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August 30, 2009

Miso Soup

Whenever I go out for Japanese food I always order miso soup for starters. Typically it is the simple combination of miso broth with tofu, seaweed, and green onions. This week I decided to try the variation to the classic recipe that I found on 101 cookbooks. The addition of soba noodles turned this from being just an appetizer into a stand alone meal. This recipe also swaps out the greens from seaweed to baby spinach. I must admit I ended up really missing the yummy salty seaweed, but it's really the only thing I'd change about this recipe.

Miso paste is available in a variety of colors white, yellow, red, and black. Generally the darker the color the saltier and deeper the flavor is. I used yellow miso paste and ended up needing 3 tablespoons for this recipe. I recommend starting with 2 tbsp and adding an additional tbsp until it is to your liking.

Miso Soup
(from 101 cookbooks)

3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 - 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
2 - 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste - so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.

Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

August 27, 2009

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

It has been the most mild weathered summer in Chicago that I can recall. No real complaints other than it required me to fly to another state to get some pool time in. Now facing the end of August we have been confronted with weather more typical of the end of September. It's been chilly and rainy all week. Again, no complaints, it gave me a great excuse to make this creamy and comforting Hungarian Mushroom Soup.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup
(from eat me, delicious.)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 10 more minutes (or until most of the water has released from the mushrooms). Stir in the dill, paprika, soy sauce and broth. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together. Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley and sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over.


Broccomole was on my list of must-try's for a few months, and I finally made it this week. I am always up for trying new ways to enjoy broccoli and this is one of the most creative I've ever seen. This simple spread was ready in a matter of minutes, and I immediately enjoyed some with a few pieces of melba toast. I stored the rest in the fridge for a picnic lunch the next day, when we enjoyed it on top of mini whole wheat pitas with tomato slices, perfect!

This spread has my imagination going, I think I might try blending some tomatoes right in. Perhaps chickpeas in going the direction of broccoli hummus? I'll let you know if this develops into something new, but for now it is great just the way it is! Thanks to Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe for sharing this one.

(from Green Gourmet Giraffe)

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of one small lemon
1 clove garlic, chopped
Seasoning to taste

Lightly steam broccoli in microwave for about 2 minutes. Refresh and cool under cold water. Place in food processor with remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth paste.

I'm back!

Hi friends!

It's been a month since my last post.. simply terrible!
I could make all sorts of excuses such as fabulous trips to Las Vegas...

and friends babies being born..

..but I suppose you'd see right through that, wouldn't you? I guess there's always time to eat and to post about it! Anyway, I'm back and I have a few great recipes ready to post about, and several others on the way.. so stay tuned!