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Corn chowder with aged cheddar is a great way to use those leftovers of corn or do something different with it. This creamy and cheesy soup with saline herbs will close up the summer on a high note!chowder soup corn cheddar

Corn chowder with aged cheddar

Corn season is finally here and what better way to celebrate the season then a corn chowder with aged cheddar. The days are getting slowly colder and shorter and we all need to comfort ourselves up with some hot soup. Where I’m from, Quebec, Canada, everyone knows that the “best” corns are from that small town called Neuville situated in between Quebec city and Montreal. Pretty much everyone I know, if they pass by, have to stop by to get at least one mega bag that contains 60 corns for about 20$ CAD.

Once home people would eat corn until food coma follows, whether by boiling it or grilling it in its leaves (technique below) but here is another way to use that corn; a creamy yet healthy corn chowder. Whether the corns are already cooked or raw the technique stays the same, cut off with a sharp knife the grains from the corn and the residual pieces with the back of the knife to make some smooth soup with it. A great way to indulge in corn!

Corn in its leaves (a BBQ recipe)

My family’s favorite way to make fresh corn is to soak them up in water for an hour before cooking them on the BBQ with its leaves on for 10 minutes, turning them every 2 minutes. Better to take off some of those thicker leaves from the top of the corn before. You’ll see, it makes super moist and slightly smoky corns. Delicious stuff!

corn chowder soup with aged cheddar

Salicorne(optional)

Salicorne is a seasonal marine herb growing by saline water which make it a superb aromatic for any soup. I was thinking of home doing this dish, so this herb brings me right back. My grandma was from a region (bas du Fleuve) where those would grow abundantly and she would make her own mix of saline herbs in conserves to make fantastic soups all year long with it. Those conserves are an essential to every Quebecois kitchen and are usually without salicorne, called “Herbes salées“, but if you use the Salicorne than you get all the greatness my grandma called ” Herbes Salées du bas du Fleuve” which is the top notch of those conserves in my humble opinion. With this mix you wouldn’t need any salt to season your soups, plus they give an extra fresh sea flavour to any dish. Salicorne can be difficult to find but they sell it in some speciality shop in dry form. Many types of saline herbs exist around the globe so pick up the one more familiar to you whether it’s called glasswort, pickle-weed, samphire, etc. Anyhow, if you don’t have those herbs at home just use a nice sea salt or standard “Herbes salées“.

Few explanations of the technique

Corn chowder with aged cheddar

Sometimes people make roux for thickening their soups, but here no need of extra flour or cornstarch, just have to blend up half the cooked potato and corn in the end and you’ll get a super smooth base. Plus, a nice bite from those reserved corn grains. Also the turmeric added is not for taste, it’s mainly to color the chowder, plus it’s a super healthy spice. As for the yellow bell pepper, I added mine in the end for a nice fresh crunch but if you prefer you can add it in the beginning of cooking. Like any other chowder… it’s better to wait a few hours before serving, to make all those flavors merge perfectly. Just be careful, once the cream and cheese is in, you should not overheat the soup, just warm it up gently until fuming but not boiling. Otherwise it will curdle.

So let’s make this golden chowder!


Corn Chowder with Aged Cheddar

Makes 6 portions | Difficulty: easy | Preparation: 40 minutes

Ingredients
  • Corn chowder with aged cheddar1 litre of vegetable broth
  • 200ml of cream
  • 4 corns (precooked or raw)
  • 1 big potato diced
  • 2 small onions diced
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • *1/2 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • aged cheddar to taste
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • *salicorne (or salt) and pepper

*optional

Directions
  1. Start by softening up the onions in some olive oil or butter for 5 minutes
  2. Cut the corn grains with a knife and diced all the vegetables
  3. Add the diced potato, garlic, corn grains, *salicorne marine herbs and laurel leaves to the soften onions
  4. Add the broth and bring to a simmer
  5. Cook slowly, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes
  6. Once cooked, take out the laurel leaves and half the corn and potato, reserve
  7. Blend carefully the soup until smooth
  8. Add the cream, the reserved corn and potato and the optional *yellow bell pepper
  9. Bring to a simmer and stop the heat
  10. Add the aged cheddar, salt and pepper
  11. Mix and serve

Serve with a chives and extra cheese, enjoy!

Corn chowder with aged cheddar

An Asian Beef Bone Broth Soup with rice pho noodles topped with roasted Shiitake, spinach, carrots and scallions for a bowl filled with flavors and a touch of heat!spicy asian soup mushroom spinach

Spicy Asian Bone broth soup

It’s a recipe I wanted to do for a while: a beef bone broth. It’s basically to simmer slowly the thick beef bones and knuckles for a minimum of 24 hours period up to 3 days. This way you’ll get all the goods and flavors from the thick bones. The process is fairly the same as any broth… you sear the bones, add aromatics and wait. Yes… it’s that simple although you need to keep an eye on the level of liquid and add some water when it goes too low.

Spicy Asian Bone broth soup

Plus, this way you’ll get lots more health benefits, explained in the next paragraph, than you would with a normal broth. Once the broth is done, you can either drink it as it is or do anything with it really, for this post I’ve done a Asian flair broth. I gave the broth a little “pho” mix of spices with a few anise stars, cinnamon and pepper. Although unlike with pho soups, I didn’t mind the color of the broth so I’ve added a carrot to it in order to give the final result a natural sweet touch. Once you are done with the bone broth you can easily freeze it to use another time.

 

The benefits of bone broth

Bone broth contained lots and lots of minerals as well as collagen, glutamine, glycine, proline which have great healing properties for the gut and reduce inflammation. The gut being the core of your immune system, the one that regulate and fight against the intruders you need to take good care of it. In other words, bone broth is what “oil” is to your car, you need it to help your body function properly. This magic liquid is also believed to heal many “gut problems” from leaky stool to certain food intolerances. If this wasn’t enough, bone broth is also filled with minerals that helps strengthen your bones and help relieve joint pain and also contains collagen that gives your skin a nice glow. In the end of the day… it’s practically a magic potion for eternal youth.

 

The soup

bone broth soup asian styleThe soup I’ve done with the Asian flair broth is not as delicate as a “pho” soup, it’s a bolder and spicier tasting bowl although without excessive heat but this could easily be adjusted by each at the table with some extra hot peppers. The bone broth will be slightly modified with fresh ginger and garlic and the color will turn red”ish” with a good dose of chilli in oil. As for the noodles I’ve used the large rice noodle for making “pho” but it could be wheat noodles or heaven ramen noodles. Frankly, I’ve done the soup without a previous recipe in mind, meaning there are some Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean influences in there but it’s not a “traditional” dish so let’s just call it generally “Asian” since it’s a mix of many Asian cuisines.

 

Toppings

The toppings are a simple mix of shiitake mushrooms, spinach, scallion and carrot. I’ve roasted the shiitake whole in the oven with the carrot to keep them in a nice shape, plus it gives the mushroom a nice meaty bite to it. To save some time, you could also be rapidly sauté the veggies in the wok. Tofu or thin meat pieces would be a nice addition to this soup bowl.

Let’s start simmering!

 


Spicy Asian Bone Broth Soup with Shiitake

Makes 3-4 main meal soups | Preparation of the broth: 24 hours to 72 hours | Difficulty : easy

Ingredients
The Beef bone broth
  • 2 kg (4.5 pounds) of beef bones, marrow and/or knuckles
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 2 anise stars
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 10 whole black pepper
Spicy Asian Bone broth soupThe Soup
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 15g of grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp of chilli in oil
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • salt or fish sauce to taste
The Toppings
  • pho noodles (rice noodles)
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • spinach
  • scallions
Directions
  1. Start by doing the bone broth (24h) by searing the bones first in oil and then add the rest of the ingredient and slowly simmer for 24 hours up to 72 hours
  2. Discard the bones and pass the bone broth through a thin sieve to make it clear
  3. Once you have the broth add the rest of the soup ingredients
  4. Add the pho noodles 60 minutes prior usage in cold water to soften them up, when your soup is ready simply add them to a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute
  5. Roast in the oven or sauté in the wok the carrots and mushrooms (15 minutes 180°C (350F)) with a light spray of oil and salt
  6. Drain the noodles and add to a preheated bowl (with the help of the boiling water from the noodles or with the oven residual heat)
  7. Cover with the hot soup and the toppings
  8. Add extra chilli in oil or hot peppers on the table to adjust heat and soy sauce or fish sauce to adjust the salt

 

Enjoy!

Spicy Asian Bone broth soup

Roasted Butternut squash with leeks, crispy fried sage and fresh cream to top it up. Plus some extra “chef’s secrets” to bring your soup from boring to an exquisite chef soup. Roasted Butternut squash with leeks, crispy fried sage and fresh cream to top it up. Plus some extra "chef's secrets" to bring your soup from boring to an exquisite chef soup.

butternut, leek and sage soup

I know… it might look like those million others butternut squash soups out there, but believe… this one is far from the “everyday life” soup. It’s a under 10 ingredients soup, no need for thickeners, nor extra broth, the butternut squash takes care of all that at once. Lucky you, I have a few secret tricks for you to upgrade your soups, especially this one. Follow those few easy steps to bring this soup, and others, to another level. First the roasting needs to be well done, second go “heavy” on the black pepper and third, the last but not the least; a dash of cider vinegar in the end. Those 3 simple yet highly important steps are what will make this soup step out from the others.

butternut, leek and sage soup

The other elements are the leeks, which gives the soup a nice soft aftertaste and the fried sage with its potent flavor will bring a welcomed crunch to the soup. It’s a simple recipe, although to make it extra special make sure not to forget the 3 “game changing” details… You’ll see, with those 3 tricks, you’ll get a “one of a kind soup” guaranteed!

Roasting

Butternut squash, leeks and sage soupFor this particular soup, roasting the butternut squash is giving the soup this extra caramelized touch that no one can resist. You’ll need to cook the squash up until the point it turns brownish, that’s where all the flavor hides. In fact, a bit pass what you would consider light brown… For the lazy ones, simply cut the butternut squash into 2, leave the skin on and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper than right into the oven. After about 45 minutes in the oven the squash is magically ready. All there is left to do is to let it cool down, then scoop the flesh out with a spoon directly in the pot. But if you prefer you can take the skin off before and cut the squash into small pieces, this way it cuts the cooking time by a lot, but it takes longer to prepare. So you choose.

The black pepper

Yes, black pepper is always somehow in every single recipe, so omnipresent that we forget about it. But for this particular recipe, go lose with it and let it shine. Black pepper is great since it balance out the overly sweet butternut squash. Pepper is a chef’s best friend, nobody really say it out loud, but with a good amount of pepper you can make a dish stand out of the ordinary! I know most of us just would do a few turns of the pepper mill usually but for this one, don’t be shy, add triple or more then the usual amount. Believe me it’s worth it!

The cider vinegar

The first trick I’ve learned in culinary school is that all good chefs add a touch of vinegar in the end of cooking their soups… It’s actually just a drop, not enough to really taste it. This step will really lightening up the flavors. Don’t believe?? Give it a try, you’ll see. A real life changer, but … keep it between you and me… it’s a secret.

So let’s make magic with a simple butternut squash and a few leeks!

 


Roasted Butternut Squash, Leek and Fried Sage Soup

Makes 4-6 portions | Preparation: 1 hour | Difficulty: easy

Ingredientsbutternut, leek and sage soup
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 leeks diced
  • 1 garlic
  • 200ml of white wine *optional
  • sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Cut the squash into 2, on the length, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper
  2. Cook skin up, for 45 minutes at 180°C (350F) or up until the flesh turns brownish
  3. Take out from the oven, let cool
  4. During that time, in a big pot, cook the leeks, medium-high heat, in a bit of olive oil and salt until soften
  5. Take the flesh out from the butternut squash with a spoon directly into the pot
  6. Add the garlic and then the wine
  7. Add water up to 1 cm on top of the ingredients
  8. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth
  9. Add the salt and pepper and let it simmer for 10 minutes
  10. During that time fry the sage leaves in a small pan with some olive oil, just 1 minute on each side to make it crispy, reserve
  11. When the soup is ready, check the seasonning and add a splash of cider vinegar

Serve with a touch of fresh cream and the fried sage. Enjoy!

A shell pasta with an extra tasty onion soup (sauce) served in a mug topped with a light gratiné, fresh parsley and crunchy bread crumbs. The new way to eat your onion soup!A shell pasta with an extra tasty onion soup (sauce) served in a mug topped with a light gratiné, fresh parsley and crunchy bread crumbs.

