ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

The first thing you’ll want to do is get that butternut squash ready for roasting. Just cut it in half, drizzle it with oil, and season with salt and pepper and bake it in the oven.

Always mise en place. Basically, get all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking.

Always use homemade chicken broth. Your soup will taste so much better!

Cook the bacon and after it gets nice and crispy, set it aside to garnish your soup with it, if you’d like or do what I did. I ate it.

Saute your mirepoix {onions, celery, carrots, and roasted garlic} in the bacon fat.

Throw in the rest of your ingredients and let it simmer away!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Chicken Soup

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
¼ pound butternut squash, roasted and cut into 1″ cubes
4 cloves garlic, roasted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 strips bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
¼ each yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 each carrot, peeled and diced
1 each tomato, diced
½ bunch kale, ribs removed and thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh thyme, remove leaves from stem
1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup cooked chicken, diced
½ cup ditalini, cooked al dente
1 tablespoon fresh basil
tt sea salt
tt freshly ground black pepper
tt parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:
1. Roast the butternut squash and garlic cloves by drizzling with the extra virgin olive oil and seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground pepper at 425 degrees fahrenheit. Roast the butternut squash for about 30 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender. Roast the garlic cloves for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it looks golden.
2. Cut the butternut squash into 1″ cubes and set aside.
3. In a dutch oven, fry the bacon until it is crispy. Remove the bacon from the dutch oven and set aside. The bacon can be used to garnish the soup.
4. In the dutch oven, saute the onions, celery, carrots, and roasted garlic in the bacon fat for a couple minutes, or until the onions get soft.
5. Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves and cook this for about a minute.
6. Add the chicken stock to this along with the diced chicken, roasted butternut squash, and kale.
7. Let this simmer over low heat for about fifteen minutes.
8. Add the cooked ditalini and fresh basil to the soup and cook for another five minutes.
9. Adjust the seasonings with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
10. Serve the soup with the bacon if you’d like and garnish with shaved parmesan cheese and more freshly cracked black pepper.

HU TIEU NAM VANG {PHNOM PENH NOODLE SOUP}

Whenever I hit a pho restaurant, if there’s hu tieu on the menu, that’s usually what I’ll order. Luckily, I prefer my home version cause I don’t cook it with msg which is prevalent in these restaurants and I’m not left feeling crappy. Also, hu tieu is usually served with pork liver but I left it out cause I don’t think my husband is a big fan of liver. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my version! xoxo.

You seriously just throw the bones and carcasses in a pot. How easy is that?

Then you skim off this scum.

So while your broth is simmering away, you can start prepping the toppings that go into the soup.

Slice your shallots.

Then fry the shallots.

Cook the ground pork in some of that nice shallot oil.

Slice the char siu.

These were the rice noodles I used.

Now you can put your bowl together.

And then ladle this beautiful broth over your noodles and toppings!

Hu Tieu Nam Vang {Phnom Penh Noodle Soup}

Source: Lo Huynh (6 servings)

Broth:
1 each chicken carcass
1 pound pork spareribs or bones
18 cups water
1 large yellow onion, cut in half
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ounce dried shrimp, rinsed
1 each dried squid, rinsed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 inch, ounce rock sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

* NOTE: Feel free to use 3 pounds of JUST pork bones or feel free to combine chicken bones and pork bones.

Ingredients:
2 large shallots, cooked in 3 tablespoons canola oil until it is lightly brown and golden
½ pound ground pork, sauteed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until fully cooked
½ pound char siu, thinly sliced (see recipe below)
18 each large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled, deveined, and poached for about 3 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked
2 pounds fresh rice noodles or tapioca stick noodles, blanched

