Archive for general soup

Chinese-style shrimp melange

Yusuke described this stir fry as “Chinese style.” He began by quickly boiling thin strips of zucchini—for about 3 minutes. The shorter the time, the crunchier the zucchini. He then drained the water.

The original recipe that inspired him called for carrots and pork, but we didn’t have either; he opted for shrimp and crimini mushrooms instead. He boiled the mushrooms for 1 minute and drained well.

He combined the three chief elements in a bowl and added:

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (olive or canola would also work)
  • a tiny bit of ajinomoto flavour enhancer (MSG! use with caution!)
  • a pinch of white sugar

As Yusuke put it, cooking is chemistry!

He just mixed everything up, and that was it.

On the side, we had a nice consommé soup, the picture of which I seem to have misplaced. He used a consommé powder, which I was surprised to note was produced in Israel. I wasn’t really familiar with what consommé actually is, and I’m still not exactly sure how it’s different from other stocks and bouillon. The label said that it was “chicken style,” but chicken isn’t listed in the ingredients. Instead, the word “celery” is in bolded font on the package. Even better. Yusuke said that it’s much easier to find in Japan; he has had a hard time locating it in Canada.

To the broth, he added a pinch of white sugar, a few drops of soy sauce, and ginger. The veggies were bok choy, cubed potatoes, and white onions.

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Simple cabbage soup

This is sort of a generic soup, and yet, I feel that I could eat it everyday. Very filling and versatile indeed. I recall enjoying the remainder for breakfast the day after; cabbage for breakfast leads to a bright day.

Yusuke began by cooking garlic in olive oil until the aroma began to fill the kitchen. He then added chicken broth to the pot, along with a few bay leaves, sea salt, and pepper. Next came the veggies parade:

  • cabbage
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • crimini mushrooms
  • carrots
  • white onions
  • green onions

The soup simmered until the cabbage was sweet and soft (but NOT mushy!).

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Cucumber vichyssoise

This lovely soup is a type of vichyssoise, with a puréed potato-base as the distinguishing feature.

Yusuke started by heating a saucepan and then sautéeing garlic in olive oil. He then added thinly sliced white onions and potatoes that had been cut into small pieces. When the onions started to change colour, he added 1 cup of water with chicken (or vegetable) bouillon powder, and salt & pepper.

He let everything cook for a while and set the pot aside to cool.

Stage two began with a giant cucumber that was chopped into pieces and liquefied in the blender.

Next, he added 1 cup of soy milk, 3/4 cup of plain yogurt, and lots of chopped fresh dill.

He then added cooked potato mixture to the blender and let it whirl until smooth.

To serve, he added a drizzle of olive oil and more fresh dill. Magnifique.

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Lettuce soup

Our summer organic food baskets have included lots of lovely iceburg lettuce grown here in Quebec.

I had never had lettuce in soup before, to the best of my recollection, but it was fantastic: very smooth and sweet. According to Yusuke, it’s common in Chinese cuisine, at least as it’s prepared in Japan.

So here are the assembly steps:

Boil the loosely torn lettuce for about 10 seconds and then place portions in the serving bowls.

Prepare a broth:

  • chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • cooking sake
  • minced ginger
  • tiny pinch of salt

Add cubed firm tofu and shrimp and boil until cooked.

Spoon into the bowls with lettuce and eat!

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Leek and potato pottage

This delightful pottage was inspired by a fantastic meal that we had in Ireland.

The recipe that Yusuke found to work from advised not using the green part of the leeks, but that would be a terrible waste!

First, he chopped up the leeks into tiny pieces. He separated out the white parts and sautéed them in a bit of butter until soft. (N.B. olive oil would also work.)

Next, he added a few splashes of white wine and let it simmer for a while.

After a few minutes, he added the green leeks and white potatoes that were cut into tiny cubes. In addition, he threw in:

  • chicken broth
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • five bay leaves (thyme would also work)
  • basil

He let everything simmer until the potatoes were soft.

Next, the pot went into the fridge until it was cool, and then the contents transferred to the blender.

Once smooth, the mixture went back on stove over low heat. 1/2 cup of soymilk was stirred in. Last, the soup was seasoned with salt and pepper.

Gorgeous.

We also enjoyed grilled asparagus with balsamic vinegar alongside the pottage.

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Harusame soup

This soup’s broth is very simple:

  • chicken bouillon/water
  • sea salt
  • sugar (tiny bit)
  • soy sauce (tiny bit)

The main contents are:

  • napa (chinese cabbage)
  • crimini mushrooms
  • harusame noodles

Very tasty.

So what are harusame noodles, one might ask?

The wikipedia article offers the translation “cellophane noodles,” which sounds pretty much unappetizing to me. But other descriptions are better: glass noodles, bean thread noodles, or vermicelli.

According to Wise Geek, they’re Japanese noodles made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, or mung bean starch.

The noodles are extremely thin and become translucent when cooked. Since they’re less dense or “doughy” than other types of noodles, they’re delightful in soup!

Harusame (春雨) means spring rain, and you can google for more pics.

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Shitake soup

This is a bit of a filler pic, but the soup was just so pretty. The soup ingredients are:

in a broth of

  • dashi
  • soy sauce
  • sake
  • salt.

That’s all, and so tasty.

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