Onion Soup Pasta

This is my first ever mug meal! Actually, I went to buy the mugs extra for this recipe. A shell formed pasta served with a leftover of onion soup and a light gratin on top with a few bread crumb to recall the “french onion soup bread” and gives the meal an extra crunch. It’s quite simple to make and tasty, so if you have some onion soup leftovers this is the way to go!

Catalan tradition

The shell pasta is something you don’t get to see often in your plate. Where I live, Barcelona, they call it “galets” and it’s a popular pasta during the holidays season. They make a simple broth soup with it, sometimes the shells are not filled, others times filled with meat or served next to meatballs. This soup is called “escudella i carn d’olla” and is usually consumed for lunch on Christmas. Originally I wanted to use the pasta for this Catalan dish, but it ended up differently. Maybe next year…
A shell pasta with an extra tasty onion soup (sauce) served in a mug with a light gratiné, fresh parsley and crunchy bread crumbs on top.It finally turned out into a nice pasta “gratiné” mug meal with my double onion soup leftovers used as the sauce. Let’s say it turned out into my own version of festive shell pasta, tasting just as delicious as the onion soup and fun to plunge in with the spoon to get to the onion bits. The pasta will absorb some of that exquisite onion soup taste while it cooks. Plus it’s served in a mug which makes it possible to “gratiné” or grill the cheese on top in no time, just like with a french onion soup. I didn’t used so much cheese, since I’m on my eternal diet… but feel free to go heavier on the cheese factor. Another typical recipe a la “FoodOlic”; mixing the best of two worlds.

So let’s make this fun and easy dish!

 


Onion Soup Pasta in a Mug

Makes 2 portions | Preparation: 15 minutes | Difficulty: easy

IngreOnion Soup Pastadients
  • 300ml of onion soup (check my double onion soup recipe or my simple one here)
  • 250g of pasta of your choice (fusilli, shells, farfalle)
  • 50g of dry crumb (or blend a piece of dry / toasted bread) *optional
  • a tasty cheese (gruyere, gouda, cheddar, etc)
  • parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta half way in boiling salty water, drain
  2. Add them immediately to an oven proof mugs or small ovenproof recipients of your choice
  3. Add 150ml of the preheated onion soup in each mugs (3/4 of the mug)
  4. Topped with the cheese (to taste)
  5. Cook in the oven at 200°C (400F) for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melted
  6. Add the bread crumb on top, cook 1 more minute before taking the mugs out from the oven
  7. Sprinkle a bit of parsley and black pepper

It’s hot! Let know the guests and serve the mugs on a placemat and napkins to allow them to touch the mug without burning themselves.

Enjoy!

mug pasta onion

This is two soups in one for an extra tasty onion soup. Don’t we all love a good onion soup? Imagine combining an onion cream with a french onion soup! The result is just exponentially delicious!This is two soups in one for an extra tasty onion soup. Don’t we all love a good onion soup? Imagine combining an onion cream with a french onion soup! The result is just exponentially delicious!

Double onion soup

This soup is a merged of the classical French onion soup and an onion veloute (cream). It’s broth is made the onion cream way, which is basically a blended onion soup, then to keep the onion bites from the French version, I’ve added an extra 2 onions. It’s got a bite to it, although less onion pieces as the traditional French onion soup. Double the flavors but not the work, it’s important to clarify: it’s just an extra step (blend the soup) then the normal onion soup, so no extra work.

How the idea took form

I was feeling like an onion soup to warm me up on a cold winter day, and since I already had a traditional French onion soup on my blog, I’ve decided to make a variation of it. I’ve started by making an onion veloute and the result was alright… but I was missing the onion bite to it… So i’ve added 2 more onions to add a bite to the soup plus I’ve topped it with the always delicious gratin touch. The result is an unctuous onion cream with a bite to it served the french onion way; cheese!

Double onion soup

There is also a Catalan twist to it for extra flavor, a “picada” in the end of cooking for an fresh extra seasonning. A picada is a light mix of aromatics and/or nuts with olive oil to finish up a meal with a fresh touch and when nuts are used, it thickens the sauces. It’s usually done in the mortar and added to dishes in the last minutes of cooking for a great final touch. It’s an optional extra step, done in no time, that makes a big difference in my opinion, especially for sauces and soups.

