There’s a lot of things I feel like I should be doing in the kitchen that I simply do not.

Like sifting flour. Washing fruits and vegetables.* And cooking big elaborate meals on Sundays. Because that’s when we have all the time in the world, right?

*I give them a haphazard rinse, but I’m not quite sure if that counts.

Not me.

First, I kill half my Sunday by sleeping till noon, of course. And by sleeping till noon I actually mean getting out of bed a few hours before that once I decide I can no longer sleep, and killing the rest of the time on the couch, snuggling with my laptop. And don’t be fooled. I’m not meal planning or blogging or doing anything resembling productive. I’m only interrupted by Ben asking when we’re going to eat breakfast, and again when he brings it to me, because I’ve told him, “we’ll eat whenever you make it.” Sweet, huh?

Then it’s time to dive into my own personal hell meal plan. You probably think I enjoy this activity, but it’s really nothing more than a necessary evil. About 2 hours later, we finally make it into the car, lists and grocery bags in hand.

And by the time we get home, I’m starting to get anxious. About putting groceries away and maybe prepping a few things for the coming week but most definitely I’m anxious about blogging and making those 75 unread posts in my google reader disappear but not before leaving a thoughtful comment or share for each.

So when am I supposed to cook, again?

Another thing you should know about my weekends is that I tend to splurge enough on Saturday that by the time Sunday night rolls around, I’m already in that get-back-on-track mode that most people reserve for Monday.

So maybe now you’ll understand why I’m more likely to pull a healthy, quick-fix meal from the freezer on a lazy Sunday night rather than a busy weeknight one.

This past Sunday I was really glad to have this Gingery Shiitake & Cabbage Soup waiting for me in the freezer. And even moreso, I’m happy to have a copy of Terry Walters’ Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes on my bookshelf, because otherwise we’d all be missing out on this fabulous soup. It’s somehow incredibly light yet filling at the same time. The flavor doesn’t knock you in the face, rather, the mellow notes of ginger and earthy mushrooms are just right. Satisfying protein comes from edamame and cubed tofu, and heaps of cabbage lend a hearty, noodle-like texture. Could there possibly be a more perfect soup for savoring the last few hours of weekend? I think not.

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Gingery Shiitake & Cabbage Soup with Edamame

Yield: 6 servings

A light but incredibly satisfying vegan soup with a mellow Asian flavor.

Ingredients:

1 small package dried shiitake mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 8oz package mixed wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini and oyster), sliced
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
8 cups water
1 cup shelled edamame
1 14oz package firm tofu, pressed to remove excess water, and cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons ume plum vinegar
6 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, for servings

Directions:

Place the dried mushrooms in a heat-proof bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and thinly slice them. Reserve the broth and mushrooms separately.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the ginger and leeks until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the the shiitake mushrooms and the fresh, mixed mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown.

Add the cabbage, carrots, reserved mushroom broth, water, edamame, tofu, and tamari. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until cabbage is soft. Stir in ume plum vinegar.

Divide among serving bowls and drizzle each one with about 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 231.9
Total Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 588.1 mg
Potassium 519.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 13.8 g

Adapted from Terry Walters' Clean Start