Today actually felt like autumn, so I decided to make soup. I had a hard time coming up with the right soup that both my son and I would eat and I finally decided on mushroom barley soup. It is a vegetarian version, I remember loving my aunt’s mushroom barley soup as a kid, but I remember it having beef chunks in it. Since I decided to make this vegetarian I made a side of homemade meatballs to add some extra food for the growing teenager. We were both happy this way and there was plenty of leftover soup for lunch tomorrow and for freezing for future meals.
I have made this recipe all summer and it is really delicious! It is like summer in a bowl. It is a recipe from the New York Times Cooking site and I have modified it slightly by leaving out the cream, butter and jalapenos, and adding crab. It has a pretty short list of ingredients and is very light and healthy. I will say that shucking 12 pieces of corn can take some time, so it isn’t quick, but healthy natural food is often not quick, but worth the extra time.
Credit: The New York Times Cooking – I can’t post a link because you have to pay for their website now, so I no longer have access to it
12 ears of corn
1 sweet onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 yellow or orange bell peppers, small dice
1 bay leaf
10 whole black peppercorns
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of fresh crab, shelled
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade them
Remove the husk from all of the corn.
Cut the corn off the cob and put the cornless cobs in a large stockpot. Fill the stock pot with 16 cups of water, bay leaf, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to medium and lightly boil for 30 minutes.
While the corn cobs are boiling, cut the vegetables.
Saute the onion and bell pepper with a little oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot until it is soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the corn and saute for 10 more minutes.
Add 6 cups of the corn stock to the corn mixture (avoiding the peppercorns and bay leaf). stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree about half the soup, so it turns creamy, but you still have a lot of vegetable chunks. Pour into bowls, garnish with fresh crab and basil. Enjoy!
This is not Ramen from my college days, thank goodness! I remember a roommate I had in college who seemed to eat nothing but pre-packaged ramen (a serious sodium and fat bomb) and Kraft macaroni and cheese. I don’t know how he lived on this combination, but I guess he was young…but there are long-term health consequences… I won’t preach.
Well Ramen is back and getting quite gourmet from what I have read. There is a new ramen restaurant here in Palo Alto that has daily lines snaking around the corner. So popular, but I have not tried it as (1) I don’t want to wait in line to get in and (2) I am pretty certain that restaurant ramen will be loaded with fat and sodium. But curious, as I can be about a new food trend, I decided I would make this myself and add vegetables. I found this recipe on a site called Damn Delicious (catchy name). I have made this a few times with great success. So easy and so delicious! I have only modified it slightly, mostly adding more broth, miso and sometimes changing out the vegetables. It was really good with bok choy instead of spinach, but today I used what was in my refrigerator and that was mushrooms, a carrot and fresh spinach.
4 large eggs, soft or hard boiled (to your liking), sliced in half
Safflower seed oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
5 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (I only had some dried shiitakes so I used mostly cremini mushrooms today- but I think the shiitake are better in this soup)
6 cups unsalted vegetable stock (or chicken)
1 cup of water
1 Tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
Soba noodles or Shirataki noodles
2 Tablespoons light miso
3 cups fresh spinach (or baby bok choy, or whatever green vegetable you have)
chopped chives for a garnish
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little oil to the pot and heat another minute. When oil is hot, add garlic and ginger to the pot and stir for about 1 minute. Add carrot slices and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.
Add stock, water and soy sauce, stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
While soup simmers, cook your noodles according to package instructions. (I made vegetable-based, zero calorie shirataki noodles for myself and more traditional soba noodles for my son). Set cooked noodles aside.
Add the spinach to the soup and stir. Turn off the heat, add the miso and stir with a whisk to blend the miso in.
Place noodles in bowl, ladle soup in and garnish with two egg halves and chives. Enjoy!
Note: Shirataki noodles are a new find for me. The are a traditional Japanese ingredient made from the yam-like roots of plants in the amorphophallus family. The noodles are mostly made of water and have an interesting chewy texture. They have fiber and are either very low calorie or calorie-free. This information and more is from: Decker, Fred. (2017, July 20). Benefits of Shirataki Noodles. Healthy Eating | SF Gate. Retrieved from http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-shirataki-noodles-11780.html
Recipe updated Oct. 11, 2019. Added carrots, made it with chicken broth instead of vegetable for a more pleasant color and added more photos. Served it for dinner and all really liked it!
Happy New Year! When I made the Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower soup recently, my son and I decided that the same base would probably be really good as a clam chowder, and I could even make it completely dairy-free for those who prefer that. I love New England style clam chowder but it traditionally has a lot of milk and cream and butter…so I have not made it in many years and I am not inclined to order it in a restaurant because it is usually loaded with even more butter and cream than I would make at home. I am not lactose-intolerant, but I think that my morning latte and some cheese is enough dairy for me each day. This soup turned out rich and creamy without any dairy! I am so amazed at what one can do with cauliflower, so my cauliflower obsession continues along with my squash obsession (check out this amazing Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash recipe from Skinnytaste – I can’t get enough of this — crispy like a high-quality french fry but so much better for you!). I am giving Cooking Light credit for inspiring me to create this soup from their cauliflower soup. Let me know what you think!
kosher salt to taste (the clam broth will have salt, so taste before salting)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon white miso
16 ounce package of frozen clams, shelled
1 Tablespoon chopped fennel fronds to garnish
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. When oil is hot, add onion, fennel, carrots, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock or broth, clam juice, pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
Ladle about 80% of the soup (liquid and vegetables) into a blender, add the miso and puree until smooth and creamy. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
Return the blended mixture to the pot. Add clams cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!
