In the past, I have railed against “add can one to can two” recipes. Given the current Covid crisis, I find I must change my opinion on this subject. When you cannot go out shopping every day for fresh food, all you may have are a couple of cans of foods. Needs must!
Category Archives: Soups
Wife Jan just had temporary crowns put in, so she is having trouble chewing. I am planning to make a ham and sweet potato dinner—I will be mincing her portion of ham. Normally, I would simply steam some broccoli, but I suggested broccoli soup instead—wife agreed.
The last time I made this dish I left out the garlic and onions—daughter Miriam has not been handling alliums well lately. This time I am making it as a weekday dinner for those family members who love garlic and onions. I made a couple of changes—like using tomato paste and canned tomatoes, instead of fresh—to make things easier for me.
Daughter Miriam asked for a vegetable forward soup fir this Sunday’s dinner. I decided on an Italian Wedding Soup. What defines an Italian Wedding Soup—according to Wikipedia—are green vegetables, meat (usually meatballs), chicken broth, and usually some kind of small pasta. I can see that for a large wedding feast you would want to keep it simple, but this was for a family dinner—I decided to bump up the vegetables.
Daughter Miriam is having trouble with her jaw, so she needs soft foods. She is also off onions and garlic. I decided that a specially adapted minestrone soup would be a good choice for Sunday dinner.
Wife Jan has been having digestive difficulties for the last few weeks. She is finally getting better, but she is being really cautious about reintroducing various foods to her diet. At this point, she knows that she can handle seafood, but she is still afraid of chicken.
Sometimes, I want something quick and easy for a weekday dinner. Trader Joe’s has frozen chicken mini wantons that make for a good soup starter. Turning to a broth for this soup I was in a dilemma, do I make it Chinese—with chicken broth and ginger—or Japanese—with miso and dashi? My daughters’ philosophy is, “Why choose?”, so I went with both. For vegetables, I went with some of my family’s favorites—Shanghai bok choy, napa cabbage, and green onion.
The most common bok choy found in Western supermarkets are the large white stalked kind. I find this type unappealing. While there is plenty of vitamins in the dark leaves, the stalks become slimy when even slightly overcooked. Shanghai bok choy are smaller and green all over, with a better balance between stalk and leaves.
Karl’s Chicken Wonton Asian Fusion Soup
1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium chicken broth
3-4 fresh ginger, sliced into coins
2 cups Shanghai bok choy, chopped into 1 inch pieces, stems and greens kept separately
1 cup napa cabbage, sliced thick and leafy parts kept separately
3-4 green onions, sliced into 1½ inch pieces, white and green kept separately
5-7 frozen chicken mini wontons per person, about half a bag
1. Put the chicken broth, ginger, and one cup of water into a medium soup pot.
Tip: Add the Hondashi to the pot later—it changes flavor if you boil it too much.
Note: While I usually prefer to make fresh dashi, for a quick meal I bend a little.
2. Put half a cup of boiling water into a measuring cup and mix in the miso paste.
Tip: If you just add the miso paste to the pot you might end up with lumps of miso in your soup. If you blend it with water first you can make sure that you’ve gotten all the lumps out.
Note: Some miso pastes have chunks of soy beans left in it. If you do have the chunky type of miso, the dissolved miso can be strained, as you add it to the pot.
3. Bring the pot to a boil and add the stems of the bok choi, the thick parts ofthe napa cabbage, and white parts of the green onions.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the wontons, bok choi greens and leafy napa cabbage parts to the pot.
6. Continue simmering for another two minutes.
7. Stir in the green onion tops and dashi.
8. Simmer the soup for another 2-3 minutes and serve.
Adapted from a RasaMalaysia recipe
I have decided to do Thai food for this week’s Sunday dinner. While I have had tom yum soup at Thai restaurants, I have never tried to make it myself. This Thai standard is a hot and sour soup usually made with shrimp—although there are many variations. Tom yam kathi (Thai: ต้มยำกะทิ) is basically Thai tom yum soup with coconut milk added to it.
Wife Jan has just had dental work and needs something soft and filling, a tasty soup would fit the bill. Cock-a-leekie soup is a traditional Scottish soup from the 16th Century when Scotland and France were aligned against England. Originally a French chicken and onion soup, the Scots used their local ingredients—leeks and barley to make a similar soup.