Really Simple Tomato Soup (or Sauce!)

Really Simple Tomato Soup (or Sauce!)

Finally the greenhouses are starting again, to produce delicious fresh vegetables. Once…

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Finally the greenhouses are starting again, to produce delicious fresh vegetables. Once spring kicks into action it always surprises me how quickly things come on. Although two weeks ago we were still withstanding blizzards; tomatoes, spinach, peppers and mesclun mix is already coming out of the greenhouses! Personally, I am so so SO happy to have tomatoes back in my life. Tomato sauce, tomato soup, tomato sandwiches are some of my favourite things. I figured out this method for making tomato soup – well, a thick tomato soup or a thin tomato sauce with old(er) tomatoes and basic things you have in your fridge, it’s super easy and has a really cool science aspect to it as well!

Pho

Pho

PrintPho IngredientsTo Make the Broth 2 large onions – split in half…

Pho

Ingredients

    To Make the Broth
  • 2 large onions – split in half
  • 1 – 6″ piece of ginger – split in half lengthwise
  • 3 lbs beef shin bones
  • 1.5 lbs boneless beef chuck
  • 1 lbs brisket
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup + seasoning of fish sauce
  • To Serve
  • 6-8 servings of pho noodles
  • 1 lbs beef flank steak – thinly sliced against the grain
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 3-4 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • thinly sliced thai chilies
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced

Instructions

    Preparing the Broth
  1. Adjust the oven rack to 3-4″ from the broiler and set to high. Place your split onion and ginger on a rimmed baking sheet and put on the rack to char the garlic and onion.
  2. Broil ginger and onion turning occassionally until evenly charred on all surfaces. Approx 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine all meat for broth (shins, chuck and brisket) in a large pot. Cover with cool water and bring to a boil over high heat, boiling for 15 minutes.
  4. Dump the meat and water into the sink. When cool enough to handle, rinse the parts under cool water carefully scrubbing the debris off from any bones and cracks in the meat, then return them to the pot and recover with cool water.
  5. Add the charred onions, ginger, anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, coriander and fish sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a bar simmer. Cook, stirring occassionally, until brisket falls apart, about 1.5 hours. Remove brisket and chuck from the pot.
  6. Continue simmering the broth for 4 hours, topping up with water as necessary. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Disguard bones, tissues and aromatics. Return the broth to the pot.
  8. Carefully skim off the fat from the surface and discard. Season to taste with fish sauce. Return the broth to a boil over medium heat.
  9. To Serve
  10. Place noodle portion in each bowl. Add flank steak at this time or after broth is added.
  11. Spoon hot broth over the noodles in the bowl.
  12. Add additional toppings as desired.
  13. Season with additional fish sauce, hoisin or sriracha as desired.
http://www.constantvessel.com/pho/

The most difficult part of making Pho is pronouncing it. The proper pronunciation is in fact “fuh” but I was introduced to this Vietnamese noodle dish with the pronunciation “foh” – just how it looks. Anyone who’s ever had pho knows that it’s all in the broth. Seriouseats.com did a “food lab” and produced a recipe to make your own pho as well as the science behind it. The food lab can be found here and the original recipe can be found here.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

I love potato leek soup. LOVE LOVE LOVE! It is so diverse…

I love potato leek soup. LOVE LOVE LOVE! It is so diverse and so basic creamy and delicious. You can add and change a million things to this soup, but the only real things you need are potatoes, leeks, fat and stock. The rest is up to you! This is my favourite basic one.

Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks cleaned and cut into small dice
  • 4 large potatoes washed and cut into small dice
  • 1 large clove of garlic finely diced
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups of chicken stock or broth, low or no sodium
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • Fresh Parmesan for grating or rind if you have it on hand.
  • Optional, 0.75 cup of diced carrot or celery. I used celery I had on hand.

Instructions

  1. In large stock pot, heat oil, and add celery and leeks and saute until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add fennel and cumin seeds and cook until starting to brown, 1-3 minutes.
  3. Add potato and garlic, and cook until potato starts to soften and brown, approx 10 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add 3-4 cups of stock, cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes until potatoes have softened and begin to break down. If are are using Parmesan rind, add it at this time. Remove it before pureeing.
  5. Remove from heat, and add more stock if it is too thick.
  6. *Optional: Add to blender in batches, pureeing until smooth. If a chunkier soup is desired, puree the last batch less, so that there are still chunks in the soup. If you have a problem pureeing add a bit more stock 0.25 cup at a time until it puree’s easily.
http://www.constantvessel.com/potato-leek-soup/

Dill Pickle Soup!

Dill Pickle Soup!

There is a polish family who own a lunch, take-out place near…

There is a polish family who own a lunch, take-out place near my work. They make an amazing dill pickle soup. Last night was the first night I tried to make one myself, and although it was not as good as hers it was a starting point. She makes all of her chicken broth and dill pickles from scratch, so already she one up’d my week night dinner, but you still have to try this for yourself!