Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

For the cold days ahead of us, this soup fills all the requisites: light and filling, packed with protein from the tofu and egg that go along so well  with the 2 varieties of mushrooms. A rich broth made with chillies, ginger and garlic adds heat and a spicy oriental flare to the soup. The original recipe calls for bamboo shoots instead of my second type of mushroom. It is from Jamie Oliver and you can find it here .

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilly
sea salt
ground white pepper
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and diced
250 g shitake mushrooms , cleaned
250 g buttom mushroom, finely sliced
vegetable oil
3 tbs low-salt soy sauce
3 to 4 tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp honey

1.5 litres hot vegetable stock
150 g firm tofu cut in 1 cm cubes
2 green onions chopped
½ bunch of chives chopped
1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Peel the garlic and deseed the chillies, then roughly chop and place into a pestle and mortar, adding a pinch of salt. Peel, finely chop and add the ginger, combining it well.
Finely slice the buttons mushrooms and separate the threads of the shiitake mushroom.

Heat a tbs of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the chilli paste and mushroons and fry for a little bit.
In the mean time mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, the honey and the white pepper. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute, then pour in the hot stock and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced.

Add the tofu, the spring onions and chives.
Once reduced, remove the soup from the heat. Using a chopstick, stir the soup in a clockwise direction until you get a little whirlpool, then slowly add the beaten egg, stirring continuously to form thin ribbons. Stir in the tofu and return to the heat for 1 minute to warm through. Season to taste with soy and vinegar, then serve immediately with the spring onions and chives on top.

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Cream of carrots soup

Cream of carrots soup

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I didn’t know a carrot soup could be so decadent until I tried this one. Carrots are cooked with milk, which brings the creaminess that elevates this hearty soup to another level. I adapted from a recipe from Canadian chef Ricardo Larivée , adding some fennel to break up the sweetness of the carrots and we all loved the result. Perfect to start a meal, perfect for this nice fall weather and for a fast and simple dinner along with a loaf of bread.

4 portions

4 cups sliced carrots (about 7)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 fennel chopped
2 tbs butter
5 cups milk
1 pinch salt and pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, soften the carrots and onion, fennel in the butter. Add the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom to prevent the milk from sticking. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Adjust the seasoning.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

“Get better” chicken soup with home made broth and Klosse dumplings

“Get better” chicken soup with home made broth and Klosse dumplings

 

I guess everybody has a favorite “get better” soup for those sick days when we feel like collapsing in the couch and ever moving again. I always think of my best friend’s remedy for those days: a hot bath, fresh clean white sheets in your bed and chicken soup. Ideally somebody does it all for you – good luck with that! It has never happened to me either.
Anyway chicken soup is always a healer, capable of comforting bodies and souls in any situation, your best companion from broken hearts to a end of the rope’s tiredness.

I’ve been trying to get organized enough to have my “get better” soup always frozen in case “I” need it. If somebody else is sick I can make it easy enough, but when I am the one who is sick, my tolerance for ready made soup (salty and tasteless) is close to zero; I crave my home made one and nothing will do me.

So this time I was prepared. When the thing hit me, there it was: a beautiful chicken soup in the freezer, packed with my “Klosse” dumplings instead of noodles. Actually I am spelling it wrong, it should be Klöße, the German dumplings that in this case, because they are made with flour, are actually a version of Dampfnudle, a flour base Klosse.
This is how my mom used to call it and how I refer to it too. It seems my grandma came up with this recipe, adapting it for a quick and easy version of the dumplings.
Adding those to my chicken soup gives me the best comforting chicken soup: steaming hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and any illness seems to go away, at least while you’re eating!

It is sort of an involved process because I make my own chicken broth. Once a week or so I boil a whole chicken with lots of celery, onions, carrots, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. It is a great way to have both, soup and broth ready to go with anything you need during the week days. It looks like a lot of work but it is not, in 10 min. you have the chicken boiling while you prepare other things.

