Spicy Chipotle Vegetarian Mafalde Soup

Spicy Chipotle Vegetarian Mafalde Soup

Hello Everyone! Unfortunately it’s snap back to reality, (oh there goes gravity) for all (some?) of us. I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Year break, and y’all are ready to tackle what 2020 has in store for you! I’m going to keep the introduction short only because I saved a little something for last in this post for tonight. It has become a tradition that I do every beginning of year on the blog, for you guys to get the chance to know more about me on a personal level. So if you want to go ahead and read it, continue scrolling after you’ve had a read through the recipe of course!

Since towards the end of 2019, I have been slowly cutting down on my meat intake, specifically beef and pork (with very rare cheat/naughty days). I still ate chicken and seafood though and this year I am going to attempt to, if not completely cut out then, at least reduce my intake of chicken. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully go vegetarian, ever, but I think I can survive a couple of days a week of being completely vegetarian.

Spicy Chipotle Vegetarian Mafalde Soup

The original recipe by Rachael Ray over on Rachael Ray Mag, that inspired me to make and share this dish with you tonight is far from being vegetarian. I painfully ditched the ground beef and Italian sausages from the recipe and instead loaded the dish up with hearty and flavourful vegetables such as portobello or swiss brown mushrooms, eggplant, celery, and carrots. Just as delicious as Italian sausages *cries internally*! Of course, don’t forget to substitute the chicken stock out for veggie stock instead. However, if you’re a meat lover, then by all means go ahead and follow Rachael Ray’s recipe.

(Apologies, the intro ended up being much longer than I had anticipated when I said that I’d keep it short *cheeky grin*)

Spicy Chipotle Vegetarian Mafalde Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4*

* Serves 4 as a main, 8 as a side dish or starter.

INGREDIENTS

For the soup

  • 250g Mafalde pasta**
  • 250g portobello or swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • 1 can (400g) whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups passata or tomato purée
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sliced or minced
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 large Lebanese eggplant, diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the cheese mixture

  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, or crème fraîche
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

To garnish & serve with

  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Garlic bread, on the side

** Mafaldine, also known as Reginette or simply Mafalda or Mafalde, is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta. It is flat and wide, usually about 1cm in width, with wavy edges on both sides. It is prepared similarly to other ribbon-based pasta such as linguine and fettuccine. If not available in your local grocers, then by all means you can use lasagna sheets as stated in the original recipe, or any other shaped pasta.

METHOD

  1. Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until a few minutes shy of the package directions. In my case, package states 13 minutes, so I cooked them for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and then set aside.
  2. Cheese Mixture: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the mascarpone, parm, and cream together. Season with a touch of salt and then set aside.
  3. Soup: In a soup pot or heavy duty Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high. Sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sliced onions and cook until soft, a further 30 to 45 seconds. Add the chopped celery stalks and carrots, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and eggplant in together with the dried thyme, dried bay leaves, and chipotle peppers. Cook for a further minute.
  4. Pour the canned tomatoes, passata, and vegetable stock over the sautéd vegetables, and give it a good stir. Reduce the heat down to medium-low. Cover and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Check and stir occasionally. After about 15 minutes, add the cooked Mafalde pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes.
  5. Serve: Once done transfer to individual soup bowls. Top each serving with a fat dollop of the cheese mixture and garnish with basil leaves.
  6. Serve with hot, steamy, and crusty garlic bread on the side. I used leftover wholemeal bread slices that was sitting in our pantry and made a garlic-malunggay butter spread for it. Enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Vegetarian Mafalde Soup

Spicy Chipotle Vegetarian Mafalde Soup

BON APPÉTIT

Now as promised at the beginning of this post:

Most people make resolutions and either keep them or forget about them after the first month. I personally have never made any resolutions ever only because, knowing myself, I’d never stick to them. It was only until recently (two years ago to be exact), that I started living by an intention in mind on how I would go about to tackle the year ahead. Last year, it was to:

Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen.
Trusting that whichever way it goes, it’s for the best.

Sometimes I scare myself for how true my intention played out for the year. I entered 2019 with challenges I hadn’t overcome from the previous year, and in time, with this intention I had set, I overcame those challenges. It may not have turned out the way I had originally planned, but I believe that it was for the best.

You see, when I left my job in Brunei, it was because I had a job waiting for me in Australia. Unfortunately I fell short when it came to acquiring a visa to go and work there. With that, I gave up my opportunity to go to Australia. I decided to just go with the flow and see where I’d go next; maybe Australia wasn’t meant for me. Just yet.

I decided to find work here in the Philippines. It wasn’t easy. I was unemployed for 7-8 months and running on the little savings that I had to support not only myself, but my Mom and my sister. It was hard because we were basically starting from scratch having just moved away for good from Brunei. I was starting to fall into a bad place, mentally. I questioned myself and my abilities. I questioned why I couldn’t land a job. Every interview I went to had such promising things to say, not only about my skills and abilities, but my personality as well. But I always fell short in the end. There was always the better candidate. But by God’s grace, I finally landed a job after more than a hundred applications. Finally someone who believed in my capabilities rather than being threatened by them.

I was finally back on my feet. But nothing, nothing. Nothing could have prepared me for the ultimate challenge that was unexpectedly thrown at me. The heavens gained a warm and kind-hearted angel. That angel is Mother. I’m not going to get into much detail on this topic, but all I can say is that it wasn’t until this that I realised why I ended up not going to Australia for work and landed a job here instead. It was so that I could spend the remaining time my Mom had left in this world with her, by her side, up to her last breath.

Towards the end of 2019 (actually just about 2 weeks ago), I was scrolling through Facebook one day and came across this post that my cousin shared:

2020

It really resonated with me. God did make me strong for the challenges I faced this 2019. Even though losing a loved one, especially a mother, comes with so much pain, He has already blessed me with a very unexpected gift before 2019 ended. So I believe and trust that He will push through with His plans for me, to make me happy for 2020.

And now I also truly believe that ending up here in the Philippines instead of going to Australia, was the for the best.

My goal for 2020 is to be happy, no matter what.

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2017: Jialing Mew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Happy Guestember everyone! I’ll be taking over Amcarmen’s kitchen this week, for my third guest appearance. Having lived in Sydney for the past few years, I’ve crossed paths with several people, all with different lifestyles, backgrounds, and interests. Amidst the social and cultural melting pot, I’ve found that food is always a common talking point and a great way to bring people together. And what’s better than food that can be enjoyed by all? I’ve certainly managed to surpass my own expectations this year – not only does my recipe use multiple ingredients from Allison’s high-blood-pressure-lowering list, but it is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and… vegan! (Read about last year’s vegan recipe struggle here MATE YOU GOTTA LINK THIS PART WHERE IT SAYS HERE TO THE RECIPE FROM LAST YEAR PLZ CUZ I DONT KNOW HOW TO DO EET AND ALL THIS TEXT IN RED PLZ REMOVE FROM POST TENKS. Yes, 2017 Jialing can laugh about it now).

[I’m sorry Jialing, I had to share the text in red for the blogging world to see because it’s just too funny!] – Ally xx

Inspired by seasonal ingredients in my kitchen, staples in my pantry, and great people in my life, this dish is something that I hope everyone can enjoy. True to my appetite, my recipe makes a LOT, so it’s best made in the largest pot or pan you can scrounge up, then shared with a small army. Or simply halve the first lot of ingredients for a more regular quantity. Enjoy!

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45-50 MINS | SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g scrubbed potatoes, cubed
  • 500g split lentils
  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (400g) white beans, drained
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp hot curry powder (use mild if less heat is preferred)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  •  (optional)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • A small handful of dried curry leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch, for slurry
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • Lemon and coriander, to garnish

METHOD

  1. In your very large pot over high heat, fry onion in oil until browned. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add ginger paste and tomatoes, stirring until tomatoes are soft and start to break down (being careful not to let the garlic burn).
  2. Add curry powder, coriander powder, and chill powder if desired, stirring briefly for a few seconds.
  3. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes and lentils, increase heat to high, and add enough water to the pan to cover the potatoes and lentils. Keep covered until the water boils.
  4. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and add lemon wedges, stirring occasionally and topping up water until lentils and potatoes are all cooked through (may take roughly half an hour). Be sure to leave enough liquid to just cover the lentils.
  5. Add curry leaves, then salt and pepper, adjusting to your taste (I usually end up adding about 1 tbsp of salt). At this point, make the optional slurry with cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water, and add to the pan to thicken the gravy.
  6. Add drained white beans to pan, stirring until heated through. Take your pan off the heat.
  7. Toss in the kale, stirring through gently until evenly distributed. Be careful not to spill, as I always do…
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon. Serve hot with basmati rice or flat bread, chutney or fresh yogurt, or even on its own. Enjoy with friends or family 🙂

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Recipe Copyright © 2017 | jialingmew

BON APPÉTIT

– xx Jialing

myTaste.com

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

Hello Everyone! Today is the last day for Winter Warmer Month *sad face* and I’ve got something that the men may like: Bacon, Beer, and ‘Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”). Towards the end of June, when I was planning Winter Warmer Month, I came across this recipe in my research and decided to give it a go for one reason, and one reason only – it was just because it was called Man Soup, which I’m guessing comes from the bacon and beer.

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

If you are, or have been following my Instagram through my blog, you may have noticed that I have been posting a few photographs that show somewhat symmetry (asymmetry) breakfast/brunch/lunch/super late lunch photographs that have been inspired by the symmetrybreakfast guys that have been trending last weekend. I showed them to Jialing and we then decided to have our own symmetry breakfast this past week and it’s actually quite fun! Today, as you can see above, we had bacon, beer, and potato soup, well, we were supposed to have a different brekky this morning but since I was already preparing this for the blog, we decided to have soup instead.

The original recipe can be found on Food.com – I pretty much followed the recipe, but adjusted the quantities, probably not very accurately since I kind of just winged it to make two servings.

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS | SERVES 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 330ml (1 bottle) beer
  • 250g maple-glazed bacon, cut into bits
  • 50g vintage cheddar cheese, crumbed or grated
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1/2 brown onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream, plus more for topping
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper and rub the potatoes with a bit of salt and some olive oil. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, adjusting the cooking time if needed to make sure that they pierce easily with a fork.
  2. As the potatoes cook, heat a medium-sized pan over medium-high and add the bacon bits. Fry until crispy. Once done, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon bits and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. Next, add in the onion and celery slices to the pot with the bacon grease and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add in the butter and continue stirring until it melts.
  4. Sprinkle the plain flour over the onion/celery mix, stirring continuously until it starts to form a paste-like texture, and the flour and fats are combined smoothly. Keep stirring it for a further 5 minutes until it becomes a blonde roux (a light tan colour).
  5. Slowly pour the chicken broth into the roux, adding more and more at a time to get the roux into a creamy texture. Once all the broth has been added, pour the beer into the soup slowly, a little at a time and continue to stir.
  6. When the potatoes are done, cut them into small chunks and add them to the pot, stirring to incorporate into the soup.
  7. Using a handheld stick blender, mix the entire mixture into a thick stew. Add water to thin if necessary, however don’t add too much liquid until the blending is done. Then, add the sour cream and cheddar cheese, and let the soup continue cooking for a further 15-20 minutes on medium-low.
  8. Turn the heat off, and divide equally into serving bowls (2 large bowls, or 3-4 small bowls) and top with the crispy bacon bits and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Hello Everyone! Winter Warmer Month is coming to an end this week *sad face* but surely we won’t be saying goodbye to soups forever. I’ll keep today’s post short only because I am actually just writing this now (maybe 30 minutes before this goes up) and I didn’t prepare it in advance or during the day. I’m keeping it short because I’m really tired, but I didn’t want to skip out on posting.

