup, all I added was onion and garlic, some salt and pepper and the flavours astounded me. This soup has a little more flavour from the spices and it tastes as good as it looks.

What you’ll need for the soup: Serves 4-6

  • 1 large head of broccoli including stems
  • 2 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • About 1cm x 3 cm piece of ginger, a little more if you’re a big ginger fan
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 litre of veg stock
  • 1 x 400g can of butter beans (any white bean will do)
  • Salt to taste

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What you’ll need for the lemon tahini sauce:

  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of good quality tahini
  • The juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of water (a little more if your tahini paste is thick)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

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Method for the soup:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook on a low heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and stir them in, cook through for a minute or two.
  3. Cut the broccoli into florets about 1 inch in size. Remove any rough parts from the stems and cut into 2cm cubes, add to the pan along with a cup full of stock. When the broccoli had turned bright green add the beans and the rest of the stock. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for five minutes.
  4. Using a food processor or a hand-held blender blend into a soup.

Method for the Tahini sauce:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and mix. Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon as required. Add more water if needed, consistency should be like a thick cream.

Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

 

Chinese Black Bean Sauce

It’s always a huge complement when people enjoy your food but for me the biggest complement of all is that my sister is not only enjoying my food, she’s coming to mine every week for Meatless Monday. You see it’s not that she can’t live without meat in her diet, not at all, in fact she’s quite happy to cut it out a little. The thing that makes our weekly dinner dates such a thrill for me is that my sister is such a particular eater and by particular I mean she’s never been one for trying new things. It’s still baby steps so I’m trying to recreate a lot of the foods that I know she loves to eat before I try more “daring” dishes.

My sister is a massive fan of Chinese food and Black Bean sauce dishes were always a favourite of mine. On my biannual fashion trips to Xiamen in China, I took immense pleasure from eating plain rice with black bean sauce, so garlicy and gingery. Then, last year on a trip to Vietnam I was lucky enough to find a street food place serving rice noodles with black bean sauce. It was so delicious and so simple. What a find! So, this recipe is inspired by the cities of Xiamen in China and Hanoi in Vietnam and it’s inspired by my sister who now gets excited about vegan food.

2What you’ll need: For the sauce (serves 4-6)

  • 100g of fermented black beans (you can get these from the Asian market)
  • A whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 50ml of Shaoxing rice wine
  • A knob of ginger approx 4cms, peeled and sliced
  • 2 x green chillies, deseeded
  • 1tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 1 bunch of spring onions

Method:

  1. Wash the beans thoroughly and remove any of the dried ginger. The beans are very salty so they’ll need a good rinse.
  2. Heat a wok over a high head and add about one quarter of the oil to the pan. Add the beans, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mix and set aside.
  3. Add the Spring onions to the wok and continue to cook until the mixture has softened.9
  4. Add the Shaoxing rice wine and the sugar and mix well. Reduce the heat and allow to cook on a low heat until the liquid has reduced by three quarters.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. Transfer the cooled ingredients to a blender and mix on a high speed whilst adding the remaining oil.
  7. Remove from the blender and stir in the 2 tablespoons of whole black beans. Use straight away or freeze.3

What you’ll need: for the noodle dish (serves 2)

  • 1/2 portion of the Black Bean Sauce recipe from above
  • 2 measures of rice noodles ( I use a pasta measure)
  • 1/4 bunch of spring onions, white and green parts cut diagonally into 4cms strips1 small white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 100g of chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cut into 4 x 1 cms chips
  • Some red and green chillies for extra kick and garnish
  • A splash of soy sauce or tamari to your taste

Method:

  1. Boil the rice noodles in some water.
  2. Remove from the pan and rinse under cold water, set aside.
  3. Heat some toasted sesame oil in a wok.
  4. Add the mushrooms and white onion and sauté until the mushrooms are almost cooked.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook while tossing the veg regularly.
  6. Add a splash of soy sauce or tamari to your taste6
  7. When the veg is cooked add the noodles to heat. When they become less sticky add the black bean sauce. Add a splash of soy or tamari to help loosen the noodles.
  8. Use a pair of cooking tongs to gently mix the noodles with the sauce.
  9. Remove from the wok and serve up.

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Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx