Who Knew? Miso Soup is so Quick and Easy on a Cold Winter Day!

031misoo soup

I have always loved miso soup. The richness of the broth lead me to believe, in my early uninformed years, that there was a meat base to the broth.

I was so happy to learn that this is not the case.

Dashi is the base of many Japanese soups and sauces and can be made from dried sardines, mushrooms, and in my case sea weed.

I used 2 “leaves” of Kombu Sea Vegetable to 12 cups of water. ( I made a big batch; we’ll discuss this later).

The sea vegetable expands greatly in the water so I would suggest breaking it into small peices before boiling.

This saves time cutting it up later.

You can also purchase the kind which is cut or shredded.

Boil until soft.

You can buy Dashi but it is not always easy to find and making it yourself is so easy…why not?!

Now, making this soup in large quantities is not the best idea and I now know why.

You should not boil the miso.

And if you have to warm leftover soup you won’t be able to avoid over cooking.

Also, the scallions which add such a nice delicate flavor would not taste great or retain their texture if submitted to too much heat.

I wish that I would have known this befor I started.

I now know why cooking suggestions were given for one and two cup servings.

I would highly suggest making this soup in small portions for optimum flavor and quality.

011miso soup

Ingredients

•3 cups dashi soup stock
•1 block tofu
•3-4 tbsps miso paste
•1/4 cup chopped green onion

Method

Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil.

Cut tofu into small cubes and add them to the soup.

Simmer the tofu for a few minutes on low heat.

Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso in it.

Gradually return the miso mixture in the soup.

Stir the soup gently.

Stop the heat and add chopped green onion.

Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in.

*Makes 4 servings

010miso soup

Making the Dashi.

017miso soup

Measuring the Miso.

022miso soup

Mixing the Dashi with the Miso.

023miso soup

Disolving the Miso in the Dashi before adding to the Dashi Broth.

028miso soup

Mixing everything together in the soup pot.

040miso soup

I always need to add alittle heat!.

  

Beautiful Kale Soup with Olive Oil and Yogurt!

Kale soup with feta and green onion

This kale soup is so simple, so delicious, so nutritious and so inexpensive that it would be just wrong not to share it!

021Cooking pal PD

This recipe comes from the Aunt of this guy; my “Cooking Buddy”.

The family comes from Albania and learning about a new cuisine has broadened my own cooking repetoire, especially when it comes to vegetables.

I have gained a new perspective on preparing and serving food and learned how to create complete meals from very simple ingredients.

The ingredients for this soup are: Kale, potato, onion, garlic and celery, olive oil and yogurt . With salt and pepper to taste.

We garnished with sheep milk feta cheese and fresh green onion.

A hearty wheat bread truly rounds out this meal.

I will make this a part of my regular rotation of dishes around here, to be sure.

And I would like to experiment with vegetable stock, which we didn’t use.

I had my doubts about the lack of broth but I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful the soup was without the added boullion.

And considering that most boullions contain MSG, sugar, sodium and other unnatural and unneccesary processed ingredients, it is nice to know that I don’t need to have homemade stock handy or run out to pick up something at the store when I want to make this soup.

The other thing that I like about this soup is that the olive oil and yogurt are added at the end of cooking.

From a nutrition perspective this helps to maintain the health benefits and maximum flavor of the yogurt and the olive oil.

001Kale soup onions

Method

The process begins by boiling 1 large yellow onion and about 5-6 cloves of garlic.

We’re garlic lovers around here so I tend to use twice what I recommend at times!

I had 2 large baking potatoes which I chopped and added to the boil.

I then cleaned and chopped 2 large heads of kale and added them to the boil. Curly Kale worked well but I would have preferred Lacinto Kale.

I then chopped 4-5 large celery stalks and added these to the boil, as well.

I cooked this mixture until everything became soft and wilted.

Now, I was supposed to drain the water and pour the veggies into the food processor but I didn’t know that, so I just pureed everything together.

The cooking water was included and amounted to about 2-3 cups.

I put the pureed mixture into a large pot and continued to cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes.

We then added about 1 cup of olive oil and about 1 to 2 cups of yogurt.

We served this with some crumbled sheep milk feta and freshly cut green onion.

Salt and pepper to taste.

009Kale soup celery and Kale

013Kale soup pureed

2kale soup olive oil

Kale soup olive oil

  

…It all started with cake!

006 Chocolate Cake with raspberry and whipped cream PD

It all started with cake and a snow storm and the gorgeous organic produce in my refrigerator.

Sometimes when I’m shopping I don’t have any particular recipe in mind. I simply pick up things that catch my eye, are in season, especially ripe, smell good or are just pretty.

So that is how I ended up with a coconut, that gorgeous ginger root and a million organic carrots!

What to do with carrots on a cold snowy day in the middle of winter? Soup, of course!

But to begin my day, baking a cake seemed to be the most natural thing in the world to do to get things rolling. Chocolate, raspberry and fresh whipped cream was beckoning.

Cake would be a nice treat at the end of a long day.

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate (cool)

Method

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches, or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans.

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

Pour into pan(s). Bake oblong 40 to 45 minutes, layers 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool.

013Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup PD

Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients

About 20-30 carrots
5-6 cloves of garlic
A nice sized piece of fresh ginger root 5-6 inches long
2 tsp ginger powder
1 can organic coconut milk
One whole coconut ( use the water and flesh)
2-3 cups vegetarian stock
2-3 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
Avocado, for garnish

Method

Peel and chop the carrots then sauté with garlic and coconut oil.

Start grating the ginger and add to sautéing carrots.

Add the ginger powder.

Let things start to lightly caramelize then add the stock.

Allow to cool then transfer the mixture to the food processor and puree.

Add the coconut milk to the mixture and continue to puree.

Transfer to a soup pot and add the coconut water and flesh.

Add ginger powder if necessary.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with fresh cilantro and avocado garnish.

Enjoy!

037 Carrot soup and empenada PD

Empenada dough PD
I added curry powder to the dough
017 Kale potato coconut Curry PD
Kale, yellow waxy potatoes, garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, red curry paste, curry powder

Courtesy of Laylita’s Recipes

Making empanada dough is not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have a food processor, and even if you don’t it is still pretty easy because the dough should not be overworked and requires minimal kneading. Also, these days it is very easy to find the empanada discs already made (frozen) in Latin grocery store, and even though I was skeptical at first they are actually quite good, but it also always fun to have them homemade and you can also customize the dough by adding spices, herbs, etc that will complement or contrast with the fillings.

Ingredients for 15 medium size or 25 small empanada discs:

3 cups all purpose flour
ÂĽ teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), cold and cut into 12 pieces
1 egg
4-5 tbs water
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
Form a ball and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.

042 Kale Potato curry empenada PD

032 Empenada PD

035 Carrot inger Coconut soup and empenada PD

044 Chocolate raspberry cake PD

  

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