Basically I woke up at 6:30am today, yes that’s actually quite early for me especially since I didn’t sleep well last night, don’t know why. I got up earlier than usual to get ready and head over about an hour out West on the train, to Brendon’s (brendonthesmilingchef) place for a cooking collaboration that had been planning for just about over a month now. We spent the whole morning until late afternoon shopping, cooking, styling, eating, and talking – and overall it was a successful day. I won’t say what we made today because that will be coming up for the month of August!

Minestrone Soup

Okay (again I always do this), I said I’d keep it short but I’m already 200 words in and I haven’t actually talked about today’s recipe – Minestrone Soup. is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based broth. I’ve made this soup a couple of times in the past and I used risoni pasta and added bacon chunks to it before. Today, I’m keeping it quite traditional, and used left over angel hair pasta hair that I cut into about 2cm long pieces.

Minestrone Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 65 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 375g McKenzie’s Italian Style Soup Mix, washed and drained
  • 150g maple-glazed bacon, cut into bits
  • 1 can (400g) canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup angel hair pasta, cut into 2cm long strands
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan cheese
  • Bread of choice

METHOD

  1. Preparing the Beans:
    • Quick method: Put required quantity into a saucepan and cover with water – approximately 3 cups of water for every cup of soup mix. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked, skimming if necessary.
    • Traditional method: Soak soup mix for approximately 6-8 hours (overnight if convenient) before cooking.
  2. Minestrone Soup: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Fry the bacon bits until browned, then sauté the garlic together with the bacon until fragrant and golden brown. The add in the onions and cooking until soft.
  3. Add in the carrots, celery, and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good mix and leave to cooking for about 5 minutes before adding the canned diced tomatoes in. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the prepared beans and further simmer for about 10-15 minutes, in the last 4 minutes, add in the angel hair pasta.
  5. Turn the heat off, and divide equally into serving bowls (4 large bowls, or 5-6 small bowls) and top with some shaved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with some stone-baked Pane di Casa bread.

Minestrone Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Minty Pea & Ham Soup

Minty Pea & Ham Soup

Hello Everyone! I’ll keep today’s story short today just because I don’t have much to tell or write about for this recipe. However, I do just want to say that this was supposed to be a recipe for Pea and Watercress Soup, but for some reason I could not find watercress anywhere even if I did see them on the shelves two/three weeks ago when I didn’t need them. I had all the ingredients ready from grocery shopping two days ago, except the watercress. Maybe they’re not in season hence the lack of? Well I just did a Google search after writing that sentence and it appears that watercress is a late spring, early summer vegetable in Australia, available from October to December. Oh well. Anyway, so when I went to the shops yesterday morning as a last resort and could not find watercress, I decided to change my soup menu for today and bought a pack of ham for a pea and ham soup instead! I guess no harm done, but such hassles to find what could not be found.

Minty Pea & Ham Soup

I completely forgot that I had mint leaves in the fridge hence why not pictured in the ingredients shots. I think I wanted to use the mint leaves for the recipe with the watercress soup, but it completely slipped my mind when I had to change the menu. Also, at that time I couldn’t find my bottle of thickened cream when I rummaged the fridge; I found it in the end though, at the very back of the fridge…

Minty Pea & Ham Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 3-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pack (300g) shredded ham
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 bunch mint leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Thickened cream

METHOD

  1. Heat a little bit of cooking oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the shredded ham and fry until browned (about 5 minutes). Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. Add a little bit more cooking oil and sauté the garlic until golden brown and fragrant. Then add in the onions and cook until soft. Add in the carrots and potatoes, and season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Leave to cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let it cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the green peas in together with half of the fried shredded ham. Bring the heat down to low and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Turn the heat off, and throw in the mint leaves. Then, using a stick blender, blend the ham and vegetables together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth.
  5. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (3 large bowls, or 4-5 small bowls) and top with the remain shredded ham, a dollop of thickened cream, and mint leaves. Serve immediately with some toasted bread.

