Polenta Soup

This has become one of my favorite comfort foods! It’s my adaptation of this recipe from Serious Eats http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/vegan-polenta-kale-soup-miso-recipe.html I add tofu to it, both for protein and because I like how the texture goes with the other ingredients. I also add lemon juice and nutritional yeast to give it more of the cheesy flavor and texture that makes polenta exciting to me. I like the smoked paprika for heat and its characteristic smokiness, which I find goes well with anything I want to make “cheesier”, but of course, if that’s not your thing, leave it out and it will taste just fine.

4-6 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, chopped into bite-sized pieces
pinch of salt
1 tsp black pepper
10-12 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika or other chili powder of your choice (optional)
1 block (12 oz) extra firm tofu
2 quarts veg broth
1 cup polenta (coarse corn meal)
4-6 cups chopped kale (or other greens of your choice)
2 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 – 1 full cup nutritional yeast
6-8 scallions, diced
toasted sesame oil

Start heating about half the olive oil in your soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, stirring in the rest of the oil on top of them with the salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic (and paprika or chili powder if using). Crumble the block of tofu into the pot so it’s well-mushed. Add the broth. Turn the heat up to high to start the broth boiling. While it is heating up, slowly add the polenta, stirring as you add it. When the soup begins to boil, turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the kale (or other greens) and cover it back up for a few minutes. While that continues to cook, combine the miso, soy sauce, and 1/2 cup of the lemon juice. Add this to the pot and stir it in well. Once all these ingredients have cooked together a few more minutes, add the nutritional yeast and scallions. Drizzle in the toasted sesame oil.

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