Posts Tagged 'soup'

Tomato Vegetable Soup with Wheat Berries

Sunday was pretty much the best non-racing race day ever.  There was a practice race on the Dipsea trail up in Marin county, and Mike talked my dad into running it with him.  The trail is only 6.8 miles long, but it climbs over 1600 feet total, and involves a whole bunch of stairs.

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After they took off I spent about 20 minutes exclaiming to my mom about how beautiful Mill Valley is, and that if I win the lottery the very first thing I’m doing is buying a house there.

Then we went and found a snack.

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This was at Mill Valley Beerworks, and I plan on going back as soon as possible for dinner and beer.  After a scone and tea, we drove over to Stinson Beach to wait for the finish.   It was completely gorgeous, and reminded me it’s been way too long since we spent time at the beach.

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It’s topped 90 degrees the last few days, but I couldn’t not share this soup we had for dinner on Friday.  It was one of those typical “I have no idea what to make for dinner but it’s already 3 so I better figure something out NOW” afternoons when I came across this post, and it was just as good as I was anticipating.

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I used wheat berries instead of barley, because I some already cooked and sitting in the fridge, and I gave the bowl a generous sprinkling of fresh basil.  I don’t care how hot it is, I’ll be making this soup again soon!

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(adapted from In Praise of Leftovers)

 

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Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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I think the whole idea of having a mantra is a little cheesy. Although during the last few miles of a marathon — when feel like I could keel over and die at any second — I have a few key phrases I repeat to myself to keep going, life is supposed to be a whole lot easier than a marathon and shouldn’t need mantras.

Or so I thought, before I moved to Korea. Now pretty much every day, I’ve found it pretty helpful to remind myself “it’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.” Thank you, Sheryl Crow.

To say that moving here has been a challenge is an understatement. I’ve battled homesickness, extreme frustration at work, and bus drivers that seem to have only one mission: to make all standing passengers fall down. Cooking has also been a challenge, because the grocery store has different produce every day, and there are a lot of ingredients I simply can’t find. I pretty much have to take what I can get and turn it into a good meal.

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I’ve been meaning to make juk (thick rice porridge – it’s very popular here) for a few weeks now, but never really felt inspired. Then David Lebovitz posted about it and I took it as a sign that the time had come to do it.

Bell peppers were on sale and some fresh corn had just been delivered at the grocery store, so I decided to flavor my juk with them. There were some particularly aggressive little old ladies buying corn at the same time I was, but I managed to get my hands on a few good ears and only suffered one elbow to the ribs!

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This soup is incredibly healthy – you just boil a little stock, water, and rice together until it’s nice and creamy, and then add the corn and roasted red peppers. It tastes like it’s got heavy cream in it, but it’s vegan! I made it with brown rice because it’s more nutritious than white, but either will work.

Recipe:
(adapted from David Lebovitz)
1 cup uncooked brown rice
3 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
7 cups water
1 tsp salt, divided
3 ears of corn
2 red bell peppers
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
fresh cilantro

Combine the rice, stock, and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low, partially cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour or until the rice is very soft. You may need to add a little water during this time if it seems to be getting thick.

While the rice is simmering, prepare the roasted red peppers. Either under a broiler, on a grill, or directly over a gas burner, char the skins of the peppers until they are black in most places. Transfer to a plastic bag and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag, scrape off the skin, and discard the stems and seeds. Cut the peppers into thin 1″ strips.

Cut the kernels off the ears of corn. Heat the oil in a medium skillet and add the garlic. After about a minute, add the corn
and saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the pepper strips and 1/2 tsp salt and turn off the heat.

When the rice is very soft and the mixture is like soup, add the corn and pepper mixture and stir well. Continue cooking over low heat for about half an hour, adding water if necessary to reach a desired soup consistency. Stir in the other 1/2 tsp of salt.

Garnish with fresh cilantro to serve.

(Note: any leftovers will thicken considerably in the fridge. Just stir in more water when you reheat if you want to get the soup-like consistency back)

Agvolemono with Broccoli and Spinach

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Try not to let the fact that this soup has two of the world’s most-hated vegetables in it deter you.

Speaking of hating vegetables, that is high on my list of Things I Just Don’t Understand. Vegetables are incredibly healthy, cheap, and can be cooked in so many different ways I just don’t see how anyone could flat-out refuse to eat them. (Also on that list: people who give their children ridiculously spelled variations of common names, the appeal of Ed Hardy T-shirts, and why Premier League football isn’t more popular in the US, just to name a few).

A few days ago I saw a reference to agvolemono soup on some website (I can’t remember which of the 23098 food blogs I read while bored at work it was) and I knew it sounded like something I would like. It’s creamy, lemony soup with rice that doesn’t require any heavy cream or unusual ingredients. The name alone was intriguing enough to send me on a lengthy google search to peruse dozens of different recipes for it.

Essentially, all you do is heat some chicken stock, whip up some eggs (or just yolks, depending who you talk to) with some lemon juice, then stir it all together with some rice. I wanted to pack mine with vegetables though, and broccoli and spinach seemed like they would go nicely with the creaminess and lemon flavor.

And there you have agvolemono with broccoli and spinach!

Recipe:
6 cups chicken broth
2 eggs
juice of 2 lemons
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
salt

Heat the chicken broth to a simmer.
Whisk the eggs with the lemon juice in a medium bowl.
Whisk 2 cups of the broth into the egg mixture very gradually (you don’t want scrambled eggs!)
Transfer the eggs into the broth and continue stirring.
Stir in the rice and vegetables, heat through, and season with salt to taste.

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Better than sliced bread

What could be better than sliced bread? FRIED bread. I know it sounds gross, but since I started seeing locals dipping fried breadsticks into their steaming bowls of bun or pho, I wanted to try it for myself.

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Look at those beauties. They are basically like unsweetened doughnuts, which might sound like an unlikely candidate for dipping in soup, but when they get soaked with broth they are SO good!

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