Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

pork ball soup

I have a Korean friend who is an amazing cook – everything she throws together is delicious! I am constantly inspired by her. Here’s a dish that was partially inspired by a spicy beef dish she shared with Test Subject Bill and I not too long ago.

KKF Spicy Pork Balls with Ginger Garlic Broth

1 lb. ground pork

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 inch piece of ginger, 1 inch minced and 1 inch left whole

1/2 T fish sauce

1/2 T soy sauce

1 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 package frozen spinach

handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted with 1 1/2 c boiling water and sliced (reserve resulting broth)

2 quarts of chicken stock

2 big spoonfuls of Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

soy sauce to taste

Bring stock to a boil with frozen spinach, 1 inch piece of whole ginger and 2 cloves of garlic. Add sliced shiitakes, gochujang and mushroom water. While stock is simmering, mix the pork, the rest of the minced garlic, minced ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Form little meatballs with a melon baller and drop one by one into simmering stock. After the last one has gone in let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so until pork balls are cooked through. Add soy sauce to taste.

This turned out so well Test Subject Bill ate it until it gave him heartburn. That’s not recommended, but please do enjoy!

*Gochujang is Korean hot chili paste. It’s good for spicing up all kind of dishes and dipping sauces. You can get it at most Asian markets or via my Amazon link if you don’t have a store in your area. If you’re really lucky you have a Korean friend who makes her own and will share with you!

Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

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Georgia Onion Soup

French onion soup has always been one of my favorites. Rich broth and onions and cheesy goodness…what’s not to like? I recall trying to make it once a number of years back. It isn’t a good memory. It was time to conquer the soup, this time with a twist.

I made beef stock using my trusty How to Cook Everything book and Nature’s Harmony Farm beef bones. I’m getting pretty good at stock making and it’s not nearly as scary or time consuming as I feared. Of course now I have a freezer full of little containers of stock. Good thing I invested in a deep freeze.

I could have knit a sweater in the time it took these onions to carmelize.

I could have knit a sweater in the time it took these onions to carmelize.

Again referencing the onion soup recipe in How to Cook Everything, I sliced up some local Georgia Vidalia onions with my mandolin (the slicer, not the instrument). Into the pot with some butter they went for a nice long rest. Maybe it was a watched pot never boils syndrome, but those onions took FOREVER to carmelize. I kept looking at it and wondering if they were real onions.

Finally when I had gotten some color I added my freshly made beef stock, herbs and some cognac (uh-huh!).  When that had heated through it was time for the oven. I took a piece of my homemade bread, toasted it and stuck it in a small soup crock. The soup went over it, then I topped it off with this farmhouse cheese that I got in my CSA box that tastes kind of like gruyere (you know, since this was not French or Swiss onion soup – this is GEORGIA onion soup.)

Georgia never tasted so good...

Georgia never tasted so good...

After about ten minutes in the oven, my soup was ready. Once it cooled off a bit and I got a taste, it was so worth it. Sweet and salty, rich and cheesy, made from mostly local ingredients…man. You just can’t buy that in a restaurant.

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Chicken 3 1/2 ways

I recently obtained several real chickens from my heros at Nature’s Harmony Farm. I was totally excited because I haven’t had chicken in 2+ years (if you missed why, read here.)  What I didn’t know is how many different ways this chicken would display herself…

The first night after the 4.9 lb bird was thawed I dressed it simply with salt, pepper, lemon and rosemary (from my back porch), and roasted it in the oven. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t think a roasted chicken was blog worthy. I was wrong. Anywho, the chicken turned out well, moist and flavorful, and Bill and I feasted on it along with rice grits and pea gravy. Yum!

Chicken soup

Chicken soup

There was a TON leftover. And since not only was it a pricey real chicken (because of how it is raised) and quite tasty I knew it would be reincarniated a time or two. I hate to disrespect an animal that lost its life so I could eat by letting it go to waste. And so, the second incarnation appeared the next night as chicken soup.

