January 18, 2015

Kimchi and Tofu Soup with Ground Pork

This soup is what I would call the equivalent of an Asian chicken noodle soup.  It seemed like something of a go to comfort soup and was really soothing and used a lot of basic Asian ingredients.  We happen to love kimchi in our household and try to have it on hand to throw on top of eggs, takeout, and whatever else we can think of.  I think kimchi in general is creating quite a following right now and seems to be prevalent on a lot of restaurant's menus, Asian or not.

Another thing about this soup is that it had a very harmonious texture profile.  The tofu was silky, the kimchi added crunch, and the ground pork added a chewy meaty consistency.  It had a little bit of spice from the kimchi and overall was really satisfying for a weeknight meal.  And, as always, I try to pick recipes that have minimal prep for anything I'm making on a weeknight.  This totally fit that order.  It also looked good in my new soup bowls my family gave me for Christmas - thanks family!

I hope you enjoy this; it was fun to make and eat!

Kimchi and Tofu Soup with Ground Pork
adapted from Food 52
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 cups kimchi
  • 6 cups chicken stock 
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into medium dice 
  • Bragg's liquid aminos, to taste
  • 7 ounces soft tofu, chopped into cubes
  • Green onion, to serve
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil on high until hot. Add ground pork and cook, breaking up clumps, until no longer pink. Add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Add kimchi and cook for a few minutes until hot. Pour in stock and about a tablespooon of liquid aminos.
  2. Let soup come to a boil, then turn heat to a low simmer and gently add the tofu and carrots. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Add more liquid aminos to taste as you go.
  3. Distribute the soup evenly into bowls. Garnish each with a sprinkle of green onion right before serving.

January 9, 2015

Greens Galore Soup with Cayenne and Lemon

After a food-filled four days in California over the new year, I was ready for some greens. So I decided to make this soup I had recently saved which is basically just a ton of greens blended up with caramelized onions.  The result is a super fresh soup that I felt really good about eating!  

I liked this soup a lot more than I thought I would, and will probably end up freezing half of it because it made a lot of soup.  Another reminder to read a recipe carefully before you start to make it because I should have cut this in half based on the amount of liquids alone.  The small pinch of cayenne does not add a lot of heat, feel free to add more if you like spicy.

In any case, this soup is a wonderful kickstart to the new year and I hope you like it as much as we did!

Greens Galore Soup
Adapted slightly from Cookie and Kate
Serves at least 6
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup arborio rice, rinsed
  • 1 large bunch Italian kale (about 1 pound), thick ribs removed, leaves chopped coarsely.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces of gently packed spinach or baby cooking greens, such as chard (I used two 5 oz tubs of OrganicGirl's Super Greens which is a mix of spinach, chard, and other baby greens)
  • 4 cups broth (I used chicken, but veggie would make this dish vegan!)
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Serve with (optional): Cooked rice and a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
First, start the onions caramelizing. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add the chopped onions and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are starting to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add 2 Tbsp water, and cover. Cook until the liquid is greatly reduced and the onions are a rich caramel color, this should take about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and each time replace the cover on the pan.

While the onions are cooking, combine 3 cups water, 3/4 tsp salt, and the arborio rice in a large soup pot or dutch oven.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes. 

(If you want to have this over Jasmine rice and with chickpeas like we did, start the rice now. 1 1/2 cup water and 1 cup jasmine rice with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 18 minutes.  If you have a small strainer that fits inside your pan that you used to rinse the chickpeas, when the 18 minutes are up set that strainer on top of the hot rice pot and put the lid over it to warm up the chickpeas!)

Add to the soup pot the chopped kale and the minced garlic.  When the onions are caramelized, stir them into the soup pot along with the baby greens, broth, and cayenne pepper. 

Return the pot to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until the greens are slightly wilted but still bright green.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.  Taste and add more salt, lemon, or pepper to taste. 

You can eat this as is for a super healthy green soup, or on top of rice and chickpeas for a heartier dinner.  Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy! This looks swampy, but me and my love agree, this soup tastes much better than it looks!

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January 5, 2015

Harissa and Veggie Wild Rice Pilaf with Crispy Prosciutto

This recipe was very compelling to me even though it could come off as confusing to some.  I was in search of something indulgant, which for me means cheese, but still somewhat healthy and also weeknight friendly.  I recalled seeing this recipe and it checked all of those boxes for me. Also if you aren't already following the Half Baked Harvest blog then please do, I just love her stuff.

The result of this was very satisfying.  I was really in love with this dish.  The crispy prosciutto on top was so good and it would've never occurred to me to crisp it up like that but it added an extra treat to the dish.  If you are trying to go lighter with it you could always leave it off. I also loved the wild rice and it reminded me of a wild rice "stuffing" my mom always made at Thanksgiving time. Also this dish is very versatile in that you could use whatever veggies and cheese you wanted to the mix and still come up with something great.  This would also make a lovely side dish but I ate it as my main.  I went back for seconds of course because it was just that good.  I ate it all week for dinner and it stands up really well for leftovers.

A really great weeknight meal for the new year - enjoy!

Harissa and Veggie Wild Rice Pilaf with Crispy Prosciutto
slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/3 cup store bought (or try homemade) harissa
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli, cup into small pieces
  • 12 oz. fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped. plus more for garnish
  • 4 oz. dill cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. gouda cheese
  • 5 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2 tblsp. toasted and chopped almonds
  • salt and pepper
Grease a 2-3 quart baking dish with butter or olive oil.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook wild rice and set aside.  Heat a very large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Once hot add 2 tblsp. of olive oil, the chopped onions and minced garlic.   Cook 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and lightly caramelized. Add the broccoli, spinach, cilantro and dill and cook about 3-5 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted and broccoli is slightly softened. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked wild rice, harissa and remaining 2 tblsp. of olive oil.  Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and cover with grated cheeses.  Lay out prosciutto evenly over top of cheese.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes until prosciutto is crispy.  Remove and sprinkle with cilantro and almonds.  Serve immediately.

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