Archive for soups and stews

Miso Soup! 

I can never get sick of miso soup. It’s one of my favorites. For this recipe, you can save a lot of time by using instant Dashi. It’s like the Japanese version of chicken bouillon except it isn’t chicken. Traditional Dashi is actually made with kombu and bonito flakes. If you’re not sure what kombu is, it’s an edible kelp aka seaweed. Bonito flakes are dried, fermented, and smoked young bonito (type of tuna fish – similar to skipjack tuna). Using instant Dashi will save you time and I do also go for Shiro Miso because it’s lighter and less salty. 


Anyway, here’s a picture of the ingredients I used to make this soup. I’m sure some of you guys will appreciate a photo reference since some of these products are found in Asian food stores. I bought these ingredients from an amazing Japanese supermarket called Mitsuwa and it’s in Edgewater, NJ! Make sure you go visit if you’ve never been there before. It’s AMAZING. 


Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant Dashi (I used the HonDashi brand – it does say Bonito Soup Stock on the label)
  • 1/4 cup miso paste (I used Honzukuri’s Shinshu Shiro Miso)
  • 1 tablespoon dried seaweed (soak in a bowl of cold water so it can expand) 
  • 1/2 cup soft tofu (I used 1/2 of a 14oz package)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions/scallions

Directions:

  1. Pour 8 cups of water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil. 
  2. Add the instant Dashi to the pot and whisk to dissolve. 
  3. Turn heat to medium-low. Add in tofu and drained seaweed. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Turn the heat off. Put miso paste in a small bowl and pour 1/2 cup of soup broth from the pot into the bowl. Whisk the miso paste/soup mixture until it’s smooth. 
  5. Pour this miso paste mixture back into the pot. Stir well. Taste the soup and see if it tastes fine to your liking. You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of miso paste if you feel like the soup needs more. 
  6. Ladle in bowls and serve with chopped green onions on top. 

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Simple Russian Meatball Soup

This soup is simple and yet satisfying. We make this often in our home and I hope you’ll be willing to give this one a try! 


Ingredients:

For the Soup:

  • 15 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 to 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup small shaped pasta (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta (or you can use Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground pork (or you can use ground chicken if you want)
  • 1 teaspoon Vegeta (or you can use Mrs. Dash All Seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon water (or use one egg)

Directions:

  1. Pour 15 cups of water in a large soup pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the chopped potatoes. Bring to boil and let it cook for 10 minutes. 
  2. Add sliced carrots and 1/2 cup of whatever small shaped pasta you want to the soup pot. 
  3. Now mix all the meatballs ingredients together. I don’t use an egg and use 1 tablespoon of water in it. But you can skip the water and add an egg instead if desired. 
  4. Roll small meatballs with your hands. Keep adding them to the soup pot as you make them. 
  5. Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add oil, onions and celery. Sauté until soft and golden. Add this mixture to the soup pot. 
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of dill and 1/2 teaspoon of Vegeta (or Mrs. Dash) and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  7. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve. Enjoy. 

Note: Vegeta is often found in Eastern European food stores or Russian stores. It looks like this.  If you cannot find it, you can use Mrs. Dash or your favorite all-purpose seasoning mix. 

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Zuppa Toscana

I’m sure most of you have been to Olive Garden or have at least heard of it. One of the most popular items on their menu is their soup called Zuppa Toscana (roughly translated to Tuscany Soup). Here’s the near-perfect copycat recipe for this wonderful soup!

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Potato Leek Soup

I love having a bowl of this simple creamy potato leek soup especially during the cold winter months. It’s very easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 leeks (white parts only) sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Put everything except the heavy cream in a large pot. Bring it to boil and keep cooking for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. 
  2. Remove the bay leaf from the pot. 
  3. Use an immersion blender and blend everything inside the pot. 
  4. Add 1 cup heavy cream and let it simmer until the soup has thickened, approximately 20 minutes. 

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Borscht Soup

Borscht soup is a staple in my home. What’s a borscht? It’s a Russian beet soup! I’ll have to warn you, it’s really yummy and healthy. You’ll need an extra large soup pot since this recipe can easily serve 10-12 people. I usually make a very large batch of this soup because my family loves it that much!


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef (can use any kind sirloin, stew meat, etc. You could replace with pork) 
  • 14 cups cold water
  • 1 Tbsp salt 
  • 2 large or 3 medium beets, washed, peeled and grated
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • small cabbage, cored and sliced
  • Large can diced tomatoes (28oz)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Vegeta All Purpose Seasoning (you can use your favorite kind of all purpose seasoning instead)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Sour cream

Directions:

  1. Wash meat in cold water, cut into small 1″ pieces and and place in a large soup pot with 14 cups cold water and 1 Tbsp salt. Bring it to a boil and remove the foam crud as soon as it boils (if you wait, it will be hard to get rid of the crud). Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 45 minutes – 1 hour. 
  2. Place grated beets in a large skillet with 4 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp vinegar. Salute for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. Mix well. Sauté until beets soften (approx 10 mins). Remove beets from pan. 
  3. In same skillet (don’t need to wash it), sauté diced onions in 1 Tbsp butter for few minutes. Add grated carrots and sauté for another 5-7 minutes until it’s soft. Add oil if it’s too dry. 
  4. Once meat has cooked for 45 minutes to 1 hour, you can add diced potatoes. Let it cook for ten minutes. Then add cabbage, diced tomatoes, beets, carrots and onions to the pot. Let it cook for 15 minutes. 
  5. Add Vegeta (all purpose seasoning), garlic, bay leaves, pepper and dill. 
  6. Let it cook for another 15 or so minutes. 

To serve, add a dollop of sour cream on top of the bowl. 

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Santa Fe Soup

Here’s one of my family’s favorites to make in the wintertime. It’s hearty and healthy! The best part? It’s easy to make too! I got this recipe from a friend and adapted it to my liking.

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Chicken, Spinach & Gnocchi Soup

Fast and easy and yet so delicious! You can grab a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket to get your soup on in a flash! Read the rest of this entry »

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