Thai Rice Soup, aka Khao Tom

We’ve made Thai Rice Soup a couple of times now. It’s a good soup that doesn’t take a super-long time. I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a weeknight, but maybe a weeknight if you have a little extra time. It’s spicy but not too much so.

8oz ground pork
3T fish sauce
2T chili-garlic sauce
salt & ground pepper
3T lard or coconut oil (Do NOT substitute vegetable oil. The soup quality will suffer. I used bacon grease and it was fine.)
5 large shallots, thinly sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 lemon grass stalks, trimmed to 6″, smashed
2T finely grated ginger
2.5qt low-sodium chicken stock
4c cooked jasmine rice
1c chopped cilantro
3T lime juice, plus wedges for serving

  1. Mix pork, 1T fish sauce, 1T chili-garlic sauce, 0.75t pepper. Mix and form into 20 meatballs (approx 2t each). Place on a large plate and refrigerate.
  2. Heat dutch oven over medium-high heat with lard until shimmering. Add shallots and 0.5t of salt, stirring until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in ginger and lemon grass and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard lemon grass. Add meatballs, stir gently until cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice. Remove from heat and add 2T fish sauce, 1T chili-garlic sauce, 1t pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with lime wedges.

Once again, this is from Milk Street’s Tuesday Nights cookbook. It’s still a recommended purchase.

Soup for all

sunburst soup

 

I’m starting a simple blog post when I don’t feel like writing. I don’t even know what I want to say. I want to talk about soup, about how a potato-leek soup is somehow perfect for this time of year, it being leek season (is it ever not potato season?) and all. (This one adds carrots, which is why it’s orange.) But I’m tired, and so I’ll just give you the recipe, maybe with the added note that this is a good recipe to practice your chopping.

Sunburst Soup

2 medium leeks, split and washed, white and light green parts sliced
1.5lbs carrots, sliced
1.5lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
2T unsalted butter
5c chicken stock
1/2t chopped thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2c half & half
2T fresh lemon juice
3T chopped fresh dill
1/8t cayenne
1/4t nutmeg

Melt butter, sautée leeks until tender & wilted. Add carrots, potatoes, stock, bring to boil. Add thyme, bay leaf, salt to taste. Simmer for 20-30 min, until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf and puree the soup. Stir in lemon juice, half & half, spices. Taste and correct with additional seasonings.

Hungry. Now. Must eat.

 

chili
I’m hungry just looking at it.

I love chili. LOVE. It’s easy to make a huge pot of it, easy to put it in individual portions in the freezer, easy to heat them up into a good, hearty meal. Plus, it just tastes so good.

I got a good recipe a few years ago from This Charming Candy. In fact, the paper I still use as my starting point is in her handwriting.

1-2 lbs ground beef (Her instructions just say “ground meat”, so if you prefer something else, go for it. I bet you could even use tofu cut into chunks if you wanted)
1 large chopped onion

Saute together over medium heat. Then add:

2T chili powder
1t cumin
1-2t salt
0.5t black pepper
1-2 diced jalapeños
1t hot pepper flakes

Saute about a minute, until fragrant, then add

0.5t tobasco
2T worchestershire sauce
2-28oz cans diced tomates (I prefer petit diced, myself)
1 can tomato soup (I’ll substitute tomato sauce sometimes)
45oz kidney beans

Simmer for ~30 minutes.

Like any soup, it’s always better the next day, after the flavors have had more time to meld together.

 

Soup for the whole family

tortilla soup

I freaking love tortilla soup. I love its warmth, its spiciness, how filling it is, and I love that it’s a soup the rest of my family will eat. I’m the soup person in my family, and finding one that we all like can be a challenge. This is a go-to. Note: this is a weekend recipe, not a weeknight recipe. It takes 60-90 minutes to make, so unless you have extra time, don’t try to squeeze it in after work.