Garnishes:
1 bunch Chinese chives, cut into 2 inch long pieces
1 stalk Chinese celery, thinly sliced
12 ounces bean sprouts, washed and drained
½ bunch cilantro , chopped
3 stalks scallions, chopped
1 each lime, cut into 6 wedges
2 each serrano chili, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. In a large stockpot, add the bones and water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum that arises to the top and add the rest of your broth ingredients. Bring the heat to a simmer and let this cook for 2 to 3 hours.
2. While your broth is simmering away, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
3. Make the crispy shallots by heating a sauce pan with the 3 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the thinly sliced shallots and cook over medium heat until the shallots turn a nice golden color. Remove the shallots into a bowl and set aside. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the shallot oil in the pan.
4. In the pan that you’ve cooked the shallots in, cook your ground pork with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Break up the ground pork and saute until your ground pork is fully cooked. Set aside.
5. Poach the shrimp by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes or until the shrimp turns a nice orange color. Set aside.
6. Slice the char siu.
7. Strain your broth after it’s been cooking for 2 to 3 hours. Adjust the broth to your liking by either adding more salt or sugar.
8. To serve your soup, blanch the fresh rice noodles for 15 seconds or if you’re using dry tapioca stick noodles {hu tieu noodles dai}, cook the noodles per the directions on the package.
9. Put the noodles in a bowl, add the bean sprouts, sliced char siu, 3 pieces of shrimp, chives, celery, and ground pork.
10. Pour the broth over the noodles.
11. Garnish with the scallions, cilantro, and fried shallots.
12. Serve with the limes and sliced serrano chilies.

*********

Char Siu

Source: Lo Huynh (1 lb.)

Ingredients:
1 lb. pork tenderloin or pork shoulder

Marinade:
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tablespoons Chinese rice cooking wine
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:
1. Mix your marinade ingredients and set aside 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
2. Marinate the pork tenderloin/pork shoulder in the marinade overnight or for at least one hour.
3. Line a baking pan with foil, place your marinated pork on top of the pan, and in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Farenheit, roast your pork for about 30 minutes. Flip the pork over half way through cooking time.
4. After about 30 minutes, when your pork looks pretty well cooked, pour or brush the rest of the 2 tablespoons marinade that you’ve set aside and roast at 375 degrees Farenheit for an additional 15 minutes until you have a nice dark brown roasted color on your pork.
5. Let your char siu rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing it.

CHINESE HOT AND SOUR SOUP

Every time I eat out at a Chinese restaurant, I always have to get this soup. Why? Cause I love it soooo much. And I love it so much, I’ll even order the mediocre version at Panda Express. I know, my body hates me…or hates the fact that I’ll sometimes eat at Panda Express. Luckily, this version doesn’t taste like the Panda Express version.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Source: Lo Huynh (8 servings)

Ingredients:
3 ounces fresh pork tenderloin or pork shoulder, cut into strips
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 lb. soft silken tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
½ cup wood ear fungus, soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes and then cut into strips
2 each fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup thin sliced bamboo shoots
8 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
pinch ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce {Rooster/sriracha brand}
3 tablespoons corn starch, mixed with 1/4 cup of water
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 stalk scallions, finely chopped

Directions:
1. In a bowl, marinate the pork with the 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil for 15 minutes.
2. In a soup pot, add the chicken broth, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, and 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce. Bring this soup to a boil.
3. Add the pork, the wood ear fungus, shitake mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots and bring to boil. Once it boils, let the soup simmer for about five minutes, or until the pork is fully cooked through.
4. Gently stir in the cornstarch mixture and bring the soup back to a boil.
5. Lower the heat and gently stir the two eggs into the soup with a fork. Cook for another two minutes or until your eggs have gently coagulated.
6. Serve the soup with the chopped green onions.

CANH KHO QUA NHOI THIT {VIETNAMESE BITTER MELON SOUP}

I remember as a child, I hated this dish. Actually, I abhorred this dish with a passion. When my mother would make it, I would not touch it. Now as an adult, I find myself craving it. I think that’s when you know you’re officially old, when you start liking things that you hated as a child, and as an adult, you hate the things you loved as a kid, like candy and sour balls.

Canh Kho Qua Nhoi Thit {Bitter Melon Soup}

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
¼ pound ground pork
1 ounce bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and then cut into 1″ pieces
1 ounce dried black fungus, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and then cut into thin strips
¼ each yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 each bitter melon, blanched in boiling water for one minute and then run under cold water.

