Butterfly Soup

recipe Nov 29, 2018

"Why do vegans insist on recreating meat meals and calling them 'vegan this' or 'vegan that'? Why are sautéed mushrooms 'vegan scallops' or grilled portobello 'vegan steak'?"

Question posed to me by my meat loving guy.  

I considered this and realized he has a few good points. For vegans and vegetarians, it's my opinion that it's fun to try to recreate meals in a plant based way. It's nice to have andouille sausage made of beans and mushrooms or cheese made out of carrots and potatoes.

But for meat eaters?

Calling a portobello mushroom a steak sets the bar unrealistically high. That portobello mushroom will never live up to the sense memories called to mind. My vegan ricotta may be delightful, but if the recipient of the lasagna made with cashew ricotta, eggplant, and vegetables recently savored lasagna with REAL ricotta and meat and melted mozzarella... it simply can't compare.

Which isn't to say that these vegan and vegetarian foods aren't amazingly delicious in their own right.

His point?

Why not, if you're creating a WHOLE new recipe for something, name it something magical?!

Like... Butterfly Soup or Unicorn Casserole.  

And so, when posing the idea of making a vegan pho for dinner, armed with the knowledge that he LOVES pho (made with bone broth and filled with meats galore), I said: "I'm going to make a vegan pho, but don't think of it as pho. I'm making Butterfly Soup."

Butterfly Soup

Yields 2 servings


For the Broth:

1 qt vegetable stock (low sodium)

1 jalapeño, sliced thin (seeded if you don't want the soup spicy)

2" ginger root, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp miso

1 tbsp coconut aminos/tamari sauce

For the Soup:

1 zucchini, spiralized

1 carrot, sliced thin

2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

1 leek, julienned

1/4 cup corn, off the cob

green onions or cilantro for garnish


  1.  Bring vegetable stock, coconut aminos, miso, ginger, jalapeño, and garlic to a light boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat, stir well to incorporate the miso, and allow to simmer, covered, while chopping remaining vegetables.  
  2. For Butterfly Soup:  strain the broth through a mesh strainer, discarding the ginger, garlic, and jalapeño. The miso will have melted into the broth. Return broth to pot, place all remaining vegetables in with the broth, and allow to simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes, depending on how cooked you want your vegetables. Distribute evenly between serving bowls. Sprinkle with green onions or cilantro (or both!)
  3.  For Caterpillar Soup: distribute remaining vegetables evenly between serving bowls. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer, discarding the ginger, garlic, and jalapeño. The miso will have melted into the broth. Return broth to pot and bring back to a low boil. Remove from heat and pour hot broth over the raw vegetables (this will lightly cook them).  Sprinkle with green onions or cilantro (or both!)

Note:  feel free to add as much to this as you want! You may want to add some roasted sweet potato slices, eggplant, or any other seasonal vegetables. Want to add shrimp? Okay, why not?!



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