Sunday, November 29, 2015

Soup on the Run

As a fan of all things soupy,  I can't help but repost this soup to-go design from Peter Urban of Denmark.  Thanks to

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Vietnamese Chicken & Beef Pho

Pho -- For the broth:

  • 2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
  • 4-inch piece ginger (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 pound chicken backs/necks
  • 5 star anise (40 star points total)
  • *optional* 1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into very thin 2-by-4-inch pieces 
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (I only use Red Boat, highest quality and no preservatives)
  • 1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar (if available, not critical)


Thinly sliced fresh raw onion (use Mandoline if possible)

Bean sprouts

Fresh torn Thai Basil

Fresh torn 



1. Roast the meaty parts in Grapeseed or Olive Oil in large metal soup pot. While meat is roasting, slice onions and ginger into large chunks and char using cast iron skillet or thick metal pan. Make sure to open windows and use exhaust fan as the charring process will create smoke.  Char for 15  minutes, onions and ginger will soften and become sweetly fragrant. Use tongs to occasionally rotate them and to grab and discard any flyaway onion skin. You do not have to blacken entire surface, just enough to slightly cook onion and ginger. Remove blackened parts before adding to soup.
2. Add 6-8 cups of water, although I like to add 1 container of Organic Beef Broth for extra flavoring along with 5 cups of purified water. 
3. Add dry spices, salt, fish sauce. Simmer slowly uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Boneless meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it and place in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes; this prevents the meat from drying up and turning dark as it cools. Drain the meat; cool, then refrigerate. Allow broth to continue cooking; in total, the broth should simmer 3 hours.
4. Strain the pho broth using a fine mesh strainer. 
5. Use a shallow ladle to skim as much fat from top of the pho broth as you like. Taste and adjust flavor with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar but be cautious because the noodles and other ingredients are not salted so they will dilute the flavors.
6. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Fill saucepan with water and bring to boil, add noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10-20 seconds), pull strainer from water. Empty noodles into bowls. Add very hot broth and top with garnish.
7. Place slices of cooked meat, raw meat and tendon (if using) atop noodles. Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper.
Now, keep in mind that most Vietnamese pho eaters probably wouldn't mix chicken with beef in one broth but I actually prefer the deep flavors of the beef broth with the light chicken meat. Enjoy your food however you like~
Happy slurping!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Organic Lemon Chicken Rice Soup with Spinach

Yet another Chicken Soup--but this time, wheat-free!  

The weather is finally cooling down and I crave the warm, slurpy goodness of Rosul. Must say, it's become one of my favorites. The lemon adds some acidity to the savory broth and the spinach with zucchini combo-- as long as they aren't overcooked -- bring a bit of crunch to the soup.All the ingredients are in season at our local Southern CA Farmer's Market.

Organic Lemon Chicken Rice Soup with Spinach
  • 1 Package Organic Chicken Thighs (5-6 thighs)
  • 1 box Organic Chicken Broth (or you can use my chicken bone broth recipe from previous posts)
  • 1 bag of cleaned spinach leaves
  • 1 lg. Zucchini (diced)
  • 1 small Onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup Basmati or Sushi Rice
  • 2 tbs. Flour (for the rue)
  • 1 tbs. Corn Starch
  • 1 tbs. Butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley (chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 lg. Lemon

  1. Add washed chicken thighs and garlic to 1/2 container of chicken broth, simmer for 20-30 minutes covered. I love to make this in the Le Creuset, the even heat distribution makes a great broth. In the meantime add the rice to 2 cups of water in a separate pan, bring to boil and cook until most of the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and rinse, set aside.
  2. In another small saucepan slowly melt the butter and whisk in the corn starch, then flour in slow dusting motions.  Once the flour and starch are incorporated in the butter start adding water while whisking.  Do this s l o w l y  as lumps may form if you mix it too quickly.  Add 3/4ths of the chopped parsley. Cook the mixture to thicken (about 10 minutes) on low heat.
  3. Remove chicken thighs from broth and set aside to cool. Bring broth to light simmer and add the rue, zucchini, onion, rice, and spices.
  4. Cook 10 minutes, strip the chicken off bone, remove skin, chop into bite size pieces and add to broth. Cook another 15 minutes.  Add spinach for the last 5 minutes along with the juice of 1 whole lemon.  Turn off the heat, let sit for at least an hour.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve*

Friday, August 26, 2011

Egg Drop Soup

A good Egg Drop Soup is perfection in a bowl. Just the right combination of gelatinous broth, gummy egg bits, and crunchy green onions is both nourishing and filling. Finding a good version can be a challenge and this recipe gets the flavor notes just right. Adding a handful of fresh spinach leaves gives a bit of crunch.

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced  (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp butter from pastured cows
  • 8 cups of chicken broth (or well-salted water)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (fresh if you have it)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (unpasteurized and unrefined)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch) + 3 Tbsp water
  • 6 eggs
  • Thank you Food Renegade!

1. Saute chopped onions and celery in butter until softened.

2. Add broth, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil.  Bring to soft simmer for 15 min.
3. Mix arrowroot powder or corn starch with 1/3 cup warm water until completely blended and smooth.
4. Add to broth and blend.
5. Whisk eggs together and pour into soup while broth is lightly simmering. I like to stir soup in circular motion for ribbon like effect.
6. Garnish with green onion and spinach. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 - 14 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 - 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes
2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute - being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing them into the pan to break them up.  Add the juice from the whole tomatoes, as well.  Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar.  Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes.  