Home made Chicken broth

1 whole chicken, fat trimmed, cut in pieces, carcass included
2 to 3 stalks of celery
4 carrots
bay leaves
1 large onion cut in 4 pieces
fresh thyme
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

In a large pot cover all the chicken pieces with water, add all the vegetables and spices, bring to a boil and them simmer for 1 to 1:30 hr.
Adjust the spices, boil longer if you like your broth more concentrated in flavor. Let it cool and then pour into a strainer, separating the chicken from the vegetables. Discard celery, onion and leaves and keep the carrots to add to the soup.
Remove the bones and skin of the chicken and bring the meat back to broth. At this point you can divide the broth, half for the soup, half for other purposes.
Add frozen peas and the cooked carrots, heat it up and enjoy!

Klosse dumplings

2 to 4 portions

6 tbs all purpose flour (or half all purpose and half whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbs butter
1 egg
1/3 cup boiling water

Mix flour, salt and butter.
Pour the boiling water and stir well.

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Add the egg and mix until egg is incorporated, the batter should be thick and lumpy.

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In the mean time bring your chicken broth to a simmer.
Spoon the batter into the boiling broth, using 2 tbs. Normally the dumplings don’t get in a regular shape, they are done when they float to the top.

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese or add some fresh baby spinach and green onions. Enjoy!

You might also like:

Light creamy chicken soup

Silky sweet potato soup

White asparagus cream soup

Cheesy and creamy light cauliflower soup

Cheesy and creamy light cauliflower soup

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I’ve moved many times in my life and eventually left my country. Now, Canada is home for me. Visiting São Paulo, Brazil, last month I noticed how much I love almost any food I eat there.
The food I’ve had there has been shaped in my heart, more so than in my taste buds. And ironically, some of my mom’s food, which was really, really bad. No escape from emotional ties here, the worse she cooked the more I learned on how not to, which for my own sake started when I was around 13 or so.

My worst nightmare were the soups she would make for dinner. Dinners had to start with a soup, regardless of the scorching weather, every dinner, every evening of every week we had soup.
The worst for me was an oatmeal soup ??? Who does that? Followed by the cauliflower soup, which is the recipe of this post. And guess what, I have it for lunch!

What happened is that I eventually came to terms to cauliflower when searching for carb conscious and diabetes friendly recipes a long time ago. Tried different recipes and now I proudly own mine, a creamy, light, cheesy and delicious cauli flower soup.

Hope you like my soup, this soup is home for me!

Cheesy and creamy light cauliflower soup

4 to 6 portions

1 cauliflower, washed and cut in florets
1 tbs butter + 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
1 small onion chopped
3 to 4 cups of low fat milk, or 2 cups milk and 2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella or any cheese you like, shredded
a dash of paprika

In a deep pan bring the butter to melt and sautée the onions. Add the cauliflower and spices, but the paprika, stirring until fragrant. Add the liquid, start with 3 cups, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for approximately 20 min, until the cauli flower is soft.
Let it cool and purée with a hand blender until everything is nice and smooth.
At this point it is your call to add or not the one cup of liquid left, depending on how thick you like your soup. You might even want to add more than 1 cup in which case make sure you adjust the seasoning.
Before serving add the cheese to the hot soup and sprinkle some paprika or fresh pepper on top.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

You also might like:

Light creamy chicken soup

Silky sweet potato soup

White asparagus cream soup

Light creamy chicken soup

Light creamy chicken soup

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Weekend ahead of us, time to catch up with life and enjoy the coziness of home while the outside temperatures keep falling down.
And then nothing better than a hearty and homy soup, creamy enough to make for a simple and nice Saturday dinner, with maybe some fresh bread, a green salad and a glass of red wine. Easy, tasty and something that you might have already in the fridge or freezer to make this Saturday dinner even better, with no work involved!
This is a soup I like to have in the freezer, it really freezes well, in individual portions, for that late meal when you don’t feel like cooking. It is so nutritious, and yet pure comfort for all the cold nights ahead of us. Living in Canada you never forget what is around the corner…
It all started because my husband favorite’s soup was the canned cream of chicken. Now, cooking everything from scratch I can not allow him to have it anymore, lol.

