Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Potato- Watercress Soup, Red Kale with Tempeh (Almost No Added Fat)

We are in the midst of some bad thunderstorms - luckily, they have been intermittent, but get strong. I shopped at both Whole Foods and Weaver Street Markets yesterday and am well stocked with food.

At Weaver Street, they had on 99 cent clearance a (4 or 5 ounces) bag of fresh "living" watercress that needed to be used in a day or two. I solicited feedback on good dishes to make with watercress, aside from eating it in a salad. My friend Paul suggested that it is "great for soup with onions, potatoes, and sweet corn"; I found online a nice sounding chilled cream of corn and watercress soup that sounded tempting, but I decided to just take some basic inspiration and make my own.

One thing that has impressed me about my new Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker (and steamer, slow cooker, yogurt maker, ...) is that everything seems to turn out great. I like making soups occasionally in my Vitamix blender, but I find that my intuition on soups in the blender isn't as strong. I decided to put a number of ingredients, especially potato and watercress but not too many others to take away from their defining flavors, in the pot with homemade unsweetened rice milk, use the pot's "soup" button, and then take out maybe a third of the finished soup, puree it in my blender, and then return to the rest of the soup. Here is what I actually did.

  • Two medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced to 1/2" cubes (organic, so skin kept on)
  • Two cups packed watercress, stems and leaves sliced into 1/2" strips
  • Three scallions cut into 1/4" slices
  • One clove garlic, finely diced
  • Carrot cut into 1/4" slices
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1t red (or other kind) miso
  • About 1t jalapeno, roughly chopped into approximately 1/4" cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • Pinch or two of salt
  • (Optional) Chiffonade of 10 basil leaves

  1. I put all the ingredients except for the basil in the Instant Pot, closed the pot, and pressed the "Soup" button, which the pot translated into a 30 minute high pressure cook.
  2. I was thinking of adding the fresh basil at the end when I served, but I sampled the soup before serving and it was so good and rich that the basil would have been lost in it (instead, I used the basil atop tomatoes on the side).
That's it! Since my appliance cooks at lower pressure than the old-fashioned stovetop pressure cookers, this is probably equivalent to a 20 or 25 minute high pressure preparation in one of those.

I also made a kale side dish by putting a medium shallot, sliced into 1/2" slices, into a stainless steel pan. I cooked over medium heat with nothing else added for 2 minutes or so, stirring, then added about 3 ounces of tempeh cut into approximately 3/4" squares. I cooked, stirring, another 2 or 3 minutes, then added a head of red kale leaves, hand torn into approximately 1" squares. After stirring for a minute or so, I added a few tablespoonfuls of coconut aminos (low sodium soy or tamari sauce could be used), stirred, and served.


Dinner was great! I had made a simple dinner for my daughter earlier, so was free to add jalapeno. This particular one was hot, but ended up fine with the soup. I didn't blend the soup or do anything else. The broth was quite rich and the vegetables, especially the carrot, perfectly cooked. The scallion and watercress were broken down into a less formed green graffiti and added nicely to the flavor. Both my wife and I loved the soup. I couldn't think of any improvements!

The kale was, of course, good. How can one go wrong with heirloom tomatoes, which I also served?!

A cup of almond milk is around 3g of fat, and the soup made about 4 servings, so the meal was only a few grams of fat. That makes it an almost no added fat recipe in my book!

Ideas for the future

I need to keep on making soups with the Instant Pot. I haven't been particularly drawn to soups, but this pot makes such tasty and rich soups that I may be making more soups now on.

By the way, strawberry season at our favorite local farm, Whitted-Bowers (biodynamic and organic), opens in two days, this Friday May 2nd! I should make some homemade jams. I wonder if I could use or modify recipes like this one from or this one from hip pressure cooking (maybe with brown rice syrup or Bee Free Honee).

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home