Tag Archive for Soup

Soto Ayam

Soto ayam is a simple Indonesian chicken soup. There are much more elaborate recipes for this dish, but I always make this soup as simple as possible to make a fast, healthy, and simple meal. I love making my own stock, but in this case I use a stock cube (or other bouillon base) for speed and convenience.
I love the salty and slightly spicy broth filled with lots of tauge (bean sprouts), spring onions, chicken, cooked egg and the contrasting crispy onions. It is a filling dish, but also very light, and perfect for hot days. But also when the weather is cold it is nice to eat a steaming hot bowl of soup.

Soto ayam (1 big serving)
500 ml water
1 chicken stock cube
1 chicken breast, cubed

100 gram tauge
2 spring onions, sliced
chilli powder
1 egg, boiled and quartered
fried onions (store bought)

Bring the water to the boil with the stock cube. Add the chicken cubes, cook until almost done. Then add the tauge and spring onion. Cook until the chicken is done and the vegetables still crispy. Season with salt and chilli powder to taste, the soup should be quite salty and not too spicy.
Put the quartered egg on the bottom of a serving bowl. Spoon over the soup. Top with fried onions and serve very hot.

Variation: use ham and omelet instead of chicken and cooked egg.

Pea Soup

On Honest Cooking I wrote about traditional Dutch pea soup, a sturdy winter soup made with dried peas, winter vegetables and lots of meat. This is something completely else: a bright green, light and fresh soup made from frozen peas and lots of parsley, optionally garnished with a splash of cream that mixes beautifully with the green of the soup. The flavour is very clean, the soup exactly tastes like what you put in, the sweetness of the peas and the fresh, herby parsley. The parsley is not only added for the taste, but also for the colour: by blanching the parsley you will keep the lovely bright green colour. As with my previous post, this is a lovely fresh, healthy and summery dish. On very hot days it will be nice to chill the soup and serve it cold.

Pea soup
From James Martin – Saturday Kitchen (BBC)

small bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves picked
50 g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
250 g frozen peas
500 ml chicken stock
Optional: cream (I used pouring)

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, blanch the parsley for 30 seconds then refresh in iced water. Drain, squeeze dry then roughly chop and set aside. Heat a sauté pan until hot, add the butter and onion and cook gently for a few minutes until just softened. Add the peas and stock, bring to the boil then add the chopped blanched parsley.Use a food processor or a blender to blend the soup. Strain back into the saucepan then return to a simmer and check the seasoning. Garnish with the cream and serve hot.

Note: to make this recipe vegan, use olive oil instead of butter and leave out the cream (or use a plant-based cream).

Simple detox food (Tomato soup, salad and fruit)

Christmas and new year are a time of food. Lots of food. Food that is fat, unhealthy and sugary. Some people have healthy eating and loosing weight as their new years resolution, but even if you don’t, it is good for you to take some time to eat healthy as a counterbalance to all the unhealthy stuff. And probably you are hungering for something healthy at the moment anyway, so make use of it and loose the extra Christmas pounds fast and detox your body. Bonus: these dishes are very simple to prepare.

Tomato soup (2 bowls)
500 ml passata (pureed and sieved tomato, from a can/carton)
stock cube
curry powder

Pour the passata in a pan. Add some water to thin it to the preferred consistency. Crumble in the stock cube and let the soup bubble away for a while. This will remove some of the sourness that tomatoes from a can often have. Mix the curry powder with some of the soup (to prevent lumps), add to the soup, taste and season if necessary.

Simple lettuce, cucumber, chicory, walnut and cheese salad (2 servings)
100 gram mixed lettuce leaves
1 head of chicory
1/2 cucumber
50 gram walnuts
100 gram fresh goats cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the lettuce leaves if necessary. Throw in a big bowl. Slice the bottom of the chicory, discard the ugly leaves, pluck the leaves of, add to the bowl, discard the chicory heart (it is bitter). Slice the cucumber thinly, throw in the bowl as well. Crumble the goats cheese and the walnuts over, dress with the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands and serve.

Fruit salad
Mixed fruit (I used pear, frozen summer berries and frozen mango)
Lemon or lime juice
Cane sugar

Mix the fruits, dress with a little lime juice and sprinkle a small amount of cane sugar over. Serve immediately, or leave to marinate for a while. The juices of the fruit, combined with the lime juice and the sugar will form a nice dressing for the fruit.

Coconut, broccoli and chicken soup

An easy and healthy soup with many possible variations. For example use prawns in stead of chicken, or cauliflower in stead of broccoli, or use different spices. It is also a great recipe to use uop leftover meat. Serve as starter or main course on it’s own (paleo/low carb friendly) or with some bread.

Coconut, broccoli and chicken soup (3 generous servings)
Inspired on a recipe from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook – Mark Sisson
1 liter water
1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 cm fresh ginger, finely diced
1/2 tsp sambal (or more if you like spicy)
1 leek, in small rings
1 head of broccoli, in small florets
juice of half a lemon/a whole lime
spices: salt & black pepper (to taste), cayenne pepper/paprika, ketoembar, lemon grass, cumin, curry (about 1/4 tsp of all, exept cumin only 1/8 tsp and curry 1 tsp or more (depending on kind of curry powder)).

Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and sambal until translucent. Add the chicken, brown a little. Add the leeks and a few spoons of the coconut milk, cook gently for a while. Add spices. Add water, stock cubes, coconut milk and broccoli. Let simmer for a while, taste and add some more spices if necessary. Check if broccoli is cooked, add the lemon or lime and serve hot.

Lentil soup

I have been a very lazy cook for a while… Usually that involves the less healthy choices, since not thinking about what you will eat for diner the whole day and than shopping for groceries while you still don’t know what to eat while you are already hungry is just not a very good plan. But, today I decided to cook and eat something healthy, and it was very easy and tasty as well. So plans for the future: plan diner when not hungry, then shop with grocery list and only buy what’s on the list. See how long I can stick to this…
Then, the dish. I combined the many recipes (Arabic/Moroccan) I found online for lentil soup into something I liked. It is very important to use quite strong and spicy flavours, since lentils tend to be a bit bland. The spice mix I used succeeded in this, but was still very delicate.
I like my soups nice and smooth, so I blended everything after cooking and then sieved it, pushing every bit of moisture and taste from the sieve, but preventing all the tough bits to be in my soup. This step is not necessary, you can just blend everything, or even let it chunky or mush it a bit with a masher. To give the whole a bit texture, I added some cooked quinoa to the soup.
I also added some leftover chicken from yesterday, but leaving the soup vegetarian is a very good possibility (then switch the chicken stock cube for a vegetable stock cube). I also served some raita and naan (but mine came from the shop) with the soup. But just the soup and no add-ons works also perfect.

Lentil soup (2 big bowls)

1 cup yellow lentils (use a coffee mug if you don’t have cup measuring cups)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp ground coriander (ketoembar)
1/4 tsp kurkuma
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
3-4 cups vegetable stock (depending on the preferred consistency)
juice of half a lemon
fresh coriander (optional)

Rinse the lentils, then soak them. The longer you soak them, the more moisture they take up and the thinner your soup will be. I soaked my lentils for about an hour, since I did not have much time.
Slowly cook the onion, carrot and celery, until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a bit more. Add the tomato, bay leaves, lentils and stock, bring to the boil. Meanwhile, roast the seeds in a dry frying pan and add them with the other spices to the soup. Cook the soup for about 30 minutes, till the lentils are tender. Blend (don’t forget to take out the bay leaves!), and if you want, sieve. Taste, add the lemon juice, salt if necessary and pepper/chilli powder if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander (if using).

Chicken risotto, stock, salad and onion soup

The weekend dinner: chicken risotto.

Chicken stock (about 2 liters)

2 chicken legs (the ones with part of the backbone still attached)
1 leek
1 onion
3 carrots
2 stalks of celery
about 25 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
a sprig of thyme, some parsley

Clean the vegetables. Because they are only for flavour, throw away only the very ugly parts, wash and chop them in rough chunks. Keep the skin of the onion, it gives your stock a nice golden colour.
Put everything in a large cooking pan, cover with 2 liters of cold water. Put on the smallest stovepit you have, on the lowest fire. The stock has to simmer very, very gently, as gently as possible.
After 2 hours the stock is ready. But the longer you leave everything, the tastier it gets. I let mine simmer for 5-6 hours and got a very tasty stock.
Take out the chicken legs and let them cool. Put the rest of the stock trough a sieve and push the liquid out of the veggies. If you want a more lean broth, try to scoop some of the fat from the top of the stock. You can also let the stock cool and then scoop it of, but you need it warm for the risotto so it’s more efficient to leave it warm.

Chicken risotto (2 servings)

2 cooked chicken legs (the ones you used for the stock)
1 onion, dices
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 glass white wine
warm chicken stock (the one you made above)
200 gram risotto rice
150 gram peas (I used frozen)
salt and pepper
parmezan cheese

Clean the chicken: remove the skin, fat, bones and other pieces you don’t want to eat. Pull the meat into pieces.
Sauté the onion till soft in some olive oil. Add the garlic and the risotto. Fry the rice until it is shiny and translucent. Then add the glass of wine. Stir regularly. When the wine is absorbed, you can add the stock, a ladle at the time, waiting after each ladle until it is absorbed. You won’t need all the stock made above, so taste after a few ladles if you need to add more stock.
When the rice is soft, add the chicken meat and the peas, let it warm for a bit. Add some grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with some extra parmezan cheese.

Simple salad (2 servings)
to serve with the risotto

1 cucumber, sliced
150 gram cherry tomatoes
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

You can either half the cherry tomatoes or splash them a bit with your hands (it gives a mess, but it is nice for the dressing). Put the veggies in a bowl, dress with balsamico and oil, season with salt and pepper.

Onion soup (2 bowls)
to use up the leftover stock

2 onions
bay leave
salt and pepper

Slice the onions thinly. Put them in a very hot pan with some olive oil. Stir around till softened, then put the fire low. Let them cook until they are golden. Make sure you stir often, otherwise they burn. When they are almost burning you can add a little water. Add the stock and the bay leave when the onions are golden. Let simmer for a while, loosen all the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Nice with bread and cheese.

