Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup – Get the F*%k Out!

I really get a kick out of Thug’s Kitchen 101 Fast as Fuck Recipes. This book has a lot of great vegetarian recipes and reading the blurbs are entertaining and to say the least also very “down to earth” with a healthy dose of curse words!

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Here’s a sample blurb to get the gist:

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So, today I decided to give Thug Kitchen’s Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup to warm myself up after my long swim workout.

The Verdict of Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup:

Yum, warm and cozy goodness!! It’s quite similar to a minestrone soup. I like how the soup has a magical goodness to the broth with spices that I’d never guess to put together in a soup (for example: cinnamon, dried basil, paprika, turmeric, and ginger?). And Turmeric is a spice that comes up over and over again with health benefits but I never really feel inspired to use turmeric in any soups. This one is a keeper though for turmeric soup. For this soup I decided to clean my pantry and use up loose pieces of lasagna noodles and it played very well in this soup. I do suggest adding extra stock the next day if you have left overs, it seems as though my noodles lapped up all the liquids over night!

Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, skin on, diced into small pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I used 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 1 can (15 ounces)  low salt diced tomatoes with juices (I used 28 ounce large can)
  • 5 cups of veggie stock (I used 6.5 cups)
  • 1 cup macaroni, stars, letters, orzo or other small pasta (I used broken lasagna noodles)
  • 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15 ounces) drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I added myself)

Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, warm up olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute it around until it starts to look translucent, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potato, bell pepper, and jalepeno and cook them all around for another 4 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric, basil, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, and tamari and keep stirring so that everything gets coated and the spices get a chance to warm up, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and broth, cover, and simmer until sweet potatoes are almost tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta, uncover, and cook until the pasta is good to go (8 -20 minutes, depending on size/thickness of your choice of pasta).
  7. Fold in the chickpeas, kale, and lemon juice and simmer away until the kale wilts and the chickpeas are warm, about 4 more minutes. Tast and add salt and pepper. You can add a little honey (1 tablespoon like I did).
  8. Serve Warm! Enjoy!

Where I received my inspiration for this soup: Thug Kitchen 101, Fast as Fuck

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What I changed from the original recipe:

  • Used Tamari instead of Soya Sauce
  • Added 6.5 cups of veggie stock instead of 5
  • Added a large tin of diced tomatoes (28 oz)
  • Added a tablespoon of honey at end to balance the soup.

Soup Mistress Rating for Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)fiveheart
Presentation: (3/5) threehearts
Taste: (4.25/5)fourhalfheart

Shitake & Bunapi Mushroom Wonton Soup

I’ve been wanting to tackle a new wonton soup recipe and yesterday was a perfect day to whirl up a pot to warm us up after doing The Vegas Santa Run (great cause for Opportunity Village). I picked up Bunapi as well as Shitake Mushrooms and then did some research on Google and Pinterest to see what others were doing.

One particular recipe caught my attention because it was using fresh ginger, garlic and liquid smoke. Hmmmn, I never thought of using liquid smoke with ginger…ok, lets give it a shot!

The Verdict of Shitake & Bunapi Mushroom Wonton Soup:

This warm and light broth soup is perfect for a chilly evening. Bursting with flavor the Shitake wontons are beautifully seasoned with grated ginger, garlic. And the super star ingredient in the pockets is liquid smoke. The wontons just pop in your mouth with delightful yumminess. The wontons swim and pair well with the meaty Bunapi Mushrooms and chopped Bok Choy morsels! I love mushrooms and this recipe can be modified with any of your favorite mushroom medley.

