Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

Thai Chik’n Noodle Soup

In Soups on June 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

A challenge! My friend Chad came to visit from Seattle, bringing with him a recipe that he’d found in an effort to make a noodle soup like the one he’d eaten at a place called Boom Noodle. The recipe he’d used did not turn out well (something about fish sauce), and he wanted to see if I could do better.

Now, I have not eaten at Boom Noodle, so I have no idea what the dish tasted like that Chad ate. I had to feel my way through  this and taste frequently, and in the end I’m happy to say that Chad was blown away by what I came up with, and the Mr. and I thought it was tastytasty as well. It’s got lots of yummy fresh ingredients, and a pretty significant kick. You can add more noodles for a more substantial dish, or take them away altogether for something lighter.

This recipe serves 4.

2 Tbs hot chili oil, preferably sesame
1/2 yellow or sweet onion, diced medium
2 cloves garlic, minced (you will need 5 cloves total for this recipe)
1 tsp chili flakes
3 Tbs red curry paste
1 tsp salt
Saute your onion in the oil until almost translucent – about 10 mins. Add the garlic and saute for a couple more minutes, then the chili flakes, curry paste, and salt, sauteing for about 3 more mins after you add them.

4-6 cups water (depending on how brothy you like your soups)
1-2 cans light coconut milk (depending on how rich you want it…adjust your water accordingly)
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1 big handful of soy curls
Add 1 cup of water first and make sure the curry paste is completely dissolved. Then add the coconut milk, stir, bring to a boil, and then turn down to med/low. Now you can add the rest of these ingredients and cover.

Then, in another pan:
1 Tbs grapeseed oil
2 Tbs fresh ginger, minced (this will look like a large thumb-sized piece of the root)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp coriander
1/2 – 1 tsp (to taste) cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
It’s really important to “bloom” your curry with hot oil to get the most out of your spices. Heat the oil well before adding all of these spices at once, and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Then add to the soup.

4 green onions, chopped
1/2 package rice noodles, broken in half so they are not super long (thin or thick, size is up to you)
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
Add all of this while your soup is still on low/med. Cook until the noodles are done, taste and add more salt as needed, and serve.

To garnish:
Bean sprouts
Lime wedges

Serves 4-6 depending on how big your servings are and how much noodles/soy curls were added. It’s important to eat this right away as rice noodles are fairly icky the next day when left in broth. If you want to make a lunch of it, make everything but the noodles the night before. Add the dry noodles in the morning before you go to work, and bring the garnish with you. The noodles will soak up the flavor all morning, and when you heat the soup at lunch the noodles will cook. Add your garnish and enjoy!


Vegan Posole

In Soups on May 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Posole is the perfect warm weather soup.  It’s kind of like Mexican pho, in that it has the hot spicy soup/cool fresh veggie yin yang thing goin’ on.  I learned to make it whilst dating the most horrible guy, whose only redeeming quality (seriously, the only.  What was I thinking?) was that he was a damn fine cook.  Of course, I’ve improved the recipe since then, which is how I feel about my life in general since I left him.  Here’s my recipe:

Serves 3 (assuming seconds, which I assure you will happen)

The Soup:
1 big ole can of hominy, white or yellow according to your preference
Enough veggie broth (or water and bouillon) to cover the hominy by about 2 inches
A bag of soy curls, long ones broken in half
A palmful each:
Chili powder
(if my lackadaisical measuring freaks you out, try a tablespoon each instead)
Put everything but the soy curls in a pot and bring to a low boil. While you’re waiting for the pot to boil, break the longer soy curls in half. Once the whole thing comes to the low boil, turn it to a low simmer, add the soy curls, and lid it. You can eat it as soon as the soy curls are soft (about 10 minutes), but the longer it cooks the more flavorful it gets, so try to wait at least half an hour, stirring every once in a while.

The Toppings:
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/2 of a small red onion, diced
A large handful of cilantro, chopped or plucked into small bits
1/2 of a large tomato, diced

To serve:
I like to put each topping in its own serving dish and allow everyone to dress their soup as they like. The lemon is for squeezing into the soup. Grab a hard cider or a cerveza and enjoy this soup out on the patio!

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic

In Soups on December 30, 2009 at 5:39 am

I made this soup because I needed it as just one ingredient in a much more involved recipe, but it turned out so good that I had to make more for the Mr. to eat. He loves it!