Minty Pea & Ham Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup

Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup

Hello Everyone! Another week, another soup on the blog today! Just three more soupy recipes to go until the end of Winter Warmer Month, and gosh until the end of July as well! I can’t believe time has flown by that fast! It’s making me said because that basically means that I have about 2 weeks left in this beautiful city that I have called home for the past 4 and a half years. It’ll be heartbreaking to leave, but it’s time that I get my career life together and make that transition from uni life to a professional working life.

Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup

Anyway, enough about how my life is and will be for the next few weeks/months/years, let’s get onto today’s recipe shall we? If you’ve read my previous blog post on my Moroccan Pumpkin Soup, you might remember me going on about how I can’t believe that they don’t sell chipotle peppers in any of the big grocery stores here in Sydney. Well, when I was out doing a quick shopping run at a with my friend Marissa (basically just buying extra ingredients to go with our dinner for that day), I tried my luck to see if the Asian store that we went to sold chipotle peppers. To my surprise, they did, canned and in adobo sauce as well! My reaction was sort of like a what the *bleep* is this for real kind of reaction. I even said to myself that I should’ve popped by this store before I went all Moroccan on my pumpkin soup, and this was honestly like 2 day after I had posted my pumpkin soup recipe. Since they had them in store, and only 4 cans remaining, I decided to buy a can and figure out ow I can use them for another recipe seeing as I practically went cuckoo trying to find these peppers.

Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup Ingredients

Today I had actually scheduled a recipe for Cauliflower and Stilton Soup, but instead, seeing as I had the chipotle peppers, I decided to do a Hearty Chipotle Chicken Soup. The soup that I made is the exact definition of a Winter Warmer Soup; it had a nice kick to it from the chipotle peppers, and a lovely sweetness to it from the corn, while the beans and the chicken meat bulked the soup up. You can find the original recipe on Taste of Home. I’ve tweaked the method a bit as well as some of the ingredients for my recipe.

For the chicken broth, I bought 2 chicken carcasses from the butcher and boiled it together with some bay leaves, sea salt, black peppercorns, and ginger for about 45 minutes to an hour to get the flavour into the broth. I then shredded the meat from the carcasses and used them to bulk my soup up instead of using chicken breasts as the original recipe used. I also used fresh field grown gourmet tomatoes and roasted them over the gas stove to give it that flame-roasted flavour to them for my soup. Yes I probably picked the most time consuming way to make this soup, but it was all worth it in the end I believe. I completely forgot to deseed the chipotle peppers, as the original recipe stated, before adding them to the soup, but I’m glad I didn’t because, though it gave the soup a good kick, it wasn’t as spicy as I thought it be. If I had deseeded them, I don’t think they give the heat that I had with this dish.

Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 small field grown gourmet tomatoes, flame-roasted and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 large chicken carcasses, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sliced or minced
  • 2 ears of corn, cut from the cob
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 can (400g) cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers)
  • Fresh cilantro or coriander
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Thickened cream or sour cream
  • Thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • Whole black peppercorns

METHOD

  1. Add the chicken carcasses together with the bay leaves, ginger, salt, and whole black peppercorns, to a large pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Boil for about 45 minutes to an hour over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken carcasses from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the broth into a bowl and discard the bay leaves, ginger, and peppercorns. Set aside for later.
  2. Once the chicken carcasses have cooled down, pull the meat from the chicken carcasses and shred to small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Heat the same pot over medium-high with a little bit of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic until golden brown and fragrant. Then add in the onions and cook until soft. Add in the shredded chicken pieces and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Give it a good mix and follow with the adobo sauce, chipotle peppers, cannellini beans, sweet corn, and tomatoes to the chicken mixture. Give it a good mix and let it cook further for about 5-6 minutes before adding the chicken broth in.
  4. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer away for a further 10-15 minutes to ensure all the flavours blend together.
  5. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (3 large bowls, or 4 small bowls) and top with a dollop of whipped thickened cream and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Hearty Chicken Chipotle Soup