Shitake & Bunapi Mushroom Wonton Soup Ingredients:

Wonton Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • about 16 wonton wrappers

Wonton Broth / Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped Bok Choy
  • 4oz Bunapi Mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • salt to taste

Shitake & Bunapi Mushroom Wonton Soup Instructions:

Wontons
  1. Clean shiitake mushrooms. Finely dice and place in a medium bowl. Stir in garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, liquid smoke, red pepper chile, and green onions.
  2. Fill a small bowl with water. Arrange a wonton wrapper on work surface. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in center. Dip fingers in water and moisten edges of wonton wrapper. Fold in half, over filling, diagonally, to create a triangle. Press edges together to seal. Draw side corners of wrapper inward, join and press together to seal, creating a loop. Repeat until all filling and wrappers are used (approx 16)
Wonton Soup
  1. Place olive oil and sesame oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, bok choy  and red pepper chile and bring back to boil.
  2. Add wontons and lower heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer until wontons float, about 5 mintues. Stir in vinegar, and salt to taste. Remove from heat.
  3. Ladle into bowls
  4. Top with chopped green onions.

Where I received my inspiration for this soup:  Link here

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • Used Liquid Aminos instead of Soya Sauce
  • Added Red Pepper Chiles
  • Used a tad more ginger and garlic
  • Use Oilve oil instead of Vegetable Oil
  • Used 7 cups of vegetable stock instead of 5
  • Used Bok Choy instead of Napa Cabbage
  • Added Bunapi Mushrooms in the broth

Soup Mistress Rating for Shitake & Bunapi Mushroom Wonton Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)fiveheart
Presentation: (4/5) fourheart
Taste: (4.5/5)fourhalfheart

Ying and Yang – A Balanced Chowder For Vegan and Not-So Vegan

One soup recipe that I have been meaning to create for quite sometime is a chowder that is lactose-free (no milk or cream) and vegan for myself and not so vegan for my husband with salmon. I have fallen off the vegetarian wagon lately and not sure if meat is my thing once again. I feel so much better sticking to vegetarian.  I have made this chowder in the past with bacon and wine, but for last night I wanted to make it a lighter healthy bowl of soup.

The Verdict of Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder

This chowder is very hearty with crusty toasty bread and is milk/cream-free (I used Almond Milk for the creaminess). I did not feel like I missed any of the cream, the almond milk worked very well. And the base had just enough heat with the crushed chiles and the serano chile. This is a perfect ying yang soup recipe to make two people happy, one wanting vegan and the other not. Was very good as left overs today!

Vegan Chowder Base

Vegan Chowder Ingredients:

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots (approx 1 cup), diced small
  •  2 celery (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 1 serano chile, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 4 medium red potatoes (approx 2.5 – 3 cups), diced small
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chiles
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 teaspoon chives, finely sliced
  • dash of salt and pepper

Optional for your guest or husband who may not want to go vegan as bad as you do:

  • 1/5  pack of wild smoked salmon,  torn or cut in smaller pieces.

Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, over medium, heat olive oil up.
  2. Add in shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, serano, crushed chile, red & yellow peppers and potatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in vegetable broth, tomato, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add the almond milk, lemon juice, and thyme to pot. Heat through until potatoes are soft, but do not boil at this point. Reduce heat to low – simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle soup in bowls
  6. Garnish with chives.

Optional for your guest or husband who may not want go vegan as bad as you do:

  1. Distribute the smoked salmon to the top of bowl before the chives.

Soup Mistress Rating for Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5
Presentation: (4.25/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Clint Would Bring Out A Smoking Gun Out For This Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder

Ohhh Vegan Corn Chowder I love you so. You are a beautiful filling and thick vegan cream-based soup, a great vegetarian alternative to clam chowder.

I’ve been meaning to make a soup with these beautiful yellow niblets for sometime as we had a bag of frozen ones in our freezer. I was skeptic that frozen corn wouldn’t be as tasty as fresh organic corn, but I was so VERY wrong to do so!

The Verdict of Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder

Well, lets just say that this soup is a match made in heaven when treated with a smoking gun. It’s begging for some smoke and mimicking Clint Eastwood saying “Go ahead make my day”.  Don’t get me wrong, this soup is a superstar without the smoking process, but the it adds a manly smokiness leaving you begging for seconds. If you don’t have a smoking gun, your second best tactic is to use a few drops of liquid smoke, usually packaged in a little glass bottle found in most grocery or gourmet food stores.

