Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup with Soba and Swordfish

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup with Soba and Swordfish

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup
Beef Broth, Buckwheat Noodles, Swordfish, Seaweed

It’s not the elegant soup I would serve at a dinner party, but rather a rustic soup I absolutely crave on a winter night. This soup is kimchi guk on steroids.

Kimchi guk is a simple Korean soup where chopped napa cabbage kimchi is simmered in beef broth. Sometimes daikon, meat, or tofu are added. It is usually garnished with scallions.

This version with ground beef, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, and swordfish is much more hearty, and served as a meal. The broth is sour, spicy, savory, salty with a hint of sweetness, and really explodes with flavor.

There are a few non-traditional foods that I like to pair with napa cabbage kimchi such as cheddar cheese, mashed potatoes, and BBQ oysters. Swordfish is another, with its mildly sweet flavor and a juicy meaty texture with a good balance of fat, it just goes well with sour and spicy kimchi.

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup Recipe

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Super Tasty Green Soup with Spinach, Zucchini, Potato

Green Soup - Spinach, Zucchini, Potato with Pine Nuts, Crema, Chili Oil

Green Velvet Soup
Spinach, Zucchini, Potato with Herbs & Spices
Toasted Pine Nuts, Crema, Chili Oil Garnish

It’s a soup with a luxurious deep green color and velvety texture. Spinach, zucchini, and potatoes are the base for this satisfying and healthful potage. A zippy garnish makes it anything but boring.

Fresh cilantro and toasted dried spices give this green soup a wonderful depth of flavor. Dried cumin seed, coriander seed, and fennel seed are added at the beginning of the cooking process to unlock their intense flavors. Fresh cilantro is added at the end of the process to preserve its essence and verdant aromas.

Where the chili oil adds a fiery touch, the Mexican crema add a cool richness. Unlike a “cream” soup, there is less than a tablespoon of cream per serving. Pine nuts add texture and that toasty note, which is mirrored in the toasted spices.

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Fun Little Baked Potato Shooters

Baked Potato Shooters with Bacon, Crema, Cheese, and Chives

Baked Potato Shooters
Bacon, Mexican Crema, Cheese, and Chives
Chive Blossoms Too

I credit Graham Elliot with this idea. A couple weeks ago, we had a wonderful meal at his eponymous bistro in Chicago. On the menu – baked potato soup / traditional accompaniments, untraditional ways.

At a recent party, I served liquid baked potato untraditionally in 2 oz. shot glasses with traditional accompaniments of bacon, sour cream, cheese, and chives. They were a big hit. Thanks, Graham.

And with their savory garlic-oniony flavor and pretty lavender color, chive blossoms from my garden added a charming untraditional finishing touch.

Baked Potato Shooters! Bacon, Mexican Crema, Cheese, and Chives, Chive Blossoms Too

Baked Potato Shooters Recipe

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Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar

Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar, Parmesan, Cilantro

Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef and Carrots
Sherry Vinegar, Parmesan, Cilantro

Chase away those winter blues with a hearty healthy cold-weather soup. Quick and easy preparation plus wholesome ingredients make this soup a shining star. And as a bonus, eating lentils in the new year is said to bring luck and prosperity.

This lentil soup is a bit different from the traditional, as ground beef, French lentils, and carrots share the stage equally. A drizzle of sherry vinegar adds that bright sharp counter-balance to the rich soup and earthy lentils. Cilantro brings fresh herbal notes while cumin and chile powder add warm spice overtones. A generous dusting of grated Parmesan adds the nutty components. This simple, humble soup actually has a complex flavor profile.

