A hot pot of soup on a hot sunny day. Yes, I’m weird. This soup, though? Not weird at all.
- Broccoli – 1 small, cut into small florets
- Sweet corn – 100 gms
- Spinach, chopped – 150 gms
- Tofu, firm, cubed – 100 gms
- Rice noodles/ vermicelli, dry – 50 gms
- Lemongrass, dried – 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp (Double if using fresh – I haven’t tried.)
- Ginger, finely diced/ minced – 2/3 tsp, or more to taste
- Black pepper – 1/3 tsp or to taste
- Salt – to taste
While you prep the vegetables and tofu, bring a cup of water to a gentle boil, turn off heat and steep lemongrass in it for about 10 minutes. Strain and reserve the infusion, but don’t throw away the leaves yet. Repeat to get another round of infusion from the same leaves.
To a heated pot, add the ginger and stir. If it sticks, throw in a tiny splash of water and stir for a minute. Pour in the lemongrass infusion, add tofu cubes and sweet corn and bring to a gentle boil. Turn down heat. Grab a bunch of rice noodles and stick them in the pot, pressing down and mixing them in as they soften. This will take a couple minutes. Cover and let simmer gently. After 3 to 4 minutes, add broccoli, and continue to simmer for 2 more minutes.
Mix in chopped spinach, pepper and salt. Cover and simmer till spinach wilts. Turn off heat and let soup sit for about 5 minutes before eating.
I’ve tried several variations of this – replacing ginger with garlic, substituting baby corm for sweet corn, adding mushrooms, omitting tofu – and I like this one the best.