Tag Archives: physically fit

Coconut Chicken & Shrimp Soup

chicken & shrimp soupI can thank Thai food, in part, for my friendship with Chef Danielle Turner of CookingClarified.com.

As staffers at a non-profit in Washington, DC, we used to hang out after work at a nearby Thai restaurant sampling Pad Thai, laab, crab rangoon, and talking about everything from pop culture to politics to – you guessed it – food.

She’s also a fantastic cook; my family still raves about some of the meals she’s thrown together.

So Chef Danielle’s recipe for coconut chicken & shrimp soup, which is based on the shrimp and lemongrass soup known in Thailand as Tom Yum soup, is also a great reminder of how food and friendship can go hand in hand.

Why not put together a pot of soup and invite over your best friend to share a meal and a conversation?

Click here or go to www.cookingclarified.com for Chef Danielle’s recipe.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny SoupMulligatawny soup is an Anglo-Indian creation that is now enjoyed around the world.

This recipe comes from Julie Sahni’s book, Classic Indian Cooking, but Madhur Jaffrey also has a great recipe that includes chicken in her book, At Home with Madhur Jaffrey.

Like a lot of Indian recipes, this is an easy one to make vegetarian. Just omit the chicken broth and use vegetable stock or water instead.

The beautiful photo comes from http://www.MyRecipes.com.

Mulligatawny Soup

3 c. chopped vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, mushrooms)

6 c. meat, veg or chicken broth

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

1 sprig fresh coriander leaves (sub 1 tbsp. dry coriander)

¼ tsp. black pepper

2 tbsp. light vegetable oil

½ c. finely chopped onions

4 tsp. curry powder

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ c heavy cream

Kosher salt

2 tbsp. finely minced fresh coriander leaves (1 tbsp. dry coriander leaves)

Put vegetables in a deep 3-quart saucepan with the broth, garlic, coriander, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Turn off the heat

When the vegetables are slightly cool, puree the soup. Pass the soup through a fine sieve to ensure that it will be smooth and velvety in texture and free of fibers. Return the soup to the pan and bring it to a gentle simmer.

While the soup is simmering, put the oil and onions in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until they turn a caramel brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add curry powder and four, and cook the mixture for one minute, stirring rapidly. Turn off heat and add this mixture to the gently simmering soup, stirring constantly to prevent lumping. Simmer until soup has thickened (about 2 minutes). Turn off the heat. The soup may be made up to this point and set aside, covered, for several hours, or refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen.

To serve: stir in cream, salt to taste and coriander leaves. Simmer over low heat until warmed through. Serve hot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn

Danish Fish Soup

Danish Fish SoupI found this great recipe in an old book called Scandinavian Cooking by Beryl Frank in my local library.

As a seafood lover, I found a lot of recipes I’d like to try. Nobody does more with fish than the Scandinavians!

But this soup, in particular, caught my eye.

Although I will certainly make modifications when I make it for myself (step one: lose the saffron; it’s an expensive investment for an herb I rarely cook with), I think it will easily translate to an American kitchen.

Danish Fish Soup

1 lb. fish fillets

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp. aquavit (I think this is a liquor/wine)


4 onions, peeled

1 leek

2 carrots

4-5 medium potatoes

3 slices bacon

4 c. beef broth

Pinch of saffron

½ tsp. basil

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

Parsley for garnish

Drain the fish fillets and cut them into 1-in pieces. Put them into a deep dish.

Add the lemon juice and aquavit and cover.

Finely chop the chives and peeled onions.

Cut the leek in half and then into pieces. Peel and dice the carrots and potatoes.

Dice the bacon and put it into a pot, cooking into it is just transparent.

Add the onions and chives and cook for 3 minutes more.

Let this mixture steam.

Add the leek, carrots, and potatoes; steam for 1 minute more.

Pour in the meat stock and add the saffron, basil, and bay leaf.

Cover and coo for 15 minutes.

Then add the fish mixture with its liquid and simmer slowly for 5 minutes more.

Season the soup with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.


Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn


KneidlachAlso known as matzoh ball soup, kneidlach became an obsession of mine about a year ago when I fixated on a soup I had eaten a long time ago.

Now this soup is in permanent rotation at my house.

I enjoy asking people who grew up with it questions to fine-tune my recipe.

Keep the carrots, celery and/or onion in the broth when you serve it?

Just use them as a flavoring and then discard them?

Buy matzoh mix and take it easy on yourself?

Make the matzoh balls from scratch?

Matzoh balls the size of a golfball or a tennis ball?

As you can see, I doubt I will ever get tired of this soup.

Kneidlach (Matzoh Ball Soup)

For matzoh balls, you can make them from scratch but I used a matzoh ball mix to which you still need to add eggs and oil.

Follow the box’s instructions to make and cook the matzoh balls. Set aside and make the broth (below).