Soup:
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled

Garnish:
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro , chopped

Directions:
1. Mix the ground pork, bean thread noodles, dried black fungus, fish sauce, kosher salt, black pepper, and minced yellow onion in a bowl.
2. For the bitter melon, after it’s been blanched and shocked in cold water, cut the bitter melon into 1 1/2″ discs and remove the soft white flesh. Wash the bitter melon and pat dry. Stuff the bitter melon with the pork mixture and set aside.
3. In a pot, add the chicken stock with the fish sauce and granulated sugar and bring to a boil.
4. Add the stuffed bitter melon and cook for fifteen minutes, or until your ground pork is fully cooked.
5. Garnish with the cilantro and scallions.

CHINESE HOT POT

Here is a great recipe for an awesome Chinese hot pot stock. xoxo.


* serves 6

6 tablespoons oil {use vegetable or canola or peanut oil}
6 dried red chili
1 tablespoon sichuan peppercorn
2 tablespoons chili bean sauce
5 star anises
1 2-inch knob fresh ginger, sliced 1/4″ thick
6 stalks scallions {use ONLY the white parts and cut 2-inches long}

96 ounces chicken stock
5 dried shitake mushrooms
1-inch rock sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons chili oil

Directions:
1. In a stock pot, heat up oil. Add dried red chili, sichuan peppercorns, chili bean sauce, star anises, fresh ginger, and white parts of scallion. Saute until fragrant for about a minute or two. Do NOT let the dried red chili burn!
2. Add the chicken stock, shitake mushrooms, rock sugar, chili oil, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Use this broth to cook your favorite meats and vegetables with and serve with your favorite condiments.

* If you like your Chinese Hot Pot to be spicier because my version is pretty mild, just add more chili oil to your broth.

For my Chinese hot pot, i like to use thinly sliced angus beef or rib eye, assorted fish cakes, bok choy, napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms, udon noodles, rice cakes, fried bean curd, dumplings, spinach, and oyster mushrooms.

For the condiments, i’m a big fan of the Chinese barbecue sauce, Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce, satay sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, hoisin sauce, and chopped green onions. I personally like to make my dipping sauce by mixing the Chinese barbecue sauce with soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. You can also buy pre-made sesame sauces or ponzu sauces too.

SILKEN TOFU EGG DROP SOUP

I’ve been wanting some egg drop soup as of late…and craving tofu too so I was like…Why don’t I just marry the two and voila…I made some yummilicious silken tofu egg drop soup. My husband loved it so much, he had two bowls…or maybe it was cause he was like hungry…anyway, it was eaten…

The good news about this soup is not only was it a piece of cake to make, it didn’t taste craptastic like that prenatal vitamin I took last night. That was pretty NOT cool.

* serves 4

32 ounces chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound silken tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 egg, slightly beaten
tt black pepper
1 stalk scallions, chopped

Directions:
1. In a stockpot, add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt.
2. Bring to a boil and gently add the silken tofu.
3. Once the broth boils again, lightly whisk in the egg without breaking up the silken tofu.
4. Garnish with the scallions.

HOMESTYLE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

There is seriously nothing more comforting than a nice bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. And you can kick it up a billion notches by making your own noodles. I swear, it makes this soup taste like a million bucks! xoxo.

* serves 2

broth:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 carrot, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
32 ounces of chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
tt sea salt and black pepper

homemade noodles:
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

Directions:
1. Make the homemade noodles by first mixing the flour with salt. Add your egg and mix in with the flour. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. If it’s too dry, just add a little water to it. Roll out the dough and using a pizza cutter, cut into whatever desired size you want. I cut mine 1/2 inch by 1 inch rectangles.
2. In a stockpot, saute the carrots, celery, and onions with the butter for about a minute.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix well. Cook for about a minute over medium heat.
4. Over medium high heat, add your homemade chicken stock.
5. Bring to a boil and add your freshly made noodles.
6. Add 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh minced parsley. Set your heat to medium low.
7. Cook for about thirty minutes or until your noodles are fully cooked and tender.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Serve with some saltine crackers.

