Posts tagged soup

3 Notes

The Lomo Saltado at El Marino was so good, I was craving it again the next day. Lomo saltado is a classic Peruvian dish that has Chinese influence. It is marinated beef stir-fry with onions, tomatoes, and french fries. Yes, french fries are in this dish! The fries soak up the sauce and gets soggy. The sauce is just so tasty; I wanted to mop up every last drop. 

Upon doing some research, I found that there is a big community of Chinese in Peru. Most of the Chinese immigrants came from Southern China: Macau and Guangzhou during the 19th century as contract laborers. Today, Asian Peruvians make up about 5% of the total population in Peru.

This dish represents the fusion of the two cultures. I also tried the Sopa de Criolla which is a beef noodle soup with milk and poached egg. It’s delicious as well. Can’t wait to go back to El Marino. 

4 Notes

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, my friend Matt told me he had just made butternut squash soup; which gave me the idea to make it for my Thanksgiving dinner. I requested his recipe and he e-mailed me very procedural and detailed instructions. Thanks Matt!  

He told me he adopted ideas from several other recipes for this soup and likewise, I did the same. I tweaked Matt’s recipe a just little and added some fresh herbs and bacon. Also, I was making a bigger batch, I had 2 squashes and added an extra can of chicken stock. 

The recipe below is essentially Matt’s with my little additions/comments in bold. I’m sure it’ll taste just as good with or without my additions. Hope you all enjoy it too!

Butternut Squash Soup

by Matt

This is just like the restaurant, similar creaminess, healthier, but still full of flavor. This recipe makes 5-6 rice bowl servings, for larger groups and bigger portions double or even triple everything. Surprisingly you do not need to add other salt/pepper like ingredients. Of course you can if you want. Like all my other recipes, this is adapted from multiple ones and this is the second attempt. First attempt I used light cream, second batch was milk only. It made no “creamier” difference, milk is sufficient.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp of tumeric
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • 3 Tbsp stick butter
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 cups of milk or 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 can of chicken stock

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.) Wash the exterior of the butternut squash and cut off the stem. Slice into quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds but it does not have to be perfectly clean. Place them on a pan with a sheet of tinfoil to avoid sticking but shouldn’t be a problem if used without. Optional: Melting 1Tbsp of butter and drizzle on the squash. (I just cut up chunks of butter and threw it into the cavity of the squash. I sprinkled the top with salt and pepper, and then I laid a few pieces of bacon on top of the squash before putting it into the oven) Time: 1 hour. Don’t worry if it starts to brown or darken. This is to make peeling the skin a lot easier and gives it that smoky flavor. 

3.) While you are waiting dice the onions, peel and cut the potato, and dice the garlic. Try to make these slices small as it will reduce the cooking time, but don’t worry it will all be blended later. Put them into a pot (I also added the bay leaves and thyme) with a little bit of olive oil, stir a couple times to even out the cooking for 5-10 minutes over medium heat or until you feel they are soft. Pour in the can of chicken stock with the 3 Tbsp of butter, stir occasionally until everything comes to a boil. Set aside to cool.

4.) Once the butternut squash is done, let sit at room temperature for a few minutes or until you can easily handle. Peeling the skin is still tedious but easy to do with a fork or knife. Don’t forget to peel the extra skin on top where the seeds used to be.

5.) Place squash into blender and add the stock mixture from the pot. You may need to do this in batches as it may not all fit in. (Note: Depending on your style, blend as much or as little as you want to keep it grainy or smooth. Do not fill the blender to capacity since hot liquids and steam tend to blow off the top of the blender, pulse method and removing the top every now and then to release the steam pressure will alleviate any volcano explosions)

6.) Pour blended mixture back into the pot over medium heat. Add milk and/or heavy cream. Depending on your tastes, increase the quantity to the consistency you want. Adding a little bit of hot water may help too if you do not want to add more cream.

7.) Optional: I found that adding several heaps of sour cream increases the flavor and sweetness from the soup. Add a little at a time while tasting proves effective. Yes I was shocked to hear this too.

8.) Serve with garish or just by itself! Delicious.

4 Notes

Thanksgiving Day Soup: Butternut Squash soup with Bacon
Recipe to follow! 

Thanksgiving Day Soup: Butternut Squash soup with Bacon

Recipe to follow! 

2 Notes

Brrr…apparently snow is in the forecast for this weekend and nothing would be more perfect than spending a warm and cozy evening eating hot pot for dinner. 

Which reminds me of my amazing hot pot dinner I had with my family in Hong Kong. We ordered thinly sliced beef with beautiful marbled fat, dumplings and wontons, tofu, sliced chicken, veggies, fried fish skin, and fried tofu skin.