Anyway, before I end this post, I would just like to share my experiences of how I’ve heard other people try to pronounce chipotle (chee-poat-lay). The very best, and even I still remember until now even if it’s been just about 2 years ago, I’ve heard chip-poh-lah-tay from Jack Harries (jacksgap) on YouTube when he was doing a chilli challenge with Jamie Oliver, also note the way they say jalapeño, jah-lah-pee-nose instead of HAH-lah-pen-yose.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

Hello Everyone! We’ve made it halfway through Winter Warmer Month and today I’ve got something for spicy and seafood lovers out there. Well, I mean maybe not all seafood lovers will fancy this just because I know some people who do love seafood, but can’t do crabs because of its taste/texture, or even prawns because of the way it looks. Anyway, if you like spicy, crab, and sweet corn in a nice creamy soup, then this recipe is for you!

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque Ingredients

A bisque is basically a soup of French origin from a crustacean-based broth (either from lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish) that is smooth, creamy, and highly seasoned. Traditionally, you would extract the flavour from imperfect crustaceans that are not good enough to sell at markets. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Seafood bisques are traditionally served in a low two-handled cup on a saucer or in a mug. However, not all bisques contain seafood. Bisque is also sometimes used to refer to cream-based soups in which pre-cooked ingredients such as squash, tomato, mushroom, and red pepper are puréed or processed in a food processor.

Anyway, two days ago I went to the Sydney Fish Markets with my roommate Marissa (from Maiyummy) and her friend Rachel to indulge in delectable seafood plates from the barbecue and grill place, as well as purchasing some fresh seafood for our own cooking. I bought some live flame clams and blue swimmer crabs for this particular recipe. Actually, I hadn’t planned on making a seafood bisque for Winter Warmer Month, but as soon as I knew that I was going to make a trip to the fish market, I had to do a seafood soup of some sort! Anyway, enough talk and let get to the menu shall we? You can find the original recipe over on All Recipes; I changed the order of the method and the seasonings but it still worked out fine.

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g fresh crabmeat (I got mine from blue swimmer crabs)
  • 2 ears of corn, cut from the cob
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 small-sized onion, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth*
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

*I made my own by combining chicken carcasses, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and a bit of ginger in a pot of water and boiled it for about 45 minutes to an hour, otherwise store bought broth, or a chicken cube/powder with water will do the trick as well.

METHOD

  1. Wash and clean the crabs thoroughly and place in a steamer and steam for about 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the steamer and set aside to cool. If you’ve purchased crab flesh in a jar, then you can skip this step altogether.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, be careful as to not brown/burn the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute or two before adding the the onions and cooking them until soft.
  3. Add in the corn kernels followed by the bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix around and cook for about a minute or two before adding the chicken broth in with the mixture.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the soup and set aside.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in the thickened cream. Using a stick blender, blend the corn together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium-high once again and return the unblended soup to the cooking pot and mix well.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and milk. Slowly and constantly stir the mixture into the simmering soup. Stir in crabmeat (leaving a few pieces behind to decorate with) and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  7. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (4 large bowls, or 6 small bowls) and top with some crabmeat, corn, cayenne pepper, and fresh afro parsley.

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

Cayenne Crab & Corn Bisque

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

Hello Everyone! I know, this recipe may not be as exciting as the three Winter Warmer soup recipes that have gone up on the blog for this month, but everybody loves an easy creamy mushroom soup. Well, at least I know without a doubt that I love me a nice bowl of mushroom soup. Even at buffets that I have been to, I always dive into a nice bowl of mushroom soup over whatever was the other choice of soup.

