1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1lb apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Toasted walnuts, for garnish
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften (approximately 3 4 minutes). Add the squash, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (approximately 8 minutes, depending on how large your squash pieces are).
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and pour over the 2 tsp of Nepal black tea. Cover and steep for 4 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves.
To the saucepan, add the apples, salt, cumin, coriander, ginger, black pepper, stock, and the brewed tea. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very soft (again depending on the size of your pieces this can take approx. 25 minutes).
Turn off the heat and, with an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return to the burner and re-heat on low heat. Add more water or broth if the soup needs to be thinned.
Turn your broiler on low and toast walnut pieces.
Ladle the soup into bowls and put in a dollop of sour cream and some toasted walnuts. Perfection!
VARIATION: We tried this version as well and we LOVE it.
Ben's Soup (above) with Roasted Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 420.
Chop vegetables into cubes (2" approximately). We usually use potatoes, squash, onions, garlic and carrots - but choose your favorites.
Place the cubed veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and rosemary.
Choose a baking dish that is large enough to accommodate the veggies in one layer (8x8 or 9x12). Spray the dish with canola spray and arrange the veggies in a single layer. Cover with aluminum foil.
Cook for 30-40 minutes until soft. Remove the foil, turn the oven to Low Broil, and broil the veggies until crisp and brown (not burnt).
If necessary, thin the soup with a little extra veggie broth. Put some roasted veggies in a bowl and ladle the soup over the vegetables. This is hearty and incredibly delicious!
BLACK TEA, CORN, AND MUSHROOM SOUP
Recipe from The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert Heiss
10 tsp. Assam black tea
Make a cheesecloth bundle with the tea leaves, green peppercorns, cardamom, gingerroot, cinnamon and star anise. Place the bundle in a stockpot with the water and bring to a boil.
Infuse the bundle for 4 minutes. Use a skimmer or small strainer to remove the cheesecloth bundle and discard. Add the salt and decrease the heat to low to keep the tea mixture warm.
Steam the corn in a steamer or saucepan for 5 minutes. Place the corn on a cutting board and let cool for about 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut each ear of corn into 1 ½” thick rounds and set aside. Cut each zucchini lengthwise into 4 pieces. Cut each quarter into 1 ½” lengths using a diagonal cut.
Increase the tea mixture heat to medium and add the corn. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and the red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes. Finally, add the chopped spinach and lemon slices and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
Recipe from tea cookbook by Tonia George
1 ½ Tbsp Sencha green tea leaves
Put 6 cups water in a large saucepan with the green tea and ginger and heat until water is about to bubble.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook the noodles according to the manufacturer's instructions, then drain.
Remove the tea infusion from the heat and let steep for 4 minutes, then strain and discard the tea leaves (keep the ginger in the infusion).
Return the pan to the burner and add the tofu, bok choy, and soy sauce. Cook gently over low heat for 4 minutes. Siphon off ½ cup of the liquid and mix it with the miso paste in a small cup. Pour back into the soup, along with the sesame oil and scallions, and heat through. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper. Divide the noodles into bowls, pour over the soup, and garnish with the nanami togarashi, shiso and mustard cress.
2 heaping tsp Emerald Green Earl Grey
Heat 2 cups of water to 180°, add the tea and steep, covered, for 3 minutes. Strain and pour the brewed tea into a soup pot with the vegetable stock and ginger. Bring to a boil.
Add the tofu, reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes.
Ladle ¼ - ½ cup of the broth into a glass measuring cup. Add the miso and stir into a smooth thin paste. Pour the miso paste back into the soup.
Add the spinach and cook for another 3 minutes. Be careful that the soup does not boil but is heated sufficiently.
Remove from the heat, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with scallions. Serve immediately.
3 cups water
Heat the water to 180º. Remove from the heat, add the Mao Feng green tea, cover and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain the leaves and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Stir in the zucchini and potatoes. Add the brewed green tea and bring to a simmer, cooking until the potatoes are soft.
Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is just wilted. Add the parsley and remove from the heat. Puree in a blender until the soup is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Place loose leaf tea in a teapot. Pour boiling water over the leaves and steep for 4 minutes. Strain and set brewed tea aside.
In a medium pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. (Leave the kitchen for a minute just so you can have the pleasure of coming back in and smelling this onion/garlic goodness.)
After your olfactory senses have been delighted, add the potatoes, carrots and brewed tea. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Put on the new raincoat that you just got but haven’t tested yet. Put on your boots then skip to the back garden, relishing in the fact that you’re outside. Dance around a little by your garden, enjoying the beautiful vegetables you’re growing while you stay dry in your new raincoat that – as advertised – does repel the raindrops. Snip off some tasty looking spinach leaves. Greet the neighbor’s dogs that are barking at you. Snip off a little fresh dill and then reluctantly return to the house.
Rinse the spinach leaves and chop. Add to the soup, cover and cook for 8 minutes. Add the dill, mustard, salt and pepper and simmer another 2 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and, using a potato masher, mash the soup a little so there’s a nice mix of chunky and smooth soup. Return to the heat, add the half and half and heat another minute.
Ladle in to bowls and bask in the glow of good soup and praise for your cooking! Enjoy… ..
Heat the water to 180° and pour over the tea leaves. Steep for 2 minutes, then strain and add the brewed tea to the crock pot. Turn the crock pot on High.
Add all the vegetables and herbs to the crock pot (except the mustard), cover and cook on High for 4-5 hours. Add the dijon mustard.
Ladle into bowls and, if desired, sprinkle with a little cheese.