Category Archives: Soup

February Friday Dinner

Truffle Mousse on Mini Toasts

For 6 

Ingredients:

  • one package of store-bought mini toasts
  • one package of store-bought All-natural French Truffle Mousse

Recipe:

  1. Spread truffle mousse onto mini toasts
  2. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: salad, wine, fruits …

NOTES: What can I say? I sampled the truffle mousse and loved it too much to not to share. Addictive, savory snack!!

Winter Minestrone Soup

For 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 oz thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 oz piece Parmesan cheese rind
  • salt and pepper

Recipe:

  1. In a heavy large pot, heat the oil over medium heat
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Sauté till the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes
  3. Add Swiss chard, potato and sauté for 2 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes
  5. While waiting, blend 3/4 cup of the cannellini beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture
  6. Simmer until the potato cubes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley
  7. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig
  9. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: all kinds of bread, hearty meat,  …

NOTES: Remember to rinse and drain the beans!! Also to save yourself some $, buy Parmesan cheese and save the rind to make this soup, getting the rind by itself cost me $4 … speechless secret ingredient. Also DO NOT use more or too much more than instructed broth, otherwise soup flavor won’t be as special and intense! Don’t cheapen on the Swiss chard, 1 lb raw Swiss chard might look like a chunky bunch but they will get cooked down to tiny bunch in no time, so delicious in soup!

Pizzas

For 6

Ingredients:

  • Trader Joe’s plain pizza dough
  • Olive Oil
  • Pizza Sauce

Toppings 1:

  • Diced pancetta (maybe 1/5 – 1/4 lb)
  • olive oil
  • 1 smashed garlic clove
  • 1/3 large bunch Russian red kale or dinosaur kale, center rib removed, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cups small red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2/3 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1/3  lb fresh, lightly salted Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 grated pecorino Romano
  • salt to taste

Toppings 2:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh bay shrimps
  • garlic slivers (thin)
  • truffle salt

Toppings 3:

  • shredded mozzarella
  • fresh basil, torn
  • 1 medium – large heirloom tomato

Toppings 4:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, stripped and torn
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, stripped
  • 8 oz assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • more olive oil for garnish

Toppings 5:

  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  • 6-8 oz shredded fontina cheese (may use mozzarella or Monterey Jack)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 mild/hot Italian sausage (sliced or I squeezed out tiny meatballs out of the link)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • olive oil
  • baby arugula

Recipe:

  1. Let the pizza sought sit out for 1 hour before cooking
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  3. Put the ‘topped’ pizzas into the oven and start checking after 10 minutes.
  4. When ready, take them out, cut and serve
  5. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: salad, soup, soda, beer, wine  …

NOTES: Trader Joe’s pizza dough is the way to go! Cheap and yummy! How can you beat the $0.99 deal?! Be creative with the toppings, use seasonal fresh ingredients, just pay a visit to the local farmer’s market, I bet your topping combo imagination will run wild. Remember to either apply abundant sauce or brush on oil if not using cheese, so the pizza won’t turn out dry. But if you watch the cooking time closely, it shouldn’t be a problem. Eggs need to be tended with care but BOY sooooooooo delicious when they come out perfect, slightly runny, um um good! I definitely want to make it for myself again SOON! Most toppings can go straightly to the oven with the dough raw, but if you want to speed up cooking, cook the ingredients half way and then bake with the pizza dough. Fancy cheese totally worth the money and if you are treating yourself, don’t be stingy on spreading the cheese!!!!

Ricotta mousse with honey, pine nuts, orange peel and raisin

For 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
  • freshly grated zest from one medium-sized orange
  • pine nuts and raisins to liking
  • honey to taste

Recipe:

  1. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, honey and orange zest. Whip the mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth
  2. Slowly fold the pine nuts and raisins into the cheese mixture until smooth
  3. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving
  4. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: fruits, dessert wine …

NOTES: When ready to serve, top with some freshly grated orange zest for prettiness.

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Sunchoke soup with morel mushrooms

For 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz fresh or 1 oz dried morel mushrooms, halved and cleaned
  • 1 lb Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes, scrubbed or peeled
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Recipe:

  1. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice with cold water.  Thinly slice the sunchokes and immediately immerse them in the bowl of lemon water to keep them from browning. Soak for about 5 minutes then drain
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Saute the shallots for 5 minutes and stir frequently. Add the sliced sun chokes and sauté for another 5 minutes
  3. Add the white wine and cook until it’s evaporated. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, let it simmer for 15 minutes on low heat till the sunchokes are softened
  4. Puree using a food processor or blender then strain using a medium-mesh strainer. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and stir in the cream
  5. Heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute the morel mushrooms for 5 mins and season lightly with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
  6. Serve the soup in bowls or cups and top with the sautéed mushrooms
  7. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: salad, bread, white wine  …

NOTES: Gordon Ramsay’s recipe. Let’s just say the flavor is nutty and earthy. A ‘tasting menu’ item if you are feeling like presenting something ‘exotic’, but the taste wasn’t as lovely as I imagined. Sunchokes are the ginger root-like vegetables in grocery store which are in season during the colder months of the year.  To revive dry mushrooms, soak them in lukewarm water for < 30 minutes. Also, the fresh mushroom to dry mushroom ratio is 1 lb fresh = 3 oz dry. The more I think about it the more I regret wasting my morel mushrooms!!!!! 😦

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Pork Neckbone Soup with Lotus Root (莲藕猪骨汤)

For 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces of chopped pork neck bones (palm-sized)
  • 1 lotus root (2 sections)
  • 1 tsp of canola oil
  • salt

Recipe:

  1. Heat up approximately 2.5 quarts of water inside a CLAY POT
  2. Cut or Slice the lotus root into little chunks, horizontally or vertically
  3. While waiting for the claypot water to come to a boil, put the neckbones in a separate pot and fill with water just enough to cover all the bones. Boil the bones for about 3 minutes.
  4. Take out the bones, rinse and cleanse off any suds. Pet them dry with paper towel.
  5. Heat up the canola oil in a fry pan and “mix/stir fry” the neckbones for about 4 minutes
  6. Dump the neckbones and the lotus roots into the boiling clay pot, turn heat down to low but make sure it’s till quietly bubbling, let it simmer for about 2 hours.
  7. Right before the time is up, add in salt to season to your own liking.
  8. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions:  The soup can be served alone or you can cook in it – noodle/glass noodle/chunks of sourdough bread/bits of flour doughs …

NOTES: Clay or stone pots are highly recommended and remember not to add water during the 2-hour simmering process, as it will make the soup far less tasty. This recipe is the most basic version of the neckbone & lotus soup, feel free to bring a twist to it by adding Chinese herbs, mushrooms, other dried seafood… Definitely my go-to easy-to-do comfort soup 🙂

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Filed under Chinese, Soup