If you dislike the smell of onions in the house, simmer in a small pot of water with a cinnamon stick of lemon wedges to it, for a little while, it’s going to clean up that air. Also… a great idea to make with the leftovers from this soup is my onion soup pasta in a mug check it out here!

Let’s make this extra tasty soup!

 


Double Onion Soup

Makes about 6 portions | Cooking time: 1h15

Ingredients
  • Double onion soup8 yellow onions finely sliced (6 for the cream, and 2 as extra bite for the soup)
  • 2 litres of chicken broth
  • 200ml of red wine
  • 30ml brandy
  • 30g of salted butter
  • 3 tbsp of flour or cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • thyme to taste
  • salt and pepper
Topping
  • dry or toasted baguette/bread
  • aged gouda or gruyere
  • extra parsley minced
Picada *optional
  • parsley finely chopped (20 leave)
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • salt
Directions
  1. Add the the butter, the sliced onions and some salt to a big pot, at low heat and let the onion get slowly translucent (it takes about 30 minutes)
  2. Once the onions are soft, translucent, take the equivalent of 2 onions out and reserve
  3. Add the flour and let it cook for one more minute
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the onions and let simmer at low heat another 15 minutes
  5. Take out the laurel leaves
  6. Blend with an immersion blender the soup until smooth
  7. Add the extra reserved onion and adjust the seasonning and let simmer another 15 minutes
  8. During that time, in a mortar or bowl, mash up the ingredient of the picada into a paste
  9. Add the picada in the final minute of cooking
  10. Add the soup to oven proof bowls, topped with the (dry) bread and cheese to taste and grill in the oven (max temperature) for about 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden
  11. Sprinkle with extra chopped parsley

 

*if you have a left over try this onion noodles soup gratin!

Enjoy!

Double onion soup

 

A detox soup bowl filled with colorful veggies and a few noodles to detox from all that gravy and sweets we’ve had over the holidays. Simple, healthy and yummy!healthy holiday soup

Rainbow Noodle Soup Bowl

Rainbow Soup is a great way to give a break to our stomach after all the holidays excess. The idea here is mainly to eat a big bowl of soup filled with vitamins and easy on the stomach. I’ve used udon noodles but it could be a rice noodle (Banh pho). It’s an Asian soup idea, although the flavors are not, it’s mainly just the format that is asian. You can use the veggies leftovers from your fridge, for mine, I’ve used a mix of red cabbage, carrot, scallions, zucchini and pepper. None of the veggies are pre cooked, this way they keep all their vitamins intact and give a nice crunchy bite to the soup.

Detox

Rainbow Noodle Soup BowlHoliday season is always heavy on the stomach and there is no getting around it, we all gain weight during those few weeks of excess. Well this soup is a welcomed, simple and healthy break to this excess of gravy and sweets consumed during the holidays. It can also be adapted to your own taste or whatever is left in your fridge. I mean if you still have a leftover of turkey, go ahead add some to the soup, as long as you add some color and lots of veggies it’s going to be a great soup.

 

So let’s make this holiday detox bowl!

 


Rainbow Holiday Detox Soup

Makes 2 portions | Difficulty: too easy | Preparation: 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 liter of turkey brVegetable soup bowloth or oriental veggie broth
  • 200g of udon (wheat) or banh pho (rice) noodles
  • 1 carrot cut in small sticks (juliennes)
  • 100g of red cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 zucchini cut in thin slices
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • few scallions
  • salt, pepper (or fish sauce to replace salt)
Directions
  1. Cook the egg for 10 minutes in barely simmering water
  2. Cut all the veggies
  3. Pre cook al dente the noodles in boiling water, drain and pass under cold water  (this will make them hold better in the warm soup afterwards)
  4. Bring the broth to a boil
  5. Add the noodles for 1 minutes to heat them up again
  6. Add the noodles, in the bottom of pre warmed bowls, the vegetables, egg and finally the broth
  7. Add a bit of fish sauce, or salt and pepper
  8. Serve

Enjoy!

