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Baby, It's Cold Outside

What cures the winter chills better than a warm bowl of hearty soup? Unfortunately, many recipes rely on dried starches and canned vegetables instead of fresh in-season produce. This vegetable soup uses daikon radish for a delicate broth. Ginger adds a warming spiciness and aids digestion when heavier holiday food takes its toll.

Another great thing about this soup is the different ways you can eat it. Garnish with sprouts and green onions for a healthy, protein-packed crunch or with a dash of roasted sesame for a more edamame taste. You could also serve it over rice or kelp noodles for an easy and seasonal alternative to a bowl of pho.

Winter Vegetable Soup


  • 1 small daikon radish (about 1 pound) cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/8” thick

  • 1” knob of ginger, smashed

  • 1” stick of lemongrass

  • 6 cups water

  • 5 cups napa cabbage, cut into 1” chunks

  • 3-4 white mushrooms, sliced into 1/4” pieces

  • 1 cup firm tofu cut into 1/2” cubes

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • crunchy sprouts—adzuki, mung bean, lentil, and/or green pea (optional)

  • green onions, tops cut into 1/4” pieces (optional)

  • roasted sesame oil (optional)


1. In a large saucepan, combine cold water, ginger, lemongrass, and daikon radish. Bring to a boil and turn to medium-low heat. Allow to cook until daikon becomes translucent, about 15 minutes.

2. Add napa cabbage and continue cooking at medium-low heat until all vegetables become soft, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Add tofu and mushrooms and cook for another 7 minutes, until mushrooms are fully cooked.

4. Pour into soup bowls and top with crunchy sprouts, green onions, or a splash of roasted sesame oil (be careful, a little goes a long way!).

Makes 4-6 servings. Vegan, gluten-free, low carb

Gregory E. Anderson is a freelance writer and former chef. Follow him on Twitter at gregoryewrites.

—Illustration by Sharon Watts

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