 

What I love about this soup is that it is nice and creamy. Using cashews with the almond milk is a perfect touch and one may guess that there is a bit of cream in this soup and not a vegan soup. Oh ya, make sure you keep a reserve of corn and bright red pepper morsels on the side to add as a garnish in the end!!

Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 parsnip, shredded
  • 1 yukon gold potato, chopped fine
  • 1 red pepper, chopped fine (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dired oregano
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped fine)

 Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder Instructions

  1. Heat oil, sauté onion and garlic until soft on medium
  2. Add parsnip and potato, sauté for about 3-55 minutes more.
  3. Add corn, salt and pepper
  4. Add in broth
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer
  6. Add oregano, almond milk, and simmer 10 – 15 minutes (or until your potatoes are tender
  7. While the soup is simmering add the cashews and chipotle with 2 cups of the soup and puree in blender. If using a smoking gun, add the hose in while you are blending the soup for best smoking.
  8. Stir mixture back into the soup. Add lemon juice. Add in red pepper (remember, keep some for garnish).
  9. Heat back up
  10. Optional: give the soup another punch of the smoing gun here if you wish (with lid on of course).
  11. Serve in bowls.
  12. Garnish with reserved red pepper, corn and cilantro
  13. Bam, enjoy!

Original recipe. I combined ideas form the following two recipes:

What I changed from the original recipe(s):

  • I did not use celery nor carrot
  • I used a parsnip instead of the carrot, and I shredded it into of fine chopped.
  • I used almond milk and not coconut milk
  • I used cilantro instead of chives
  • I used oregano instead of coriander
  • I used lemon instead of red sherry vinegar, and more of it. I seem to favor lemon juice most of the time to give a punch to soups to lift the taste.
Soup Mistress Rating For Vegan Chipotle Corn Chowder Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4/5 )
Taste: (4.7/5) 

Doenjang Guk – A Korean Vegetarian Delightful Meal in a Bowl

I have to say that I am really enjoying finding recipes that go well with Kimchi as a sidekick (Kimchi is one of our favorite homemade staples in the house lately). Back in early December, I made a Kimchi Soup and it was oh so creamy and spicy delight!

Why not try something different and keep Korean? So this afternoon I was searching for another Korean Vegetarian soup contender to make and this recipe fancied me particularly because we had a few zucchini’s already in the fridge as well as the Korean Bean paste.

Hmm, interesting. During my journey learning about Korean cuisine, I learned a good differentiation from soups versus stews:

  • Doenjang Guk – means Korean Bean Paste Soup (more liquid is used than the stew below), Guk = soup.
  • Doenjang Jjigae  – means Korean Bean Paste Stew (just use less liquid), Jjigae = stew

Who knew…good to know. I am going to watch the terminology being used whenever I eat out at a Korean Restaurant!

The Verdict of Korean Soybean Paste Vegetarian Soup: 

Korean cuisine is truly impressing me, especially so in the soup department. This recipe is so easy and one would think that the soup base simmered for a long time and/or have had a ton of labour behind it because of its rich beautiful creamy and deep base. No not so. With the zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, tofu and onion, it is such a healthy soup. The shiitake mushrooms definitely added another deep meaty level to the soup and also the base itself. I would not use nothing but shiitake mushrooms. Add in the Kimchi and an optional 7 minute egg and you have a meal!

More soup? Yes please? Give me more…I love this Korean Bean Paste Soup. Deep base, spicy goodness and the zucchini are so flavorful and filling.

 

Missing from picture above: Kimchi and eggs in which I added in at the end!