First, you choose your soup base, check off the ingredients off a menu card, and then go towards the sauce bar to make your own dipping sauce. Then you add the raw ingredients into the boiling soup. The beef is sliced so thin, it only takes two seconds to cook. At the end, the soup base would have all the flavors of the ingredients you added in and become one tasty soup. This is definitely perfect for eating during cold weather!

7 Notes

My first stop after checking into my hotel in Taipei was to grab lunch at Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is most famous for their soup dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao. The first original shop is located on Da’an Street in Taipei. Due to it’s popularity, there are many branches not only around Taipei, but also all over the world. Unfortunately, one hasn’t made it to New York yet. I stopped by their Zhongxiao Branch which was just 2 blocks away from my hotel.

There are 10 pieces with one order of Xiao Long Bao. In addition, I also ordered a bowl of hot and sour soup and a small dish of sauteed sugar pea shoots with garlic. First, the dumplings were delicious. The wrapper was so thin, yet sturdy enough to not break when you like it up with your chopsticks. They come piping hot, so if you don’t want to scald your tongue with the juices inside the dumpling, let them cool just a little bit. The hot and sour soup was just okay; it wasn’t sour enough or spicy enough. The pea shoots sauteed with just some fresh garlic were perfect. 

If I closed my eyes and just listened to the table conversations next to me, I swear I was in Japan. Din Tai Fung is quite popular with Japanese tourist, and all the servers speak Japanese fluently. In addition to Chinese and English the menus also have Japanese.

Din Tai Fung, Taipei Zhongxiao Branch, No. 218, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Rd., Da’an District, Taipei City (Alley 216)

3 Notes

With the fall-like temperatures we’ve been having this past few days, I am automatically craving soups! This Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup is the perfect soup to keep you warm and cozy and it’s also filling enough to be a meal. 
Ingredients:
1, 15oz can of coconut milk
6 cups of chicken broth/stock
2 stalks of lemongrass, smashed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. 
1 (2 inch) piece of ginger, sliced
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2-3 bunches of rice noodles (cook to package instructions)
1 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup of red bell peppers 
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
juice of 2 limes
4 thai basil leaves and more for decoration
Bring the chicken stock to a boil. 
Add in the lemongrass, ginger, thai basil, peppers, mushrooms.  
Let it simmer and then stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, and fish sauce.  
Stir until it is well incorporated.  Bring the soup back to a boil and do a taste test and season with salt and pepper.
Try to fish out the lemongrass and ginger as much as possible.  The lemongrass will be too tough to eat.  
Add in the chicken and then the noodles. 
Let the pot simmer for another 2 minutes.
Garnish with some thai basil leaves.  Enjoy! 
If you want to add a spicy kick, you can substitute the red bell peppers with chili peppers.  Or just add a squirt or two of spicy chili sauce.  The bell peppers reduces the heat without scarifying the beautiful color. 
Smashing the lemongrass with the back of your knife will help it release more flavor. This will make about 4-5 servings.

With the fall-like temperatures we’ve been having this past few days, I am automatically craving soups! This Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup is the perfect soup to keep you warm and cozy and it’s also filling enough to be a meal. 

Ingredients:

  • 1, 15oz can of coconut milk
  • 6 cups of chicken broth/stock
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, smashed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. 
  • 1 (2 inch) piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2-3 bunches of rice noodles (cook to package instructions)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup of red bell peppers 
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 4 thai basil leaves and more for decoration
  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil. 
  2. Add in the lemongrass, ginger, thai basil, peppers, mushrooms.  
  3. Let it simmer and then stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, and fish sauce.  
  4. Stir until it is well incorporated.  Bring the soup back to a boil and do a taste test and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Try to fish out the lemongrass and ginger as much as possible.  The lemongrass will be too tough to eat.  
  6. Add in the chicken and then the noodles. 
  7. Let the pot simmer for another 2 minutes.
  8. Garnish with some thai basil leaves.  Enjoy! 

If you want to add a spicy kick, you can substitute the red bell peppers with chili peppers.  Or just add a squirt or two of spicy chili sauce.  The bell peppers reduces the heat without scarifying the beautiful color.  Smashing the lemongrass with the back of your knife will help it release more flavor. This will make about 4-5 servings.

4 Notes

Gazpacho- The Perfect Summer Picnic Idea
I had a picnic gathering with some old co-workers last week at Battery Park. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night with low humidity and a cool breeze. The environment was perfect with the Statue of Liberty and the view of Jersey City in our background as sailboats gently glided on the river behind us. 
As for food, I wanted to bring something that didn’t need to be heated, something that was going to be hearty enough to be a meal, and something at was easily transportable.  Gazpacho was the perfect choice. It was also perfect because there was no cooking involved making it a perfect summer food idea. All you need is a food processor. 
Ingredients:
2 Red Bell Peppers- coarsely diced- remove seeds
4 Plum Tomatoes- diced
1 Seedless Cucumber- diced
1 Small Red Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Cup Good Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Cup Tomato Juice
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
A dash of hot sauce (optional)
In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, onions, and garlic one at a time.  If you like it chunkier don’t puree it as much.
Place all veggies in a large bowl and mix in tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Stir well.
Let everything incorporate for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. The longer it sits, the more flavor develops.
Serve cold and with some garlic bread. 

