Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Edamame soup

In honor of two friends visiting from San Antonio, I had people over last night for dinner. I decided to serve three soups, a salad, and homemade bread for a simple, cozy supper. The three soups I chose were butternut squash, beet, and this edamame soup. They are three of my favorite soups, and I thought they went together well. They are all pureed soups focused on a single vegetable, and the colors contrast nicely. Jon made an excellent salad, and I made some rye crescent rolls for the first time. The rolls burned slightly on the bottom, but they were still pretty good.

I had forgotten that one of our honored guests avoids dairy, but I was pleased to realize that our menu was already dairy-free, so we didn't have to change anything. It was a good reminder to me that it is very easy to make vegan soups that are flavor-packed and don't leave people feeling deprived. It was one of the easiest dinners I have had. I needed to make sure to put the ingredients in the bread machine early enough to get the rolls done on time, but other than that, I just dawdled around sipping wine and preparing three easy soups. The soups stayed warm for a while, and everyone seemed to like at least one of them. We had a total of about 2 cups of soup leftover at the end, and the salad and bread were both completely gone.

I got this soup recipe from 101 Cookbooks. Her recipe includes creme fraiche, but I have always just omitted it. I forgot to take a picture of this, but the one at the top of her page is a lot better than mine would have been anyway. This soup is very simple, and you really get the edamame flavor shining through. The potato thickens it and makes it hearty enough for a meal. Several times I have started to make the soup only to realize that I don't have as much edamame in the freezer as I thought. No worries, I just throw in some frozen lima beans or green peas to whatever edamame I have, and it's still delicious.

Edamame soup
You don't need to worry about dicing the onion or potato very small because they will be pureed. The smaller you dice them, the less time the soup has to cook, but it's not very time-intensive anyway.

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 quart vegetable broth
1 1/2 lbs. frozen edamame
salt to taste
chopped peanuts, optional
toasted sesame oil, optional

Saute the onion and potatoes in the oil for a few minutes, stirring often to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Pour in the broth and edamame. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are done, about 20 minutes. Puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Adjust salt or just let people do it at the table. Garnish with chopped peanuts and toasted sesame oil if desired.

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