Korean Soybean Paste Vegetarian Soup Ingredients:

  • 4 small zucchini, peeled, thinly sliced and cut into quarter circles
  • 1 packet (50g, 1.8 ounces) shiitake mushrooms – thinly sliced.
  • 1 medium yellow onion – diced.
  • 250g  (8.8 ounces) Korean tofu – medium firm – diced or cut into small rectangular pieces
  • 5 cups vegetable broth

Soup seasoning sauce (mix these well in a small bow):

  • 6 Tbsp Korean soybean paste (Doenjang)
  • 2 tsp Korean chili paste (Gochujang)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp anchovies, minced
  • 2 tablespoon seaweed
  • 1 cup hot water
Garnish
  • green onion, sliced very thin the long way
  • kimchi
  • seven minute boiled eggs

Korean Soybean Paste Vegetarian Soup Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients for soup seasoning in a bowl with 1 cup of hot water.
  • Heat olive oil up in pot,
  • Sauté zucchini and the onion for 3 minutes on med high heat. Add in soup seasoning and 5 cups of veggie stock.
  • Add the tofu and boil for a further 1 to 2 mins.
  • Add the shiitake mushroom and and boil for last the 1 to 2 mins.
  • Turn the heat off and serve.
  • Serve with green onion thinly sliced, a big spoonful of Kimchi and a 7 minute runny egg. Enjoy the meal!
Inspired By This Original Recipe: http://mykoreankitchen.com/2015/05/23/korean-soybean-paste-soup-doenjang-guk/

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • Omitted enoki mushrooms.
  • Revised amounts to make 2x more soup base.
  • Added green onions as garnish.
  • Used 1 tsp anchovies.
  • Used mara seaweed instead of kelp.
  • Used veggie broth instead of water.
  • Added Kimchi as garnish
  • Added 7 minute boiled egg as garnish
Soup Mistress Rating For Korean Soybean Paste Vegetarian Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4.5/5 )
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup With Chilli Oil – Great Warm Up For New Year Resolutions!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016! Let’s make it a souptastic year!

After the holidays drinking and eating naughty, New Years is a proper time again to start thinking about feeding our bodies warm and healthy soups. I love healthy soups and I am hoping to make more this year so that they will keep me fueled for my biggest goal for 2016 – my very first ever triathlon in May. Just the other day, I was sifting through Jamie Oliver’s Recipe Yearbook and this Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil  caught my attention. I love many of Jamie’s recipes because he seems to use a fair bit of Indian inspired spices and root vegetables  – and who doesn’t love parsnips?

The Verdict of Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil

I love the garlic chilli oil with this warm spicy and filling lentil soup – it definitely adds a nice layer and it looks oh so pretty! The fresh mint with the Masala spices really play together very well. I am surprised how filling this soup is – it must be the meaty red lentils. The soup is comforting and fulfilling. But, there is always room for improvement. If I was to make this soup again in the future,  I would fry a lot more garlic pieces separately and add with them with oil as the garnish. I personally like having some chunks of goodness as I think it gets a tad boring with smooth puree soups. You need to add multiple levels of goodness!

Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil Ingredients:
Serves 4 -6
Soup:
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 400g parsnips, scrubbed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 250g red lentils
  • 1.6 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely shredded to serve

Chill Oil:

  • 3 Tablespoon oil
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic, finely sliced
Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil Instructions:
  • To make the chili oil, place the oil in a small pan over a very low heat. Add the chillies and garlic and warm through for 5 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t brown. Set aside to steep while making the soup.  The oil can be strained before using or left as is, depending how you like it.
  • For the soup, head the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes then add the parsnips, masala and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the lentils and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are nice and soft.
  • Puree the soup until smooth in blender or with hand immersion wand, being careful with the hot liquid.
  • Serve the soup with the chills oil and mint.
Original Recipe: Jamie Oliver’s Recipe Yearbook, Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup With Chilli Oil.
What I changed from original recipe:
  • I did not use hamhock as I wanted a veggie version
  • I substituted rogan josh paste with garam masala dried spice
  • I omitted yogurt as a garnish
  • I substituted groundnut oil with olive oil for the chilli oil.
Soup Mistress Rating For Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4.5/5 )
Taste: (3.75/5) 

Kimchi Soup – A Soup Way Too Creamy Spicy Good to Be Rationed For!

Kimchi, Kimchi, Kimchi…oh I love you by yourself, I love you in fried rice and now you are a shining star swimming around in my soup clay pot!