2- 32 oz. containers of chicken broth

¼ c. shredded carrots

¼ c. diced onions

½ c. diced celery

2 cloves garlic, diced fine




Bring ingredients to a slow boil.  Add matzoh balls, heat through and serve.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn


PucheroPuchero, an Argentinean beef stew, has been eaten for centuries and enjoyed by the rich and the poor alike.

It’s an easy recipe to modify depending on your budget.

If you’re feeling flush with funds, spring for a slightly more expensive cut of beef.

Scrimping and saving? Grab what’s on sale and stew the heck out of it.

This recipe is from a cool little book – again, found at the library (as you can see, I’m on a budget) – called Cooking the South American Way.

There’s a whole series of these little books from different parts of the world. Although they were shelved in the kids’ section, I was thrilled to stumble upon them and I spent a lot of interesting hours of my holiday break poring over them and choosing recipes to try.

The book did not include many pictures, but I found a really beautiful shot of Puchero from this website.

Puchero (Argentinean Beef Stew)

1 ½ lb. beef

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

6 c. water

2 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

4 small, whole potatoes, peeled

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 6 pieces

8 pearl onions

½ lb. whole green beans, tips and strings removed

2 stalks celery, cut into bite-sized pieces

6 sprigs parsley or cilantro

Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. In a large saucepan, brown meat lightly in oil. Add water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender.

Add vegetables, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve.


Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn

Chicken and Dumplings Soup

Chicken and Dumplings SoupFor today’s recipe, we’re sticking close to home: the Southern and Midwestern United States.

Chicken and dumplings soup is believed to have originated in these two areas of the country during the Great Depression when home chefs were trying to make the most of the resources they had.

But this dish is also popular in French Canada and is similar in some ways to Chinese wonton soup and Iran’s gondi soup which has matzoh ball-like dumplings.

This chicken and dumplings recipe is from Chef Danielle Turner at www.CookingClarified.com.

Go to Chef Danielle’s website and get the details on how to make this economical yet mouth-watering soup.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn

Caribbean Callaloo Soup

Callaloo SoupThere’s no better way to beat the winter blues than with a taste of the Caribbean.

Callaloo soup is enjoyed throughout the Caribbean with minor variations.

Callaloo is the leafy greens that top the taro root.

In the U.S., it’s recommended that you use spinach leaves to mimic the flavor.

In addition to showcasing okra, callaloo soup also incorporates my favorite habanero pepper. If that’s too hot for you, you can leave it out or substitute your favorite hot pepper.

This recipe is from a great book I found in my local library, Better Homes and Gardens Best Ethnic Cuisines.

I would definitely recommend this book because I found some great recipes from many different cultures.

Callaloo Soup

3 strips thick-sliced bacon, chopped

½ c finely chopped onion

¼ c finely chopped celery

1 habanero

1 clove garlic, minced

4 14-ounce cans chicken broth

1 c. sliced fresh or frozen okra

12 medium shrimp

2 c. shredded fresh spinach


In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Add onion, celery, habanero, and garlic to pan. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Carefully add broth to pan. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boiling. Add okra to pan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer, covered 5 minutes more or until opaque. Stir in spinach and heat through. Stir in cooked bacon. Season to taste with salt.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn

Soup’s On In January

If you’re like me, it can be difficult to re-adjust back to the ordinary routine after the excitement of the holidays. It’s not that I have a problem with January, per se, but living through the next two and a half months of snow, rain, rock salt, and biting winds really takes a toll on my psyche.

So that’s why I’m counting on soup to rescue me.

You might think soup is an unlikely superhero, but you’d be wrong.

Soup is a real global contender – as you’ll see over the next four weeks.

It is generally an inexpensive meal to prepare, in keeping with many of our New Year’s resolutions to save more.

It is also a relatively healthy food choice, usually prepared with lots of local and seasonal produce. That helps those of us with fitness resolutions this time of year.

And it is my favorite food of all time. Some of my best food associations involve soup and my grandmothers.

My grandmother Kathryn used to prepare Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch for me when I was a kid and we were still allowed to go home for lunch during the school day. (I’m not that old; it was just a very quaint town.)

As an adult, I treasure the memory of my grandmother Marie making me a soul-warming potato soup when I was adjusting to new challenges in my life.

I can’t think of a better way to get through the cold, grey days of January than to celebrate with a bowl of soup.

So for the next 21 days – every day, Monday through Friday – you’ll find a recipe that I’ve discovered and am excited to share.

Some of the soups are global and some are just fantastic recipes created – or improved – by my friend, Chef Danielle Turner of www.CookingClarified.com.

I’m excited to hear your about your favorite soups, soup memories, and your coping strategies to keep a cheerful attitude over the long winter.

And I hope this little project inspires you to keep your resolutions to be financially and physically fit in 2011 and to embrace all the great things the world has to offer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, Learn