A good spicy soup for cold or rainy days. Lemurs eat this stuff all the time in cold climates.
16oz firm tofu
2 large onions (vidalia yellows work particularly well)
1/4 cup macaroni or white rice
4 medium tomatoes, as ripe as possible
1 clove garlic
1 bottle (16 oz) garden salsa
1/2 oz dark chili powder (approximately 1/4 of a standard spice bottle)
1/2 oz paprika
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
a dash of cilantro
a dash of ginger
a dash of soy sauce
a dash of dried hot pepper flakes
a dash of fresh-ground black pepper
a dash of salt
3 vegetable stock cubes
6 cups water
1. Drain the tofu, and press out as much of the water as possible. Take your time. The more water’s removed, the better the tofu.
2. Cut the tofu into quarter-inch cubes, then sprinkle soy sauce all over the tofu. Set it aside to marinate for ten or fifteen minutes.
3. While the tofu marinates, chop the onions coarsely. You want pieces roughly the size of your little fingernail. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks. Be sure not to lose the juice and pulp. You can leave the skins on or peel them, whichever you like. Grate or finely chop the carrots. You can put the tomatoes, onions and carrots (but not the tofu) straight into the stock pot as you prepare them, if you like. It saves on cleanup.
4. Heat up the oil in a wok (best) or frying pan. Press or finely chop the garlic, and add it to the hot oil. Stir fry the marinated tofu. You can add a bit more soy sauce and/or oil during the frying if you like. You want the tofu to brown a bit, and develop a sort of skin on the outside.
5. Put the fried tofu into your stock pot with the onions, tomatoes, carrots, salsa, spices, stock cubes and water. You may want to add less than the full amount of spices right at first, and adjust to your taste as it cooks. When adding the paprika and chili powder, be sure to add slowly and stir, so it doesn’t clump up. Don’t add the macaroni or rice yet.
6. Let it come to a rolling boil, then back off the heat to a slow boil. Cover the pot so it doesn’t cook down. After it’s been cooking for ten or fifteen minutes, taste the broth and adjust the spices to your taste. The paprika is sweet and mildly hot, the dark chili powder is hot, smoky and acrid, and the flaked red peppers are just plain hot.
7. After about 40 minutes or so the onions should be completely transparent. Check the flavour one more time, and spice as necessary. You may need to add a bit of boiling water if your soup has cooked down. Now add the macaroni or rice. Stir it around good, and let it boil slowly for another 10 minutes or so, stirring now and again to prevent sticking. Now it’s done.
(Recipe originally typed out for a Spindizzy cookbook in 2002 that came to naught.)