Rainbow Noodle Soup Bowl

Clam Chowder

Who doesn’t like a comforting clam chowder? A warm and smooth soup filled with clams and mussel meat. This version of chowder is made with white wine, saffron, salicornia salt and some extra mussel meat and a bechamel base. This clam chowder is nothing complicated to make nor too long and taste fantastic, a bite into the ocean. The only challenge is to make sure to clean up the clams good and keep the sand away.clamchowderpin

Origin of Chowder

Clam ChowderWell, I personally feel in love with chowder in Ireland, I thought this thick soup, they have all over in Ireland, was just a surprisingly comforting seafood concoction of theirs but it’s not.The origin of chowder is going back in the 16th – 17th century along the northern Atlantic coast of France and also in England, around Cornwall. It was a fisherman’s comfort food and usually would contain fish, biscuits and salted pork. Then being transformed in America into a Clam Chowder, probably influenced by the Natives who loved to eat clams and oysters, the colonies got the message and started eating clams and oysters into their soup… New-England clam chowder was born. But so many versions are out there, some thick others thin, some with tomatoes and other bacon, etc. But for now, I’ll stick to what I fell for back in Ireland, a thick, white, smooth and meaty seafood stew style.  I keep the usual, potato cubes in there and replaced the onion for a softer leek. Slightly different clam chowder made to my own taste and tried the best I could reproduce the one I had in Ireland.

 

Clam Chowder specifics

Clam ChowderThe first step of this smooth chowder is to keep those beauties; the clams alive in the fridge. When you arrive home, to make sure they are breathing; take them out of the plastic bag. Cover the bowl they are in with a wet kitchen towel and keep in the back of the fridge. Then if they are full of sand you’ll have to let them soak in salty water, but if you get the hard shell ones you don’t have to. The beginning of this chowder is to open them up, simply add them to a pot with the white wine and a laurel leave and cover, bring to a boil and let cook about 5 minutes until they are all open. Discard the closed ones and pass the leftover clam juice/wine through a cheesecloth or fine sieve to pick up the leftover of sand.
The second step would be to cut finely all those veggies and cook them in the butter until tender and then add the flour and cook an extra minute. This roux, it’s called, will make the soup magically thick, which I believe is my favorite texture for chowders (thicker than soup). Important not to overheat as soon as the milk and cream is in, to prevent it from burning. So keep the heat low and let gently simmer to mix all those flavors slowly to perfection.

The salicorne salt is an optional ingredient, since it’s not such a common salt. But if you do have some, it’s time to use it. It goes to perfection with this clam chowder giving it an extra marine flair. For those who don’t know salicornia, it’s a small seasonal herb which grows next to saline water on beaches. It gives soups an extra sea flair. If you don’t have salicornia simply use some sea salt to season you chowder. The last but not the least spice of this soup is the famous saffron, which gives a nice touch to this chowder, and also a yellowish color. Before we start, don’t be scared of the list of ingredients, it’s a long one, but it’s easy and tasty you’ll see.

So let’s make this clam chowder!

 


 Clam chowder

Makes 6 portions | Difficulty level: low | Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 35Clam Chowder0g of hard shell clams 
  • 150g of mussel meat (frozen)
  • 400ml of milk
  • 400ml of cream
  • 300ml of fish stock
  • 150ml of white wine
  • 2 leeks cut finely
  • 2 carrots cut into small dices
  • 1 potato cut into small dices
  • 40g butter
  • 40g flour
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • saffron (1 pinch)
  • 1 tsp salicornia salt 
  • flat leaves parsley
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • shrimps (big ones for topping)*optional
  • pepper, salt
Directions
  1. Add the hard shell clams to a small pot with the wine and laurel leaf, cover, bring to boil, cook 5 minutes until the shells open up
  2. Conserve the wine from the clams and pass through a cheesecloth or sieve to pick up the possible sand left and reserve the clams
  3. Cook the diced potato in a small pot until tender, reserve
  4. In a big pot, add the carrot, leeks, garlic and butter and cook until tender, 5 minutes
  5. Add the flour and a touch more butter and cook an extra minute medium high heat
  6. Add the clam juice leftover, the milk, fish stock, mussels, cream, saffron, salicornia salt and potato, mix well
  7. Let it simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Cook the shrimps in a pan and some oil for 5 minutes, medium high heat
  9. Add the soup, clams, shrimps and parsley

Enjoy!

