Korean Tempeh Soup


A comforting soup with a rich broth and chock full of vegetables.
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

Serves 4


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.

Korean Tempeh Soup with carrots, zucchini, ginger and garlic.
Korean Tempeh Soup - Comfort food for a cold day!