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Miso Soup

27 Mar


This is a take off from a recipe I found in the newspaper and I made it my way.

I am a miso soup novice and this is my first try.

Since I do nothing without garlic and onion this is it.

One tablespoon of canola oil

One very large diced onion

Two inch piece of peeled and fine diced fresh ginger

6 cloves diced garlic

6 cups water

4 teaspoons mild miso paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

One cup sugar snap peas or pea pods

6 cups thinly sliced bok choy

One cup thin sliced carrots

Chopped scallions

optional add ins:

sliced mushrooms

hot peppers



rice noodles

Heat the oil and add the onion, ginger and garlic

Cook till the onions are soft but not brown

Add the water and bring to a boil for five minutes

Stir in the miso paste and simmer for ten minutes

Add the soy sauce and lime juice

Make sure the broth is seasoned to your liking now so adjust the soy sauce and miso.

Add the carrots, bok choy and sugar snaps

Do not boil again just let it simmer for ten minutes

The sugar snaps should still be crunchy

I am going to double the broth next time and freeze a container without the vegetables.



Cabbage and Beans

19 Feb


This is another childhood meal.

My Mom used to make a huge pot.

One big head of cabbage, sliced very thin

2 cans of white beans with the liquid

6 big cloves of chopped garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 big bouillon cubes, chicken or vegetable

3 cups water

Heat the oil and add the garlic

Cook till it is soft

Add the beans with the liquid

Add the cabbage, bouillon, red pepper and water

Bring to a boil and then simmer till the cabbage is soft

Serve with the crusty bread

My Mom, ever so often, would serve this with Italian sausage. That was a real treat.

Good vegetable meal or not , it is very good and worth the fifteen minutes to make.


Cornstarch Noodle Stir Fry

16 Feb


The hardest thing is rehydrating the noodles.

I am experimenting with different noodles and these are the cornstarch ones called Papabok.

They are like a cellophane noodle with a little more of a bite.

I am really stuck on rice noodles and these are different but still good

Place two squares of the noodles in tap water for ten minutes.

Use the same water and boil for 15 minutes till the noodles start to soften and cook.

Break up the noodles to separate them.

Keep in the water for another fifteen minutes off the heat.

Set aside

3 tablespoon oil

One chopped large onion

4 cloves chopped garlic

2 sliced carrots

1/2 sliced red pepper

2 cups sugar snap peas

1/2 cup dried chopped mushrooms, rehydrated

One to two cups of broccoli cut into spoon size pieces

One pound of small shrimp

One packet Kikkoman chow mein mix

One package oriental seasoning mix

4 cups salted chicken stock

Rehydrate the noodles and set aside.

Put oil in the pan with the garlic and shrimp.

Cook till the shrimp are pink.

Take them out of the pan.

Add the rest of the vegetables and stir fry for three to four minutes

Add the chow mein sauce and chicken stock

Bring to a boil

Add the drained noodles and shrimp.

Season with dry oriental seasoning mix that you get in udon packages.

Serve in big bowls

These noodles are a challenge to eat.

They slide off a spoon and fork and chopsticks are impossible.

So… Good luck and make sure you have a ton of napkins.

This is not a good first date meal but it does challenge your hand, eye and mouth coordination.



Creamy Fish Chowder

16 Jan


I love Bon Appetit magazine.

I have been getting the best recipes from it for years.

This recipe was on line and of corse I changed it just a little.

6 ounces of diced bacon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

One large diced onion

4 chopped celery stalks with the tops

Salt and pepper

4 cubed potatoes

One can of chicken broth [14 ounces]

1 tablespoon fresh thyme  or 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme leaves

2 pounds of skinless cod, cut into 2 inch pieces maybe a little more.

4 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup corn

2 to 3 tablespoons chicken consomme

Cook bacon till it is brown but not crisp.

Take the bacon out of the pot and set aside.

Add the butter, onion and celery to the pot with the bacon drippings.

Cook until the onions and celery are soft.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the potatoes, broth, thyme and one cup of water.

Bring to a boil and then simmer till the potatoes are cooked about ten minutes.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and place over the potatoes.

Add the corn.

