Salmon Miso Soup with Soba Noodles

Salmon miso noodle soup

This is the type of meal you want to make if you are trying to be super healthy.  Just eating, even slurping it makes you feel good.   Healthy salmon, green vegetables and brown soba noodles in a miso broth.  Of course, you could use rice noodles or egg noodles instead but there’s something about brown carbs that just makes you feel virtuous – brown pasta, brown rice, chocolate cake.  Sorry, not all brown carbs, not chocolate cake, chocolate biscuits or treacle tart.  Or anything with caramel in come to think of it.

Oooops.  Now I’m stuck thinking about the wrong kind of carbs. If only they had a different name.  Well, it’s not really a problem for me, I’ve already eaten this lovely soup.  I was virtuous at the time.  It’s you I’m worried about – I don’t want to ruin any healthy eating plans you’ve got before you’ve even started.

For me, this soup was a new challenge.   I’ve made a lot of noodles soups in the past but usually with lots of chilli and garlic in.   This time I left the chillies in the fridge and decided to experiment with miso as I had a jar of Yutaka Oraganic Miso Paste I wanted to try.  I’m definitely not an expert at Japanese food.   It’s probably one of the cuisines I know least about. I rarely cook Japanese food and I don’t eat out at Japanese restaurants very often.   This means I haven’t had many miso soups and so I didn’t want the miso flavour to be overwhelming.

I don’t often do subtle flavours but that’s what I wanted this time so I just used 1 tablespoon of miso paste but you could use more or less depending on how gentle a mood you are feeling in.   I couldn’t be altogether meek and mild though and couldn’t resist throwing in some ginger and garlic and a little sesame oil on the noodles which also added extra flavour.   As I said at the start, you do feel healthy eating this soup, the miso flavour is subtle but it’s still a flavourful soup.  It might have been my first miso soup but it will not be my last.

Ingredients – Serves 2

1 tbsp Miso paste (I used Yutaka Organic Miso Paste)

1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder

Small piece of root ginger, finely diced or grated

1 clove garlic, crushed

150g piece of salmon

5 or 6 mushrooms, sliced

2 large handfuls spinach

Soba Noodles

2 tsp sesame oil

How to Make Salmon Miso Soup with Soba Noodles

1. Put 600ml water from the kettle into a saucepan.   Add the stock powder, ginger and garlic and bring back to the boil. Lower the salmon gently into the water and simmer until the salmon is just cooked and begins to flake when you touch it with a fork.

2. At the same time cook the soba noodles according to the pack instructions.  When they are ready, drain them, toss them with a little sesame oil and put them in the bottom of the soup bowls.

3. Lift the salmon out of the water.   Add the mushrooms and spinach.  Cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Divide the salmon between each bowl. Ladle some of the soup and vegetables into each bowl

I am linking this to Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and also to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

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Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of the Yutaka Oraganic Miso Paste

Tomato and Coriander Soup

tomato coriander soup (1024x713) Why is it that now summer has arrived I keep making soup?  I couldn’t tell you.  What I can tell you is that this soup is really delicious, even on a warm day.  It’s also a great way of using up some of those giant bunches of fresh herbs that are so much better value than the small packs.   Some people might object to eating coriander in every meal for 4 days straight but luckily none of those people live with me.

This soup is adapted from my basic tomato soup recipe that I make quite regularly. Although I normally use individual spices when cooking rather than curry powder, this time I didn’t want it to be a strongly spiced tomato soup.  The curry powder just gives it a mild curry flavour that goes really well with the coriander.  Of course, there’s nothing to stop you adding more.

Most recipes are there to be adapted and you can easily vary this soup by using different herbs instead of coriander and missing out or substituting the curry powder altogether. You could even just stick with the plain tomato soup that this was adapted from, although even that has a little basil in.

Ingredients – Serves 2-4

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

400g tin tomatoes

Large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

300ml milk

How to Make Tomato and Coriander Soup

1. Cook the onion in a little oil.   When soft add the curry powder, garlic and the tin of tomatoes.   Add a little water if the tomatoes are too thick.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the coriander and using a stick blender, blend the soup.

3. Mix a tbsp of milk with the bicarbonate of soda.   Pour it onto the soup, followed by the rest of the milk.

4. Simmer for 5 minutes, keep stirring.  There will be quite a few bubbles but they will have disappeared after 5 minutes.

5. Serve with your choice of bread.

I am linking this to Cooking with Herbs at Lavender and Lovage as well as No Croutons Required, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen.   I am also linking to Elizabeth’s Kitchen’s No Waste Food Challenge, hosted this month by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

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Pizza Soup

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Sometimes you come across an idea or a recipe and you just know you have to make it.   That was how I felt when I saw Pizza in a Bowl Soup on Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.   Pizza has to be a favourite comfort food and soup is just so warming and healthy when homemade.   The great thing about this soup is that it really does have the flavours of pizza in it.

