This Cucumber Matcha Soup Is Surprisingly Filling & Full Of Fiber
This soup is a fabulous green, and the inclusion of matcha and lemon verbena or mint provides a little mystery. There's also no need to peel the cucumber; there's plenty of goodness in the skin!
Fresh silken tofu and the pasteurized variety sold in cartons are worlds apart. This may mean a trip to a good health food store or a Japanese deli, but you will be well rewarded. This is a low-calorie soup that's high in protein as well as being a source of fiber and vitamin K.
Cucumber and Matcha Soup with Seaweed
For the cucumber:
- 1 cucumber, ends discarded, peeled and thinly sliced
- Sea salt
- 50 ml (2 fl. oz.) vegan white wine vinegar
- 50 g (1¾ oz.) caster sugar
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 banana shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 900 g (2 lb.) cucumber (2 to 3 cucumbers), ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and thickly sliced
- 300 g (10½ oz.) fresh silken tofu
- 8 small lemon verbena or mint leaves
- ¾ teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the garnish:
- Seaweed sprinkle or flakes
- Toasted sesame seeds
- For the pickled cucumber, season the cucumber with salt in a large bowl and set aside for 30 minutes before rinsing in a colander. Return the cucumber to the bowl.
- Bring 50 ml (2 fl. oz.) water, the vinegar, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, pour over the cucumber and leave to cool, then drain into a sieve and dry on a double thickness of kitchen paper.
- For the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry the shallots for a few minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the cucumber and continue to fry for about 5 minutes until it relaxes. Purée the vegetables in a blender with the tofu, the verbena or mint, matcha, lemon juice, and some salt.
- Pass through a sieve into a bowl.
- Serve the soup hot or cold, with the pickled cucumber in the center, scattered with seaweed flakes and sesame seeds. If reheating, avoid boiling to preserve the color of the matcha.
Excerpted from Plant Power: Protein-Rich Recipes for Vegetarians and Vegans by Annie Bell Kyle Books 2019.
Annie Bell is a Cookery Writer and Registered Associate Nutritionist with a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition. She spent the early days of her career training as a chef, including at Kensington Place under Rowley Leigh. Her first food column was as Vogue’s cookery writer, before she joined The Independent as their food writer. She has been principal cookery writer on The Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine for over twenty years. Awarded Journalist of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers, she continues to contribute to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, in addition to writing her own titles. She is author of twenty cookery books and she co-authored a cookery and lifestyle book with the minimalist architect John Pawson. Today, her books combine her experience of lifestyle-led cookery with evidence-based nutrition. She has produced two titles about Low Carbohydrate Diets, and another about Dairy.