This recipe requires poaching the chicken which is a great healthy way to cook chicken breasts without over cooking. I normally poach a big batch and keep in the fridge, ready to go for this soup, a pot chicken pie (*recipe coming soon) and my Best diet creamy chicken salad.

Read more

Silky and healthy sweet potato soup – ready in less than 30 min

Silky and healthy sweet potato soup – ready in less than 30 min

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My obsession for sweet potato is still on. Since we started our 100% ” eating healthy and diabetes friendly ” life style, the only potatoes were having are sweet potatoes. Besides the gorgeous color and amazing taste, its nutritional benefits goes without saying. And nothing beats the comforting texture of a sweet potato soup in the fall and in the coming winter. Mind you, in the summer, I was barbecuing them!
This soup was part of our menu dinner last night, I just added a big green salad and salmon steaks. Simple, super tasty and totally healthy.
This is a modified recipe of Michaels Smith’s sweet potato soup (the original is here: Michael’s sweet potato soup).

Silky and healthy sweet potato soup – ready under 30 min

3 tbs butter (I used “can’t believe is not butter“)
1 chopped onion
4 chopped garlic gloves
2 sweet potatoes, diced
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup 5% cream
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté the onions and garlic until they are golden and add the sweet potato, chicken broth, cream and chili powder. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the cinnamon and salt and smoothly puree with an immersion blender.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

You might also like to check out other nice and comforting soup options:

White asparagus cream soup

Tomato soup my grandma style

Fall tomato soup my grandma style or how to try a different and fresh version of a tomato soup

Fall tomato soup my grandma style or how to try a different and fresh version of a tomato soup

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The story behind this recipe is that my grandmother, who was a great cook, decided to add hard boiled eggs and cooked rice to the tomato soup to make it more nutritious and filling. And that was the tomato soup that we used to have at home. I followed the tradition and have been cooking for a long time.
It is not a creamy tomato soup, it tastes as sweet as the creamy ones but the tart sweetness comes from the lots of tomato juice that are boiled and reduced. It is so delicious to taste the freshness of ripe tomatoes without any artificial additives that once you taste it, it will be very hard to enjoy the bought ones.
As the big debate about yokes not being healthy, because of its cholesterol contents, flooded our lives, I changed the whole eggs by whites, keeping ruffly just one full egg for 4 servings of soup. And for this posting I didn’t add any rice.
Yes, it takes some work, but for me it is a small price to pay to have this delicious, comfy soup that brings me back so many nice family moments. A loaf of fresh bread, this tomato soup and you have the perfect match for a light fall dinner. I know, all my discussion about cutting the cholesterol and bla, bla, bla… and then I added the bread! Well, a whole wheat one, with lots of grains will not hurt. lol Ah, but don’t forget the butter and maybe a glass of red wine.

Fall Tomato soup my grandma style

4 portions

8 large beefstake ripe tomatoes
3 cups of water
2 parsley sprigs
salt to season
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs butter
1/4 cup milk
3 boiled eggs cut in chunks ( play with the amounts of yoke as you wish)
3 boiled whites
1/2 cup of cooked rice

In a large pan cook the tomatoes in the 3 cups of water and the parsley, boiling for 5 min. Let it cool and blend the cooked tomatoes with only 2 cups of the water. Strain the mix, making sure all the tomato pulp is well scraped from the strainer. Discard the parsley string. In the mean time cook the eggs, let them cool off and peel and cut them.
Bring the strained tomatoes back to the pan, add the butter, sugar and milk to a boil and then to a simmer, for about 20 min. or until the liquid is reduced to half.
Season with salt, no pepper is required. Add the eggs, the rice and drizzle some dry parsley on top.

Enjoy and thanks for stoping by!

Raquel Boyes