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

Anyway, I’ve made this recipe a couple of times before and I remember the last time I made this soup was last year during my meat free week which was the week before Easter Sunday. That whole week was difficult indeed because I would always be so hungry after 2 hours of having my meal which then made me sad and upset. What did I learn from this experience? I can’t live without meat in my diet, and therefore I will never be able to convert to a vegetarian. I can have a no meat day, but a week let alone forever? Nope!

You may notice that there are some ingredients missing in the picture from the list, and that’s only because I remembered when everything was chopped up already that I was missing the butter and flour. The dash of worcestershire sauce was actually unplanned, I just came across the sauce in the pantry as I was searching for the pepper mill.

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pcs portobello mushrooms, cut into small chunks
  • 2 cups pork stock*, or vegetable stock
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 brown onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • Dash of worcestershire sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • Thickened cream

*I had about 2 cups of rich pork broth that I didn’t want to throw away from tenderising a piece of pork shoulder to teach my friend how to make roast pork cracking, so I reserved it and decided to use it for this recipe. Otherwise, plain vegetable stock is fine for a vegetarian option.

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, be careful as to not brown/burn the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute or two before adding the the onions and cooking them until soft. Then add in the mushrooms, seasoning with a bit of black pepper, salt, and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are tender.
  2. Add the pork stock in and a dash of worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, let it cook for a further 10 minutes. Scoop out about a tablespoon of the stock and place into a small bowl together with the flour. Mix until there are no more lumps and the mixture becomes a thick paste. Return to the pot and incorporate well into the soup. Continue cooking the soup until it starts to thicken, about a further 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off, and scoop out about a heaped ladle of the soup and mushrooms. Set aside.
  4. Then, using a stick blender, blend the mushrooms together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Return the unblended soup to he cooking pot and mix well.
  5. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (2 large bowls, or 3 small bowls) and top with a dollop of thickened cream and fresh afro parsley. Serve immediately with some toasted bread.

Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Hello Everyone! Oh what a hectic recipe this has been. First of all, it wasn’t supposed to be Moroccan-flavoured pumpkin soup; I wanted to do a spicy chipotle pumpkin soup. I looked everywhere I could for chipotle peppers, but could only find chipotle salsa in the grocery stores that contained like 5% chipotle and 95% others. There were two other stores that sold chipotle peppers, but one I had to order online (with a minimum price of $20.00 to be able to ship), and the other I had to wait up to 10 days. So I scratched the chipotle and decided to use fresh jalapeño peppers along with Mexican chilli powder.Those flavours didn’t even shine through because of the very flavourful Moroccan soup base that I used for the soup. I was going to make my own vegetable stock for this dish, until I saw this base in store. I’ve never seen them before (well duh it says ‘new’) and I wanted to give it a try – thus Moroccan Pumpkin Soup on the menu tonight. Even though I didn’t achieve what I wanted to in the first place, the soup was delicious, especially with the crispy chorizo bits on top!

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Peeling pumpkin can be quite difficult, I guess, well not for me. I only said that because I remembered my former housemate Lydia struggling to peel pumpkin; it would take her close to an hour to peel and cut them into chunks. I also remembered how she would place them in the pot and cook them as she went to save time, and but of course the first batch of pumpkin would already be tender. I jokingly said to her, “did you have pumpkin mash for dinner?” Ah bless her; Lydia if you’re reading this, please comment below (also you Vidhya because I know you are reading this and remembering this too :P).

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 3-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 chorizo, sliced and then cut into small chunks
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 2 cups Campbell’s Moroccan soup base
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Mexican chilli powder
  • Afro parsley
  • Feta cheese
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin chunks and jalapeño peppers with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss around until well coated with the oil and seasoning. Line a baking tray with foil and place the pumpkin chunks and jalapeño peppers on it. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Heat a large pot with a bit of olive oil over medium-high. Add the chorizo chunks in and fry until crispy. Set aside, leaving behind the oil in the pot.
  3. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add the onions and continue cooking until soft.
  4. Add the pumpkin and jalapeño peppers to the pot and mash the pumpkin, mixing it together with the sautéed garlic and onions. Season with a bit more salt, pepper, and Mexican chilli powder, then add in the Moroccan soup base. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, continue cooking for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and let it sit too cool down slightly for about 10 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend the vegetables together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Add in the cream and give it a good mix.
  6. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (3 large bowls, or 4-5 small bowls), and top each with a bit of crispy chorizo and feta cheese. Garnish with afro parsley leaves and serve immediately with some toasted bread.

