Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Soups of the World - Italian Wedding Soup

I couldn't resist making this soup, I've never had meatballs in a soup before. The name apparently refers to the marriage of meat and green vegetables in the soup. Let's find out if they're a happy couple :)


Ingredients:

400g ground meat
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs or panko
3  eggs
1/2 cup grated cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch greens 


 
 

Put half the cheeses, an egg, oregano, mince, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper in a bowl and squidge it together with your hands. Or one hand if like me you're trying to take a picture at the same time!


Form the mixture into small meatballs and brown them off in a pan with some of the oil. Don't worry about cooking them completely at this point because they'll cook more in the soup later.


Mix together the remaining cheese with the last two eggs. Set aside for later.


Chop up the onion and garlic then saute them in the oil you have left.


 Chop the greens into bite-size pieces.


 Add the stock and greens to the pan then bring to the boil for a minute.


Add the meatballs, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.


 Lastly, stir in the cheese/egg mixture and let cook for a final minute so the egg bits are cooked.



While I was making the meatballs I couldn't resist trying one and they're the tastiest meatballs I've ever had. I'll definitely be using this recipe again for the meatballs alone. It's not the prettiest soup I've seen but the taste makes up for that. The egg and cheese gives the chicken broth more substance as well as flavour. The meatballs and greens are a marriage made in heaven and I'll try not to judge them for letting many other ingredients into the marital bowl since it makes for a delicious soup. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Soups of the World - Shorabit Jarjir

This red lentil and butternut squash soup from Palestine looks like the perfect antidote for the wet weather we've been having this week.


Ingredients:

14 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
3 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
1 white onion
1 tsp. ground cumin
12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
12 small butternut squash
Salt & pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup red lentils
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Paprika, for garnish

Start by chopping the celery, carrot, onion and garlic. The recipe says to chop them finely but it'll be pureed later so it's up to you how finely you want to chop.


Saute the vegetables in the oil until softened.


Next add the cumin, chilli flakes, salt & pepper and the chopped butternut squash.




After 5-10 minutes of sauteing the squash should be soft so add the stock and lentils.


Simmer the soup until the lentils are soft and swollen with the liquid. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then puree with an immersion blender or food processor.



Sprinkle chopped parsley and paprika over the served soup along with a squeeze of lemon.

This soup was delicious. It was spicy but the squeeze of lemon gave a great contrasting flavour to it which I loved. It's lovely and thick in texture making it great to scoop up with some crusty bread. I thought it looked drab in colour when I'd made it but the streak of paprika makes it much more appetising looking. A lovely soup to warm you up in winter or a wet English spring.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Soups of the World - Locro de Papa

This soup is made in many South American countries and they all have their own version. The cheese most commonly used is queso fresco, I couldn't find it so had to settle for feta as a substitute.



Ingredients:

Oil
1 onion
2 potatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons oregano
Pinch dried chile flakes
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup sweetcorn
1 cup frozen peas
6 ounces queso fresco
1 cup whole milk
Salt & pepper



Dice and saute the onion in a tablespoon of oil.


When the onion is softened add the diced potatoes and a pinch of salt.



Stir the potatoes and allow to cook until the edges become soft. Make a space in the centre of the pan and add the garlic, oregano and chilli flakes.


Let the garlic cook for a minute and then add the stock. Simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are almost soft.


Tip in the corn and peas. Stir well and simmer for 2 more minutes.


Dice the feta cheese and stir it into the soup along with the milk and a pinch of pepper. Allow the soup to cook for a final minute and then serve.




I loved this soup! As I was making it I thought it seemed quite plain but it had a lovely creamy texture and a subtle flavour. It had a spicy kick to it but the milk and feta helped cool it down. The best part was the cheese, it had melted into gooey lumps and when you got a mouthful with the cheese in it, it was like a smooth, salty taste explosion. I also enjoyed the chunkiness of the soup, very comforting.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Soups of the World - Tantanmen

Or, Chile and Sesame Ramen Soup from Japan. I'm excited to make this soup because I've never had ramen soup before. I even bought some tobanjan (Japanese chile bean sauce) from Amazon for this recipe so I'm all set.


Ingredients:


3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
8 spring onions
1 clove garlic
12 lb. ground pork
1 tbsp. tobanjan 
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
14 cup sesame paste
2 tsp.  salt
1 package ramen noodles


Chop up the spring onions and saute half in the sesame oil along with the chopped garlic clove.


Next add the ground pork and tobanjan. This gives off the most amazing smell I've ever smelled making food. It upped the anticipation of trying the soup a lot. :D


When the pork is cooked through you can add all the other ingredients (except the ramen and other half of the spring onions). Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes.



Cook the ramen noodles according to the package instructions. 


Put some of the noodles in a bowl and spoon over the soup, top with some spring onion and eat.


Just as I expected, it was delicious! It has a very salty, savoury flavour I haven't tasted before which made me want to have more. Also it was funny having a soup you have to eat with a fork at first to get the noodles and then drink the broth part after. The spiced pork was lovely and gave a meaty depth to the soup. It was great. I loved it! ^_^