As promised, today’s recipe is from Kathy Hester’s book The Vegan Slow Cooker. I’m excited to try her Smoked Tofu and Stars Soup. This is a pretty simple recipe, especially if you do as Kathy suggests and saute and dice your veggies the evening before you cook the soup. That allows you to throw it all in the slow cooker in the morning, turn it on and have it ready for dinner. I remember loving chicken and stars soup as a child, but I would inevitably leave a pile of chicken bits at the bottom of my bowl. The smoked tofu is a great way for my kids (and me, too!) to enjoy this classic soup. I made only a couple tiny changes to the recipe. Bok choy was used in lieu of celery, due to allergies, and instead of the chicken-flavored vegan bouillon the recipe below lists, I used 2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
Smoked Tofu and Stars
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced (I substitute bok choy, about 1/2 pound of stalks, diced, due to allergies)
- 1 package (8 ounces) smoked tofu or 3/4 recipe Tea-Scented Tofu
- 2 tablespoons vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (Kathy also has a make-at-home recipe in her book)
- 8 cups water
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
- 1 cup small pasta stars or other tiny pasta
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute (I added my bok choy at the same time to char it a little, but that’s unnecessary with celery). If you like, you can do this the night before, as well as dicing your carrots and celery, and store it all in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, combine all other ingredients (except pasta stars) in you slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste to adjust the seasoning. At this point, if you’re serving immediately, add the pasta stars and cook for an additional 20 minutes, until pasta is al dente. If eating throughout the week or freezing, cook pasta separately and add just before serving.
I love a recipe that I can start in the morning, do nothing to it for hours and have it ready for dinner. Fantastic. The kids and I really enjoyed this one. The tofu really soaked up the flavor of that chickeny broth and the veggies were perfection. We cooked our stars separately, since we can’t eat that much at once, and it was perfect.
What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?
Note: I received no compensation for this post; however, I did receive a free promotional copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker.