Wonton Soup

A gloomy April day needs just this kind of soup – so much flavour and just packed with fresh vegetables.  I think the miso is what really bring the flavour bomb.

Wonton Soup 4

Loads of vegetables, a few wontons and the best broth you could wish for.

 

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste, or more, to taste

FOR THE WONTONS

  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 36 2-inch won ton wrappers

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, combine shrimp, garlic, green onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and pepper.
  • To assemble the wontons, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Whisk in chicken broth, soy sauce, mushrooms and 2 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in bok choy and green onions. Stir in miso paste until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in wontons until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.
  • This soup is as flexible as the ingredients in your fridge – I like to prep them and stir fry them separately, which keeps them fresh and bright.
Wonton soup 1

A huge pile of fresh vegetables disappears in a hurry in this delicious broth.

Serve this incredible soup with these crispy scallion pancakes for a total win.

The soup recipe is courtesy of http://www.damndelicious.net and I’d recommend looking at her recipes …. everything I’ve tried has been fantastic.

Best Asian Noodle Soup

noodle soup 2

This big beautiful bowl of soup is all you need for a great family dinner!

Can a person every have too many soup recipes???  I think not …. The best part of this recipe is that it is just a guideline for making an amazingly tasty soup out of whatever you have on hand.  The focus here is on the vegetables, so make sure you prepare way more than you think will fit in the pot!

The flavour base is what makes this soup such a keeper.

  • 3 scallions, cut in 3 large pieces
  • 1/2 inch knob of minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 6 cups chicken stock/vegetable stock/beef stock/6 inch piece of kombu

 

  • chicken breast/prawns/tofu
  • any amount of vegetables, as many as you think you can get in the pot
  • bean sprouts
  • cooked rice noodles or Chinese wheat noodles

Garnishes:

  • cilantro
  • green onion
  • sesame seeds
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • peanut sauce
  • chili oil

Start with a big pot, cover the bottom with a neutral oil and once it has heated up add about a 1/2 inch knob of minced ginger and 3-4 scallions (green onions).  Saute until they have generated a bit of colour and become nicely caramelized.  This is where you start, but from here the sky is the limit.

Add the oyster sauce and heat through, then add your broth.  If you are using the kombu, allow it to soften for at least 30 minutes.

When the broth is hot enough, add any protein you want to use – if using meat, slice it thinly.

Add the vegetables according to how long they take to cook – as in cabbage or bok choy will take a little longer than snap peas or thinly sliced sweet peppers.

I like to serve the noodles prepared and separate from the soup so people can add them as they wish, and that way they don’t get soggy.

This should all come together really quickly once the broth has heated – as in maybe 5 minutes!  When ready to serve stir in bean sprouts and serve with the garnishes so everybody can create the soup bowl of their own dreams.

noodle soup 1

Serve with a basket of crispy scallion pancakes for the perfect meal.

 

Hot & Sour Soup

Nothing like a steaming bowl of hot and sour soup to fight off the cold season!  This soup is surprisingly easy to make and can be as versatile as the ingredients in your fridge.  You won’t be calling for take out after you give this a try.

Hot and Sour Sop

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek (or any Chinese hot sauce)
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 4-5 tbsp rice vinegar (start with 4 and see how it tastes to you)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • shitake mushrooms
  • thinly sliced red peppers
  • thinly sliced cauliflower
  • slivered snap peas
  • 6 ounces extra firm tofu, cut in small pieces
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • green onions, thinly sliced

For a little extra protein, stir in some cooked chicken or pork.

Combine chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and white pepper.  Bring to a boil, then simmer.

Stir in vegetables.  Be as liberal with the vegetables as you like, I like to pack the soup with a variety.

Mix rice vinegar with corn starch and stir while pouring the mixture into the pot.  Allow to gently boil and thicken.  If you need more thickening, add a mixture of 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp corn starch.

This is the point where you really need to taste …. how hot do you like it?  How sour?  Work with the white pepper and vinegar if you need a little more punch in your soup.  Once you like the flavour it is time to work in the eggs.

Whisk egg until creamy, then pour into the soup in a very slow, thin trickle, stirring the pot as the egg goes in to create those little streams that help give you that true hot and sour soup texture.

Garnish with the sesame oil and green onions.  Best served with these amazing scallion pancakes.

Scallion Pancake 9.jpg

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup

During the cold of winter these vegetables are always available, and make the most comforting winter dinner.  When summer vegetables arrive however, with fresh new potatoes, leeks and fennel from your own garden or farmers market, this soup is the perfect meal on a cool, rainy spring – early summer night.

Roasted potato Fennel Soup 10

I love rich, creamy soups, but what I really love …. is the toppings.  Every pureed soup needs something to create texture and bacon with fresh herbs does the job.

  • 4 pounds red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp  freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced leek
  • 3 cups sliced fennel bulb
  • 3 quarts chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 cup cream (omit if you want it to be vegan)

GARNISH

  • fresh chopped chives, parsley, basil and fennel fronds
  • crispy bacon bits

Preheat oven to 400

In large bowl toss the potatoes with olive, garlic, salt and pepper.