Tortilla Soup
tortilla strips
8 6″ corn tortillas, cut into 0.5″ wide strips
vegetable oil
salt

soup
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (or 4 bone-in, skin-on thighs)
8c chicken broth (you can used canned, but homemade is yummier)
1 large white onion, root end trimmed, and quartered
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
8-10 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 sprig fresh oregano
salt
2 medium tomatoes, cored, quartered
0.5 medium jalapeño
1 chipotle chile in adobo + 1t sauce
1T veg oil

garnishes
1 lime, cut in wedges
1 avocado, diced fine
8 oz cotija (crumbled) or monterey jack (cubed)
cilantro, chopped
minced jalapeño
sour cream

  1. Heat oven to 425F. Spread tortilla strips on baking sheet, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt. Cook for 7 minutes, flip strips over, cook for another 7 minutes.
  2. While tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, cilantro, oregano, and 0.5t salt to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to plate (or cutting board), and strain broth into bowl. Discard solids in strainer.
  3. While broth is simmering, puree tomatoes, remaining onion and garlic cloves, jalapeño, chipotle, and adobo sauce in food processor until smooth. Once broth is strained, use soup pan to heat veg oil over high heat until shimmering. Add puree and cook (still over high heat), stirring nearly constantly, until mixture has darkened in color and most of water has evaporated – about 10 minutes. Stir strained broth back into tomato mixture. Bring to boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Cut chicken meat into 0.25″ cubes. Add to broth, then simmer for about 5 minutes. To serve, place portion of tortilla strips in bowl, ladle soup into bowls, pass garnishes separately.

Using up the vegetables

fennel soup

I came up with this recipe last winter, I think, when we got a CSA box with fennel and leeks, and I thought to myself: what on earth can I make with fennel? So I made up a fennel-leek-potato soup (since I love potato-leek soup). It’s light enough that it needs something else with it – bread (if you eat it), salad (like you see in the photo), or maybe it’s a starter for your main meal. Regardless, it’s a good winter soup.

Fennel-Leek-Potato Soup

Saute in olive oil:
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 diced fennel bulb

Once they’re soft, add:
~6 yukon gold potatoes, diced (I had red potatoes on hand, so I used those instead this time – probably about a pound’s worth.)
2 minced garlic cloves
~0.25c minced parsley
3c chicken stock (I subbed in vegetable stock in this batch. Again, it was to hand.)
5c water

Bring to a boil, then simmer for ~45 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender, stir in 0.5c heavy cream, add salt & pepper to taste.

Chicken Soup for Lunch

Chicken Soup with Kale & Carrots

This recipe – Chicken Soup with Kale and Carrots – is all right. It’s certainly easy, if a little time consuming, just because you’re making the stock from scratch. However, it’s a little bland. I made it a week ago and have been heating up the leftovers for lunch. I should have added more salt & pepper when I made it, I think. Overall, though, it’s a filling, healthy lunch.

Chicken Soup with Kale & Carrots (from It’s All Good)

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 large leek (I used 2) roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped + 2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
0.5t black peppercorns
2t salt
1 bunch kale, leaves stripped off stems in bite-sized pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the chicken, leek, celery, roughly chopped carrot, onion, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and salt in a large soup pot and cover with water (~10c). Bring the soup to boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer for about 2 hours. Strain the stock and pull out the white meat (I used both the white and dark meat, you can use just the white and reserve the dark for another use. However, pulling just the meat out wasn’t the easiest thing in the world and further separating light from dark just wasn’t going to happen.) Dice the chicken meat. Add to soup along with remaining carrots and the kale (I also threw in a handful of brown rice.) Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Spicy sweet potato deliciousness

Sweet potato chipotle soup is delicious, but not very filling. Or filling at all. This would be a great side dish with a roast chicken or something else with a lot of protein. It might make a good soup course at Thanksgiving dinner, if your Thanksgiving meal works in courses. But this is not a main course.

Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle and Coriander
from It’s All Good (which is a better cookbook than it has any right to be)

2T olive oil
1 large red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs cilantro, leaves reserved for garnish (I clearly skipped the garnish step)
3/4t cumin
salt
1 1/2t chipotle in adobo (I was generous here – I really like that smoky taste)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
6c vegetable stock

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and a healthy pinch of salt and cook, stirring now and then until softened but not brown, about 10 min. Add the chipotle and sweet potatoes  and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Once soup boils, lower heat, simmer for 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are very soft. Discard the cilantro. Carefully puree the soup. If you want a very smooth texture, pass it through a strainer. Garnish each bowl with a few cilantro leaves.