Thursday, February 9, 2012

3 nights, 3 Soups, 3 Cuisines

Monday is usually our soup night. Since that is our most hectic night, soup seems to be what comes together the quickest. This week we somehow ended up with 3 soups on the menu. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we finally got some Winter-like weather (i.e., highs in the 50's and 60's instead of the 70's and 80's).

Even though we weren't having a party and really didn't care much about the game, Super Bowl Sunday put me in the mood to try something a little slower. I've been reading The Homesick Texan blog lately and saw a recipe for Red Pozole (hominy in a red chile broth). Whether you're an ex-pat Texan or not this is an awesome resource for Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food. Just reading it makes me homesick and I live in Texas.

New Mexico chiles, stemmed, seeded, roasted and reconstituted in water

The original recipe called for pork shoulder. Since I'm vegetarian, I subbed 1 lb (2 packages) of tempeh and used a few dashes of liquid smoke in place of the smoked ham hock. I didn't have to simmer nearly as long as the recipe says since I wasn't waiting for meat to get cooked and tender.

If you are sensitive to heat, don't worry. The New Mexico chiles and the ancho chile powder and a lot of deep, rich flavor without much heat. The husband and I added diced serranos on top for a little kick. I served these with homemade flour tortillas from the same blog. I sub half of the flour with white whole wheat flour. Awesome!

Monday night we went for quick and easy with Penne and Chickpea Soup adapted from ATK. It hardly requires a recipe it's so simple. The original recipe calls for panchetta sauteed in the olive oil before adding the garlic and rosemary, which I omit, and for half of the chickpeas to be mashed, which I just don't do.

Saute 4 minced garlic cloves and a sprig of rosemary in a few tablespoons of olive oil for a minute or two. Add 2 cans diced tomatoes, 2 cans of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), 6 cups of water and 2 tsp salt. When it comes to a boil, add 8 ounces of penne or other short pasta. Cook until pasta is done then add a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary. Add more salt and black pepper to taste. We ate this with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Soup #3 was inspired by something I saw Ming Tsai make on PBS. I think he called it Thai Chicken Noodle Soup. I used tofu in mine.

2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 ribs of celery
1 cup of baby carrots
2 cups water
1 can broth (I used vegetable)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2-2 inches of ginger, peeled and sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1 package tofu, cubed
6 ounces noodles
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Start by sauteeing celery and carrots in the oil.

After 5-8 minutes (depending on the size of your carrots), add water, broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, green onions and tofu.

When the broth gets to a boil add in noodles. I had soba noodles on hand (I know, not very Thai), so I added those. Rice noodles would work well too.

Once the noodles are tender, stir in coconut milk and cilantro. Heat through and serve.

Some things that I had on hand, but forgot to add, were lime juice and Thai basil. I also would have liked a little heat, so a sliced jalepeno or serrano would have been nice. Still, this turned out really well. The kids, including the neighbor girl, all had seconds. My husband would add that you should make sure you either fish out all the sliced ginger or warn people not to eat it.


Sonali said...

Looks yum! And a very interesting challenge too. I can think of 3 soups from 3 different cuisines. How do I join?

wirrek said...

Yum. Can't wait to try the chickpea noodle soup! The other two look good also!

Vivian - Let's Try These... said...

Wow! You were busy! Great job