I’ve been meaning too make this soup since I had it a year and half ago in Singapore. And I am a very lucky gal to be using a fresh batch of my husbands homemade Kimchi in this soup this week. Did you know that back in the day in Korea, Kimchi was normally made to last the long winter months and sometimes used in soups when it is older and perhaps stale (if it can get stale)? Hmmn, interesting, we cannot seem to ration ours well – it disappears magically so fast!

So what is in my husbands Kimchi? It is fermented Napa cabbage, daikon radish, green onions, garlic, ginger and a red chile pepper spice, fish and Korean salted shrimps. I will update this blog post with the link to the recipe he used, which I will be post up shortly. My husband has made 3 batches to date and it seems to be a hot staple in our household.

Now let’s talk about the soup….I followed one particular recipe and adjusted/added some ingredients from other recipes I researched. I am very happy that I took the time to to research many other recipes because the bean paste made it a delight along with the egg.

The Verdict of Kimchi Soup:

I am so happy that I used an egg and added the bean paste. I truly think that is what sets it apart from a so-so kimchi soup to a marvelous creamy spicy goodness. I tried the soup before the egg was stirred in and it was good, but after the egg was stirred in it was very creamy…oh such a creamy spicy delight!

Oh and I love napa cabbage and the red pepper!

But wait , the soup party fun really happens when you have a small bowl of rice on the side. Dip your spoon in and get some of those little white party morsels and give them a quick dip in the soup. More rice please? Yessum.

And finally, I made it a truly authentic experience. I had these authentic Korean clay pots and I broke them in on the stove top for the very first time ever. Serving up the soup and heating the clay pots up until the soup bubbles and drop that key gooey creamy egg in. Be careful and serve the bowl bubbling hot to your hungry mates with an oven mitt and placeholder underneath though!

Kimchi Soup Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 clove garlic garlic, finely chopped
  • 1  teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 16-oz. package silken tofu, cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 cups gently squeezed cabbage kimchi, chopped, plus 1 cup liquid
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 2 teaspoons doengjang (Korean bean paste)
  • 6 cups veggie stock
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 8 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari (or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 large bowl of cooked rice

Servings: 6

Garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Shredded scallions (green onion) – Tip: Slice them very thin lengthwise and drop them in a bowl of cold water and watch them curl up all pretty!

Kimchi Soup Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat, carefully add tofu, and simmer gently until slightly puffed and firmed up, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to a medium bowl.
  • Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. saute yellow onion, garlic and ginger. Add kimchi and gochujang and  gochujang and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 5–8 minutes. Add kimchi liquid and 6 cups veggie stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until kimchi is softened and translucent, 35–40 minutes.
  • Add scallions, tamari, fish sauce and tofu; simmer gently until tofu has absorbed flavors, 20–25 minutes (tofu will fall apart a little). Add sesame oil; season with salt and pepper.
  • If you have Korean Hot Pots like I have, ladle soups into them on the stove top. Heat until soft boil and top each with an egg yolk (soft egg), shredded green oinions and sesame seeds.
  • Carfeully serve dish with pot holders.
  • Serve with steamed white or brown rice

Original Recipe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-kimchi-tofu-stew

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • I added garlic, ginger, yellow onion, and fish sauce
  • I used vegetable stock instead of water – to give it more depth
  • I added Korean bean paste
  • I used butter instead of veggie stock, I wanted an extra creaminess.
Soup Mistress Rating ForMiso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4.5/5 )
Taste: (4.5/5) 

White Miso Soup with Green Chard and Mushrooms – A Heart Warmer And Tease

Feeling like some Japanese soup to warm up? Yeppers, I do, especially today in Vegas because winds are gusting up to 35 mph and the wind is chilly. I did the Rock N Roll half Marathon last night, which was just as windy and I still seem chilled to the bone.