Gazpacho- The Perfect Summer Picnic Idea

I had a picnic gathering with some old co-workers last week at Battery Park. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night with low humidity and a cool breeze. The environment was perfect with the Statue of Liberty and the view of Jersey City in our background as sailboats gently glided on the river behind us. 

As for food, I wanted to bring something that didn’t need to be heated, something that was going to be hearty enough to be a meal, and something at was easily transportable.  Gazpacho was the perfect choice. It was also perfect because there was no cooking involved making it a perfect summer food idea. All you need is a food processor. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Red Bell Peppers- coarsely diced- remove seeds
  • 4 Plum Tomatoes- diced
  • 1 Seedless Cucumber- diced
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Good Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Tomato Juice
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • A dash of hot sauce (optional)
  1. In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, onions, and garlic one at a time.  If you like it chunkier don’t puree it as much.
  2. Place all veggies in a large bowl and mix in tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Stir well.
  3. Let everything incorporate for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. The longer it sits, the more flavor develops.
  4. Serve cold and with some garlic bread. 

5 Notes

Chupe de Camarones - Shrimp Bisque at El Marino
This was my third visit to El Marino in just a couple of months.  This time I brought along a bunch of friends after we had just finished a whitewater rafting trip.  We needed a good and hearty meal after 5 hours in the water.  El Marino with their super large portions and great tasting food was just the perfect place to take them.  Nice owner lady remembers me by now, and gave me a big smile and welcome.  
On this visit, I had the Chupe de Camarones or shrimp bisque.  This dish might just be one of my favorites thus far.  The soup was full of flavor and creamy enough to give it body, but not heavy.  There was also a never ending amount of shrimp as well.  I believe I counted 15 pieces!  In the soup it also had a wedge of Peruvian corn, 2 slices of yuca, some rice, pieces of queso fresco (cheese), and fried yuyo (seaweed). This was so good! 
El Marino never disappoints and my friends were stuffed to the point of food coma…Haha! 
El Marino, 130 Mount Hope Ave, Dover, NJ 07801

Chupe de Camarones - Shrimp Bisque at El Marino

This was my third visit to El Marino in just a couple of months.  This time I brought along a bunch of friends after we had just finished a whitewater rafting trip.  We needed a good and hearty meal after 5 hours in the water.  El Marino with their super large portions and great tasting food was just the perfect place to take them.  Nice owner lady remembers me by now, and gave me a big smile and welcome.  

On this visit, I had the Chupe de Camarones or shrimp bisque.  This dish might just be one of my favorites thus far.  The soup was full of flavor and creamy enough to give it body, but not heavy.  There was also a never ending amount of shrimp as well.  I believe I counted 15 pieces!  In the soup it also had a wedge of Peruvian corn, 2 slices of yuca, some rice, pieces of queso fresco (cheese), and fried yuyo (seaweed). This was so good! 

El Marino never disappoints and my friends were stuffed to the point of food coma…Haha! 

El Marino, 130 Mount Hope Ave, Dover, NJ 07801

5 Notes

Katz’s Delicatessen is a rooted establishment located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1888.  The deli is famous for their smoked meats (pastrami and corned beef sandwiches) and hot dogs. They are also famous for a particular scene in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally.
You are handed an orange ticket when you walk in.  Don’t lose this ticket as this is how your tab is tallied.  If you lose the ticket, you’ll be charged $50 for a “lost ticket fee”. Hand in your blank ticket even if you don’t eat. 
Tables along the walls are for waiter service; though it is much more fun to stand on line behind one of the counters and watch your carver build your sandwich.  They will usually give you a small sample of the meat.  Also be sure to tip your carver! He might give you a few extra pieces. 
Other favorites are liver and onions and a hot bowl of matzo ball soup. Want breakfast at midnight?  Try their tongue sandwich with fried egg. 
Open until 2:45AM on weekends, we found that it’s a great place to stop by after a night of bar hopping in the LES.
Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 East Houston Street, New York (Lower East Side)

Katz’s Delicatessen is a rooted establishment located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1888.  The deli is famous for their smoked meats (pastrami and corned beef sandwiches) and hot dogs. They are also famous for a particular scene in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally.

You are handed an orange ticket when you walk in.  Don’t lose this ticket as this is how your tab is tallied.  If you lose the ticket, you’ll be charged $50 for a “lost ticket fee”. Hand in your blank ticket even if you don’t eat. 