Focacia and roasted tomato and pepper soup

I love making my own bread. It takes a while, but I think kneading the dough works really therapeutic and in the time the bread is rising you can do lots of other things. Also the smell of rising dough and fresh baked bread is wonderful.

So last weekend I made focaccia. It is really easy, even for bread. To make it more like a meal I topped the foccacia with mozzarella and prosciutto, and served it with a wonderful roasted veggie soup.

Focaccia (1 loaf)
adapted from “De ultieme keuken – Michelle Cranston”

450 gram flour
pinch of salt
7 gram instant yeast (1 sachet)
250 ml lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt

Mix all the ingredients, knead well until you have an elastic dough. Put in a bowl, cover with cling film. Let it rise for 1 hour or until the dough is doubled in size.
Push the dough out in a baking tin (34×24 cm), make indentations with your fingers. Rub the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt.
Let it rise for another 20 minutes.
Add fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme) or other toppings (mozzarella, prosciutto, olives, sundried tomatoes) and bake for 20 minutes.

Roasted tomato and pepper soup (2 big bowls)

2 red peppers
3 big plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 stock cube
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Roast the peppers, tomatoes and garlic in the oven until the skins are black. Turn and bake until the other side is blackened also.
Peal the skins of the veggies. Be careful, they are very hot! Try to get as much of the black skins of as possible, but don’t rinse the veggies, because you rinse away all the nice flavour too.
Put the veggies and the garlic in a blender, blend until smooth. Put in a pan, add as much water necessary to achieve a nice consistency. Add the stock cube and season to taste with the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Serve very hot.

Chicken stock

Today I eat risotto, but I’ll keep that for a later post. An essential ingredient for risotto is stock, because it determines the taste of your risotto. Off course you can make risotto with stock from a stock cube, but much much more tasty is home-made stock. And it is a very easy process.

I make stock with the leftover bones from a roast chicken. We eat roast chicken, keep the bones and store them (not too long!) in the freezer. You can also make the stock and store that in the freezer.

Very important with stock is to start in time. The longer you cook it, the more tasty it will become, you need to simmer it at least two hours. Most of the time I try to let it simmer for the whole afternoon. The nice thing is, you put the ingredients in a pan and after that you only have to stir it a few times, so you can do other things while your stock is getting more tasty.

This time I used less water then I used before and I really liked it. This way you get an even more flavoursome and tasty broth.

Chicken stock

bones of 1 chicken
1 onion, in quarters (with skin, gives a nice color)
1 leek, washed and in rough chunks
1 stick celery, washed and in rough chunks
1 carrot, in rough chunks (don’t bother to peel)
2-3 bay leaves
sprig of thyme
Optional: some parsley
15 peppercorns
salt to taste
1 liter cold water

Put everything in a pan (except the salt). Let it barely simmer for at least 2 hours. Barely simmering keeps your broth clear, but it will taste still as good when it isn’t clear. When it is ready, put everything trough a sieve. Season with salt.

Tomato soup

Tonight I ate tomato soup. Not just ordinary tomato soup, no, this is THE tomato soup. My dad makes this soup in the summer, when there are plenty tomatoes available. Because it’s not a very rapid recipe, he usually makes it only once a summer. In my youth, it was a real party to have this. And since then, I think this is just the best tomato soup in the world. Other recipes are ok, but this one is just better. It is a smooth velvety soup, with the taste and color of tomato and just a little bit spice because of the use of curry powder as seasoning.

You can make this on two different ways. The hard way, or the little bit less hard way. When you do it the hard way, you use fresh tomatoes. Because you eventually want to end up with a smooth soup, you have to sieve all the pips and skins and bits out of it. And because lots of tastiness is in those pips and skins and bits, you have to push as much liquid out of it as you can. That’s hard work. When you do it the less hard way by using passata you only have to make a roux…

A roux is used as a thickening agent for lots of soups and sauces. Its made of equal parts of butter and flower, to which the fluid you want to thicken is added. There are people who are very afraid to make a roux because its doomed to get lumps, but actually its very easy. Just keep stirring and stirring and stirring and add you fluids very very very slowly, especially when you just start adding. Add a little and wait until it’s absorbed before you add more fluid. And just keep stirring. Then it should be fine and wont split or get lumpy.

Tomato soup (2 persons)

1 kilo tomatoes (or 500 ml passata)
1 stock cube (or use stock instead of water)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flower
curry powder
cream or coffee cream

Cut the tomatoes in quarters. Put them in a pan, barely cover them with water (or stock), add the stock cube. Simmer until soft. Put in a strainer, push as much fluid/tomato purée out as you can. (start here when you use passata) Make a roux by melting the butter, adding the flower and stir. Make sure you stir out all lumps. Add a little tomato fluid (or passata), stir, add again some tomato fluid, keep doing this. When you are about halfway, you can add a little more fluid at each time. When you are done, you have a nice soup. (add the stock cube now when you use passata) Season with curry powder and serve with a little cream on top.