I’ve been meaning to make a Miso soup with some greens for some time now. I had this wonderful White Miso Paste that was tasty just by itself and I have used it a few times in salad dressings and oh so yummy. So I searched on the web to get ideas on alternative vegetable miso soup recipes, and one recipe particularly gave me the idea to add in Green Chard. I love Green Chard – I think I inherited the linking from my mother as she liked to sauté it up as well as beet tops and spinach when I was growing up. Also I felt like adding in some Shitake mushrooms as they are my favorite mushrooms.

The Verdict with Miso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms:

This was a very tasty yet very light soup. I was fulfilled mostly and love the white MIso Paste, but I wished that I doubled the Shitake mushrooms. I wanted more solids in my soup. Also I think I will double the seaweed pieces as well next time. I also loved the taste and more so texture of the Dulse Seaweed flakes when I added more in my soup as a garnish.

I would also add maybe a tablespoon or two of Red Miso paste in the future with the White Miso paste to give it a deeper and hearty soup base. The White MIso is perfect for salad dressings but needed a heartier lift. It was teasing me and left me a little unfulfilled as a Soup Lover.

You can read this blog post to get a breakdown of the different kinds of Miso pastes if you are interested in the topic: http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-white-yel-79637

Miso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms Ingredients:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chard
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp white miso paste (fermented soy bean paste)
  • 1 -2 Tbsp red miso paste (I did not have this in my soup, but I think it needs it next time for a heartier base)
  • 1 sheet (1/4 cup) nori (dried seaweed), cut into thin long pieces
  • Dulse Seeweed Flakes

Miso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms Instructions:

  • Saute mushrooms in some sesame oil until tender crisp.
  • Place water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • In the meantime, place 4 Tbsp of miso into a small bowl, add a little hot water and whisk until smooth. Then add to the soup and stir. This will ensure it doesn’t clump.
  • Add nori, green chard, green onion, tofu  to the pot . Lower heat to med/low simmers for another 5 mnutes (until chard is nicely wilted). Taste and add more miso or a pinch of sea salt if desired.
  • Ladle in bowls.
  • Sprinkle with seaweed flakes
  • Serve warm.

Original Recipe: http://minimalistbaker.com/15-minute-miso-soup-with-greens-and-tofu/

What I changed from original recipe:

  • Added shitake mushrooms
  • Added a tad more tofu
  • Added Dulse Seaweed flakes
  • Added a cup more of water 

Soup Mistress Rating ForMiso Soup With Green Chard and Mushrooms:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (3/5 )
Taste: (3.5/5) 

Vegetarian or Pescatarian Curry Laksa With Spiralized Zucchini Noodles

 Above is a Pescatarian version with grilled shrimp and eggplant that I made a month later – what a mighty fine addition indeed! Below is the vegetarian version:

So what is Laksa? Well, let me share with you on Wikipedia says:

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup; either based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, or based on sour asam (tamarind or gelugur). It can be found in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Southern Thailand.

The Verdict of Vegetarian Laksa With Spiralized Zucchini Noodles:

Over a year ago, I was blessed with visiting Singapore, Malaysia for 5 weeks and had a chance to try a few Laksa soups to appreciate it from where it originated. All versions I tried had either chicken or seafood in it when I was there. I did not see any vegetarian versions. For my version below, I decided to make a vegetarian Laksa (with egg) and I really LOVED the result, taste and healthiness.

I am sold on this very authentic soup base recipe. If I closed my eyes and smelt the aroma of the soup I made, I truly felt like I was back in Asia!!

I had great fun making my version of the soup for two reasons:

  1. I had an opportunity to use my fancy spiralizr to replace rice noodles with healthy veggie zuchinni noodles. They worked very well.
  2. I attempted to make a perfectly soft-boiled egg to put in the soup and will be trying it in the future with a ramen version I am sure. It added a velvety goodness to the soup!

Laksa Paste Ingredients:

  • 4 red chilies (If you are using dried ones, you need to presoak them)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped
  • 3 cm piece galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 5 cashew nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

Laksa Paste Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a food Processor. Process until finely chopped. Add oil. Process until a smooth paste forms.

