Moqueca is a rich Brazillian fish stew. I was looking through some recipes for soups using coconut milk recently, and that’s how I learned about this concoction. This is a vegan recipe, of course, so it’s not going to taste as “fishy” as a fish soup would, but if you want to make a vegan/vegetarian soup, or just don’t like that fishy flavor, here’s a version you may enjoy. The Northern beans hint at that flavor without overwhelming the soup, and thicken the broth up nicely.
1lb extra-firm tofu, pressed and chopped into bite-sized chunks
½ cup lime juice
2 scallions, chopped
3 tbsp vegetarian “fish” sauce (try my Friendly Seas Sauce recipe!)
8 cloves garlic
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 fat tomato or 1 cup canned tomato (including juice)
2 tbsp peanut oil
1-2 tbsp raw ginger
1 can coconut milk
2 cups veggie broth
1-2 tsp chili powder (I used chipotle and a little Vulcan Fire Salt, adjust to your taste)
chopped cilantro (as much as you like!)
2 cups green beans
⅔ cup nutritional yeast
1 can great northern beans (including the liquid in the can)
a few cups chopped greens (I used some chard, spinach, and baby kale)
Place the tofu and scallions in a mixing bowl and pour half the lime juice and all the vegetarian “fish” sauce over them. Put the garlic, onion, tomato, peanut oil, and ginger in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour this mixture in with the tofu, give it a good stir, then let it marinate for a while (see note on marinating!)
Put the coconut milk, veggie broth, chili powder, cilantro, and green beans in a pot and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the entire contents of the bowl of tofu. Let this simmer for a while. Put the great northern beans (including liquid) in the blender and puree, then add to the pot along with the nutritional yeast and the rest of the lime juice.
Serve with rice!
Note on marinating: I usually marinate things overnight, but sometimes you just need some soup RIGHT NOW. So what I actually did when making this recipe was to marinate the tofu for about an hour while I prepped all the other ingredients, cooked the recipe so I could eat a bowl of RIGHT NOW soup, then put the rest of the soup in the fridge to sit for a longer time, so when I was ready for my NEXT bowl of soup, all the ingredients had been hanging out together for longer to make it taste even better!
Note on veggies: Traditional moqueca usually includes bell peppers. I can’t eat bell peppers (I’m slightly allergic, but mostly I just hate them) but if you can, you might want to throw some in. This soup can handle plenty more veggies, so stick in whatever you want!