It's been chilly the past 3 weeks which means time to enjoy plenty of delicious soup for dinner. I have made Matzoh Ball, Kabocha Squash, Chicken Tinola, and Hot & Sour, the recipes I am sharing except for the Matzoh Balls because I prepared it straight out of a box. The soup is really good, we all loved it. I bought some matzoh crackers and will make the balls and soup from scratch and will write about it soon.
Kabocha Squash Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 cups peeled and cubed kabocha
2 to 3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
grated orange zest, optional
crème fraîche* or sour cream
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot, and ginger. Stir fry until shallot has softened, making sure the mixture does not get brown. Add the kabocha, water, salt, and orange zest, if using. Increase the heat to medium high and let come to a boil. Cover the pan, decrease heat to medium and simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Puree the soup in the pan using a stick blender. Or transfer into a blender and puree.
- Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.
*To make crème fraîche at home: in a clean jar, combine 2 T buttermilk and 1 cup heavy cream, both at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and leave on the kitchen counter for 24 hours or until thick. Refrigerate immediately. Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Hot And Sour Soup
This Chinese soup is one of our all-time favorites. It takes very little time to prepare and enjoy. The soup usually has a cup of julienned lean pork which I omitted.
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup sliced shiitake or baby portabella
½ cup julienned bamboo shoots
¼ teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with ¼ C water
1 cup diced firm silken tofu
1 large egg, beaten
sesame seed oil
- In a medium saucepan, heat the stock, soy sauce, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, cornstarch mixture, tofu, and pepper flakes. Boil gently while stirring until the soup becomes clear (cornstarch is completely cooked). Turn the heat off and stir in the beaten egg and a few drops of sesame seed oil. Transfer into a soup tureen.
- To serve: Sprinkle individual bowls with scallion and sesame oil.
I don't have the exact measurements for this Filipino chicken soup and did not follow any recipes. I made it from what I remember it should have and taste like. My mother's tinola had young capsicum leaves added for color and extra nutrition. I used green beans because that's what I had available when I prepared the soup.
1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
4 cups water
2 tablespoons peeled and sliced fresh ginger
6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoon fish extract
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorn
1 small green papaya, peeled and cubed
green leafy vegetable such as baby bokchoy or horseradish tree leaves
- In a large pot, heat water and chicken and let come to a boil. Skim off the foam and discard, then add ginger, scallions, fish extract, salt, and whole peppercorns. Cover pot and let boil over medium heat for 40 minutes. Add the green papaya, boil for another 5 minutes. Add the green leaf vegetable and cook for another 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.