Tag Archives: soup

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me – it was a bit thick and felt like it stuck to my insides. Maybe it’ll work better with a bit more water? In any case, it was a great opportunity for us to break out the immersion blender. The ingredients:

  • Water, 5 cups
  • Red lentils, 2 cups
  • Onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • Potatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
  • Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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The ingredients.

First, bring the water to a boil along with the potatoes, onions, lentils, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

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Boil, and then simmer.

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Once the simmering is complete.

Then warm the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking pot. Then add the spices – the turmeric, cumin, and salt, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant, or about 2-3 minutes.

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Adding spices to warm oil.

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Mixed.

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before you add the mixture, along with the cilantro, to the main pot.

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All in the pot.

This is where you get to use the immersion blender.

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A fine machine.

Add the lemon juice, and then you’re done!

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The finished product.

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Aljotta (Maltese Fish Stew)

I love this recipe. I’ve made it at least a dozen times over the years, and if it weren’t so expensive to make, I’d make it more often. Why is it expensive? The ingredients are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion (large, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, peeled & minced)
  • Diced tomatoes (1 large can)
  • Fish stock
  • Basil leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Mint leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Marjoram leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Rice (2 cups, cooked)
  • Fish (1-2 lbs)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)

Neither fish (something like cod, haddock, or tilapia works well here) nor fish stock are cheap. I’ve found that seafood stock is inferior to actual fish stock (if you can find it) and in either case, it’s hard to buy enough to avoid having to supplement the stew with some amount of water. But if money is no issue for you, just use fish stock.

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The ingredients.

The place to start is with a simple, empty pot. Then add the oil.

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Heating the oil.

Add onions and garlic and fry in the oil until soft.

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Cooking down the onions and garlic.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, and then the fish stock (if need be, you can supplement with fish bouillon, but I never have).

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Add the tomatoes…

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…and then the fish stock.

Next, tear basil and mint leaves into pieces, then add to saucepan with marjoram leaves.

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Green stuff!

The next ingredient is the fish, cut however you like (I do cubes).

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Fish!

Let that cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked rice. It’ll expand even further in the stew, so (depending on how much broth you like) you may want to add more water in.

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Rice!

Finally, season the stew with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I usually use at least a tablespoon of each, and often more. But they’re all to taste, so you’ll need to decide for yourself : -)

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The finished product – enjoy!

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Ryan’s Chicken Soup

My chicken soup – perhaps like yours – often varies, but this is what it was like the last time I made it:

  • Chicken stock (2-3 boxes)
  • Rice (2 cups)
  • Chicken
  • Carrots (8-10)
  • Celery
  • Onion (1-2)
  • Garlic (whole head)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

You can use bouillon if you prefer, but I like using actual chicken stock. And I’ll use chicken stock from the store when need be, but this stock happens to come from the carcass of a chicken. I’m not privy to the process – my partner did that part – but the essence is basic: you put the carcass and veggies in a crockpot and let it do its thing. How much you use is again up to you – when I use boxes, I usually add two or three.

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The broth.

Sometimes I make my chicken soup with potatoes, or with egg noodles, but recently I’ve enjoyed using rice. First you make the rice – I have a rice cooker for that – and then you add it to the pot. I made about two cups.

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The rice.

These are the rest of the ingredients. The chicken comes from the remains of the roast chicken, just scraps removed from the carcass before it went in the crockpot.

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The ingredients.

I like to use a good number of carrots- say 8-10 – and they should go in first because they’ll take longer to soften up.

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The carrots.

Then the chopped onion and celery. Together, the three are called mirepoix, and you can buy them pre-chopped at the grocery store. But I never have, both because it’s more expensive and because it tastes better when you chop them up yourself.

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The onion.

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The celery.

Dump stuff in as you chop it. The rice you should add when it’s cooked, and the chicken you can add whenever you like, because it’s already been roasted. If you’re making this with raw chicken, you should obviously add it first, so it has time to cook.

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The black pepper.

Then the salt and pepper. You can see the pepper I added here, floating on the top. I like to add a good bit of pepper to give the soup a kick, but the salt and pepper you add should be to taste.

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Yum.

And the final result – enjoy!

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Ryan’s Potato & Leek Soup

This soup is hearty – and easy to make. Just look at the list of ingredients:

  • 16 cups of water
  • 6-8 large potatoes
  • 3-4 leeks
  • Head of garlic
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt (to taste)
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The ingredients.

Step 1: Boil the water

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Boiling water.

While you’re doing this, you can do some of the other prep work, like cleaning the potatoes and leeks.

Step 2: Add the potatoes

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The potatoes.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, you can add the potatoes. I usually leave the skin on (though I scrub the skin to get rid of the dirt) and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise before dropping them in. It may take some time for them to soften up completely, usually a half hour or more. Use any kind of potato you like.

Step 3: Fork the potatoes

When the potatoes are completely soft, I usually divide the halves unevenly into about four quadrants. This I do with the side of a fork instead of a knife, because a knife would cut too clean. The purpose here is to create a soup with uneven chunks of potatoes, but nothing really larger than bite size in the end. From this point on, the cooking will continue to gradually break down the potato chunks.

Step 4: Add your Bouillon

This is the kind of bouillon I use:

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The bouillon.

I add a full package – eight cubes. These slowly dissolve in the soup, but if you’re so inclined, you can help them along by mashing them up when they get soft.

Step 5: Add the leeks

I usually cut up the leeks into wide swathes, about half an inch wide (this allows them to last longer in the soup before turning into mush). Obviously you just want to stick with the stalk itself, and discard the part above where the leaves start separating from the stalk.

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The leeks.

When you have all your swathes cut up, you can break up the rings with your fingers and add them to the soup.

Step 6: Add the garlic

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The garlic.

I use a garlic presser and a full head of garlic. The fresher the garlic, the better. This part can be messy, depending on the kind of garlic presser you have. And if you have any cuts on your hands, watch out! They’ll sting with the garlic juice.

Step 7: Salt to taste

After letting the soup simmer for a final few minutes or so – just enough time to let that garlic permeate the soup – you can sample the broth. What you’ll probably find is that the soup tastes great, and without any additional salt. But if you used fewer bouillon cubes, you may find that it’s missing that final kick. If so, adding a bit more salt at this stage will bring the flavor into full bloom. It doesn’t just make the soup saltier, in other words, but it makes it taste fuller and richer. Try for yourself and see.

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The end result.

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