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Category Archives: Soups

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Happy New Year Bloggers! I am going to try something different this year now that so many of you are really setting the bar high with your wonderful blogs. This old dog is not that techie…LOL…but like John Glenn I can take small steps. Hence my New Years resolution to use actual photos of the recipes when I cook them.

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I thought the cocktail looked quite nice in the ice cream dishes we got from our friends one Christmas. Here is the recipe –

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (food.com)

Ingredients 

  • 1 (48 ounce) can V8 vegetable juice (spicy if desired)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 12 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed or just buy frozen cooked and thaw
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a large nonreactive container.

Chill and serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.

Do not over-cook the shrimp, as they will become tough!

Be careful when steaming the shrimp; you do not want it tough.

AND here is a BONUS..ta dah…if you do not use all of the mixture, put it into a blender and make…GAZPACHO…refrigerate for tomorrows meal!

 

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Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

Just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner! Make ahead and refrigerate. Serve as your first course!

Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • ½ cup mango nectar
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or more)
  • 1 liter low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about three minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to crock pot. Add celery, carrots, pumpkin, nectar, lime juice, peanut butter, broth and water. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours,

After the time is up, stir in the following –

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Mix ½ cup heavy cream  and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch together.Stir into soup and turn cooker to HIGH for  10 minutes or less until soup thickens.

Serve over white rice which has been previously cooked. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts.

 Source – Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

What to do when your stove gets taken away for repairs? Three choices – BBQ, Microwave or Slow Cooker. Oh, and company for dinner… Pinterest to the rescue as always. The best part is that we had everything in the house! Hope you will try this sometime soon, it beats cooking inside, as we can put our cooker outside, A great way to enhance the BBQ season!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces red potato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 4 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and corn into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir in half and half mixture and butter during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.

 

 

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, (spelling gaspacho), particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.

Our friend Bev had us over for dinner a while back and served this wonderful WHITE gazpacho. It would make an incredible appetizer before your Easter dinner. Serve it very cold with the slivered almonds as indicated.

Spanish White Gazpacho Soup
Ingredients
6 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed
4 cups water
2 ½ cups (8 ¾ ounces) plus ⅓ cup sliced blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 ounces seedless green grapes, sliced thin

Instructions Serves 6 to 8
This rich soup is best when served in small portions (about 6 ounces).
1. Combine bread and water in bowl and let soak for 5 minutes. Process 2 1/2 cups almonds in blender until finely ground, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed.
2. Using your hands, remove bread from water, squeeze it lightly, and transfer to blender with almonds. Measure 3 cups soaking water and set aside; transfer remaining soaking water to blender.
3. Add garlic, vinegar, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and cayenne to blender and process until mixture has consistency of cake batter, 30 to 45 seconds. With blender running, add olive oil in thin, steady stream, about 30 seconds. Add reserved soaking water and process for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer set in bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids.
4. Measure 1 tablespoon of soup into second bowl and stir in almond extract. Return 1 teaspoon of extract mixture to soup; discard remainder. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Heat vegetable oil in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Add remaining 1/3 cup almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to bowl and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
6. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Mound an equal amount of grapes in center of each bowl. Sprinkle cooled almonds over soup and drizzle with extra olive oil. Serve immediately.

Spanish Bean Soup (Potaje de Garbanzos)

Still got that hambone in the freezer since Christmas? I was keeping ours to make split pea and ham soup, since I really miss the Canadian brand, Habitant. Every store I checked never had split peas, so I decided to try canned garbanzos. The Internet turned up this recipe, which I modified as seen by the red lettering.

It was suggested on the site that one could go to Honey Baked Ham and get a bone if you don’t have one. I was thinking after, why not just buy a ham steak and chop it up?

Let me know how you like it…

Spanish Bean Soup (Potaje de garbanzos) adapted from www.thekitchn.com
1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (I used a can of garbanzos)
8 ounces good-quality bacon or salt pork, chopped
1 (6-8 ounce) leftover hambone or smoked ham hock OR one ham steak
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced (you can omit)
1 small onion, chopped
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped * I added a few more veggies like carrot and celery
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
Chicken stock or water, to cover (or mix of both)
Pinch of saffron threads
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (canned will work)
Kosher salt and pepper
Wash garbanzo beans in cold water, discarding any beans with visible imperfections. Cover with 3 inches of salted water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly and set aside.
OR…use the canned ones to simplify your life and speed up the process
In a large Dutch oven, combine the bacon, ham bone, onion, tomato, green pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover with two inches of chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam as needed. Cover and lower heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook for 30 minutes, then add the reserved beans. Bring to a boil again, cover, and return to a simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir in the saffron and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender but not overcooked. Remove the ham bones, shredding and returning any meat left on the bones.
Add the potatoes and season with salt. Cover and cook until the potatoes are cooked through, another 30 minutes or less if using canned potatoes Season to taste.

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Thai is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods and this soup is no exception. Hope you will try it and let me know what you think. And..its from Michael Smith, one of my heroes…LOL. (My apologies to Michael for altering the original as shown)

Thai Coconut Curry Soup from Michael Smith
Meat
• 2 Chicken breasts (Good old Costco – I used their chicken strips in a bag – two handfuls partially thawed)
Produce
• 1 handful Bean sprouts (I substituted frozen broccoli pieces)
• 1 Carrot, shredded
• 1 bunch Cilantro, roots
• 1 bunch Cilantro, leaves
• 1 small knob Ginger, frozen
• 2 Green onions
• 2 stalks Lemon grass or 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
• 4 Lime, leaves
• 2 Limes, zest and juice
Canned Goods
• 2 cups Chicken broth
• 2 14 ounce cans Premium coconut milk
• 1 heaping tbsp Thai curry paste
Condiments
• 2 tbsp Fish sauce or less as you prefer
• 1 Sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce
Pasta & Grains
• 1 8 ounce package Rice noodles (Or skip either of these if you don’t want the starch)

Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.

Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

OPTIONAL – Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.

Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.

Traditional Flemish Waterzooi

Dont you just love that word, waterzooi ? We came across this on our trip to Brugges in 2010 when we ate at De Halve Maan Brewery and again at a very nice little restaurant called  Vlaamsche Pot. Its traditionally a fish soup/stew.

IMG_0005abcdefghijSince I had some mussels and clams left over from a meal the day before, I sought out a recipe. Behold…Pinterest again. Their recipe called for several types of fish. I like fish but did not want to search out different fish, so I altered their recipe as I usually do to some extent. My version is below.

Flemish Waterzooi
Ingredients
• 10,5 oz. (300 g) potatoes, peeled
• 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
• 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
• 1 carrot, finely sliced
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 1 leek, finely sliced
• 7/8 cup (7 fl oz./200 ml) fish stock (I used chicken stock)
1 fish filet of your choice (I used tilapia) cut into 1 inch pieces
• 3,5 oz. (100 g) mussels, cleaned
• 1 egg yolk
• 2/5 cup (3,5 fl oz./100 ml) cream
• 3,5 oz. (100 gm ) peeled shrimp
• 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
• Salt & freshly cracked pepper
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the celery, carrot and onion and cook the vegetables for 3-5 minutes, or until they are soft and glazed. Now add the leeks and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the stock to the vegetable mixture and allow it to infuse for 3 minutes.
Gently poach the fish fillets in the broth for 3-5 minutes. Add the mussels after 1 minute.
Remove the seafood from the pan once the mussels have opened and set aside. Strain the stock into a saucepan. Set the vegetables aside to use later.
Whisk the egg yolk with the cream in a bowl.
Put the stock back on the heat and, once it reaches boiling point, add the cream and egg mixture to thicken the stock and create a sauce. Now mix well with a whisk and make sure the sauce does not come to the boil again. Add the peeled shrimp and half the chives and stir.
Place the fish pieces and seafood in a serving bowl along with the vegetables and potatoes. Pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the remaining chives.

Serve with a crusty bread and cold beer…preferably Belgian.

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Blame it on Costco! Too many great vegetables luring us to buy them. The result…better cook these before they spoil! Pinterest to the rescue, another great recipe worth sharing.

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
1 zucchini
1 1/2 cups cabbage (I skipped the cabbage this time)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cut green beans (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen) (didn’t have any)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or canned)
Large handful spinach, or more (skipped this too)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (and/or fresh)
8 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Directions
Prep veggies: mince garlic and dice onion, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms. Roughly chop cabbage if using, and cut broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and all veggies (except spinach if using).
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are desired tenderness.
Stir in spinach or not, and salt to taste.

*Notes:
Vegetable soup freezes wonderfully!
The frozen veggies work great as “fillers” if you want to quickly and easily add more veggies.

Pork or (Chicken*) and Prawn (Shrimp) Wonton Soup

Costco’s large quantities usually leave me scampering to use up those quantities rather than leave them sitting in the freezer for months. Recently, a friend gave me a bag of chicken and cilantro frozen wontons. Since I enjoy Chinese soups I thought I could try and use some of them up. Searching online I found this Jamie Oliver recipe. The great thing was I never had to make the wontons, using what I had from Costco!!

Wonton Soup

Serves 6
For the wonton dumplings (makes around 36 small ones) OR head to Costco for the chicken and cilantro ones)
• 36 small wonton pastry wrappers, round or square (you can find these in the fridges of Asian supermarkets)
• 150g cooked and shelled prawns or shrimps or chicken, finely chopped
• 150g lean pork mince
• 1 tbsp grated ginger
• 1 tbsp light soy sauce
• 1 tbsp rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
• 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 spring onions, finely chopped
• White pepper
For the soup
• 1.5 liters chicken stock
• 2 small heads of bok choy, or spinach roughly sliced
• 1 tsp light soy sauce
• 2 tsp rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
• 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 generous pinches of white pepper
• 2 spring onions, finely chopped
In a large pan, bring your chicken stock to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, cook the dumplings. Fill the biggest saucepan you have with plenty of water and bring it to the boil. Add enough dumplings to create a single layer on the water. It’s important not to overcrowd the pot, so cook them in batches if you are cooking lots. Stir them gently as you bring the water up to the boil again. When the dumplings float to the top, they are cooked. OR, add your Costco wontons right into the stock mixture)
Once the dumplings float, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to your gently boiling chicken stock. Add the bok choy or spinach– first the white parts and then a minute later, the green parts. Bring the liquid up to the boil again and allow them to cook for around three minutes.
Turn off the heat and season your stock with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and plenty of white pepper to taste. I’ve provided some guidelines, but feel free to amend according to your preferences.

Read more at http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/wonderful-wonton-soup-recipe/#MRxjEMwOQWFhRZlV.99

New England Clam Chowder

When I was a teenager on the farm I worked at a Gun Club on Sundays setting skeet traps. Skeet shooting is a recreational and competitive activity where participants, using shotguns, attempt to break clay disks mechanically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles. My mother was a weekend cook and one of the women who prepared clam chowder for the competitors, using cans of clams and water…yuck! I detested this version. Later on in life I came to love New England clam chowder. Recently I came across this recipe which turned out very well.

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream or Media Crema
2 bay leaves
1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes I cheated and used canned potatoes chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/new-england-clam-chowder-recipe.html?oc=linkback