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Two of my family members are pescetarian, one of whom is my picky daughter who only likes a few types of fish cooked in very specific ways so to all intents and purposes is mostly vegetarian. Many Chinese soup recipes involve meat or fish, or at least meat broth, so I'd love to find a few more recipes that would suit my whole family (I also don't eat much pork as it doesn't always agree with me, and a lot of soups involve pork so this is also for my benefit!). Vegetarian would be best, or pescetarian soups that are not obviously seafood based (I could get away with sneaking a small amount of dried shrimp in, for instance, but not much more than that!).
Any kind of soup will do, although I'd particularly like some simple recipes that could be served alongside a multi-dish meal. But I'm always interested in new recipes so any good soup recipes would be welcome!
EXQUISITE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP
Jerusalem artichoke, also called sunchoke or earth apple, has been known in Poland since the first half of the XVIII century. It is a vegetable especially recommended for diabetics because it reduces the amount of blood glucose. Those who would like to lose weight should also reach for it. Jerusalem artichoke contains a lot of potassium so it reduces blood pressure, and inulin which reduces high cholesterol.
I have looked suspiciously at the packaging of Jerusalem artichoke a few times. Only the soup I ate in a Warsaw restaurant convinced me to buy it. I prepared my own version of cream of Jerusalem artichoke. I found the recipe at the Polish page zakochanewzupach. However, I used my own spices. I served this soup with mushroom crisps and parsley olive oil. It was really excellent.
Ingredients (for 4 people):
500g of Jerusalem artichoke
200g of potatoes
1 big onion
2 tablespoons of oil
500ml of vegetable stock
400ml of coconut milk
fistful of parsley
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and white pepper
Dice the onion and fry lightly in oil. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes and cube them. Add the vegetables to the onion and fry for a while on a low heat. Don't brown them. Put everything into a pot, add the vegetable stock and boil until the vegetables are soft. Add the coconut milk, spice it up with the salt and white pepper and boil for a while. Blend the soup thoroughly. If it is too thick, add more vegetable stock. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Fry the slices in oil until they are gold and crunchy. Grind the parsley in a mortar with a pinch of salt. Add the olive oil while grinding constantly. Serve the hot soup with mushrooms crisps and parsley oil.
Enjoy your meal!
Clam Soup with Mustard Greens - 车螺芥菜汤
This is a popular, light but peppery soup available in most restaurants here (even if its not listed on the menu). Also, very easy to make at home.
Clams. (around 8 to 10 per person. Some restaurants are stingy with the clams, but I like to be more generous). Fresh live clams are always used in China, but if, not available, I suppose frozen clams could be used. Not canned. The most common clams here are relatively small. Littleneck clams may be a good substitute in terms of size.
Stock. Chicken, fish or clam stock are preferable. Stock made from cubes or bouillon powder is acceptable, although fresh is always best.
Mustard Greens. (There are various types of mustard green. Those used here are 芥菜 , Mandarin: jiè cài; Cantonese: gai choy). Use a good handful per person. Remove the thick stems, to be used in another dish.)
Garlic. (to taste)
Chile. (One or two fresh hot red chiles are optional).
MSG (optional). If you have used a stock cube or bouillon powder for the stock, omit the MSG. The cubes and power already have enough.
White pepper (freshly ground. I recommend adding what you consider to be slightly too much pepper, then adding half that again. The soup should be peppery, although of course everything is variable to taste.)
Bring your stock to a boil. Add salt to taste along with MSG if using.
Finely chop the garlic and chile if using. Add to stock and simmer for about five minutes.
Make sure all the clams are tightly closed, discarding any which are open - they are dead and should not be eaten.
The clams will begin to pop open fairly quickly. Remove the open ones as quickly as possible and keep to one side while the others catch up. One or two clams may never open. These should also be discarded. When you have all the clams fished out of the boiling stock, roughly the tear the mustard leaves in two and drop them into the stock. Simmer for one minute. Put all the clams back into the stock and when it comes back to the boil, take off the heat and serve.
I take great pride in that knowing the fact that I can replicate recipes on my own. I've had some pretty good success with coming up with flavors and foods that remind me of my youth, specifically, takeout items. I think I do a pretty good job of burgers, fried chicken, pizza, a multitude of a Chinese food dishes, etc. One item that I cannot seem to figure out, which should be so simple to do, but it's frustratingly and deceptively difficult, is Asian broth.
I'm talking wonton soup and phö broth. I can't figure it out and I need help. I've scoured the forums here and tried everything. But I can't get a clear broth and I can't get the right flavour. I need to know what I'm doing wrong, I've spent a decade trying to figure this out.
To me, there is nothing in this world like good soup broth. Can someone find it in them to help me, please? I would be forever grateful.
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