Miso Soup with Quinoa, Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms and Watercress

The temperature has been frigid lately.  And in times like this, I often opt to have something warm, lighter but hearty in nutrients other than the comfort food I’ve had growing up.  Miso soup with quinoa,  tofu, Shiitake mushrooms and watercress was what I had in mind.

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This soup is pack with protein from the quinoa, miso, and tofu.  According to WebMD, watercress is said to be used for “swollen breathing” passages in the lung, coughs, bronchitis, flu and swine flu.  Perfect for my cough and sore throat.  It’s also used for constipation and parasitic worms, cancer, goiter polyps and tuberculosis.  Some people apply watercress directly to the skin for arthritis remedy as well rheumatoid arthritis, earache, eczema, warts, and other skin problems.   Shiitake mushrooms are promoted to fight the development and progression of cancer and AIDS by boosting the body’s immune system. These mushrooms are also said to help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and to help treat infections such as hepatitis by producing interferon, a group of natural proteins that stops viruses from multiplying.  So, ingesting something with healing properties and nutrients is something to feel good about.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 sheet of dry seaweed, tear in small pieces
  • 7 oz. organic firm tofu, cut in bite pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic mild sodium Miso
  • a handful of watercress
  • 1 stalk of green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of hydrated Shiitake mushrooms

In a medium pan, add water and bring it to a simmer over low heat.   Place the miso in a medium bowl and add some of the simmering hot water.  Whisk until the broth is free of lumps.  Add to the pot with simmered hot water.  Stir to combine.  Add the Shiitake and let it simmer until the mushrooms are tender.  Then add the tofu and quinoa.  Simmer until heated through.   Add the watercress and seaweed, and green onions.   Simmer until watercress is somewhat wilted.  Serve in a small bowl and garnish with more seaweed.

VARIATION:

You can also have this with just the tofu, green onions, and seaweed.  It’s delicious either way.  Enjoy! 🙂

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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Super Fast and Easy Pumpkin Soup

If you want an emergency soup or different pumpkin soup other than the classic soup made with heavy cream, this is it!  The fastest, easy, and delicious pumpkin soup.  I promise.

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My son, Justin wasn’t able to go to school yesterday because he had an episode of severe stomach pain.  I took him to his doctor and we were there until after lunch time.  Justin repeatedly reminded me that he was famished.  Since we live nearby the hospital, I took him home instead of dining out.  Unfortunately, all he wanted to eat was soup…and fast because he was starving (he didn’t eat breakfast because he refused to eat).  Just my luck, I ran out of his favorite noodles.  The only thing I had was cream of chicken soup that I was going to use for the recipe I came up with.  I looked at it for a moment and asked myself, how can I make this soup a little healthier without Justin chewing anything except sip?  As I searched in my pantry, I saw the canned pureed pumpkins and I thought perfect!  Wait!  Chicken soup with pumpkin?  Why not?  The cream of chicken alone was flavorful enough, but I wanted to add some fiber.  Justin loves broccoli, but not today.  I asked him if he wanted pureed pumpkins added in the soup.  A quick, repeated nod ensued.  But just in case, I warned it might be too thick for his tastes (it wasn’t too thick or too thin.  It was perfect).  Well, he only wanted soup; thick or thin it didn’t matter.   The result?  Well, Justin said “I don’t just like it, I love it, mom!  Ah, so good! Thanks, mom!”

Quick Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) 98% Fat-free cream of chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom spice
  • 2 cans of water (using the empty cream of chicken soup can)
  • 1 cup of canned or homemade pureed pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (adjust according to your taste)

Garnish:

  • a dab of sour cream
  • breadcrumbs ( I used the leftover bread crumbs from making the Pandesal)
  • shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese
  • green onions ( see note)*

Preparation Methods:

  • Empty can of chicken soup and add into a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add water, cardamom spice, chicken bouillon, and pumpkin.  Whisk until well mixed.  Bring it to a boil.  Turn off heat.
  • Scoop the soup into a bowl.
  • Garnish with sour cream, breadcrumbs, shredded Parmesan cheese and green onions.

…and slurp its goodness.  Mmm…delicious!

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For the leftover pumpkin, save it for breakfast or lunch.  You can get the recipe here.

