borscht

borscht

Before I made this recipe, I didn’t have a great impression of borscht. Basically, I only had it one other time and it wasn’t great. But beets were in season and they were cheap at the Farmer’s Market so the hubs and I decided to make some borscht.

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Cooking: Homemade chicken stock

This is my recipe for homemade chicken stock. I rarely make chicken stock though as I don’t have the time nor the freezer space to store it. Most of the time I use this bullion alternative. However, I do collect chicken bones and freeze them. As such, after the bones start to accumulate and take up a considerable amount of space in my freezer, it’s basically a signal for me to make chicken stock. I have tried many recipes that add ingredients such as carrots, celery, peppercorns etc. However, I wanted to make a stock that uses the least amount of ingredients but still has great flavor. In that way it’s also more budget friendly. I usually use the stock straight after making it so I don’t take up any more freezer space. However, I do freeze extras, if necessary.

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simple chinese lotus soup

a bowl of lotus soup

Lotus soup is one of my favorite Chinese soups. Having a Cantonese dad, my mom often had to cook a soup with each meal. Lotus soup was frequently on the menu because we all enjoyed it and it was also very easy to put together. My mom would usually add in some smoked cuttlefish and dried scallops. I liked the scallops, not the cuttlefish. The best lotus soup I’ve ever had was made by my aunt. She adds scallops and dried oysters to her version and I love the smoky, sweet and rich flavor of her soup. However, a simple lotus soup does the trick most of the time and because the hubs is not a fan of anything seafood-y in his food, this version hits the spot. My grandmother actually taught me how to make this version. I’ve put together a more pictorial version of this recipe in hopes that you (the reader) would try this out!

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roasted sweet potato soup with sage oil

roasted sweet potato soup with sage oil

Sweet potatoes are a favorite of mine and I love them cooked in almost any way – steamed, boiled, roasted, fried, etc. There is something special about roasting sweet potatoes though. Roasting helps bring out an added flavor dimension to these special root veggies. Since sweet potatoes have a higher sugar content than the average potato (hence the name), roasting really brings out the sweetness of these potatoes. Technically you can also just boil the sweet potatoes in some broth before blending it all up, but the extra effort of roasting it brings the soup to another level. The addition of kale and chard (or mixed greens) also gives the soup added nutrition. The sage oil drizzled on the top adds a nice touch to the dish.

Served with some fresh bread and salad, this soup is perfect for either a lunch or dinner.

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creamy broccoli soup (dairy-free)

creamy broccoli soup

I am reluctant to call this a broccoli potato soup even though it has potatoes blended into it. A broccoli potato soup, in my opinion, has chunks of potatoes. This soup is just smooth and the potatoes are added to give it a creamy texture without the need to add any cream. This soup was made because the hubs and I are (were) on a diet. Ordinarily, I would also add some bacon to give it more flavor. If you use vegetable stock, like I did,  the recipe is also 100% vegetarian and vegan.

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pork ribs and watercress soup

pork rib and watercress soup

Being Chinese Cantonese, I grew up drinking soup with almost every Chinese meal served. The Cantonese love their soups and my dad is no exception. I love my soups too. Unfortunately, the hubs is not such a lover of soups. He doesn’t mind it though but drinks only a bowl each time leaving me to finish the rest of the pot. These days I’ve learned to make less so that I wouldn’t have to consume the same soup the rest of the week.

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ham and pea soup

ham and pea soup

I’ve finally used up the Christmas ham. The ham bone (frozen from Christmas) was finally used up to make this soup. It’s our traditional finale and one might even say we buy the ham so we can make this soup. Truth is, you don’t need to buy a 10 pound ham to make this soup. You can just buy the smoked ham hocks. But we just add in the ham bone for extra flavor – so we like to think. 😀

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mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup

mohinga

I first had mohinga (a fish noodle soup) at a Burmese restaurant in the Bay Area. I had read about it in a Burmese cookbook given by a friend and was curious about how it would taste. The last time I was back in Singapore, I asked my in-laws’ domestic helper (who is from Myanmar) about it. She helped me buy a mohinga soup mix to bring home. She also bought the special noodles, crispy chick pea cracker and smoked chilli that goes along with the dish.

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chicken quenelle soup

chicken quenelle soup

I was first introduced to Rachel Khoo (the originator of this recipe) during my week in Perth with a friend. We were cooped up in her house because we were both sick and tired. So we watched TV, lots of it. She introduced me to “The Little Paris Kitchen” and I fell in love with Rachel Khoo – her infectious personality and simplicity of her recipes, that is.

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