This recipe also combines two of my favourite easy weekend lunches – homemade soup and cheese melted on toast.   What I hadn’t done before was have them together.  I did adapt the recipe to our tastes.   I used chorizo instead of salami and didn’t put any wine or stock in the soup – there was a  lot of flavour in there already so I didn’t feel it was necessary.  What I did add was a dash of balsamic vinegar.   If you wanted you could also easily make this into a vegetarian soup by leaving out the chorizo and possibly adding a pinch of smoked paprika to get that same smoky flavour.

If only I’d had a bit more time to try and get a good picture.   It was one of those manic lunchtimes where my daughter was screaming and only wanted me, and taking just a few minutes to get a decent picture was just not going to happen.   It may not look great, but trust me, it’s worth making.

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Ingredients – Serves 2

10cm piece of chorizo

1 yellow pepper, diced

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 red onion, diced

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of black pepper

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Handful of chopped fresh basil

2 slices of bread

Grated mozzarella

How to Make Pizza Soup

1. Put a little olive oil in a sauce pan and cook the chorizo until it starts to crisp up and release more oil.

2. Add the chopped pepper, onion, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until they soften and then add the balsamic vinegar, herbs and chopped tomatoes.   Fill the can 2/3 full of water again and pour the water on top.   Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Take off the heat and stir in the fresh basil and black pepper.

4. Toast the bread and top with the mozzarella cheese.    Put the bread on top of the soup and put the soup bowls under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

5. Serve immediately.

I am linking this to Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Carrot and Ginger Soup with Marmite Croutons

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I often think carrot soup can be difficult to get right.  What it needs is something spicy, sour, bitter or salty to offset the sweetness of the carrots. Otherwise I feel like I’ve had enough after just a few spoonfuls.  I’ve had bad carrot soup but I’ve also had soups I’ve wanted to make again straightaway such as this carrot and tahini one.

Even so, when I picked carrot and ginger soup for this month’s Random Recipes I didn’t want to make it.   I waited.   There are always a few recipes I plan to make each month but never get around to.   This month I though it would be the carrot soup.  Then along came National Vegetarian Week from 19-25 May, which made carrot soup so much harder to avoid.   In the end, I gave in and made the soup.

Like so many of these decisions, it turned out to be the right one.  I love ginger and ginger does go so well with carrot.   It was supposed to serve 4 but it only served me, twice. What I also loved about this was the discovery of the Marmite croutons.  They were strongly flavoured, crispy and salty – a perfect match for the carrot.  In fact, it was probably those Marmite croutons that made me love the soup so much in the end.

The recipe was from Eat for Health, edited by Gina Steer.  The theme for Random Recipes was Spring Clean i.e. to choose a book we rarely use and give it a chance to survive before possibly saying goodbye to it.  In this case I think I’d like to give this book a few more chances.

Ingredients – Serves 2-4

450g carrots, chopped

1 onion, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely diced

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 knob of fresh ginger (about 2cm), finely diced or grated

700ml vegetable stock

4 slices of bread

1/4 tsp yeast extract (I used Marmite)

1 tbsp lemon juice

Black pepper

How to Make Carrot and Ginger Soup

1. Make the croutons first.   Dissolves the yeast extract in about 2 tbsp hot water.  Cut the bread into squares.  Drizzle the liquid over the bread.   Put the croutons on an oiled baking tray.   Bake in the oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes.

2. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onions, garlic and root ginger until they are soft.

3. Then add the ground ginger.   Stir for a minute and then add the carrots and the stock.   Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer for about 15 -20 minutes.

4. Blend the soup until smooth and then stir in the lemon juice.   Season with black pepper and a little salt if necessary.

I am also linking to Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

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Beef Noodle Soup

Beef Noodle Soup

 

This year I’ve been trying to cook more larger pieces of meat and save the leftovers for more meals.   Of course, sometimes this means we are just tempted to eat more on the first night, but it also means that I am being a little more economical and more creative with leftovers.

We had slowcooked beef brisket a couple of nights ago and after having some of the leftovers for lunch, there wasn’t much left.   I needed a meal that would make a little bit of beef go a long way, and that is exactly what a soup can do.   I sliced the beef very thinly against the grain along with about 4 times the quantity of vegetables and the finished soup didn’t make us feel like we were being short-changed at all.  I made this just for 2 people but it is easy to increase the quantities and it is the perfect dish to make when you don’t have very much meat but want to feed a crowd.