*Note:  For adults, the green onions are delicious addition to the soup.  It’s a must!  Trust me, try scooping a pumpkin soup with all the recommended garnishes and you are in for a treat.  Seriously!  The combinations are so good you would want to keep adding all the garnishes listed in the recipe until you finish the soup.  That’s what my son, Justin and I did.  Well, I made him try it at first and he liked it so much, he actually savored the soup. The oohs and aahs were endless.  🙂  

Pho At Home!

It’s noodle soup time!

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Fall is officially here.  It’s getting colder and I wanted something hot to eat.  I went to an Asian store a few days ago and discovered they sold fresh Vietnamese noodles for making Pho soups.  I had been searching for this!  I was using the dry noodles which took longer to cook.  I was so excited I wanted to go home and make a bowl of soup right away.  Talk about perfect timing since I was craving for soup that day because I felt cold.   I also found an excuse to use the meat we had in the freezer.

As I was making the soup, my children came home from school.  My youngest mentioned that he was cold, so I asked him if he wanted soup.  Both my children responded in unison and said “Oh, yes! Soup!” 🙂

The chilies you see were just a garnish.  I had to removed them because they were too spicy for my children.

Anyway, I didn’t take a picture of the noodle package because my children wanted to have the soup right away, but I changed my mind when I put it all in a bowl.   It looked so appetizing.  My children could hardly wait to have the soup, but I told them I had to take a picture first 😀   It was worth the wait.  We all enjoyed it although I had to give up the meat to them.

Cooking the meat, I used the cooking technique I learned when I was young making the popular Filipino soup, Bachoy.

Photo courtesy of www.tumbler.com

Bachoy-Filipino noodle soup
Photo courtesy of rhysjuplo @ http://www.tumbler.com

Bachoy is a noodle soup with pansit mami (similar to Japanese noodles, Yakisoba) and meat garnished with green onions and fried garlic then adding soy sauce and lime juice to flavor the broth.  The texture of Yakisoba noodles is different compared to pansit mami.   Maybe because the Yakisoba noodles I had were previously frozen.  The Pansit Mami noodles back home were made fresh.  This soup is popular among Filipinos.  It’s sold in roadside eateries and restaurants.  I remember my mother would buy each of us a bowl after Sunday mass.   It was one of my childhood memories I cherished very much.   Looking at the picture makes me crave it, Oh, my goodness!   Don’t you agree? I wouldn’t mind having soup for breakfast in a cold morning. 😀

Anyway, if you can’t find fresh Vietnamese noodles in your area, try using any noodles and just put all your favorite toppings.  Or, you can make the Bachoy soup using the technique below for the broth without adding the Shitake mushrooms, spinach, salt and pepper.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Vietnamese noodles
  • Beef, chicken, or shrimp
  • bean sprouts
  • Thai basil leaves
  • Spinach ( optional)
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Cardamom spice (to your taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Methods:

  • Before you start cooking the noodles, tenderize the meat by boiling it over medium heat for at least an hour or so.  You will need the broth for your soup, so don’t throw it away.  If you want the broth to be flavorful, add just enough water to tenderize the meat.  Make sure you have enough water as water evaporates as it cooks.  Season with salt, pepper, and Cardamom. Cover.
  • Add the Shitake mushrooms 5 minutes before end of cooking time.  Add the spinach and cook just until wilted.  Remove the Shitake mushrooms and spinach.  Set aside.
  • Follow the directions on how to cook the noodles on the back of the package.   Place the cooked noodles in a bowl.
  • Remove the cooked meat and slice thinly in bite pieces.
  • Arrange the bean sprouts, spinach, cooked beef, Shitake mushrooms, and Thai basil on top of the noodles.  Pour the steaming hot beef broth into the bowl.
  • Garnish with chillies and Thai basil leaves

Enjoy!

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~A. B.

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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Quinoa Congee Soup

This dish my friend is my healthier version of the Filipino comfort food, Arroz Caldo (Chicken and Rice) or Congee soup.  It’s low in calories and high in protein and fiber and half the carbohydrates than rice.  And, it’s so easy to make.  Your stomach would thank you for having this instead of the usual rice recipe.

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