Cover and cook on simmer for about 7 minutes.

Add the half and half.

Season with chicken consomme.  This is a dry chicken flavored powder. Very tasty.

Let  everything simmer until it is very hot

This is not a thick chowder but you can add 3 tablespoons of potato flakes to thicken it up.

Add the cooked bacon to the chowder.

Serve with those little oyster crackers.

Spicy African Peanut Soup

15 Jan


There used to be a great bookstore in Worcester many years ago. They had a great cafe and they made this soup.

It became my quest to find the recipe.

Ta Da ……

I figured out the recipe by combining, mixing, adding and tasting.

3 cups chicken stock

One inch minced peeled ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

One peeled, diced and cooked large sweet potato

2 sliced big carrots

One diced red pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons oil

2 large diced onions

2 cloves chopped garlic

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

One cup chunky peanut butter

One can Rotelle diced tomatoes

One can rinsed, drained black beans

1/2 cup chunky salsa


diced scallions

lots of cilantro

crushed peanuts

diced red peppers

sliced jalapenos

Heat the oil

Add the onions, red pepper, ginger, carrots, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic

Stir till everything is soft and fragrant

Stir in the chicken stock and sweet potato

Boil for about ten minutes

Stirring often

Add the peanut butter and diced tomatoes

Puree till smooth

Add the salsa, black beans and  brown sugar.

Check your seasoning now for salt and pepper

Garnish with cilantro, peanuts,  jalapenos  and scallions

A little dollop of sour cream is always a bonus

I always double this recipe so I can use the entire jar of peanut butter plus it is so good the leftovers are great.


Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup

9 Jan


I love Thai food.

This is easy and it satisfies my craving.

Plus I save ten dollars.

2 tablespoons oil

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 Tablespoon grated ginger

2 tablespoons red curry paste

3 cubed small sweet potatoes

2 bunches chopped bok choy

4 cups chicken broth

13 ounce coconut milk

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

3.5 ounces rice noodles

2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic

2 handfuls fresh spinach

One cup chopped broccoli

One cup sugar snap peas

2 sliced carrots

The trick to cooking anything especially Asian food is to chop everything in the beginning and have it all prepped and ready to go.

Heat the oil in a pot and add the garlic, ginger and red curry paste for 2 minutes.

Add the sweet potato cubes and carrots  with the chicken broth and cook for about 7 minutes till the potatoes are cooked.

In another pot bring water to a boil.

Add the rice noodles and boil for 3 minutes till cooked.

Drain and set aside

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, chili paste and consomme to the soup.

Adjust your seasoning now. It may need just a little brown sugar about 1/2 tablespoon.

Add the noodles, broccoli, spinach, bok choy and snow peas

Garnish with cilantro, red onion, lime wedges and sriracha.

Cooks notes:

These are different add ins that are pretty good.

I actually used all of them in one soup and loved it.

Mild Rotelle diced tomatoes can also be added to increase the broth

Use two tablespoons of peanut butter to sweeten the soup. It gives it a great flavor.

Corn is another natural sweetener but only use 1/2 cup.


Sweet Potato Soup #2

5 Jan


I started out to make tortilla soup and ended up making this because I had too many sweet potatoes and got carried away with everything else.

This is a great meatless soup.

It turned out pretty good.

3 Tablespoons oil

One large diced onion

4  crushed garlic cloves

Two large sliced carrots

Two large peeled and diced sweet potatoes

One diced red pepper

One seeded diced jalapeno

One teaspoon ground cumin

32 ounces chicken broth

One can drained corn

One can drained, rinsed black beans

One can diced tomatoes

1 cup medium  salsa

1/2 cup diced cilantro

Heat the oil

Add the onions and garlic and cook till soft

Add the peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper

Add the cumin and cook till it is fragrant about two minutes.

Then add the broth, corn, beans, salsa and cilantro

Cook till everything is nice and warm. and the potatoes are cooked.

I had about ten  roasted baby potatoes leftover, sliced them and pan fried them with salt and butter.

I put a dollop of sour cream on the soup and then the fried potatoes.

Diced scallions, avocado or chips are also good toppings