Wintery French Lentil Soup Recipe

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Roasted Broccolini Soup, Creme Fraiche, Meyer Lemon

Roasted Broccolini Soup, Creme Fraiche, Meyer Lemon
Roasted Broccolini Soup, Creme Fraiche, Meyer Lemon
Grana Padano Black Pepper Cheese Straws

It’s holiday party time! And when old friends from the restaurant industry get together, there is bound to be a feast. This year was no exception. We started cooking together around 5 pm, and the party and multiple courses lasted well into the night. Today I’m sharing the soup course… be sure to stop by here for more recipes from this over-the-top meal!

menu

cheese platter

pan-seared sea scallops, champagne truffle cream,
wilted butter lettuce, pink-veined italian white truffle

roasted broccolini soup, creme fraiche, meyer lemon,
grana padano black pepper cheese straws

rack of lamb, mint agave vinegar

brussels sprouts, pancetta, balsamic

mushroom risotto with white truffle

pavlova, lemon curd, berries and pomegranate arils

wines

schramsberg mirabelle brut rosé nv

roederer estate brut rosé nv

purple angel carmenere 2010

villa antinori chianti classico riserva 2010

e. guigal châteauneuf du pape 2007

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A Hearty Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

Wintery Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

A Hearty Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

flavored with fennel, oregano, red chile flakes, garlic, and a hint of cinnamon
topped with roasted spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt & pepper
garnished with parmesan and basil

The addition of spaghetti squash is mine, but the tomato and sausage soup idea comes from one of my favorite books…and can you believe it – it’s NOT a cookbook?

It is An Affair With A House by world-renowned interior designer Bunny Williams. She talks about being mortified when guests showed up at her (uber-fabulous) home at 11 AM and happened to be starving. She had planned to give a tour of the house and serve coffee since their schedule was tight, but all of a sudden, she had twelve people for lunch and was completely unprepared. But being the ultimate hostess, she made it work, with ease I might add… Bunny advises keeping a few cans of San Marzano tomatoes in the pantry and some Italian Sausages in the freezer. Add a simple salad and a loaf of French bread and you can be a hero too.

A Hearty Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

I thought you might say, squash? On top of soup? But it is actually a refreshing complement to the soup. Lighter, lower carbs than pasta with a nice roasted flavor and pretty color too. It makes a delightful December luncheon…

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Recipe

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SOUP BLISS ~ Pumpkin Apple Soup with Dried Fruit, Pine Nuts, Chile de Arbol

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Apple Soup with Dried Fruit, Pine Nuts, and Chile de Arbol

SOUP BLISS

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Apple Soup
Dried Apricot, Cherries, and Raisins
Pine Nuts, Chile de Arbol, Creme Fraiche, Chive Blossoms

Come. Come closer. Look. Look deep into my soup… Experience the hypnotic quality of curry. Let dainty chive blossoms enchant you, let the smoky hot chile de arbol ignite your passions. This is no ordinary soup. It has the power to transport …to soup nirvana.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Apple Soup Recipe

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Summer’s Chilled Soup ☆ STAR ☆

chilled summer soup for entertaining

Chilled Marcona Almond & Poblano Chile Soup with Sherry
Crab Salad Pillar with Avocado
Diced Watermelon, Feta and Mint
Borage Blossom Garnish

The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group hosted by Natasha the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! is an outstanding monthly event for sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations. June’s summery theme is CHILLED SOUPS.

The chilled almond & chile soup has been a favorite here for over a decade – a STAR of a cold soup that’s hot, smoky, and nutty. If fact, I entered it in a contest at the Los Angeles County Fair years ago, and it won second place. I’ve updated the soup recipe, now using sweet Spanish Marcona almonds and dry Spanish sherry. The basic soup can be simply garnished with bay shrimp or a drizzle of Mexican crema and a few cilantro leaves. Or for entertaining, go all out and build the crab pillar, your guests will be delighted.

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Woodsy Shiitake & Black Kale Soup

shiitake soup
Shiitake, Black Kale, Tofu & Seaweed Soup
Sesame, Scallion, Sriracha Garnish

Woodsy. Earthy. Deep.
This is one intense vegan soup that offers full epicurean contentment.

Flavor profile:
meaty shiitake mushroom, robust kale, subtly sweet ocean-y wakame seaweed,
toasty sesame oil, tangy hot sriracha
Aroma profile:
heady, intense, wet forest, earthy
Texture profile:
steamy broth, chewy kale, silky shiitake, slippery wakame, spongy tofu, crunchy sesame seed
Color profile:
deep dark broth, midnight-green wakame and kale, spring-green scallion, electric red sriracha

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Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish

A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.

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