Clam Chowder

Coco-ginger pumpkin soupCoco-ginger roasted pumpkin soup is this fall “must try” soup. It’s a sweet and spicy soup, with a touch of smooth coconut milk. It may sound like a too sweet of a mix coconut + pumpkin… Well, the soup needs a good amount of ginger to counter the sweetness of those 2 sweet element, so I suggest not to be shy on the ginger amount. An extra touch of cider vinegar in the end helps also to balance the sweet factor from the soup. Just like in most soup, a touch of sour vinegar is from what I’ve heard “a chef’s trick” to a great soup. Just a little sip in the end of coccion goes a long way, believe it really does. The result is a creamy, punchy and succulent soup.pumpkincocopin

Coco-ginger pumpkin soupI saw so many pumpkin soups out there and many of them are on the sweet side of the spectrum, which is, to me, more of a dessert soup then a traditional one. The sweetness of the pumpkin is one thing easy to balance with some spicy element like; black pepper, ginger or even wasabi (check my pumpkin wasabi purée recipe). Coco-ginger pumpkin soupAs for the rest, pumpkin soup always has such a great texture, it’s always spot on unctuous and velvety. Also the roasting part plays a big part in the balance of the dish, it gives that extra caramelized flavor which is yet another level for a successful pumpkin soup.

Let’s make this “other” pumpkin soup!


Coco-ginger roasted pumpkin soup

Ingredients
  • Coco-ginger pumpkin soup1 kg of pumpkin, or butternut squash
  • 600ml of vegetable broth
  • 250ml of coconut milk
  • 1 onion
  • 1 ginger piece of 10 cm long (yes, it’s gonna be spicy a bit)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil to roast the pumpkin
  • extra pumpkin seeds to decorate
Directions
  1. Start by cutting into thick pieces the pumpkin, add to a bowl
  2. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix
  3. Add the pieces of pumpkin to a baking sheet with the onion, garlic and ginger piece
  4. Cook at 180°C (350F) for about 40 minutes or until lightly brown
  5. Add the vegetables to a pot, cut into smaller pieces the ginger
  6. Add the vegetable broth
  7. Let simmer for 10 minutes until all the vegetables and the ginger is soft
  8. Add the coconut milk (keep a little for decoration)
  9. Blend with an immersion blender the soup until smooth, if it’s too thick add water
  10. Check the seasonning
  11. Add a touch of vinegar (this makes magic for any soup), mix
  12. Serve with a few drops of the reserved coconut milk and pumpkin seeds

Accompany with a nice rye bread. Enjoy!

Coco-ginger pumpkin soup

Shiitake and broccoli ramen soup

Shiitake and broccoli ramen soup is so tasty and filled with vitamins, the broth is mainly a miso paste, a touch of ginger, garlic and a little chilli. The meaty shiitakes mushrooms are giving all their flavor to the broth, you won’t believe there isn’t meat in this soup. It’s so simple and tasty and easily done, a under 30 minutes recipe.

Shiitake and broccoli ramen soupLet’s talk umami, the fifth taste, which is not a clear one, most people don’t even know about it, yet they love it. For example, tomatoes, parmesan, red meat, fermented veggies and shiitake are filled with it. Umami is such a mysterious taste, not as easy to define as its colleagues; saltiness, sourness, sweetness and bitterness. The 5th taste is actually all around us, and especially in this recipe, it’s fully present. You won’t get closer to this flavor then with a shiitake ramen soup. Shiitakes are a great umami example, a certain meaty taste to it, this is the umami flavor at its best. Also the soup starts by a kombu broth, which again is a high in glutamic acid (umami component), then adding some miso, another umami element… So in other words, if you want some umami filled dish tonight, try this ramen soup. Last detail about umami; each of our first ever meals were filled with it, the mother breast milk is 10 times higher in glutamic acid than any other kind of food. I guess we are predisposed to love this taste.

Let’s get that umami flavor going!


Shiitake and broccoli ramen soup

4 portions

Ingredients
  • Shiitake and broccoli ramen soupramen noodles (1 pack by person)
  • 1.5l of water
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 80g of miso paste
  • 2 tbsp of chilli in oil sauce
  • 150g of shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small broccoli
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 carrot in julienne (small sticks)
  • 1 tbsp of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp of sugar (any sweetener)
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Shiitake and broccoli ramen soupLet the kombu seaweed in the water to get soft for 30 minutes
  2. Boil for 5 minutes to give it taste then discard the sea weed
  3. In another big pot add the ginger, garlic, coconut oil and shiitakes on high heat for 2 minutes
  4. Add the kombu broth, the miso paste, chilli paste, sugar and let cook medium high heat for 10 minutes
  5. Add the broccoli after 5 minutes
  6. In a big water pot, cook the ramen al dente
  7. Add the ramen to big bowls
  8. Fill the bowl with the hot soup
  9. Top with finely cut carrots, green onions and a touch of black sesame seeds

Serve with extra lime on the side. Enjoy!

