Chinese-style Eight-treasure Soup

Ingredients

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tblespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
2 oz Chinese bacon or ham, cut into thin strips
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
8 oz chicken breast fillet
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
12 small raw prawns, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1-3/4 oz sliced bamboo shoots
3-1/2 oz spinach, chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Discard the woody stalks and cut the caps into quarters.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oils and swirl to coat the side of the wok, then add the ginger, spring onion and bacon. Cook for about 10 seconds before adding the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, mushroom liquid and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the chicken. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and poach the chicken for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
  5. Return the stock to the boil, add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns, tofu, bamboo shoots, spinach and chicken meat to the wok and cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with the extra spring onion.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Chinese bacon has a dryish flesh with a strong flavour very much like prosciutto. You can substitute prosciutto.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

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Green Asparagus Soup with Salmon Trout

Ingredients

2-1/4 lb green asparagus
salt
1 pinch sugar
2 sprigs tarragon
1 onion
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1 large potato
4 tablespoons cream
freshly ground white pepper
5-1/2 oz smoked salmon trout

Method

  1. Wash the asparagus thoroughly and remove the woody ends.
  2. Cook the woody ends in 4-1/2 cups salted water, flavoured with a pinch of sugar and 1 sprig of tarragon for 15 minutes.
  3. Peel the onion, chop finely and braise lightly in clarified butter until golden yellow.
  4. Dice the peeled potatoes, add to the saucepan and season with a little salt. Add some water, cover and cook.
  5. Strain the asparagus stock (broth) through a sieve into a second saucepan.
  6. Cut the asparagus into pieces 1-1/4-inch long, add the strained stock (broth) and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the stock (broth) and drain.
  7. Remove the asparagus tips from the rest of the asparagus.
  8. Add half the remaining asparagus pieces to the saucepan with the onion and potatoes. Stir in 3/4 of the asparagus stock (broth). Add the cream and stir.
  9. Add the rest of the asparagus and the remaining tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Cut the salmon trout into small pieces and add to the soup. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Asparagus

Vegetarian Borscht

Ingredients

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
4 medium red beets, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 medium red-skinned unpeeled potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 cups salt-free vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup baby red Russian kale, optional
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish

Method

  1. Heat oil in a 6-Litre large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt. Heat until onion has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add beets, potatoes, and carrots to pan. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and garlic. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste, honey, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon to pan. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Place broth and bay leaf in pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in chickpeas and balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. Fold in baby kale, if using.
  8. In bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, horseradish, and a pinch of salt.
  9. Place soup in serving bowls and top with a swirl of yogurt sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Turkey and Vegetable Gumbo

Ingredients

4 oz turkey sausages, cut into 1-inch slices
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
12 oz sliced okra
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth

Method

  1. Coat a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute until browned all over and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, salt, hot pepper sauce, okra, tomatoes, barley and stock or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the gumbo thickens and the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  4. To serve, divide among 4 individual bowls.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking for Healthy Living

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients

1 oz butter
1 lb leeks, sliced and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
12 oz potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the leeks, onion and potatoes and cook gently for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft but not browned.
  2. Stir in the stock, salt and pepper, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the vegetables arc soft.
  3. Use a hand blender to process until smooth. Season to taste.
  4. Serve with Cheese and Carrot Soda Bread, Bacon Rolls or your choice of bread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Soups and Starters