Thursday, May 4, 2017

Soups of the World - Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Since making Tortellini en Brodo I've been wanting to try tortellini again but in a soup with more ingredients. So here I am bringing you another Italian soup this time with sausage and vegetables.

I love the legend of how tortellini was invented by a man captivated by a young woman's navel who then tried to recreate it in pasta form. Surely not true but a funny story either way!


Ingredients:

8 sausages
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots
1 tin tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 stock cube
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 packet tortellini
1 tablespoon parmesan


Firstly, you have to do probably the worst thing ever. Peel the casings off the sausages and roll the sausage into small balls. Peeling the casings off is difficult and a bit gross but it has to be done to have delicious sausage balls in your soup, so woman up and get on with it!


Saute the sausage in a pan and set aside once browned. Mine are a bit too browned in the picture because I was juggling peeling more sausage, washing my hands, taking pictures and sauteing at the same time.


Chop up the onion and garlic then cook them until they're softened. Thanks for the help stirring, Leigh :)


Dice the carrot up small and add that to the pan, cooking for another few minutes.


Add the stock, tomatoes, herbs and puree. Stir well.


Add the sausage and some water (about 4 cups) then simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any excess fat and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add the tortellini and simmer for 10 minutes.


Serve with parmesan on top.


This soup was great, JD, Leigh and I all enjoyed it. Very comforting and filling with the swollen tortellini floating in the bowl. The sausage is lovely in this dish too, well worth the effort (and displeasure) of peeling it. Quite cheap to make too which is always good. Tasty!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Soups of the World - Spicy Pork & Greens Noodle Soup

I'm not really sure which country this is from but I had some rice noodles to use so I found this delicious looking soup recipe on Bon App├ętit. I used spring greens instead of mustard greens but everything else is pretty much the same.


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 8 oz. wide rice noodles

Put the pork in a mixing bowl and add the cumin, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger.


Mush it all together with your hands until it's well mixed.



Now saute the pork mixture in a little oil. Break it up as you cook it to make small clumps of pork.


Chop up the greens and prepare 4 cups of chicken broth.


When the pork is browned, add the broth and simmer for 8-10 minutes.


Next, add the soy sauce and chopped greens. Cook for about 5 minutes until the greens have cooked through.


Prepare the noodles according to the packet (it only takes a few minutes) and place them in some bowls.


Spoon the soup over the waiting noodles. Serve!


This soup didn't disappoint! The spicy pork clumps were the best bit followed quickly by the crunchy hot greens. The noodles were soft and covered in delicious fragrant broth. JD said it was one of the best things he's ever eaten. It was pretty great. Impossible to eat without splashing yourself in broth though. We had to alternate between eating with a spoon and a fork. It's worth it. :)


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Soups of the World - Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

No prizes for guessing where this soup comes from! The USA are pretty great at soup recipes that emulate other foods. We've already tried lasagna soup and it was delicious. So I have high hopes for this recipe.



Ingredients:

500g minced beef
2 onions
2 cups cheese
1 can tomatoes
6-8 ready cooked bacon rashers
1/2 cup celery
1 cup carrots
2 cups potatoes
8oz cream cheese
4 cups stock
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3-4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper


 Saute the minced beef and onion in a pan until cooked.


Everything gets added to a slow cooker now so start to chop up your carrot, potatoes and celery. Put it all in except for the cheese, flour and milk.



Give it a good mix, cover and leave to cook on Low for 7 hours.



10 minutes before you want to eat it, thicken it up with the flour and milk mixed together. Add the cheese and stir well. Cook for 10 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Then serve!


This wasn't the most attractive soup I've made but it was tasty nontheless! It was like nothing I've tasted before, not exactly cheeseburger like in flavour but with some elements of it. We both ate two bowls of it either way.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Soups of the World - Moroccan Harira & Chicken Soup


Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup often used to break fast during Ramadan. There are lots of variations, this recipe uses chicken and lentils along with vegetables.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts
2 carrots
4 celery stalks
1 parsnip
2 leeks
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons harissa
2 stock cubes
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons turmeric
85g green lentils
1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
Plain yoghurt to serve



In a large pan brown off the chicken breasts in some oil.



When done, remove the chicken and set aside. Pour 300ml of water into the pan and de-glaze it. Pour this water out and set aside also.



Cut the celery, carrot, leek and parsnip into bite-sized pieces.



Saute the vegetables in some more oil until they start to soften (about 5 minutes).



Stir in the spices.


Now add the harissa, tomatoes, stock cubes, lentils, chicken water and chicken. Add another 300ml of water and give it a good stir. Simmer for 30 minutes.


Remove the chicken and shred it using two forks. Return to the pan along with the juice and zest from the lemon plus the sugar. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.



We really enjoyed this one. I was expecting it to be a bit hotter with all the spices but it was quite mild in taste. It was full of flavour though. Harissa is a great ingredient giving a sharp zing to the soup but not too much. The yoghurt is a lovely addition making each spoonful creamy but I think the soup could do without the lentils as they didn't add much. Still, an overall lovely warming soup with some Moroccan spice!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Soups of the World - New Orleans Creole Gumbo

Gumbo comes in many forms depending on the region it's made in. It always has the Holy Trinity of vegetables (celery, onion and bell pepper), some form of thickener (in this case roux), okra and some meat or fish of some kind. It's usually served over rice and looks delicious!


Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 cup dripping
1 cup celery
1 onion
1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 smoked sausage
3 stock cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 sachet Cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 can tomatoes
1 box passata
1 package okra
1 can crabmeat
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 litre water


To start with, make a roux from 3/4 of the dripping plus the flour. Stir it well while slowly cooking it until it is a golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and continue to stir as it cools.


Now cut up the celery, pepper, onion and garlic. Place in a bowl/jug and blitz it with an immersion blender until it's all finely chopped.



Cut the sausage into thin slices.


Return the roux to the heat and stir in the Holy Trinty of vegetables plus the sausage. Carry on stirring and slowly cooking for 10-15 minutes.


Make up the stock with the water and slowly add a bit at a time to the roux mixture making sure it's blended well before adding a bit more. Now add the tomatoes, passata, sugar, salt, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce and bay leaves. Simmer for about an hour.


Cut up the okra into small bite sized pieces.


Cook the okra in a pan with the remaining dripping plus a tablespoon of vinegar. Then add it to the gumbo along with the crab meat. Cook for a further 10 minutes.


Serve over some rice and tuck in!


It was delicious! The whole dish had a lovely thick, creamy texture meaning the sausage and okra was coated in the thick soup. It was great with the added texture from the rice too. We really enjoyed this one. I like how versatile gumbo is, you can add whichever meat or fish you want, it'd be just as nice with shredded chicken and shrimp for example. I did wonder if gumbo counts as a soup since it seems more of a stew but apparently soup is defined as a dish cooked in an open pan with meat and/or vegetables in stock or water. Either way, I love it :)