Fresh Soups for Fall

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The Pinoy’s mung beans soup recipe made it first to “The Filipino Kitchen” at thefilipinoexpat.com.

I’ve always wanted to make freshly made soups myself. Before, I couldn’t find time to do it. There seems always an excuse for everything, like, “I’m busy to do things of utmost priority!” Surely now I’ve got the reasons, and motivation, to start learning and doing things I had been pushing aside for so long. Definitely, cooking homemade soups is one.

It’s my first time to make these dishes and thank God for the internet, these recipes I found helped me a lot. There may be a variety of ways in cooking these dishes, but I can recommend these recipes so far. Ask my hubby, he’ll give a thumbs-up.

Classic Pumpkin Soup


Source from: BBC Good Food

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Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 finely chopped onions, 1 kilogram of pumpkin, 700ml vegetable or chicken stock, 142ml pot of double cream, slices of bread

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Instructions

1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook 2 finely chopped onions for 5 minutes, until soft but not colored. Add 1kg. peeled, deseeded and chopped pumpkin to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.

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2. Pour 700ml. vegetable stock into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until the squash is very soft. Pour the 142ml. pot of double cream into the pan, bring back to boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can now push the soup through a fine sieve into another pan.

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I also put dried onions, fresh chives and remaining double cream on top. Eating the soup with bread is optional, but, maybe not for mahal.

I’m unsure about what kind of pumpkin I used. It ain’t helpful if I’d say a “regular” one. One time though, I used butternut squash, as somebody suggested, and followed the same recipe. The pumpkin soup turned out to be thicker and creamier; to the point that it could be almost gooey when it gets cold. I ain’t prefer that, but perhaps, more water is needed for a butternut squash.

Wow, Fish Chowder


Source from: Real Simple

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Ingredients

1 large chopped onion, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups whole milk, 1 large peeled and diced sweet potato, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, kosher salt and black pepper, 1 pound cut into 1-inch pieces skinless salmon fillet, 1 small broccoli stalk cut into pieces

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Instructions

1. In a large, heavy saucepan, over medium heat, cook the onion in the butter until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Whisk in the broth and milk, then add the sweet potato, bay leaf, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes.

4. Add the salmon and broccoli and simmer until the salmon is cooked through and the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes more.

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It’s suggested to serve this chowder with grilled Swiss cheese and sliced egg sandwiches. I didn’t do it at first, but maybe I’ll give it a try next time. My hubby would like it.

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I prefer this fish chowder served fresh and hot. Keeping it longer for future consumption makes the fish taste stronger.

Tasty Tomato Soup


Source from: Food Network

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Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 diced stalk celery, 1 diced small carrot, 1 diced yellow onion, 2 minced cloves garlic, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

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1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

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3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

I’m fascinated with the idea of roasting tomatoes. I thought the tomatoes go straight to the pot for long simmer. I used olive oil by just a certain amount it is needed; 3/4 cup sounds too much. I’m unsure tomatoes aren’t enough, but better to use tomato paste for more tomato-ish flavor.

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Mongo Guisado (Pinoy’s Mung Beans Soup)


Source from: All Recipes

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Ingredients

1/2 pound raw mung beans, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 minced cloves garlic, 1/4 pound boneless pork loin cut into 1-inch cubes, salt and ground black pepper to taste, 1/4 pound peeled and deveined prawns, 1 small diced tomato, 3 cups chicken broth or more as needed, 1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves

Instructions

1. Bring the mung beans and the water to a boil in a pot; cook at a boil until the beans are soft, about 40 minutes. Mash the beans; set aside.

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2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil over medium heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pork; season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking the mixture another 3 minutes. Gently stir the prawns into the mixture; cook 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes; cook another 3 minutes. Reduce heat, and pour the chicken broth over the mixture; allow the mixture to simmer in the broth for 5 minutes.

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3. Add the mashed beans to the soup; mix well. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent any of the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more chicken broth or water if the soup is too thick. Stir the spinach leaves into the soup and cook 2 minutes more before serving hot.

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Oh this is heaven, my most favorite Pinoy comfort food. It’s specially meant for wintry days, except that there’s no winter in the Philippines. Despite the sweltering heat in the tropics, apparently we have a lot of soup dishes and we enjoy all of them.

In our home, the kind of mung beans stew my mom makes for us when we’re little has fairly a lot of small stuff in it. Apart from the main ingredient of course, there’s ampalaya (bitter gourd) leaves, pork chunks, shrimps, and chicharon (pork cracklings). Now that I’m far away from home, I have to do it myself. Yes, I had been craving for this dish for so long. It’s time to learn!

The recipe I got seems to be a good version meant for Pinoys like me living abroad who likewise cannot find ingredients that are uniquely Filipino. It’s a lot simpler than my mom’s recipe, yet the flavor and the aroma are all the same and familiar. Nothing beats than the comforts of your home as they say, but I can bring it closer to me. Right?

Actually, the fun part in cooking Filipino dishes is convincing my Belgian husband to try it out. There’s a trick for that and it has worked for me pretty well. For one though, I’m lucky that mahal isn’t a picky eater and just like me he enjoys good food, wherever in the world it comes from.

With this mung bean stew I told him, “This is similar with lentil soup. And also the bean sprouts, which is your favorite, are originally from these beans. Just soak these beans in the water and let these stay for hours and voila, bean sprouts!”

And he started munching without me finishing my lines. More than I persuaded him with words, the soup itself appeared tempting enough for him already.

It’s a matter of acquaintance and familiarity, associating our dishes with others that they are more familiar with, so foreigners like my hubby will try to taste Filipino dishes. So far, it’s been successful.

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