Posts tagged soup

Potato & Carrot Soup

So, I was at the farm the other weekend picking organic vegetables with my bare hands. Geez, I can’t remember the last time I got so dirty, sun burned, getting splinters, blisters, the whole nine! You can say I finally got in touch with the earth. But it wasn’t so bad, considering I got these to take back home.

Well, now that this spread has been trimmed and cleaned, I am now faced with another difficult task… what to cook for dinner. Obviously, I can’t be an Iron Chef, huh? However, given a few days to think about it, I can definitely come up with something to cook out of these babies. Here’s one for starters…

Yum! Tastes like something that didn’t come from the grocery store. And that’s a good thing!

Now, what to do with them beets…

Ingredients (4-6 Servings):
1 lb. Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb. Carrots, peeled and diced
1 large Onion, diced
4-6 large Garlic Cloves, minced
4 cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
1/4 cup EVOO
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
In a medium heated heavy pot, sauté potatoes and carrots on EVOO for 10 minutes. Add onions and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Then, pour the stock, season with salt & pepper and let it come to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Now, use a blender or a hand mixer (with the blender attachment) to pureé the soup to your desired consistency. Give it a taste and re-season accordingly.

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Beef Noodle Soup

Go ahead! Slurp the soup and suck the noodles. Make joyful noises with your mouth without being embarrassed. And don’t bother with a spoon, either. Drink it straight from the bowl. Yes! That’s how Asian noodle soup dishes are properly consumed.

By the way, these noodles are available in your local Asian market. They usually come in a package of 10 single-serving portions, each rolled up in a ball. I personally prefer the thin ones but I ran out. So, thick ones it is, for now.

And to flavor the broth, I personally use special beef-flavored powder packet (like those found in ramen bags) or paste (usually bottled) that you can only find in Asian markets. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for (I admit, most of the labels aren’t in English and they don’t tell you what the stuff is for), I recommend you add any kind of stir-fry sauce, instead. Those are readily available in your local grocery store.

Basically, this is peasant fare. Meaning, you can put whatever you want in there and it’ll work. And usually, it’s the leftovers. Surprise, surprise!

Ingredients (1 serving):
1 ball Dried Chinese Egg Noodles
3 cups Napa Cabbage (or any veggie you want), chopped into small pieces
1/4 lb. Beef (or chicken), diced into strips
2 tbs. Scallions, julienned
1 1/2 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (or any broth)
1 tbs. Stir-Fry Sauce (any kind)
1 tbs. Pure Sesame Oil
1/2 tbs. Chili Sauce (optional)

Directions:
Immerse the noodle ball in a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the cooked noodles in a serving bowl.

In the same pot, pour the broth and let it boil. Once boiling, add the stir-fry sauce and stir. Then, quickly add the meat and cabbage. Don’t worry if some of the cabbage is not immersed. They will wilt eventually. Cover and let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Take the lid off and stir until all the cabbage pieces are soaking in the broth.

Pour the broth mixture into the serving bowl over the noodles. Drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with scallions. And if you want some kick, add some chili sauce.

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Bread Bowl Au Gratin

No, there are no potatoes in this gratin dish. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put some in it. In fact, you can put whatever you want in a bread bowl. I just happened to have leftover roasted chicken and a can of cream of mushroom soup so that’s what I used. The only thing I did a little different is that I prepared it au gratin style. But instead of a typical casserole, I used the bread bowl as the baking dish itself.

Also, I made the soup a little thicker, like stew almost, so that it’ll stand up more in the oven. Why? Usually, when preparing bread bowls, you toast the bread first and then pour the soup right before serving. But what I did was I poured the soup beforehand, topped it with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and baked it in the oven altogether. After all, I wasn’t making a soup bowl but a gratin. So, the liquid has to have a thicker consistency or it’ll drip out and make the bread soggy more quickly.

As you can see in the photo, there are no drips of melting cheese either. That’s because I used grated parmesan as that’s all I have at the moment. It would be great to use cheddar or something similar because… who doesn’t like dripping melted cheese?

Oh, and you thought the best part was over when the soup ran out, didn’t you? Nope! Finishing up the bread was just as good, if not better. Soggy on the inside, crispy on the outside… mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm!!! Now, go make your own!

Ingredients (2 servings):
2 Single Serving Bread Bowls
1 can Low-Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
Olive Oil
Some Leftover Meat, diced
1 cup Frozen Veggies
2-3 tbs. Fine Breadcrumbs
2-4 tbs. Grated Cheese
A handful of Parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. In a saucepan, heat the can of soup with the stock. Add in the frozen veggies and meat. Salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cut the top of the bread with a serrated knife and hollow out the inside to make room for the soup. Brush the inside of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with a little salt. Ladle the soup in the bowl, top with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Now, don’t forget the bread tops and insides. Drizzle a little olive oil on them and bake along with the bowls on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

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Leftover Tempura Soup

Well, I had to give way to the Butterball all-out feasting for a couple of days but now that it’s over, I’m back in the green and sensible eating business.

Now, not only did I have fish, veggies and fruit pieces leftover from making the baked tempura, I also had a few tempura pieces that I didn’t get to finish. So I thought of making soup out of all this today. Which turned out to be a winner. The tempura gets soggy when dipped in the soup but that’s how you want it. I’ve never tried making soup out of fruits before and I gotta tell ya, this ain’t gonna be the last time. So yummy and refreshing!

Ingredients: Assorted Veggies (I used Zucchini, Mushrooms, Carrots and Sweet Potato) and Fruits (I used Apple, Pear, Peach and Avocado), Leftover Tempura Pieces, Chicken Stock, Dry White Wine, Garlic, Olive Oil, Chives or Scallions, Salt & Pepper

Directions: Dice all veggies and fruits into small pieces. In a pot or dutch oven, saute garlic in a little olive oil. Throw in all veggies and fruit pieces, season with salt & pepper and stir. Add just enough stock to immerse everything then add a splash of white wine. Let boil for 10 minutes or until the veggies and fruits are very soft. Ladle the veggie and fruit pieces and some stock into the blender and puree. Pour back into the pot and if needed, re-season to taste. Reheat leftover tempura pieces in the mircrowave. Ladle soup in a bowl, add tempura pieces and garnish with chives or scallions.

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