Jaleo, A Sopa De Ajo Spectacle in Vegas!

Just this last weekend, I had the opportunity to go out with three wonderful gals two evenings in a row in Las Vegas. The first night we dined in The Paris Hotel at Mon Ami Gabi and the second night we decided to walk on over to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and check out the options. And Jaleo was our choice for the evening – we all loved the fact of sharing Spanish Tapas!

When I first glanced at the menu, it was a no brainer to start with a soup. Jaleo had three wonderful soups: A Gazpacho, An Anjo Blanco and a Sopa Ajo. I have had the former two soups on other occasions, so I decided on trying a new soup. And Soupa Ajo (a black garlic soup with black garlic and egg) it was!!

The Verdict of Sopa Ajo?:

No need to go to a show in Vegas to get a spectacle! Wow, just go to Jaleo and order soup! When the waiter arrived at the table with my soup I was very impressed, this is how it was presented to me:

Then the waiter had a mini carafe in his other hand which was full of broth. He was going to pour it over the soup bowl canvass! This is it in action:

The soup had many flavourful depths to it. First the wonderful crisp crustini kept up quite well for a few bites in. The broth was so delicate yet very oozing with creamy delight. When I sliced into the very soft and delicate poached egg, it started to run in my soup and bring different spoonfuls of taste each time I lapped it up! The garlic broth was a licker candidate for sure.

I lapped the soup up in no time and could have lifted the bowl up to finish the last of my lovely liquid, but I resisted from embarrassing my gal friends and gracefully pushed it aside for the waiter to take away.

Soup Mistress Rating for Sopa De Ajo

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.25/5
Presentation: (4.75/5) 

Taste: (4.75/5) 

Soup Artwork in Sonoma – Green Garlic and Potato Leek Soup at El Dorado

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Just this past weekend, I had the liberty to go for a beautiful drive to Sonoma when visiting San Francisco. This is one very cute town and I would love to go back and stay at least one night and do more wine tastings in town.

After trying and buying some wonderful wine at Bryter (www.bryter.com) in the Historic Sonoma Plaza we ventured on over to the Eldorado Hotel (www.eldoradosonoma.com) for some lunch.

It’s like soup art!
I ordered their Green Garlic and Potato Leek Soup. It  had smoked salmon, crispy fingerling potatoes, lemon pearls and creme fraiche.This was a very nice soup and probably the best looking soup I have ever been served up even though some soup was on the edge of bowl (just ignore that)! It’s like soup art! Just check out the creme fraiche lines in the soup picture above. I would like to try to do that in a soup in the future.

The Verdict of Green Garlic and Potato Leek Soup? The creme fraiche gave the soup a velvet taste, yet not too rich. I really loved how tiny the chives were chopped and how the chef fried up the fingerling potatoes. If I was to come back to Sonoma I would try the restaurant again for dinner for sure in a heart beat!

Garlic Broth With Pan Seared Halibut

Garlic Broth with Halibut

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The Completed Garlic Broth With Seared Halibut.

Wow, today we had a windy day here in the lower mainland of Vancouver with gusts as high as 80 km/h! I walked my dog this morning and we were blown away a few times with some gusts. I was chilled right down to the bone all day. I thought it was a perfect day to have hot garlic broth with some halibut.

I had my eye on this recipe which originally called for scallops, but I thought it would be great to substitute it with halibut pieces. Halibut is a very beautiful fish, I wanted to celebrate it in a delicate yet tasty broth versus hiding it in a soup with many ingredients (like a chowder).

Garlic Broth With Pan Seared Halibut Ingredients:

  • 1- 1/2 large garlic bulb separated into peeled cloves
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 carrot, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 6 parsley stems
  • 1/2 red thai chile pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 oz halibut
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Garlic Broth With Pan Seared Halibut Instructions:

  1. Combine garlic cloves, celery, carrot, onion, peppercorns, parsley stems, red thai chile, tomato paste and water in a saucepan with good pinch of salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer partially covered for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Strain in a fine sieve into clean saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.
  4. Cut halibut in small chunks
  5. Season halibut on both sides with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat up olive oil over medium-high. When pan is hot, cook the fish for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn, reduce the heat to medium, and cook about 3-4 minutes longer, until the fish is firm/opaque in the center and browned on both sides.
  7. Divide halibut pieces among bowls
  8. Ladle soup over the scallops, then garnish with cilantro leaves. And enjoy!

Original Recipe: Soup Bowl, An inspiring Collection of Soups, Broths, and Chowders,  Seared Scallops in Garlic broth (page 195)

What I Changed From Original Recipe: The first time I tried the original recipe the broth was a bit tasteless as well as clear (didn’t look to appealing). I adjusted the original recipe a fair bit:

  • Doubled carrot and celery.
  • Used more garlic and peppercorns.
  • Used halibut instead of scallops.
  • Added tomato paste.
  • I peeled the cloves (original recipe called for unpeeled).
  • Added red chile pepper to give it a tad of heat.
  • Simmered for longer period to extract the flavors more from garlic as well as vegetables.

Soup Mistress Rating for Garlic Broth With Pan Seared Halibut:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.25/5)