April Showers Bring Soup!

Happy April! Did anyone have any good April Fool’s Day jokes played on them? Share!

I woke up and told MG I had a stomach ache and couldn’t go to a lunch date with him. He was worried until I shouted “April Fool’s!” Then he told me there are 31 days in March so unbeknownst to me, it wasn’t 4/1. There goes my joke. And yes, that’s as creative as I can get for these kinds of things!

On another note, what’s going on with these rainstorms in the Bay Area? I’m happy that it’s raining since we didn’t have a winter, but winter in April? That’s cray! It’s gotten chilly outside so soup is a must to warm bellies!

I’ve noticed that my cooking style is simple. I like to use things that you would purchase regularly and things that you would find in your fridge. Once in a while a recipe will call for a specific herb or ingredient where you need to go to the store, but I hate when I don’t even know what the ingredient looks like or tastes like! Here’s a recipe where you’ll recognize all the ingredients, yay!

Also, it’s worth mentioning that I used chicken for this recipe to make the soup heartier. This can be a vegetarian dish by simply eliminating the chicken!

Yum

Red Curry Noodle Soup
4 servings, cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (if vegetarian, use vegetable broth)
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 8 ounces of your favorite noodles (rice or wonton noodles are a great choice)
  • Handful of bok choy and napa cabbage (honestly, any of your favorite veggies will work here)
  • Fresh cilantro, green scallions, red pepper flakes to garnish (all optional)
  • Salt for tasting

Directions:

1. If you’re using wonton noodles (which I did), boil water and cook the noodles in the separate pot. Then drain and set aside. I cook this in a separate pot because the flour thickens the liquid.
2. Combine garlic cloves, ginger, curry paste, and coconut oil in a blender and make a paste (I have a Magic Bullet).
3. In a large pot, heat the paste on medium-high heat, frying the paste for 2 minutes. Add the vegetables, chopped onion, and a pinch of salt, and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth to the pot, and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
4. Once the soup has come to a boil, add in the cooked/shredded chicken and the noodles. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Serve and garnish with cilantro and sliced green scallions. If you want heat, sprinkle red pepper flakes.

Paste
Making the curry paste

Vegetables
My veggies – onion, bok choy, napa cabbage

Red Curry Paste

Bowl

Done

Want some spice?

Hot

Yum, yum, yum! Nothing beats a hearty, hot bowl of noodle soup on chilly day. I kept the noodles and vegetables in line with the Asian theme, but feel free to use your favorite vegetables.

If you have leftovers, even better! The soup is extremely flavorful the next day. Store the noodles in a separate container so that it doesn’t absorb all the liquids.

Is this something you can make? What are some other red curry recipes you love?

Happy feasting!
Jay
—–
Adapted from this original recipe

  

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Next week is Thanksgiving! What will be on your dinner menu?

I’ve been going to Costco very frequently since I started juicing. MG and I buy all our organic veggies in bulk. Now that it’s the Fall season, I came across a big box of organic butternut squash, already cut up into bite sized chunks! Yes, an exclamation mark because there’s that much excitement!

I then ventured to make butternut squash soup, and I’m so glad I did! I revised a Whole Foods recipe, and now I’m definitely making roasted butternut squash soup as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s an easy soup to make, and you can make a big pot of it so it’s perfect for guests.

Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. First things first. Preheat your oven to 350°F. As the oven is heating up, lay out the butternut squash chunks onto a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper generously. Once the oven is heated, roast the squash for 40 minutes or until chunks are soft. When time is up, let the squash cool. Practice self-control and don’t snack on all the squash!
2. In a large pot, heat up the oil. Throw in the carrots, celery, onion, and ginger and cook until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Then add the roasted butternut squash and thyme and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in chicken broth, coconut milk, and red curry paste. Bring to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
4. This is the tricky part. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. I don’t have an immersion blender, so I scooped out all the veggies, and puréed the ingredients in a blender then added everything back to the soup base.
5. Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy!

Roast
Roasted butternut squash is such a yummy snack! Simply drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt & pepper, and roast in the oven for 40 minutes at 350°F.

Yum
So creamy and delicious!

DrinkDon’t burn your tongue!

DoneAll clean! 

I love the spicy kick from the curry. I love the thickness of the soup. I love the warmth in my belly after I drink a bowl. So tasty!

What are you making for a Thanksgiving appetizer? Do you have your own butternut squash recipe you can share with us? Is this something you can try?

Are you hungry now?
Jay
—–
Original Whole Foods Recipe

  

Chorizo Cioppino Recipe

Cold weather means snuggling with your special someone, in my case my cat. Cold weather also means lazy weekends and a cup of hot chocolate while wrapped in a blanket. It also means hot soup to warm your body!

Yum

What’s one of the best soups around? Cioppino. SF is famous for this because of the abundance of fresh seafood. But going to a restaurant for a bowl of cioppino can sometimes mean a lunch or dinner of $25+. Ouch.

Instead, here’s a recipe so that you can make a HUGE pot of cioppino and eat it for a week for around $40. It’s a great meal by itself, and since you’re making such a large pot of soup, it’s great for dinner parties too (if you’re selfless and want to give up some of your soup!).

If you love seafood, this recipe will make you drool!  It seems like a long list of ingredients, but I promise this recipe is so easy to do and so worth your time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley (minced)
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounce) plum tomatoes (chopped and undrained)
  • 2 bottles (8 ounce) of clam juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cup white or red wine
  • 12 clams (when picking fresh clams, make sure they are closed)
  • 12 mussels when (picking fresh mussels, make sure they are closed)
  • 1 pound of shrimp, head on and unpeeled
  • 1 pound of bay scallops
  • 1 pound of salmon – can substitute halibut or cod
  • 3 packs of chorizo (10 ounce packages)
  • Salt and pepper for tasting

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a stock pot. Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, and minced parsley. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).
2. Add both cans of chopped plum tomatoes, clam juice, basil, thyme, oregano, and wine.
3. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
4. While the stock is simmering, wash the seafood. If there are any mussels or clams that are not tightly close, dispose of them. Also, discard clams and mussels with cracked shells.
5. To clean seafood, soak clams with pepper to get out sand and grit, then let them soak in salt water for 10 minutes. Clean mussels by running through cold water and debeard (pull out the little fuzzies/stringy bits that are stuck on the shell). Rinse the scallops and shrimp in cold running water. I also like to cut off spikes and whiskers from the shrimp. For the salmon, debone and cut into bite sized chunks (easy to understand image below).
6. When your 45 minutes are up. Add chorizo and boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. I find that the chorizo adds a nice spicy and salty kick to the soup, so salt and pepper is not necessary.
7. After 60 minutes have rolled on by, add the seafood into the broth. Boil and reduce heat to low to a simmer for 8 minutes or until clams and mussels are open and shrimp curls up. DO NOT OVERCOOK your seafood or it has a rubbery texture. Remember that seafood continues to cook in the broth after stove is turned off.
8. Ladle the cioppino into soup bowls, grab a big spoon, and feast! Don’t forget the toasted bread!

BrothThe color of the broth is so pretty when cooking

SalmonThe bones are located in a horizontal line where my finger is placed. If you lightly push against the meat, you will feel all the bones lined up

Deboned salmonSimply take some tweezers and pull the bones out one by one along the horizontal line

SeafoodAll my seafood rinsed, cleaned, and prepped

Chorizo Cioppino
A mouth-watering meal for the cold days!

To-go
If you’re nice enough, you’ll let some friends have a taste of your concoction!

Have you ever had cioppino? What soups are among your favorites?

Enjoy and keep warm,
Jay