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Posts Tagged ‘western soup’

I hate clam chowder that has more of anything else but clam meat but unfortunately this is the way with most restaurants. This is my version of clam chowder– LOTS of clam meat, some potatoes and some onion. NOTHING else– no carrots, celery, bell peppers, and who knows what’s that big chunk of gooey thing.

Oh, a word about the photo below– I am not quite happy how it came out but it is the best one I have. I guess I’ll have to make some more clam chowder again in order to take some better pictures. 🙂

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder Recipe (serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:
1 gigantic can (51oz) chopped sea clam from Costco
2 bottles (8 oz each) of clam juice
3 cups water
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium onion– diced
4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp flour
5 tbsp whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

thickening agent (mix together):
4-6 tbsp cream of wheat
4-6 tbsp water (same amount as cream of wheat)

Method:

  1. Boil potatoes until just soft. Drain. Cool slightly and cut into strips.
  2. In a deep pot, add a little oil and saute onion until tender. Add in clam meat, clam juice and water. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat. turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer.
  3. Prepare roux: In a small sauce pan add butter and flour over medium low heat. Whisk constantly with a balloon whisk, until the roux is pale brown and fragrant. Take care not to burn the roux.
  4. Scoop out some liquid from the deep pot to the roux, use the whisk to mix well. The roux mixture will be thicken at first. Keep whisking in soup liquid to the roux mixture, until the roux mixture is thinner. Pour roux mixture back to the deep pot, whisk to combine.
  5. Add cooked potatoes, ground black pepper, and thickening agent. Stir over medium heat until it starts to bubble and thicken. Stir in whipping cream. Enjoy!

Regina’s Note:

  • Since there’s enough salt in the canned chopped clam meat and clam juice, I omit salt in the cooking.
  • Cream of Wheat: Instead of using more butter and flour to make the roux to thicken up the soup, I use cream of wheat as it is much healthier and does a very good job thickening the soup.
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We have Chinese chicken soup quite often in our household. This time, I decided to twist the flavor a little– substitute ginger with dried herbs and garlic, and also adding some vegetables, and here comes a western soup that won everyone’s (well, except Ethan) heart. Thanks to Ruey for the inspiration.

Vegetable Chicken Soup-- I like to serve it with toasted pugliese bread.

Vegetable Chicken Soup-- I like to serve it with toasted pugliese bread.

Vegetable Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients:
8 chicken drumsticks
1 small onion– diced
5 medium Yukon potatoes– skin intact, cut into small chunks
2 carrots– cut into small chunks
2 stalks celery– remove strings, cut into small chunks
3 medium tomatoes– cut into small chunks
1 can chicken broth
8 cups water
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
2 cloves chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Boil chicken broth and water in a deep pot. Add in drumsticks, uncovered and cook on high heat until it boils again. Turn down to medium heat to maintain a soft boiling stage. Cook until drumsticks float up.
  2. Remove drumsticks and let cool slightly. When the meat is cool to touch, roughly hand shred the meat. Throw away the skin but keep the bones.
  3. Return chicken bones to the soup and bring to a rapid boil. Cover and boil for another 30 minutes for the flavor to come out. Remove chicken bones. Add in garlic, onion, potatoes, carrots and celery. Cover and cook for about 1 hour on medium heat.
  4. Return shredded meat and tomatoes to the soup. Add more water if liquid is low. Covered, cook for another 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a loaf of artisan bread.

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I had some pumpkin soup in the past and found the soup tasted quite nice. However, I am not a big fan of American pumpkin, so I use kabocha squash instead– it is similar to pumpkin, and some Chinese recipes even refer it as pumpkin. You can boil kabocha until it is soft, but I chose to roast it with some garlic and onion. The kabocha flavor really comes out. After roasting I had a bite of the squash– the flavor really comes out and it was delicious just by itself. Hmm, maybe next time instead of roasting same old potatoes, I’ll roast kabocha for a side dish.

 

Roasted Kabocha Soup 南瓜汤

Roasted Kabocha Soup 南瓜汤 with crab meat

Roasted Kabocha Soup Recipe

Ingredients:
1 kabocha squash, 2-3 pounds
1/2 onion– cut into chunks
1 cloves garlic– roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp cooking oil

2 cans reduce sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:
chopped parsley or chives
crab meat, crispy bacon crumbs, or pine nuts (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash the outside of kabocha squash to remove any dirt. Remove seeds, leave the skin intact. Cut into wedges.
  2. On a large baking pan, toss squash, onion, garlic with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes or until tender. Let cool then scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin.
  3. Add cooled kabocha, in several batches, and enough chicken broth into a blender. Blend until your desired smoothness (I blended my squash half smooth and half slightly coarse, as I like to taste tiny pieces of kabocha in my soup). Pour blended soup and remaining chicken broth into a pot. Bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Add curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste. For a creamy taste, add in heavy cream. Garnish and serve.

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