Wow, this was really good. I ate it for dinner on Sunday and have enjoyed the leftovers for the last two days for lunch. I feel like we have been eating more meat than I prefer to eat so I was looking for a vegetarian dish (ok, it has bacon, so almost vegetarian is what I ended up with). I found this on Cookinglight.com and my son and I really liked it! Ok, he liked it as long as I added extra cheese and bacon to his… but hey, he is a growing teen! I love how the soup has a very rich and silky mouthfeel, with only a small amount of added half and half (I am considering leaving the half and half out next time and adding greek yogurt instead?). I give all the credit to Cooking Light, I cooked it pretty much as written. Enjoy!
1 medium-sized cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
4 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
1 teaspoon (or to taste) kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup half and half
About 1/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place bacon strips on baking sheet and cook until crispy, about 15 minutes. Drain grease thoroughly on paper towels. When cool chop into small crumbles. Set aside.
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on Medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. Add Leek, celery and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover ad reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the majority of the vegetables and liquid to a blender and blend with half and half and blend until smooth. Be careful not to burn your self on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
Return the blended mixture to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese, bacon and chives. Enjoy!
Tonight my daughter and I made miso soup with homemade dashi. Usually when we make miso soup we cheat and just use some store-bought chicken or vegetable broth and add miso, figuring it was good enough, but wow, this was so much better! There is so much complexity to this soup now that it has the smell of the ocean from the kombu and bonito flakes and the salty/savory flavor from the miso. So Delicious! The added bonus is that we don’t feel like we just ate a salt bomb as we often do after eating miso soup at a restaurant. I think the sodium levels are pretty moderate in this version. Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures, so will have to add them next time I make this.
2 – 6 x 5 inch pieces dried Kombu (a type of seaweed)
1 1/2 ounces bonito flakes (about 3 cups)
8 cups of Dashi
1/2 cup dried wakame (a type of seaweed)
1/3 cup white miso
1/2 pound tofu (I like firm tofu), drained and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup thinly cut scallions
Pour water into a large saucepan. Add kombu and let sit until kombu softens, about 30 minutes.
Bring water and kombu mixture to a slight boil and immediately remove from the heat. Discard the kombu.
Add the bonito flakes and carefully stir once to submerge them. The broth will be clearer if you don’t vigorously stir it. Return to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes, skimming off any foam that might form.
Strain the dashi (broth). You can let it cool and store it in the fridge for a couple of days or use it now to make the miso soup.
Miso Soup Instructions:
Pour the dashi into a medium pot and mix in the wakame.
Heat the dashi mixture over moderately high heat until hot. While the dashi is heating up remove about 1/2 cup of it and whisk it in a separate bowl with the miso until well combined.
Add the tofu and scallions to the broth (dashi). Cook one minute. Turn off the heat.
Mix the miso mixture into the soup and serve immediately. Enjoy!
This is based on an old Cooking Light recipe haven’t made in years but tried it recently when we were in the mountains skiing and thought it was worthy to post. It is wonderful cold weather comfort food that is also healthy and nutritious. I made it in a dutch oven but it also works well to throw it in a crock pot and leave it to cook while you go about your day.
1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
5 large cremini mushrooms, sliced in large chunks
8 cups of loosely packed torn kale (one large bunch)
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Sauté the leek for about 6 minutes or until golden brown.
Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Spoon leek mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
Place 1/3 cup of flour in a shallow bowl and dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess flour.
Heat a little oil in the dutch oven and add half of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to leek mixture and repeat with rest of chicken.
Add the wine to the pan, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits.
Combine 1 cup of broth and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Add the broth mixture, remaining broth, and mustard to the pot and bring to a boil.
Stir in the chicken mixture, garbanzo beans, butternut squash, and mushrooms and cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add the kale and simmer for 10 more minutes or until the butternut squash is tender and the kale is wilted. Garnish with crushed red pepper flakes and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Wow, ten days have passed since I last posted a recipe! My daughter was home for spring break and she was bored so she decided she would do a lot of the cooking, so Helpful! But she doesn’t follow recipes or want to participate in my blogging project, so I haven’t had much to post. Thank you again Melissa Clark and New York Times Cooking for this recipe! This is a very healthy and hearty vegetarian soup that can be bulked up further with lentils, grains or sausage (no longer vegetarian then) if one desires. We decided we just wanted a warm vegetarian soup that wasn’t too heavy, so we left it as is except we added a can of chopped tomatoes and some broth to the recipe.