The vegetables can be varied.   I was also trying to use up what was left in the fridge, which is why there was just a very small amount of red onion in the soup. Don’t feel you have to add onion – I would have added a couple of spring onions if I’d had them.  I also had half a yellow pepper and half a red pepper leftover from another meal, which is why they went in, but use whatever coloured peppers you like.   Because the soup is not cooked for very long, the chillis will not lose much of their heat so you may need to remove some of the seeds.   I like hot food so I usually leave them in, but this will be extremely hot if you leave all of them in.   It’s up to you.

Ingredients – Serves 2

100g leftover beef brisket, thinly sliced

2 nests of dry noodles

1 carrot, sliced thinly with a potato peeler

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 pepper – or halves of 2 different coloured peppers, cut into strips

1/4 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, cut into batons

1 chilli pepper – some of the seeds removed, sliced

Juice of 1/2 lime

400ml beef stock

How to Make Beef Noodle Soup

1. Prepare all the vegetables.

2. Pour boiling water onto the noodles and cook according to the packet instructions.

3. At the same time bring the stock to the boil and add all the rest of the ingredients, apart from a few slices of chilli to garnish with.   Cook for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice at the end.

4. Drain and divide the cooked noodles between two bowls.   Top with the stock and vegetable/beef mixture.

This is a very quick meal to make so I’m linking to Speedy Suppers, hosted by Dinner with Crayons and Feeding Boys and also Family Foodies, hosted by Eat your Veg and Bangers & Mash, which is for meals under 30 minutes this month.  As this soup is a great way to use up leftovers I am linking it to the No Waste Food Challenge, run by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary hosted this month by Cooking around the World.  I am also linking to Extra Veg, hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families and Fuss Free Flavours as this is packed full of vegetables.

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Sausage and Vegetable Soup

With a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard and a few vegetables in the fridge, even ones that are past their best, it’s always easy to make a quick soup for lunch or dinner.   This was the one that I made the other day to go with the soda bread.  If I hadn’t made the soda bread I would probably just have added a tin of kidney or cannellini beans, or even some lentils to the soup to make it filling enough for a  main meal.

I would like to say that I made this to be healthy in January and to increase the amount of vegetables I’m eating.  I didn’t.   I just made it because it was easy and because I love sausage and vegetable soup.  You can use any type of sausage.  You could use a cured sausage like chorizo and I have often done that.   This one just used very ordinary pork and leak sausages and I added lots of herbs, but I would have used Cumberland sausages if I’d had them as I like ordinary sausages to have a bit more flavour, and I think in a soup, the stronger the flavour the better.   You can also change the vegetables to suit whatever you have at the time.

As this is packed full of vegetables I am linking it to Extra Veg, created by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families also to Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.  As the soup also used up a slightly soft green pepper I am also linking to the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

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Ingredients – Serves 2-3

3 sausages, sliced

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 green pepper, diced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

1 bay leaf

How to Make Sausage and Vegetable Soup

1. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until softened.   Add the sausage and cook until it has browned slightly.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and a little water to cover everything.   Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Serve with fresh bread.

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no waste food challenge

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’d been thinking of making a tortilla soup for a long time when I saw it on Jen’s Journey, the blog I was assigned to this month for the Secret Recipe Club.  Jennifer claimed it was the best soup she had ever eaten so I knew it was going to pretty good.  I had to make one or two changes.  It’s not possible to buy cans of Rotel tomatoes and chillies here, or at least not where I shop, and so I just used a tin of tomatoes and some fresh chillies instead.  I hope that achieved a similar result.   Even if it didn’t, it was very very tasty and a soup that I can easily make again.

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Ingredients – serves 2-3

2 chicken breasts

1.5 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

A little salt

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 chilli peppers, sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

Handful of coriander leaf (cilantro)

A little grated cheese (I used cheddar)

500ml water

950ml chicken stock

2 tortillas (I used flour ones), cut into strips or triangles with a pair of scissors

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

1. Mix the chilli powder, cumin, 1 clove of crushed garlic and a  little salt together.    Coat the chicken in a little oil and then sprinkle some of the spice mix onto the chicken.   Rub it in.

2. Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until done. At the same time, bake the tortilla pieces for just a short time each so they go crispy.  Shred the chicken using 2 forks.

3. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion, chilli pepper and bell pepper.   Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the crushed garlic and rest of the spice mix that did not go on the chicken.  Cook for another couple of minutes.

4. To the pan add the chicken, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and water. Simmer for 45 minutes.

5. At the end add some of the tortilla pieces/strips and the chopped coriander.

6. Serve topped with the grated cheese, chopped coriander and more of the tortilla pieces.  You could also garnish with avocado or sour cream.



Mulligatawny Soup

Firstly I have to apologise to Sarah.   My photo of this soup is not a pretty picture.   The picture on her blog, Sarah’s Kitchen looks much more appealing, and before you turn away in horror, it did taste a lot better than it looks.

