Knowing I would have a late night at work coming up in the next day, I had to come up with a meal easy to cook, that would be nourishing and filling. The idea of prepping and building a soup which would be put in its cooking pot and stored in the fridge until time for cooking, came into my mind. I always loved the Korean Fermented Bean Paste soup, called Doenjang Chigae, and began to crave that for the kind of soup I wanted to make. But, while gathering ingredients, I realized I was out of Doenjang, or fermented bean paste. I did have in my fridge black bean paste, and I wondered if I could use that instead. It would definitely change the flavor of the soup, but it might be an acceptable substitute. so, this is how it went down…
For the prep work, I chopped all the following into bite-sized pieces, or chunks:
- one medium sized white potato
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 carrots
- couple handfuls of Songee mushrooms (which are a cross between king oyster mushroom and oyster mushrooms. I found them at Hmart)
- 1/2 block firm tofu
- 1 medium onion
- 1 green chili pepper
Then I added
- 1 Tbsp Veggie mushroom powered stock
- 1/4 cup black bean paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb sized knob of ginger, minced
Next step was putting everything into the cooking pot, and covering everything with filtered water. I rinsed the brown rice and put it into a pot as well and covered the rice with water, too. The advantage of adding the water was twofold, the potatoes in the soup pot would not discolor in the water and the brown rice would actually cook faster, needing approximately 20 minutes from the boil.
Then, everything in the fridge to await cooking the next evening, after I got home from work.
After the soup simmered about 30 minutes, I garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, or scallions and we were ready to sit down to a warm and nourishing dinner without the usual hour or more wait, and without having to cook a meal from conceptual start to actual finish when I was tired after a long day at work.
The black bean paste did give the soup a different appearance in color and a different taste. But it was good, and filling and did the job I asked of it, which was practically cooking itself, and making an easy night of dinner prep.
Remember to plan.
Remember to cook good, healthy foods.
It is a big part of taking care of yourself, and your family!