It was a very simple fly by the seat of my pants recipe. I used a mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery), butter, salt and pepper, vegetable broth, bow tie pasta and shredded chicken followed by fresh thyme. It was super yummy! Even test subject Bill, not a huge soup lover, approved. Local ingredients: onion, celery, thyme (grown on my back porch again) and of course, chicken.
Pot Pie out of the oven

Pot Pie out of the oven

The soup didn’t use nearly enough bird. I had a good four cups of shredded chicken left. In a flash of brilliance, Bill suggested chicken pot pie. At first I was like uh…what? I’ve never made a chicken pot pie. I haven’t eaten a chicken pot pie in about 20 years. And I’ve never made a pie of any sort on my own. Lucky for him, that intrigued me.

I came up with this pot pie recipe from my favorite allrecipes.com site. It got good reviews so I decided to go for it, including the from-scratch crust. I’d always been intimidated for some reason by homemade crust. It seemed mysterious. Difficult. But after making this one (I subbed butter for the lard, btw) I will never be caught buying premade crust again. It was so easy and suuuper tasty. In fact, I may intervene if I see someone buying crust in the store. (“What do you think you’re doing with that cardboard??”) I mean, you mash together the ingredients, rest in the fridge, then roll it out. What is the problem??
Plated pot pie

Plated pot pie

Anyway my crust phobia resolved, I followed the recipe pretty closely for the filling. It made a freaking ton of filling, way too much for one crust recipe. (Not to worry. I kept the leftover filling to serve over leftover rice grits.) I was so proud of that pie when I pulled it out of the oven. It was golden brown and delicious on top and warm and savory on the inside. Next time I will likely add garlic and herbs, but even plain jane as is it was worth the effort.

Gratuitous pot pie photo.

Gratuitous pot pie photo.

Test subject Bill was pleased with his chicken pot pie. However, he thought the crust was very tasty but a bit tough…I think he was refering to the bottom part of the crust (which I pre-baked before filling to prevent soggy crust). I didn’t have a problem with it but not sure what to adjust to meet his approval for texture…any suggestions are welcome!

Chicken not pie over rice grits.

Chicken not pie over rice grits.

A single chicken turned into an adventure. 1. Roasted rosemary and lemon chicken. 2. Chicken soup. 3. Chicken pot pie. 3 1/2. Pot pie filling over rice grits. I think I did right by the bird.

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I have a lot of Norwegian ancestry. I get excited when Norway is in the news. I root for Norse athletes in the Olympics. My home town is full of “I-wegians” (Iowans of Norwegian descent) and is one of the few places where you can find lutefisk on the Sunday brunch buffet. It’s probably that lutefisk that made me run screaming in the other direction when confronted with traditional Norwegian cuisine.

But the challenge was put out there by a few of my family members to try some Norwegian food, and far be it from me to back down from a challenge. So earlier today I hit the web in search of some palatable recipes to celebrate my heritage.

Skeptical? You betcha. Lutefisk recipes? Uff da. They abound. But to my delight I did find a number of recipes that not only sounded edible, but even downright tasty. Since I had a large amount of spinach calling my name from the fridge, I decided on Spinach Soup, or Spinatsuppe.



I followed the recipe with a few minor exceptions. First, I halved it since there’s only two of us in the house. Second, I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Third, I used regular pepper instead of white pepper since I was out. The recipe was deceptively simple, yet yeilded a delicate soup with really rich flavor. The hard boiled eggs on top were a little strange to me at first, but considering I love hard boiled eggs on a cold spinach salad it made sense. They were a nice touch. I would definately make this again.

This dish was too light to be a meal on its own, so I took the opportunity to make Alton

Alton Brown's Roasted Vegetable Spread

Roasted Vegetable Spread

Brown’s Roasted Vegetable Spread. This stuff is the bomb diggity. Not only is it rediculously easy, but it is TASTY. I spread it over my homemade bread, lightly toasted, and had a fantastic meal.

So the Spinach Soup definately warmed me up to some dishes from my ancestry. I’m not sold yet, but I’m definately planning on persuing more Norwegian recipes. I found some interesting ones here. More on this later.

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