CURRY BEEF UDON

I make this dish when I’m too lazy to cook a real meal. I didn’t even make my own dashi. I know. I’m terrible. Ugggghh….

* Serves 2
1/2 lb. beef, any kind you want, cut into 1/2 inch cubes {i used some beef chuck}
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup of onion, any kind will work {i used some red onions today cause that was what was in the fridge}
4 cups water
1 teaspoon hondashi powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 cubes of japanese curry roux
2 packages of frozen udon noodles
tt salt and pepper
1 sprig scallions, thinly sliced for garnish

Directions:
1. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a pot with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the beef, carrots, and onions. Saute until your beef is cooked.
3. Add water, hondashi powder, soy sauce, mirin, and the cubes of curry roux.
4. Bring to boil and then simmer. Cook until your carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
5. Once broth is ready, cook your udon noodles according to the package directions and pour curry udon broth over your noodles. Garnish with some fresh sliced scallions.

LA COCIDA {MEXICAN BEEF VEGETABLE SOUP}

When I’m craving a hearty beefy soup, I like to make a pot of la cocida. My co-worker actually told me how to make it, but of course, i tweaked the recipe…just a tad. This is a good recipe for when I want to bombard my husband with a lot of vegetables in his food. Luckily, i have a husband who likes his veggies.

* 4 servings

1 lb beef chuck, diced, 1 inch
8 cups water/broth
½ each cabbage, diced, 1 1/2 inch
1 each carrot, diced, 1 1/2 inch
1 each potato, diced, 1 1/2 inch
½ each onion, diced, 1 1/2 inch
1 lb. butternut squash, roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper, and diced 1 1/2 inch
1 each sweet white corn, remove ears from corn and cut corn in half
2 each tomatoes, quartered
1 each zucchini, diced, 1 1/2 inch
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp oregano
to taste salt
to taste pepper

Directions:
1. Saute beef chuck and season with salt and pepper until cooked through.
2. Add water or broth. Bring to a boil.
3. Add diced vegetables.
4. Add cumin powder, oregano, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Cook for one hour.

SICHUAN BEEF NOODLE SOUP

My husband grew up eating this Sichuan beef noodle soup so I try to make it for him whenever I can.

* 12 servings

5 lbs beef shank
1 lbs beef neck bones
2 lbs beef tendon
3 inch fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
5 each garlic cloves , peeled
1 each yellow onion, peeled
3 tablespoons Sichuan hot bean paste; dou ban jiang; chili bean paste
8 each whole star anise
3 1 1/2 inch cubes Chinese yellow rock sugar, about 3 ounces; or 3 tablespoons sugar (white or Chinese packed light brown sugar)
1 bunch green onions (onion tops), trimmed and use the white parts, smash
1 bunch cilantro stems
8 inches daikon, peel and cut into 1/3
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup Chinese white wine
½ tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
tt freshly ground white pepper
2 lb eggless Chinese wheat noodles; Shandong la mien, Cook noodles according to package directions
3 each baby bok choy, each halved lengthwise and rinse

Directions:
1. Bring large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add beef shank, neck bones, and beef tendons. Reduce heat. Simmer until beef is brown on outside. Drain and rinse beef under cold water. Wash pot.
2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, onion, star anise, whole green onions, and chili bean paste. Saute for 1 minute.
3. Add 20 cups of water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, dried tangerine peels, 1 tablespoon salt, rock sugar, daikon, cilantro stems, Chinese white wine, Sichuan peppercorns, and beef.
4. Bring soup to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 2.5 hours.
5. Remove meat and tendons and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
6. Strain broth and add beef and tendons back to the strained broth. Discard the beef bones, daikon, etc.
7. Cook noodles according to package and drain well.
8. Divide noodles among large soup bowls. Add blanched bok choy. Ladle soup and meat over. Garnish with a drop of sesame oil, bean sprouts, chopped green onions and cilantro. Sprinkle with white pepper if desired.