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo

Honestly, why buy canned soup when you can easily make your own! Much more healthy in a sense that there are far way less preservatives in your soup and you can go nuts with the flavours that you fancy!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

Hello Everyone! My goodness has it been cold these past few days/nights! Today I didn’t particularly do much besides staying indoors, away from the cold and rain, and cooking up a nice pot of Chicken Soup to stay warm. I made Arroz Caldo, a Filipino chicken porridge, over the weekend seeing as I thought I’d be doing down with a cold, but I was mighty fine the next day. I had some leftover chicken and ginger from that, and so I decided to make chicken soup with it! All I really needed was green papaya and malungay or chilli leaves. Also, perfect as it’s winter warmer month on my blog, and I actually didn’t have chicken soup pre-planned into the month.

Growing up, my mom always made this dish, even though we live in the tropics where we have hot weather all year round, it was still a perfect dish for a rainy day. We usually skip the malunggay or chilli leaves altogether since its not commonly found in the markets, unless you grow your own, and we usually use chayote (or known as chokos here in Australia, which by the way I never knew until I arrived here) instead of green papaya; no real reason for the substitute. My mom also adds glass noodles to the soup rather than pairing the soup with rice (but I still add the glass noodles and have a serving of rice anyway).

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

I think I may have at one point in my life tried this chicken soup with green papaya, and I honestly could not tell the difference in taste, until today that is. I’m not sure if it’s the particular papaya that I picked or the way I prepared it, or whatever it may be, it did not leave a lovely taste to my buds. It just tasted wrong and I can’t pinpoint what it tasted like. Probably just raw papaya to me, but I believe that I’ve cooked it long enough because it was soft, and I don’t think I needed to do anything with it besides peeling and removing the seeds to prepare it. After this dish of mine, I definitely prefer using chayote/choko with my chicken soup. Anyway, I also tried to look for malunggay and chilli leaves in the markets. No one knew what malunggay leaves were and a lady told me that “no one here sells chilli leaves”. I stopped and thought for a while, and then I saw a sign that said that they sell curry leaves. I thought to myself if I could use curry leaves instead of chilli leaves, and so I bought a small bag of fresh curry leaves. It was a wise decision in my opinion! The curry leaves made the soup even more fragrant, which I didn’t think was possible seeing as the chicken soup alone without it was already fragrant enough. It also added a subtle flavour to the soup which I can’t quite describe. Basically, if you’ve had the chance to smell curry leaves, that smell is the flavour. I don’t know if I made any sense there but that’s what I feel/taste.

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg chicken wingettes, washed and cleaned
  • 1.5L water
  • 1/2 small-sized green papaya, peeled, seeds removed and cut into wedges
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • Thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • Small bunch curry leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the julienned ginger strips and sauté until fragrant. Add in the garlic together with the curry leaves and continue sautéing until golden brown. Finally, add in the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Add in the chicken wingettes together with a bit of salt and pepper. Give it a good mix, then cover the pot and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add in the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the papaya wedges and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the papayas are tender. Taste and if needed, season a bit more to your liking.
  4. Turn the heat off and serve immediately with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Tinolang Manok (Chicken & Green Papaya Soup)

The secret to making a good chicken tinola is to simmer the chicken for a long period of time. This enables the flavours of the chicken to infuse into the soup and also tenderises the chicken. I’d say cook it between 45-60 minutes, but 20 minutes cooking time is good enough if time is not on your side. Both has worked out fine for me.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com