Soups Recipes

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Soybean Soup with Gingko Nuts (Healthy Soup Recipe) Recipe

Soybean soup is my vegetarian version of Vietnamese crab soup, called "súp cua chay". I use instant soy meal that I buy at the Korean market. Once the soy meal mixture is cooked, the appearance of the soup is very similar to crab meat.

In addition to the "fake crab", I add fresh gingko nuts, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and enoki mushrooms to give the soup a meaty texture. The soup is light and healthy, so I serve it often as a first course.


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Bun Bo Hue Recipe (Hue-Style Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) Recipe

If you're familiar with phở, bún bò Huế is another beef rice noodle soup. The beef soup dish originated in the city of Huế, the old imperial capital of Vietnam. Like traditional phở bò, the broth of bún bò Huế is simmered with beef bones and Asian spices such as ginger, but the similarities pretty much end there. The real difference is that the broth is finished with lemongrass and red chiles.

I made a very basic soup with thinly sliced beef shanks, but some people are more adventurous and add pig knuckles, congealed pig blood called huyết (which I do not like), and serve shrimp paste on the side as a condiment. I garnished the soup with the commonly used bean sprouts, lime wedges, cilantro and raw sliced white onions, thinly sliced purple cabbage and shredded iceberg lettuce. Purple cabbage makes sense because it most closely resembles the texture of banana flowers, which are traditionally included in bún bò Huế. The taste is obviously different though.

Once the dish is prepared, everyone should roll up their sleeves and commence slurping down the bowl of beef broth in front of them. This is not a subtle dish; your taste buds will be bombarded with sweet, savory and spicy flavors. My mouth waters just thinking about it!


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Cream of Tomato Soup Recipe (Soupe Tomate et Basilic) Recipe

Cream of tomato soup is a dish we make whenever I'm too lazy to go to the grocery store. It's flavorful, filling and easy to make. Best of all, the ingredients for the soup are usually available in our garden, pantry and refrigerator.

Because tomatoes are not fully grown in our garden yet, I used canned plum tomatoes and added heavy cream to give the soup a velvety texture. I also used a mirepoix of vegetables, which is a combination of coarsely chopped carrots, onions, leeks and celery. We usually eat tomato soup with a baguette, toast or a grilled cheese sandwich. Simple is beautiful!


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Vietnamese Asparagus Crab Soup (Sup Mang Cua Recipe) Recipe

Súp măng tây nấu cua (white asparagus crab soup) was always a festive dish when I was a child. We would have it whenever my parents had non-Vietnamese friends to our house for dinner. I would help with cracking the crab and gathering the crab meat. Corn starch, used as a thickening agent, gives the velvety, thick broth gives the dish a unique texture. While white asparagus doesn't provide a lot of color contrast to the crab, it does complement the flavor quite well.

The authentic version of this soup requires shark fin, but given how expensive it is, crab alone is used instead. The dish still has a luxurious quality, and as such, white asparagus crab soup often appears on the menu at Vietnamese weddings. Now you don't have to crash a Vietnamese wedding to try this dish; make it the next time you throw a dinner party, and I guarantee it will be the highlight of the meal.


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Tofu Miso Soup Recipe

Tofu Miso Soup

03.17.10 by Jackie

Tofu miso soup is very soothing. My little munchkin caught a bad cold and I thought the simple, clear broth would help with her congestion. To make the soup, I started by preparing a kombu dashi (Japanese stock) with fresh ginger. To make the traditional non-vegetarian version, just add shavings of bonito flakes, or dried and fermented tuna.

Once the stock was ready, I seasoned it with white miso paste. No salt is necessary as the miso paste is already well seasoned. Miso soup can be served with cubed tofu and accompanied with other vegetables such as soybean sprouts, enoki and shiitake mushrooms or baby spinach.

Miso paste is a fermented rice and soybean combination. I chose white miso paste which is fermented for a few weeks as opposed to regular miso (several months). I find the flavor to be less salty with a subtle sweetness. Don't be frightened by the size of miso containers sold in markets. Miso paste stores well in the refrigerator and you can make other dishes with it such as Asian salad dressing, other soup broths and vegetarian gravy.


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