Although I had heard of mulligatawny before making it, I had never actually had it before and didn’t really know what it was like.  All I knew was that it was a curried soup that dated back to the time of the British Empire in India. The style of the soup is therefore quite traditionally British but with some Indian flavours from the curry powder, ginger and coconut milk.  It makes a very thick warming soup that is hearty enough to be eaten as a main meal, especially if you serve it with some bread on the side too.   We chose to have garlic and coriander naan but any bread would be nice.  A crusty English roll would also go nicely.

I was paired with Sarah’s Kitchen for the Secret Recipe Club.  Sarah is a British girl living in the US and has a lovely mixture of British, American and international recipes on her blog.

Mulligatawny

Ingredients – serves 3-4

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp flour

1 apple, peeled, cored and grated

1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, grated

1/2 can coconut milk

600ml chicken stock

2 tbsp cooked rice

1-2 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized strips or leftover cooked chicken

How to Make Mulligatawny Soup

1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan.  If using raw chicken, add the chicken.  When cooked remove and set aside. If using cooked chicken start at step 2.

2. If necesary add a little more oil and add the onion, carrot and celery.  Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

3. Add the tomato puree, flour and curry powder.  Stir in well and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.  Add a dash of water if it is too dry.

4. Add the ginger and apple and cook for another couple of minutes.

5. Add the chicken, rice, coconut milk and stock.  Bring to the boil stirring then lower to a simmer.  Keep stirring every so often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom.  It should soon thicken and then it’s ready to serve.

To see what other participants in the Secret Recipe Club have made, click on the link below:



Green Lentil and Coriander Soup

A new year, a new healthy diet.   That’s the plan for most of the time anyway.  Apart from that I have made no new year food plans and have written no review of the past year.   I would like to blog more frequently and I would like to be more active in commenting on the blogs I follow, but if I set that as a resolution, I feel I would just be setting myself up for failure.  After all, I am running the London Marathon on 21 April so will need to find time to fit all the training for that into my schedule!   So, I am just going to try to keep on blogging as often as I can, when I can.    I know it’s quite late to be saying this on 8th January already so that is all I am going to say on the subject.  Moving on to this green lentil and coriander soup….

I love making soups like this as they are warm, filling and are useful for using up any leftover vegetables.  Although the lentils are very dark,  I love the colours of all the vegetables showing up in the soup and I especially love the fresh coriander stirred in at the end.  It makes the soup taste very fresh.

I am linking this soup to Pantry Party, Food of the Month Club and Souper Sundays.

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Ingredients – serves 2 (as a main meal)

3 tbsp dried green lentils

2 carrots, sliced

1 onion, diced

2 tbsp chopped red cabbage

2 tbsp sweetcorn

Small knob of ginger, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 chilli pepper, sliced

Handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

2 cardamom pods, crushed slightly

2 cloves

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala

How to Make Lentil and Coriander Soup

1. Put a little oil in a saucepan.   Add the cloves and cardamom pods.   Cook for 30 seconds then add the chopped onion, chilli pepper and ginger.  Fry gently until soft.

2. Add the turmeric,cumin, garam masala, carrot and lentils.   Stir in and add boiling water from the kettle.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes then add the cabbage.   Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.

4. Add the frozen sweetcorn.   As soon as the water reaches the boil again, take out two ladles of the soup.   Blend in a food processor or with a stick blender and then return the pureed soup to the pan.   Stir in the coriander and serve immediately

Fasolakia

I would normally avoid making a green bean stew as I’d think that green beans are not really interesting enough to be the main ingredient. However, when I saw the chilli, ginger and garlic on the ingredients list as well, I decided it was worth trying. I also liked how easy it was to prepare. Fasolakia is a Greek green bean stew and can actually be served cold as well as hot. I did plan to leave some for the next day to have for lunch with yoghurt but unfortunately there was none left. I was really surprised by how delicious it actually was.

The recipe is slightly adapted from Sarah Raven’s Food for Friends and Family.   I borrowed this book from the library and I love it so much I’ll be disappointed when I have to take it back. It is divided into 4 sections for each of the seasons and a lot of the recipes remind me of Ottolenghi’s Plenty in that they really celebrate the vegetables. I think this is what has made me really love the book and I can’t wait to try a few more of the recipes.

Ingredients – serves 2

220g green beans, sliced into 3cm pieces

1 large carrot, grated

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small knob root ginger, finely diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 small red chilli pepper, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

Handful of fresh herbs ( I used coriander but the original recipe said parsley)

150ml vegetable stock

Olive oil

How to Make Fasolakia

1.Chop the onion and put it in the saucepan with a little olive oil.  Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

2. Add all the other ingredients to the pan, reserving some of the herbs to garnish with.  Simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes.

3.Serve with crusty bread.