Shiitake and broccoli ramen soup

Spinach shiitake pho

Pho Bo soups are such a delicious, delicate and unique dish already, but adding a few extras like spinach and shiitakes makes it a touch more special. The usual traditional pho bo soup contains a few pieces of long cooked meat in it, but here I’ve simply used bones to make the broth and no extra meat pieces. The Shiitakes replace the meat pieces to perfection, in the resulting soup, only those thinly sliced raw pieces of meat remain in this pho version.

Spinach shiitake phoThe difficult part in this soup is to keep the broth clear, although fully packed in flavour. This means, pre boiling the bones at first and rinsing them, then never boiling, a good filter and really low coccion help with this. In my last pho recipe, I’ve add extra pieces of meat, during coccion which made my soup blurry, so as a perfectionist… I had to redo my broth, and this time, finally, I’ve made it crystal clear.

The recipe differs slightly from the previous one, since I’ve used more bones and no chicken carcass or meat. If you are not a big meat eater this is the pho for you. Just a touch of thin beef slices and lots of veggies.

The proper serving bowl is a big and thick bowl, which you preheat before or add a little hot broth or hot water before serving into it. Make sure the soup is hot when you serve it, also warm up the noodles in the broth at first, to prevent the soup from getting cold when you fill it with all those other extras. It needs to be warm enough to cook your final touch; the raw meat slices.

So let’s make this crystal clear and flavorful soup!


Pho Bo with spinach and shiitake

Broth
  • Pho Bo Ga (vietnamese soup)2 kg beef bones
  • 200g of carpaccio (raw beef, thinly cut)
  • 2 big yellow onions
  • 1 piece of ginger (10cm long)
  • 5 anise star
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a few white pepper grains
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 piece of yellow rock sugar *optional
  • Fish sauce to taste (Phu Quoc)
The final step
  • Banh Pho ThuoSpinach shiitake phong Hang (rice noodles)
  • shiitakes
  • spring onions
  • flat leave parsley
  • spinach
  • beans sprouts
  • limes cut into quarters
  • thai chili peppers

Directions

  1. Cover the bones and meat pieces into a big cold water pot, bring to a boil for a minute
  2. Eliminate the water with residues and rinse the bones into cold water for a few minutes (clean up the pot from residues)
  3. Add the bones and meat again to the big pot and fill with water, bring to a low simmer
  4. On a gas burner or in your oven on broil mode, char the ginger and onions until black (keep the skin) on every side (takes 5-10 minutes) Turn with metal tongs
  5. Pho Bo Ga (vietnamese soup)Once the charring is done, cool the ginger and onion before peeling off the skin
  6. Cut the onion and ginger into big pieces and add to the broth
  7. In a pan, add a little oil, and cook the aromatics; anise stars, clove, pepper, cinnamon a minute or 2 before adding to the broth
  8. Leave the broth gently simmer for 5-6 hours (even a night) with cover
  9. When the broth is ready, discard the bones
  10. Clear the broth through a sieve, then through a cheesecloth (or paper towel inside a sieve, or stockings) to make it extra clear
  11. Prepare the rice noodles, by simply soaking them into warm water for a minimum of 15 minutes
  12. In a pan cook the shiitakes, high heat, add extra garlic and parsley in the end of coccion
  13. Add a yellow rock sugar and fish sauce until well seasoned into the broth and bring to simmer a last time
  14. Take a small sieve or mini basket to plunge the presoaked rice noodles into the simmering broth, for about 30 seconds, before adding to a preheated bowls
  15. Top with the raw beef (carpaccio), beans sprouts, spinach, spring onion and shiitakes
  16. Fill the bowl with the broth

Serve with the usual side of thai peppers, lime and extra fish sauce for the salt lovers. Enjoy!

Spinach shiitake pho