Soups Recipes

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Cold Cucumber and Arugula Soup Recipe Recipe

This weekend we had gorgeous weather. It was our first chance to enjoy the sun and eat outside, so I prepared a wonderful Sunday brunch for the family. The centerpiece of the meal was a chilled soup flavored with arugula and cucumber.

Arugula gives both an attractive color and a wonderful taste to the soup. If you’ve never had it, it tastes like a cross between mustard and hazelnut. I served the refreshing soup with little puff pastry appetizers. Easy, healthy and delicious.


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Chao Vit Recipe (Vietnamese Duck Rice Soup) Recipe

The weather in the Bay Area wasn't all that great over the weekend. It's been rainy and very windy. Making rice soup seemed the appropriate recipe for this type of climate. If you’ve never had it, rice soup is a one-dish meal that is both filling and satisfying. You can add many different ingredients to your basic rice soup, but I made this particular version with my favorite meat: duck. It's called cháo vịt in Vietnamese. I find duck meat to be a lot more flavorful than regular chicken.

Traditionally, it would be served with gơi vịt (Vietnamese duck salad using the remaining meat from the duck stock) and chopped bánh giò cháo quảy, which are Vietnamese savory beignets. I skipped the fried food to keep the meal healthy; I even took the time to strain and remove the extra fat floating at the top of the duck stock!


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Banh Canh Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Broth with Udon Noodles) Recipe

Bánh canh tôm is what I consider comfort food. The warm broth with thick, chewy Vietnamese tapioca noodles is very satisfying. Unlike the usual comfort food you might expect, this Vietnamese soup is pretty healthy. I made this banh canh variation with "tôm" (shrimp), homemade fish balls made by our family friend, Co Nho, and pieces of yellowtail snapper. This specific fish works well because of its mild aroma and firm texture when boiled.

In my opinion, the most important part of soup dishes such as pho or bun mang ga is how flavorful the broth is. I made a shrimp stock using shrimp shells. You could also add coconut milk but I didn't as I'm trying to watch my weight!


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Canh Ngot Recipe (Vietnamese Fish Soup) Recipe

My friend Hoa is an expert when it comes to buying the freshest, most delicious ingredients. I've probably said it in the past but I only cook seafood according to what's available at the market. She told me about this wonderful seafood market on Tully road in San Jose, and boy, was she right! Today I found freshly caught cá hồng, which translates to "red snapper". I made cá nấu canh ngót, a Vietnamese popular fish soup made with Chinese celery.

The texture of the soup is similar to canh chua the difference being that lemon juice is squeezed right in before eating the soup and no lemon or sour ingredients are added to the broth while cooking. You'll be amazed at how simple and easy this seafood soup is to make. The key to success is really just fresh ingredients. That's it!


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Bun Rieu Cua Recipe (Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup) Recipe

This soup, called bún riêu, is typical Vietnamese comfort food. It's paired with the usual Vietnamese aromatic herbs and topped with other vegetables and fried tofu for a complete meal.

Just thinking about this seafood dish makes my mouth water! Tomorrow, my cousin Tri and his wife Tran are coming over to greet us for the Lunar New Year. So I spent today making a delicious, though a tad time-consuming (but oh-so worth it) soup dish for them. Bún riêu cua is a briny crab rice noodle soup garnished with feathery-like crab cakes in tomato and fermented shrimp (called mắm tôm) broth. Once you're ready to serve, shredded lettuce and mint finish the dish for added crunch along with lime and a drizzle of nuoc mam. 



If you love crab, this dish is ideal for you. If not, you could always try the veggie version (bún riêu chay) I make for the rest of my family members who are vegetarian. Either way, what a great way to start the year!


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