Travel Eats

Entries in soup (7)


Great Balls of Fiber

If you haven't been to the website, spend a minute/2-3 hours there and see what they have to offer--searchable recipe index, contests for home cooks, a cookbook contest and much, much more.  I was attracted by this meatless "meatball" recipe.  Primarily because it called for cooked quinoa and I had a bunch of that stuff laying around, but also because it called for cauliflower.

                                               Hello, beautiful! 

As a bonus, it gave me the opportunity to use my new ice cream/meatball scoop....

                               Perfect balls.  Every time.

If you have a New Year's resolution to eat a bit healthier or just want a colon that is clean as a whistle, this recipe is for you.  The meatless balls are a lot like falafel but without the frying.

Their crispy exterior is the result of baking at 350F for about 30 minutes.  The insides remain tender and fluffy.  The cauliflower is poached in some broth with spinach and pureed last minute with some lemon juice to form the soup base.  The only substitution I made was using mizithra instead of feta to top the dish--you could omit the cheese/use vegetable broth/egg replacer and the dish would be vegan.

 Sophie enjoyed this even after realizing it contained beans.  Two thumbs up!


Reality Bites

 Nothing like two weeks in Hawaii to leave you with massive post-holiday apathy.  The jet lag, the lack of shave ice, the extra holiday baggage around my thighs.....Getting out of bed for pre-dawn workouts when I need them most has been nigh impossible.  Where did all the rainbows go?

Sophie has been a big help, a willing dinner and a movie partner (the Monterey and Sherlock Holmes), an independent cookie maker (lemon cookies--her first solo baking project when I was out riding the other day), and generally all-around inspirational.  Her New Year's Resolution is to journal every night.

When I decided to make soba for dinner she said, "Aren't those the gray noodles?" 

Why, yes, they are.  Not pretty but tasty.  I tossed them with some carrot ginger dressing and diced broccoli stems.  Traditionally they are served with a dipping broth, often with some horseradish. The raw diced broccoli added a nice bite  both  texturally and taste-wise.

Gray and Orange Soba


2 large carrots, peeled

1 TBS grated ginger

3 scallions, white and green parts

1 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 clementine, peeled (and seeded if necessary)

Place all in blender and puree til smooth.  Thin with a little water if necessary.

Cook soba noodles as directed (I used two bundles) and drain/rinse.  Toss with dressing and diced broccoli, tofu, or what have you.

 I made grey soup to go with it.  Actually this is a roast garlic/tomato/zucchini soup.  Another beauty.

Roasted Veg Soup

4 plum tomatoes, halved

1 head garlic--slice off top but leave intact

2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1" thick rounds

olive oil

vegetable stock


Combine vegetables and garlic in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast in 375F oven till softened and browned--about 45 minutes.  The garlic takes awhile so if your veg are beginning to get too brown remove them and continue cooking til garlic is soft/brown.  Place veg into blender, squeeze roast garlic into blender and add vegetable stock to desired consistency.  Salt and pepper to taste.  I added a splash of white balsamic vinegar and swirled some pesto into my bowl.  Garnish with shaved parmesan.

 7 layer dip.  Pretty on the outside.....I made this for a friend's graduation/pre-deployment to Afghanistan party.  Serve with tortilla chips, and a healthy dose of HTFU.


The Spice of Life

 The Christmas season is upon us.  Running around the 'hood this morning I saw evidence of Black Friday shopping sprees with TV boxes on the curbside awaiting the garbagemen and newly hung lights and wreaths gracing many houses.  We are headed to Hawaii for the holidays.  I am not putting up a tree and the thought of making a bunch of Christmas cookies when I have to be seen in a bikini in three weeks is slightly horrifying.

But the thought of doing nothing is even more horrifying when I have a child that still delights in opening an Advent calendar the very first thing every morning.  Sophie decided to start early, using the calendar as a countdown to our trip instead of Christmas day.  There will be gingerbread for her when she gets home from school today, I just won't tell her there's beer in it. 