To finish, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream and basil.  Serve topped with parmesan cheese

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicken Soup with Lemon and Leek

Another variation on my weekly chicken soup routine.  I love the fresh zing of leeks with lemon and with the addition of jasmine rice this should should be both refreshing and savory.
I'm still a stickler about homemade stock simmered for at least 2 hours with plenty of bone and cartilage, see previous post for Rosul recipe. It makes all the difference in the richness of the broth.

2 quarts chicken stock,  homemade 
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
2/3 cup rice or coarse bulgur
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Fresh juice of 2 lemons, strained, or about 6 to 8 tablespoons, to taste
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or dill for garnish
1. Combine the stock and leeks, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add the rice or bulgur, and continue to simmer until the grain is cooked through, 15 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.
2. Beat together the eggs and lemon juice until frothy in a medium bowl.
3. Just before serving, making sure that the broth isn’t boiling, gradually add 2 cups to the egg and lemon mixture while beating vigorously with a whisk to prevent the eggs from curdling. Turn off the heat under the soup, pour the egg-lemon mixture into the soup, stir well and serve, adding a bit of pepper to each bowl and garnishing with chopped fresh parsley or dill.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rosul- Polish Chicken Noodle Soup

This Rosol (ro-soow) is a simple, old world recipe for my absolute favorite Chicken Noodle Soup.  The key with this preparation is patience because the flavor really comes from the quality of the broth. You absolutely cannot substitute homemade chicken stock with anything store bought, I've tried and it doesn't do the soup justice.
The dill is also a critical component.  You know you've done it right when the soup turns gelatinous after a night in the fridge.  Mmmmm, soup jelly...

2 small White Onions, quartered 
4 Celery Stalk with leaves, cut in 3 pieces 
4-6 cloves Garlic, put through a garlic press or chopped
1 tbsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper or peppercorns
4-6 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 1/2 qts. water
1 whole chicken, or 10-12 thighs

Clean chicken and place in cold water in a deep stock pot.  Keep heat on med/low until a slow gentle simmer begins.  Skim off white foam as it appears. Cook 1 hour.
Remove chicken and add remaining ingredients.
I then like to remove the meat from the bones and remove the skin from the meat, set aside then return all the bones ( I even crush them a bit with a meat tenderizer) to the stock and continue cooking for about 2 hours on a low simmer.

1 large White Onion, sliced thin
2 diced carrots
1 cup egg noodles (1/2 way cooked)
1-2 tsp rice vinegar (just adds acidity, adjust to your liking)
Fresh dill to garnish

Remove all ingredients by straining soup until it appears clear. Add all ingredients except noodles and dill, cook 1 hour on low simmer.
Add noodles in last 15-20 minutes.  Cool slightly and sprinkle with dill (not dry-must be fresh)
Serve with rye or sourdough bread and butter and put some Devotchka on the CD player.  Shot of vodka on the side is optional :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Creamy Yogurt Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is one of my husband's favorite veggies.  I, however, prefer it drenched with butter, dressing, and just about anything else that will hide the asparagusiness of it all.  Maybe a lovely soup will make it better?  The soy and yogurt should give it a little zip and hopefully I can manage the flour bit without burning it to a brown goo.

Here goes:
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 thick large leek, white stalk only
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (or soy yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (replace with sprinkle of garlic croutons or bread crumbs if you'd prefer to skip the dairy)
  1. Place asparagus, leek and onion in a saucepan with 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish. Place remaining vegetable mixture in an electric blender (or hand-held blender) and puree until smooth.
  3. Melt butter in the pan that was used for simmering the asparagus and onions. Stir while sprinkling flour, salt, and pepper into the butter. Do not let the flour brown. Allow the mixture to cook only 2 minutes. Stir in remaining broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Stir the vegetable puree and milk into the saucepan. Whisk yogurt into the mixture, followed by lemon juice. Stir until heated through, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. 
As always, I've included vegan/dairy-free options. I'll miss the Parmesan, let me know if you have any ideas for other tasty replacements.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Salmon Tahini Soup

Photo from Elise Bauer
What do you do when you've neglected going to the grocery store all week and know that Trader Joe's on a Sunday night never ends well?  Well, you dig up some tahini from the way-back of the fridge, defrost the salmon steaks you've had since Christmas, throw in herbs and greens, simmer and out comes this hearty wonder!

It can be made with soy milk or cream/milk* (omit lemon) and don't skip on the fresh herbs- they make all the difference.

Salmon Tahini Bisque

1/2 cup soy milk
3 large potatoes
2 salmon steaks
1 tbs fresh dill weed
1 cup chopped spinach, drained
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbs Seasoning Mix (I like the TJ's Mix)
2 cups vegetable stock
3tbs miso paste 
2 tbs capers, save liquid for fish
Red pepper flakes for garnish 

First boil the potatoes until soft.
At the same time poach the salmon steaks on top of the stove in a covered pan with 1/2 cup juice from capers, salt/pepper.
In a blender: Put chopped potatoes; vegetable stock, soy milk, tahini, miso paste, dill, and capers. Blend these until smooth.
Now return the blend back to the pot and add flaked salmon, peppers, spinach, peas, and carots. Heat on top of the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The longer you cook, the thicker the consistency. Season to taste.

Recipe inspired by but blending fish sorta freaked me out so a little soup magic was in order.  Luckily, it turned out fantastic.

Puppy Love

Mr. Chihuahua Bowl

Pugsy Salad Plate

Lady Bouffante Salad Plate
I would buy this entire set in a heartbeat if there were more bowls.
Etsy, you're the best.