3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 head of garlic
1 or 2 Tbs olive oil
3 cups veggie broth (or you can mix it up with mushroom broth if you like a more shroomy taste)
2 Tbs flour (GF, naturally)
4 Tbs Earth Balance
1 cup Tofutti sour cream
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
salt and pepper to taste

Use aluminum foil to make a cup. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic, cut the very bottom off the bulb to expose the cloves, and put the bulb in the foil, cut side up. Douse liberally with olive oil and close up the foil over the bulb. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about half an hour, or until the bulb feels soft when pressed. Now you can take the tines of a fork (or your fingers) and pull the soft, delicious garlic cloves out of the skin quite easily. Set these aside.

Meanwhile, in a large soup or stock pot, it’s time to create a roux: heat up the Earth Balance and then add the flour, stirring constantly on medium high heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture just starts to brown. Then turn down the heat a little and sautee the mushrooms and onion in the roux for 3 – 5 minutes, until the onions are soft.

Reduce heat to medium low and add the broth and the roasted garlic. You can either squish up the garlic to distribute the taste, or leave the cloves whole for fun garlicky surprises in your soup. Cover and allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes.

Now add the Tofutti and soy milk, stirring well to combine. Allow to simmer another 20 – 30 minutes, or until the soup has thickened. Make sure to check it often and stir! Season to taste with salt and pepper, and you’re ready to serve.

Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

In Soups on November 9, 2009 at 6:21 am

2 leeks, cut to the light green and sliced into rings
2 Tbs butter
7 cloves of garlic, minced
Saute first two items about 10 minutes until fairly soft, add half of the garlic and sauté another 3. Remove from heat and reserve.

6 medium potatoes, diced small
1 Tbs salt
water to cover, plus another two cups
Bring to a boil, then add lots of salt and about 3 Tbs powdered boullion, stir, and turn down to a light boil/heavy simmer

Large shallot, diced small
Saute for 5 minutes, then add
Salt to taste (about 1Tbs at least because the potatoes absorb a lot of the saltiness)
2 tsp white pepper
Cayenne pepper
1 Tbs butter
and the rest of the garlic. Saute 3 minutes more, then add to the boiling potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes, then add a whole tub of Tofutti cream cheese and stir in until it’s melted. Cook for another 15 or until potatoes are soft but not total mush, and add the leeks. Stir well, cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, and serve.


Lentil Tomato Soup

In Soups on November 9, 2009 at 5:43 am

2 ½ cups lentils
1 carton veggie broth or the equivalent in bouillon
1 onion
2 grated carrots
2 potatoes diced
Loads of salt
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp alder smoked sea salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 large can diced or crushed tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1//2 c Balsamic vinegar
Enough water to keep it brothy

Sauté onion and carrot in olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, rinsed lentils, and potatoes, bring to a boil. Turn down, add the rest of the stuff, and simmer covered for 1 hour.

African Peanut Stew

In Soups on November 9, 2009 at 5:26 am

This is not a timid soup.  This is a crazy ninja soup, its yin full of peanuts and spices with a yangy tomatoey counterpoint.   It is a meal in itself, so don’t piss it off by trying to serve it with anything other than maybe a nice hunk of crusty bread. Also, make sure to use a big pot, as this feeds a crowd!

2 Tbs butter or peanut oil
5 cloves crushed garlic
1 finely chopped onion
2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
1 cup chopped raw peanuts
1 tsp each: cinnamon, cloves, ground cardamom or coriander
1 1/2 tsp each dry mustard and turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (this will make it fairly hot, so if you’re sensitive to the spice scale it back accordingly)
3 small diced potatoes
A couple generous handfuls of soy curls
2 28oz cans diced or crushed tomatoes
6 cups stock or water
½ cup natural peanut butter
2 Tbs agave
4 tsp salt

In a big heavy pot (like a dutch oven or big Le Creuset) sauté 1st five items over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 6 minutes until the onions are almost soft.  Then add the rest of the spices as well as the potatoes and saute for 3 minutes more. Now it’s time to put in everything but the salt and bring to an almost boil.

Cover and simmer over very low heat for at least 1 hr. Add the salt at the very end, and do it one tsp at a time and taste as you go. Some batches seem to need more salting than others.