From my blog friend Jessica at Bake Me Away--Pumpkin Stout Gingerbread.  We will skip the icing in the attempt to be healthier.

I also made this awesome Sweet Potato and Kale soup from Joy the Baker because I HATE to throw food away and what else could I do with a giant bag of kale and left over sweet potatoes?  We omitted the coconut milk--again, that healthier thing and used quinoa instead of brown rice.

 Recipes are available at their respective websites--just click on the orange hyperlinks.  Buy yourself a ginger grater for Christmas.  You're worth it.


Dinner Ala Dorie

Homemade croutons awaiting modifications. 

Photographed in my adorable Korean pottery.  Looks like I took this picture in the middle of my unmade bed, but I can assure you it's just an equally wrinkled tablecloth.

Around My French Table has some wonderful tartine recipes that are brilliant combinations of flavors that make you wonder, "why didn't I think of that?"  We modified this one slightly to include some our fresh globe basil that keeps on keeping on despite the Texas heat.

 Goat Cheese and Strawberry Tartines

Toasted french bread rounds about 1/2" thick

Soft goat cheese-spread on toasts

Sliced fresh strawberries


Balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper

Combine according to your preference.  We each ate 4 with our cauliflower soup.  I made it earlier in the day, reheated for dinner although it was equally good chilled.

I know, I really need to iron this tablecloth.

Cauliflower Soup

1 head cauliflower--cut off florets and discard tough stem

3 stalks celery, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 quart chicken broth

salt/pepper to taste

2 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS butter

Heat large dutch oven over low heat, add butter/oil.  Add sliced vegetables, thyme and saute for ~20 minutes stirring occasionally.  Do not brown.  Add chicken stock and cauliflower, bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for ~20 minutes or until the cauliflower is completely tender.  Puree in batches until smooth.  I used my Vitamix and didn't strain.

A creamy soup without the cream.  Looking forward to having this in the fall with a hot toddy .



Summer Squash Red Curry Soup


I modified a recipe from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Everyday, and I think I might have come close to Khao Soi!  The Khao Soi connoisseur is at summer camp--I will await her blessing before crying victory.  You can find most of these ingredients at a good grocery store or an Asian grocery.  The red curry paste is one of the hotter curries so be careful. 

I used full-fat coconut milk, but you could use light--it won't be a thick and creamy.  I like the Chakoh brand the best but Polar was available at my grocery store.

I got a bag of shallots at Tim's Oriental Market--much cheaper than buying at the grocery store, and look like a slightly different variety.  If you live in the San Antonio area Tim's is worth a trip.

It is also worth the effort to find and  use Thai basil.  Sweet basil will substitute, but Thai basil has a distinct flavor that really completes this soup.  I bought a plant at the farmer's market.  You can also buy seeds on-line if you want to grow your own.  Probably won't help you if you want to make this recipe tonight, but truly worth it if you want authentic Thai flavor.

These are the same noodles used in Pad Thai.  Again, easy to find in any Asian market or well-stocked grocery store.  I bring a pot of water to boil, turn off heat and add noodles.  Soak for 5-10 minutes, drain and rinse with cool water.  I don't recommend adding them to the soup because they will get too mushy.  I just put them in a bowl and then ladle soup on top.  If you have leftovers keep the noodles separate.

1 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1" cubes

kosher salt

2 TBS red curry

coconut oil

3 large shallots, chopped

3 medium zucchini or other summer squash, cut into chunks

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 can coconut milk

1 can beef broth

1 bunch Thai basil

Season the meat with salt and brown in coconut oil.  Remove and set aside.  Add a little more coconut oil to skilled and cook curry paste over medium heat until fragrant.  Stir in shallots and cook til tender.  Stir in squash and garlic.  Saute briefly, until coated with curry mixture, then add coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer--add meat.  Cook til slightly thickened.  Check seasoning and add salt/curry paste if needed.  Just before serving, add 1/2 cup whole basil leaves.  Serve over noodles.  Even better the next day.