Mesquite-Smoked Tempeh Glazed with Chili-Lime Hot Sauce
Not bad for a Monday night... ;)
The soup started with the broth -- in this case a fennel & garlic broth that I made earlier in the day in the pressure cooker -- using the stems and fronds from a medium sized fennel bulb and two cloves of smashed garlic in eight cups of water for 40 minutes at 15psi. The result was a clear, clean and very aromatic broth after straining.
In a soup pot over med-high heat add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add 1 medium onion diced, 2 medium carrots diced and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add two cloves of garlic, minced and cook for one additional minute.
Next, add 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. Mexican oregano, 2 tsp. smoked paprika, 2 tsp. smoked salt, 1 tsp. black pepper and cook for one minute.
Add a 28oz can of Hominy (drained) and stir to coat. Add six cups of the fennel & garlic broth, 1 tbs. of tamari, then bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
While that's cooking, make the tempeh...
First dice the tempeh into cubes and smoke it for 25 minutes with mesquite wood chips.
Next, in a wok on med-high heat, stir-fried the tempeh in 1 tbs. of olive oil until golden brown (about 7-8 minutes). Add a splash of tamari at the end of cooking and cook for 1 additional minute. Then add 1 tbs. (or more!) of your favorite hot sauce (we used Cholula Chili-Lime) and glaze the tempeh.
Check the soup for seasoning -- and this is totally heretical, but if it still needs a little help, mix 2 tsp. of a dark miso with a little of the broth, and whisk it into the soup -- it adds a nice depth.
Add the soup to a warm bowl and top with the smoked tempeh pieces and a splash of lime.
The plantain chips were cut thinly on the benriner and deep-fried for about 90 seconds in 365°F -- you've got to keep a close eye on them as they'll continue to darken a few shades after you pull them out and salt them -- take them out about 15-20 seconds before you think you need to...
Pairing with the plantain chips was guacamole -- ripe avocados, with a few accents of lime juice, red onions, smoked salt and cilantro.