Korean Tempeh Soup
I call this soup "Korean" because it reminds me of a comforting and nourishing soup with a very flavorful broth and loads of vegetables that I had many years ago at a Korean restaurant. In those days I did not eat plant-based so I think that was more of a chicken soup, but all the other elements are here in this tempeh version. To make it more hearty, add some cooked brown rice to the finished soup.
Korean Tempeh Soup
1 8 ounce package Tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons water
1 large carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 large scallion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Place tempeh pieces in a shallow bowl. Whisk together the almond or peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons water. Pour this mixture over the tempeh and stir to coat all pieces. Set aside for 30 minutes (you can prepare the vegetables while the tempeh is marinating).
Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add tempeh to the hot pan and cook 5 minutes stirring frequently. Don't worry if the marinade is sticking as it will come up when broth is added.
Add carrots stirring for 3 minutes. Add zucchini, scallion, garlic, chili powder, and ginger and continue to stir and cook about 3 more minutes. Add vegetable broth and remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Note: Tempeh is one of the lesser known "plant proteins". It's an Indonesian food that is created by controlled fermentation of partially cooked whole soy beans with a tempeh starter. Soy beans have the highest protein content of all legumes. The soy beans for tempeh are pressed into cakes to create a dense meat-like texture. Tempeh is a favorite of mine because this protein-rich food is easier to digest than non-fermented soy foods and is also nutritionally superior with a fair amount of calcium and vitamin K along with the protein. I used Lightlife brand - Original flavor - available at most large grocery stores including Target.