Big Bowl Asian Chicken Soup

Chinese Meatball Soup, I must confess something, I have a crush on another asian noodle soup. His name is Big Bowl and he’s got bigger, sexier soba noodles, white meat chicken chunks, and exotic shiitake mushrooms. He’s also got napa cabbage, snow peas and a trust fund. I think we should still be friends and I intend to make you again, but right now I’m going to see where things go with Big Bowl.  Delicious and healthy, this big bowl soup is the perfect one pot weeknight meal, ready in under 30 minutes. It’s fast, easy, and so tasty. You could easily make this soup vegetarian by subbing tofu for the chicken or just sticking with straight veggies. With more snow forecasted for this week, I highly recommend giving this soup a try. Let us rejoice, this soup is the polar vortex antidote our nation’s been waiting for!

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Big Bowl Asian Chicken Soup

Based on this recipe from Epicurious, recommended by my wise brother, Andrew.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breastspicstitch-6

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chicken broth

1/4 tsp ground ginger

a few shakes of ground cardamom

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 cups of shredded napa cabbage

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1 cup snow peas

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

8 oz soba noodles, cooked according to package directions

sliced green onions for garnish

Slice the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. In a small bowl combine the chicken and soy sauce. Heat oil over medium high heat and add the chicken, minced garlic and red pepper flakes; cook for 2 minutes stirring often. Add the broth, ginger, cardamom, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let the soup simmer until chicken is cooked. Stir in cabbage, snow peas, carrots, sesame seeds and cilantro and cook for 2 more minutes. Place a good amount of soba noodles in your bowl and ladle on the deliciousness. Garnish with green onion.

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Slurp up the goodness, husband.

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Vegetable Soup

With the snow rapidly falling here in New York, I had soup on the brain in a big way. And maybe a tropical beach vacation too. When my brother, Andrew, told me he was making my mom’s famous vegetable soup on his snow day, I knew I had to follow suit. Trudging through the snow, I made my way to the market to purchase the essential veggies and 45 minutes later it was soup time. Carrots, zucchini, potatoes and cabbage all in a rich tomatoey-beef broth will have you coming back for seconds. And thirds. This soup is really quite special and should not be overlooked when plotting your next pot. Add your favorite veggies, omit the ones you don’t care for, and throw in the ones already in your fridge. SOUP there it is!

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Vegetable Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)picstitch (47)
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
6 cups beef broth
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, including the liquid
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped cabbage or spinach
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tpsp pepper
salt to taste
Briefly saute onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until they start to sweat a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the cabbage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 35 minutes. Add chopped cabbage and cook at least 15 minutes longer, or until cabbage is tender. It’s very important to taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I added more beef broth, salt and pepper and even a bit more of the canned tomatoes.
I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.

I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.

Chinese Meatball Soup

This is a classic soup my mom always made for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Sukkot is a fall holiday, where family meals are eaten in a well decorated hut (re: Christmas lights everywhere) with a roof made of  some sort of coniferous tree that also smells suspiciously like Christmas.  In Cleveland, eating outside in the fall months can be downright blustery, so a hot bowl of soup loaded with meatballs and thin vermicelli noodles floating in a delicious tomatoey-soy broth was the perfect antidote to freezing your butt off in the Christmas tree hut. Naturally, when the blizz hit this week, my first instinct was to make this festive and satisfying meatball soup. While there are some additional steps to this recipe, beyond just throwing everything in a pot, it’s easy enough to prepare and features simple ingredients that are probably in your pantry already.

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Chinese Meatball Soup

1/2  cup chopped yellow onions

1/2 cup chopped scallions

2 cloves of garlic mincedpicstitch (21)

2 tbsp oil

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame seeds

Pinch of cayenne

6 cups beef broth

1/4 lb thin noodles (vermicelli or angel hair)

Saute onions and garlic in oil until soft. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes over low heat. Add soy sauce, sesame seeds, cayenne and broth. Cover and simmer over low heat for an hour. Add meatballs (recipe below) to the broth and place cooked noodles in each bowl right before serving.

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1 lb ground beef

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp sesame seeds

1/4 tsp ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together and form petite meatballs. Put them on a broiler pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Add them right to the soup.

The key to non-soggy noodles is to put them in the bowl just before ladling on the broth.

The key to non-soggy noodles is to put them in the bowl just before ladling on the broth.

Corn Chowda

Corn chowder reminds me of trips to the Cape, sailing with my dad and gentiles. Things that every American needs more of. Instead of the traditional cream-based New England style chowder, my version is lighter yet still hearty and satisfying. Olive oil can easily be substituted for butter to make this soup dairy-free. Red skinned potatoes, corn, and red pepper add some sass. Pour yourself a glass of scotch, settle in tonight and enjoy a hearty bowl of chowda.

photo (10)Corn Chowda

Serves 4 hungry friends or one really hungry person…

1 1/2 cups of diced onions (I used a combo of red, green and yellow. Why the hell not?)

1 red pepper diced

2 tbsp butter (or olive oil)

2 tbsp flour

salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups of quartered red skin potatoes

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp garlic powder

6 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of frozen corn

Saute onions in butter until soft. Add red pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add flour and a good amount of salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes. Add stock, potatoes, turmeric, and garlic powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Add frozen corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning, I added more salt and pepper and a few more shakes of garlic powder.