Laksa Soup Ingredients:

  •  Laksa paste (above)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 6 cups veggie stock
  • 2½ tsp brown or raw sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1.5 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1.5 cup tofu, cubed small to medium sized
  • 2½ cups bean sprouts
  • 3 cups fresh zucchini noodles, spiralized from whole zucchini
  • 1/2 pund shrimp (optional/added)
  • 1 cup diced eggplant (optional/added)

Garnish/Fixings Ingredients:

  • 2 soft boiled eggs (7 minute egg: boil water, softly immerse 2 cold eggs in boiling water, simmer water for exactly 7 minutes, immerse eggs in cold ice water bath, peel and slice the egg just right before placed in the bowls for serving)
  • Fried shallots (in peanut oil)
  • Fresh Thai Basil
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Lime wedges in quarters

Laksa Soup Instructions:

  • Optional: grill shrimp until almost cooked pink/white. Put aside on plate.
  • Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add Laksa paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add stock and sugar. Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
  • Add carrots, cabbage, and eggplant return to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Separately, in a frying pan, sauté the zucchini noodles for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to make them to soft and mushy. Divide these noodles among bowls for serving.
  • Add coconut milk, tofu and beansprouts. Stir gently to combine, then bring almost to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes or until beansprouts are wilted and tofu are heated through.
  • Ladle Laksa soup among bowls. Drop in a few grilled shrimps (optional), scatter over fried shallots, basil leaves, Sriricha sauce, and lime wedges.

Original Soup Recipe: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/malay-curry-laksa-laksa-lemak

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Added cabbage
  • Added carrots
  • Added soft boiled eggs
  • Omitted prawns, chicken and fish balls
  • Replaced chicken stock with vegetarian stock
  • Replaced thin rice noodles with zucchini noodles
  • Replaced tofu puffs with sprouted organic tofu
  • Replaced mint with basil for garnish

Soup Mistress Rating For Vegetarian Laksa With Spiralized Zucchini Noodles:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4/5 )
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup – A Road Bikers Delight To End The Day With!

Just this last weekend, I was treated to a very nice soup.  After biking a 41 miler through Red Rock all the way to Blue Diamond and up the highway, Graeme (Soup Mister himself) decided to make us this very healthy Coconut Curry Lentil Soup. It was very healthy PLUS blog worthy to share. A true road bikers delight to end the day with!

The Verdict of Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

When Graeme said that he was going to make a very simple soup, it sounded like nothing special, but YUM YUM YUM, I was wrong! This soup was buttery without butter and very curry-delicious! I would lap this up again in a heartbeat *hint* *hint*!

This soup is very versatile as a soup or I’d even consider thickening it like a stew. Perhaps scooping papadums in the thicker version to pick up the buttery lentils and tomatoes. or put it over some nice white fluffy rice!

This soup was very good the next day, I had a spoonful right out of the fridge before heating up and it was awesome even cold! I wouldn’t change anything in the recipe.

Graeme used famous Vij’s Masala spice in the soup that I purchased up in Vancouver. Vij’s Restaurant is a must go to restaurant if you are ever in Vancouver, Canada.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (I think Graeme may have added a tad more)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (Graeme used Viji’s Masala spice (pic above))
  • ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups dry red lentils (Graeme used brownish/green lentils)
  • 2-3 handfuls of chopped kale or spinach (Oops, this was left off, perhaps next time we will add in)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) and/or vegan sour cream (we used my homemade cashew cream)

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup Instructions:
  1. In a stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir-fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is translucent, a couple minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Before serving, stir in the kale/spinach.
  5.  Ladle out in serving bowls.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and/or cashew cream.
  7. Enjoy!

Graeme followed this recipe here from Vegangela’s Blog (Funny just realized Angela is from my hometown Winnipeg as well – nice stuff Angela!): http://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/

Soup Mistress Rating For Black Bean Soup With A Myriad of Fixings:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.8/5
Presentation: (3.85/5) 

Taste: (4.75/5)