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Spring Tofu Soup

This versatile (coincidentally vegan) soup can be customized with most quick-cooking vegetables — thinly sliced asparagus could easily be thinly sliced turnips or radishes — and whatever tofu you have access to. If tofu isn’t your thing, this soup would also be a great place to add any leftover chicken to warm through or shrimp to cook in the broth. The lemon at the end will breathe a lot of much-needed life into this broth built mostly from pantry staples, but a splash of rice wine vinegar would also do the trick.

INGREDIENTS: 
3 garlic cloves, finely grated or chopped
1 jalapeño, finely grated or chopped
2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
10 ounces mushrooms, such as enoki, white button, cremini or oyster
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups peas (fresh or frozen)
1 (12- to 14-ounce) package soft tofu, drained, or use firm tofu, cut in bite-size pieces
Olive oil, for drizzling
4 scallions, very thinly sliced, for serving

PREPARATION:
Combine garlic and jalapeño in a small bowl. Finely zest the lemons, and add zest to the bowl with the jalapeño mixture. (Reserve the lemons for juicing.) Season heavily with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring broth and soy sauce to a simmer, and season with salt and pepper.
Add mushrooms and simmer until they’re just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add asparagus, peas and half the jalapeño mixture, and season the broth again with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until they’re bright green and starting to float, 2 to 4 minutes.

To serve, spoon a large piece of tofu into each bowl. (Alternatively, scoop tofu into the pot, breaking it into large pieces.) Top with more of the jalapeño mixture, and ladle the broth and vegetables over.

Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with scallions before serving.

For more recipes like this visit cooking.nytimes.com

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