For all you Seafood lovers out there, please forgive me, for I have made a delicious but very vegan mock seafood soup! Seafood soup is my all time favourite dish but I decided I needed to try a version without the seafood. I haven’t cut fish 100% out of my diet yet but I always enjoy making veggie versions of the classics I used to eat all the time. Should this even be called “Seafood Soup” since it is entirely devoid of seafood? I’m not sure but it has the fundamentals of my favourite recipe, ie rich tomatoes, hints of lemon and fennel and soft white tofu instead of white fish.
If anything it is just a really beautiful lemony tofu soup!
The seafood soup would usually contain some form of white fish like cod, maybe some salmon, small prawns, large prawns and mussels! I couldn’t think of a prawn and mussel replacement so I kept it simple and just focused on replacing the fish.
The base of this soup is very similar to my Tomato Soup with Basil Gnocchi but I made some subtle changes to keep it in line with the seafood soup we have on holiday.
Serves 2 – Soup is freezable but I’d recommend frying fresh tofu each time.
2 Sticks Celery
1/2 Red Pepper
1 Large Garlic Clove
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
8 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Can Tomatoes
300ml Vegetable Stock
2 Lemons – one for juice and one for the garnish slices
200g Firm Tofu
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
To prepare the vegetables finely dice the onion and red pepper and finely slice the celery and garlic clove. Halve the cherry tomatoes
In a large pan heat some olive oil and then soften the onion and celery for 5 minutes untill it starts to brown (don’t let it get too brown) then add the red pepper and garlic. Add a splash of water if it is browning too fast.
Once the vegetables are all softened add the spices/ fennel seeds and stir, cooking for a further 1 minute, untill everything is completely combined.
Add the canned chopped tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Simmer gently for around 20-30 minutes. Taste and season to taste (season after adding the stock as stock cubes can be quite salty.
Drain the tofu and slice it into pieces roughly 2 inches long (it really doesn’t matter but I’ve made mine rectangle). Place the slices in between some kitchen paper and press firmly to remove extra moisture. I use Cauldron’s Original Tofu which is quite firm so for the purpose of this recipe I don’t feel the need to press it too much.
In a frying pan heat some olive oil and add the tofu pieces so that they are quite spaced out in the pan. Squeeze half the lemon over the tofu and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes untill it has began to brown slightly. The lemon won’t let it brown completely. Turn the pieces over gently and squeeze a little more lemon juice over.
Add a few slices of lemon to the pan whilst cooking the tofu and allow them to brown on each side.
Serve up the soup into bowls and top each portion with the cooked tofu and some browned lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with some good crusty white bread and definitely a glass of dry white wine!