Poached Tofu with Fennel, Leek, Spring Potato
This soup is a favorite well into the summer months. It is light, delicate and pleasingly aromatic. It comes together in a pinch with your freshly prepared stock and soothes all of the senses.
1 Package of extra-firm tofu, cut in half and then sliced lengthwise
(like a filet)
1/2 Leek, white and light green parts only, well-rinsed and sliced
Spring Potatoes, sliced very thin
Fennel, cut in half, and thinly sliced (keep fronds for garnish)
This dish loses its delicacy if you used prepackaged stock. If you don't have freshly prepared stock on hand, save this recipe for when you do; it really makes all the difference. Quantities are left somewhat open here, as this is a very quick preparation and the ingredients should be added in the quantities that are pleasing to your eye. As you can see from the photo, I feel this soup benefits from a minimal presentation. Cutting the tofu into 4 "filets" yields 4 servings, so each filet would be added to about 2 cups of broth and a small handful of sliced vegetables.
Add your homemade stock to a medium pot and gently bring to a simmer. Add in your sliced potatoes, fennel and leeks to cook until softened, only about 10 minutes or so. No need to over simmer, as we want to retain a bit of texture to the vegetables. (Note: I have made this before with halved baby potatoes and in this case, I steam them separately, prior to adding them to the stock. Potatoes will make the stock cloudy and we want to retain its clarity here). This is a very light stock; it does not need to be overly seasoned. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon and/or a dash of white wine. The idea is to keep the colors and the flavors vibrant and fresh, so keep it simple.
Ladle the soup and vegetables into each bowl and carefully slip in the tofu filet. Depending on the pot that you are using, you are welcome to heat the tofu through in the broth first, but this has backfired on me before, as it's fallen apart, so I am satisfied to just add it to my bowl at the same time as the rest. Additionally, you are welcome to cube the tofu as well, if you prefer. Garnish with fennel fronds and lemon zest and enjoy with a beautiful french baguette for the ultimate guilt-free meal.