Tables along the walls are for waiter service; though it is much more fun to stand on line behind one of the counters and watch your carver build your sandwich.  They will usually give you a small sample of the meat.  Also be sure to tip your carver! He might give you a few extra pieces. 

Other favorites are liver and onions and a hot bowl of matzo ball soup. Want breakfast at midnight?  Try their tongue sandwich with fried egg. 

Open until 2:45AM on weekends, we found that it’s a great place to stop by after a night of bar hopping in the LES.

Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 East Houston Street, New York (Lower East Side)

1 Notes

Sunday morning, I work up at 8AM.  Turned on the TV and watched Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods: Vietnam episode. So of course, I had a craving for pho and spring rolls.  Good thing there is really good Vietnamese restaurant nearby.  I popped in for lunch and got the #1 (large) Xe Lua: Rice Noodles Beef Soup with all sorts of beef and offals. Add in a squeeze of lemon, a spoonful of chili sauce, mint, and bean sprouts and you got a really really good bowl of soup.  I couldn’t tackle the spring rolls after this.  
Viet Ai, 189 Ridgedale Ave. Florham Park, NJ 07932

Sunday morning, I work up at 8AM.  Turned on the TV and watched Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods: Vietnam episode. So of course, I had a craving for pho and spring rolls.  Good thing there is really good Vietnamese restaurant nearby.  I popped in for lunch and got the #1 (large) Xe Lua: Rice Noodles Beef Soup with all sorts of beef and offals. Add in a squeeze of lemon, a spoonful of chili sauce, mint, and bean sprouts and you got a really really good bowl of soup.  I couldn’t tackle the spring rolls after this.  

Viet Ai, 189 Ridgedale Ave. Florham Park, NJ 07932

3 Notes

Last week, my good friend Deborah took me to a local Korean tofu restaurant to celebrate the first of my weekend long birthday festivities.  The menu at Hwang Bu Ja is not extensive.  They are known for their soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew) and they allow you to choose the level of spiciness from mild to extra spicy. They also have kalbi (short ribs), haemul pajeon (seafood pancake), some dumplings, and 1-2 rice dishes.  

The meal came with three different kinds of banchan (small dishes) which consisted of pickled cucumbers, kimchi, and bean sprouts.  Thanks for a great meal Debs!

Hwang Bu Ja, 65 New Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054

1 Notes

My Aunt’s version of Bun Rieu Cua, Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup. 
Shrimp paste, crab paste, dried shrimp, and pork flavors this wonderful noodle soup dish.  It is loaded with tomatos and shrimpy meatballs, bean sprouts, and usually some tofu.  Squeeze a dash of lime juice and sprinkle on some fried garlic for an extra kick. 

My Aunt’s version of Bun Rieu Cua, Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup. 

Shrimp paste, crab paste, dried shrimp, and pork flavors this wonderful noodle soup dish.  It is loaded with tomatos and shrimpy meatballs, bean sprouts, and usually some tofu.  Squeeze a dash of lime juice and sprinkle on some fried garlic for an extra kick. 

Notes

On the day of the winter solstice we ate tongyuan. 
Tongyuan chewy and doughy made with glutinous rice flour and water.  You roll them into ball shapes and boil them.  Then make your soup base.  My mom usually makes it with shitake mushrooms, daikon radish, chinese sausage, sliced pork, dried shrimp, and garnished with green onions.  It’s so yummy! 

On the day of the winter solstice we ate tongyuan. 

Tongyuan chewy and doughy made with glutinous rice flour and water.  You roll them into ball shapes and boil them.  Then make your soup base.  My mom usually makes it with shitake mushrooms, daikon radish, chinese sausage, sliced pork, dried shrimp, and garnished with green onions.  It’s so yummy! 

3 Notes

Pumpkin Soup
I made pumpkin cupcakes on Saturday and had some leftover pumpkin purée. I found this wonderful and simple pumpkin soup recipe on Cook Clean blog and made it for dinner tonight. Boy, it is so good! I made a few minor adjustments to the original recipe and added a few dashes of garam masala just because I had it in my spice rack. The curry powder I have is already spicy so I also omitted the 1/2 tsp of chili sauce. This is a great fall weather soup. Yum!

Pumpkin Soup

I made pumpkin cupcakes on Saturday and had some leftover pumpkin purée. I found this wonderful and simple pumpkin soup recipe on Cook Clean blog and made it for dinner tonight. Boy, it is so good! I made a few minor adjustments to the original recipe and added a few dashes of garam masala just because I had it in my spice rack. The curry powder I have is already spicy so I also omitted the 1/2 tsp of chili sauce. This is a great fall weather soup. Yum!