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 1

New potatoes, tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Yum whatever you do wth them!

Spread on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked through.  (use 2 sheets if necessary, you don’t want them crowded)

Saute onions, fennel and leek with 2 tbsp olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until translucent. (I like to cook my bacon in the pot first in order to use the fat …. but for vegan or vegetarian options just omit the bacon and it’s fat).

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 3

Season every step of the way!

Add chicken or vegetable stock to onion mixture and bring it to a boil. Add roasted potatoes, turn to a gentle simmer and cook until all vegetables are soft.

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 5

Puree until all vegetables are creamy … this is the point to add fresh minced herbs and the cream, if using.

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 7

Taste, and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 6

Mince up a handful of fresh herbs …. 

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 9

Toss the herbs in and stir well with the blended soup.

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup 2

Prep your garnish … today I liked the idea of crunchy bacon (well honestly most soups love crunchy bacon) … as well as chives, basil and fennel fronds.

 

Butternut Squash Soup – with a Mediterranean twist

At this time of year the butternut squash is coming out of the gardens and so fresh that when you cut into it beads of moisture appear – yum yum! Butternut squash soup is a favorite of mine, but this time I felt like a little twist.

Butternut Squash Soup with a Mediterranean twist

Butternut Squash Soup with a Mediterranean twist

You will need:

roasted butternut squash
chicken stock
onions
garlic

Seasonings: Ras al Hanout, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper

Garnishes: Grated feta cheese, minced chives, crispy bacon pieces

In a soup pot cook bacon pieces (I like to cut my bacon slices in thin slivers). Remove bacon as soon as it gets crispy. Remove some bacon fat, but leave enough to sauté your cinnamon stick, onions and garlic until soft. Add chicken stock and roasted butternut squash. Remove cinnamon stick as soon as you get a hint of it in the broth, but not overwhelming. Cook until everything is steaming hot – puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender (if using a blender take care to leave an opening for the steam to escape – you do not want to end up wearing this hot soup). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The portions on this will vary greatly on the size of your squash, and the amount of soup you want! For tonight there were only 2 of us so I used 1/2 a squash (about 2 cups) to 4 cups of chicken stock.

Serve once the soup has been pureed – garnish with the chives, bacon bits and grated feta.

For a vegetarian option, leave out the bacon and use vegetable stock.

Either way – a delicious soup!

Torn and Tossed Garlic Bread

Everybody loves the crunchy crust and soft tender bits of garlic bread – why not get more of it?

Torn garlic bread is crunchy and soft all at the same time.

Torn garlic bread is crunchy and soft all at the same time.

I had a loaf of sourdough bread and half a loaf of French bread – rather than tear it I cut it all into approximately 2 inch pieces.

Melt 1/2 cup butter, stir in 2 garlic cloves and 1 small shallot – both chopped fine. Naturally, use more garlic if you feel so inclined (and everybody is eating it…).

In a large bowl combine the melted butter, garlic and shallot mixture – add in the cubed bread, season with salt and pepper and toss well.

This is great made earlier in the day too, just let it sit and absorb all those flavours.

When you are ready to serve, spread cubes on baking sheet – take care not to overcrowd the pieces. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes just until the outside is nice and crispy, golden brown.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve – everybody will love it!

Serve this with as any side dish, or with your favorite soup or salad.

Roasted Squash Soup with Chipotle & Chorizo

It is squash season and soup is the best way to enjoy those cool fall nights.

Chipotle Chorizo Squash Soup
1 butternut squash

1 red onion

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 chorizo sausage

2 tsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce

cilantro, roughly chopped

green onion, sliced

 

Quarter a whole squash lengthwise, quarter the onion, & drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast at 375 until fork tender.

While the squash and onion are roasting, remove chorizo from casing, and crumble into soup pot.  Fry until sausage is crispy, and allow to drain on a paper towel. Drain any residual grease from pot, but do not clean.

In same soup pot heat up chicken or vegetable stock.  When squash and onions are fork tender take them out of the oven and remove skins and put the pulp into the pot.  Simmer until quite tender.

Using an immersion blender puree until smooth.  (Alternatively you could use a blender and blend in small batches, but always remember to leave room for the steam to escape out the lid or it will explode and you and your kitchen will be covered in hot, steamy soup …. NOT a good thing).  

Return to simmer, and taste – adjust for seasonings with salt, pepper and if you like it spicy, add a bit more chipotle.

Garnish with cilantro, green onion and crispy chorizo.

Serve as a starter course or a whole meal with fresh hot baking powder biscuits.

Use your imagination – all soup recipes are just a starting point.  Tonight’s version of this soup included some leftovers …. in this case I had some leftover stewed yellow heirloom tomatoes with squash (yum yum), and a little bit of chipotle chicken leftover, so they went into the pot before using the immersion blender.