1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, oyster, etc. medium dice
½ lb shallots, finely diced
fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (use a little less if dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground allspice
one 14.5 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
4 cups water
1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth
5 ounces baby spinach
fresh lime juice, to taste (I cut one lime and served the wedges with the soup so people could squeeze in as much as they wanted at the table)
plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread out chopped mushrooms and shallots on a large lightly oiled sheet pan. Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes and then stir. Roast for another 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have substantially shrunk and most of the liquid has evaporated. You can alternatively do this in the pot you are going to make your soup in by sautéing the vegetables.
Heat a large pot over medium heat, add a little olive oil to just barely coat bottom of pot, after that is heated add the mushrooms and shallot mixture, tomato paste, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. If you like a little more spice, add a little more of all spices as I did. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in can of tomatoes including the liquid, 4 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently for at least 20 minutes. I simmered for over an hour because I had the extra time. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1-2 minutes.
Using a blender or food processor, coarsely purée 1/2 of the soup and add back to unprocessed soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of fresh lime, sprinkle of thyme and an optional dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!
Here in the Bay area it has been cold (by our California standards) and SUPER RAINY so I thought a hearty soup would be nice. I made this soup yesterday and I have to admit it took quite a bit of time but it was really worth it. The soup was very rich, warm and nutritious (I need to work on adding nutritional stats to my recipes!) and it got a thumbs up from both my husband and son. This is after I made a disastrous meal last night with chicken, vegetables, lemon and herbs that was difficult and laborious and just turned out incredibly BLAND! So disappointing, but that happens. Toss it and watch my husband and son make quesadillas because they were still hungry (no joke- that is what they do when they don’t like dinner or if I really under-fed them).
For this soup I started with a Food and Wine recipe and added more vegetables, a little wine, more herbs and a leaner cut of meat. The recipe called for chicken stock, which I found strange, but followed it anyway, and I regretted it. I think beef stock would match the beef and farro much better. Nevertheless, the soup was still very tasty, I just think the beef broth would be better so I am recommending it for anyone following it. Vegetable broth would also be good (I added some vegetable broth at the end since I cooked it ahead of time and the farro had absorbed quite a bit of the broth). I also think that the beef can be left out completely and with some vegetable broth instead of beef broth it would be a very lovely vegetarian meal as the farro has quite a bit of protein and the soup is full of vegetables. I love the addition of the miso, it gave the soup a lot of extra flavor and excitement!
1 1/2 pounds beef (I used grass-fed flat iron steak), cut into 1 inch pieces.
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 cups of beef stock (I used chicken stock, but I think that was not a very good idea, beef stock I think would have tasted much better)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 whole head of garlic, cut off the knobby top that was attached to the plant and pierce in several places with a knife.
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
4 thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 leek, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry thyme (or fresh)
1 cup uncooked farro
1 small bunch of Tuscan kale, chopped (3 cups)
2 tablespoons of white miso
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish
Heat a dutch oven on medium-high heat with some canola oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the fat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour out any extra oil/grease in the pot and then add the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth along with the meat, garlic, onion, 2 carrots cut in thirds, fresh thyme and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, arrange the cut tomatoes, leeks, celery and carrots on a lightly greased pan. Sprinkle a little olive oil, freshly ground pepper, salt, dry oregano and dry thyme on the vegetables and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Set aside the cooked vegetables.
After the soup has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, remove the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and carrot chunks (I actually like to keep the soft carrots). Stir in the roasted vegetables and the uncooked farro and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over moderate heat, or until farro is tender. Add the kale, miso and paprika and cook uncovered on low heat for 10 minutes. Add any additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls with a garnish of the cheese.
Tonight is the last night that my daughter is home for her winter break and she suggested we make Hot and Sour Soup. What a great idea! I love soup and I think if you add a little protein and extra vegetables it makes such a nice one-pot meal, although tonight I decided I can’t even try to feed this to my spice-phobe son, so I also marinated a little chicken and steak in garlic, ginger, soy sauce and mirin and then stir-fried it and served it on the side along with some roasted broccoli that I tossed with a little olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper. It all was sooooo warm and yummy! The soup is basically the recipe from Feedmephoebe.com, with some extra vegetables and I didn’t make it vegan, so thank you Phoebe Lapine for an excellent recipe!
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (about a 2 inch piece grated)
4 scallions, thinly sliced and white and green parts separated
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 baby bok choy, sliced
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
1/2 cup firm tofu, drained and cubed (or chicken, shrimp, etc)
2 teaspoons sambal olek
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons of warm water
2 egg whites, gently beaten
Heat a little olive oil in a medium to large stockpot or dutch oven. Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger and white part of the scallions for 5 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently.Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired while sautéing.
Add mushrooms and cook for another few minutes or until the mushrooms has become soft and released a lot of their liquid.
Add the Sambal Olek and stir. Cook another minute.
Add the soy sauce and vinegar to the mixture, stir and scrape up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Add the broth, bok choy and tofu, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for ten minutes.
While the soup is simmering, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. set aside.
Add the cornstarch to the soup and simmer for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
Remove the soup from the heat. Add the egg whites to the soup by slowly pouring them into the soup and at the same time carefully stirring the soup in large zigzags to form ribbons of egg whites in the soup. Gently stir in the green onions and serve in bowls.