|Mediterranean Hot Pot: Warms you up without weighing you down|
Hot Pot to the rescue. Hot pot came about over 1000 years ago when Mongolian soldiers cooked this mish-mash stew in their helmets over an open fire. My vegan version contains Mediterranean influences – basil, oregano, cremini mushrooms and a licorice-scented fennel bulb. It's filling, nutritious, and best of all – warming. It's one of those soups that tastes even better after it sits for a few days.
|Protein courtesy of mushrooms and dried-fried tofu|
Mediterranean Hot Pot
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 5 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced [I used Cremini]
- 1 bunch chard, trimmed and chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 T dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 pound tofu, pressed for at least an hour and dry-fried
- 1 bunch of cellophane mung bean noodles [You can substitute vermicelli or soba noodles]
Heat oil over medium in a large saute pan. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add fennel and mushrooms. Saute then when it gets dry, continue to cook by water-sauteing: add about 1-2T of broth of water and cook until veggies are soft, about 10 more minutes. Besides being lower in fat, this slow-cooking method will help concentrate the flavors.
Add chard and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add broth, herbs, and tofu. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer on low for about 25 minutes. Add noodles and cook until soft, according to package directions. Top with a bit of sriracha sauce if you like heat.