Broccoli and Soy Milk Soup is a healthy soup and very easy to make. The tofu in the soup gives you a good amount of protein without meat in the soup. The soup is surprisingly tasty even if there is only a tiny amount of seasoning added to it. The green of the broccoli in the white colour of the Soy Milk Soup is appetising.
I found today’s recipe, Broccoli and Soy Milk Soup, in my online Japanese cooking magazine called ‘Okazu no Cooking’. I think I mentioned to you about this magazine in my post Fish Chawanmushi (Savoury Egg Custard).
Broccoli was cheap at Harris Farm Market, my local supermarket, so I bought quite a lot of it without planning to cook anything with it. Then I found this recipe!
To tell you the truth, I am not fan of soy milk as a beverage. I can drink it if I have to, but the specific flavour that comes from soybeans (beany/grassy) doesn’t agree with me. So, I was a bit sceptical about this dish. But to my surprise it turned out to be a very tasty soup. And I love it!
Since this was my first attempt to using soy milk in my cooking, I was curious as to what other people were cooking with soy milk as a main ingredient.
The interesting findings are that most Western recipes using soy milk are drinks and desserts, while there are quite few savoury dishes that originate from Japan and some other Asian countries.
It is not surprising that Japan has savoury soy milk dishes. There is a hot pot dish made with milk broth called ‘asuka nabe’ (飛鳥鍋), in Japan. It originated in Nara prefecture about 1300 years ago when Nara was the capital of Japan (prior to moving the capital to Kyoto, then subsequently to Edo, i.e. Tokyo).
Today’s soup is almost the simplest version of asuka nabe using soy milk instead of dairy milk.
What’s in My Broccoli and Soy Milk Soup
There are only 3 key ingredients in this recipe, with a few seasonings.
- Momen tofu (firm tofu)
- Soy milk
- Shiro dashi or granular dashi stock (optional)
- Pepper (not in the photo)
The tofu is cooked with the broccoli pieces, so, you don’t use silken tofu. Silken tofu is so soft that it will break into small pieces when mixed. Hard tofu is too firm to be added to this soup. I want the tofu pieces to be soft but not fragile. Momen tofu (firm tofu) is just right.
There are several varieties of soy milk available. Some are slightly sweetened with sugar, some with no sugar. Unless it is heavily sweetened, you can use either normal soy milk or non-sugar soy milk. I personally think that a touch of sweetness in this soup would enhance the flavour.
The addition of shiro dashi or granular dashi stock was my idea. The original recipe only uses salt and pepper to taste, so it is quite alright not to add dashi to it. I made both versions and both were delicious.
How to Make Broccoli and Soy Milk Soup
There is a specific way of preparing the broccoli in this recipe. I think that this method keeps the vivid green colour of the broccoli well even when it is cooked in the soup. The original recipe suggested rinsing the whole bunch of broccoli florets in the boiling water, then cutting them into pieces. But I find that my method is easier.
- Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces.
- Put the broccoli pieces in a bowl/pot and add enough boiling water to submerge broccoli pieces. Leave for 1 minute, then drain.
- Put tofu in a pot and break it into bite-size pieces.
- Add soy milk to the pan and bring it to a boil, then simmer.
- Add broccoli pieces to the pot and cook.
- Season to taste.
It takes less than 15 minutes to make this if you prepare the broccoli while simmering the soup. The combination of the ingredients is unique for a soup, but I like the delicate flavour.
If you use vegetarian dashi stock or omit it altogether, it becomes a vegan Broccoli and Soy Milk Soup.
Broccoli and Soy Milk Soup is very easy to make, and the soup is surprisingly tasty even if there is only a tiny amount of seasoning added to it. The green of the broccoli in the white soup is appetising. It is a healthy soup!
Use vegetarian dashi stock or omit the dashi stock to make it a vegan soup.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 350ml / 11.8 fl.oz soy milk
- 1/2 pack momen tofu (150g / 5.3oz, note 1)
- 1 bunch broccoli (about 200g / 7.1oz)
- Boiling water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp shiro dashi (note 2)
Cut the thick stem off the broccoli. Peel the skin off the stem, quarter vertically, the cut into 3-4cm / 1⅛-1½" long sticks.
Cut the florets into bite-size (not too large) pieces.
Put the broccoli pieces in a bowl and add boiling water to submerge broccoli in water. Leave it for 1 minute. Drain.
Place tofu in a pot, break the tofu into large pieces using a spoon, then add soy milk. Bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 6 minutes (note 3).
Add broccoli pieces and shiro dashi to the pot and cook further 2-3 minutes (note 4).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve while hot.
1. It is also sold as firm tofu.
Silken tofu and hard tofu are not suitable for this recipe. Silken tofu is so fragile that it will break into small pieces. The texture of hard tofu is too stiff.
2. Alternatively you can add ¼ teaspoon of granular dashi stock powder. The original recipe did not use dashi so it is also OK to omit and add a pinch of salt instead.
3. It is very important to simmer the soup gently. If the temperature of the soy milk becomes too high, the surface of the soup starts curdling.
You may also stir occasionally, scraping off the bottom, as the milk tends to stick at the bottom.
4. Cooking duration after the broccoli is added depends on how crunchy/tender you want the broccoli to be.
5. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 358g calories: 173kcal fat: 7.3g (11%) saturated fat: 1.1g (6%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 2g monounsaturated fat: 1g cholesterol: 0mg (0%) sodium: 707mg (29%) potassium: 651mg (19%) carbohydrates: 14g (5%) dietary fibre: 4.4g (18%) sugar: 6.7g protein: 16g vitamin a: 20% vitamin c: 149% calcium: 37% iron: 18%