Very aromatic and comforting soup that is great especially when fighting a cold or flu.
I took unplanned break from my blog but life just got in the way. I’m hoping to do better in the new year.
We just got back from our second annual New Year’s trip to Yosemite National Park. It was awesome! The temperature was in the comfortable upper 30s most of the time and we were able to do some hiking. The weather on New Year’s Eve Day changed a bit and it got cloudy and cold. I got to take some pictures of El Capitan as the clouds started coming in. It was amazing to see the changes.
Above is a picture when the clouds just started rolling in. Below, totally different mood and only a peak of the mountain is showing. All pics were taken with my little phone so the quality isn’t the best.
Below, El Capitan is in its full beauty as the sun is going down (taken the day before). For more pictures check out my instagram!
Today’s soup recipe comes from the Bon Appetit Magazine. I made it for the first time a while ago but I guess I was saving the pictures for a rainy day! The soup is very aromatic and delicious, will make your house smell amazing and it’s perfect on a cold day. The list of ingredients is a bit long but the preparation isn’t very consuming or complicated. The broth needs to simmer for about 1.5 hours but all the remaining steps take only few minutes. So worth it! Please, give it a try!
To make the broth very aromatic and tasty, several spices are needed. You need to toast or “wake them up” first. Use the same big pot you will use for making the soup. You will need whole cloves, green cardamom pods, star anise pods, cinnamon sticks, chiles de árbol and black peppercorns. Add them to the pot and toast, on a medium heat, for 1.5-2 minutes, stirring often. When the spices become fragrant, add a whole bunch of cilantro, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and ginger, then pour in chicken broth and fish sauce. Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer 1–1 ½ hours. Strain into a large bowl, then discard the aromatics. Return broth to the pot.
You are almost there! Your house smells great now (not that it doesn’t at any other time!) and I bet if your neighbour stops by, she will ask you what are you cooking because it smells so tempting!
While the broth is simmering, make the paste that will be stirred into the soup. Using a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup cashews until finely ground. Next, add 1 shallot, fresh hot pepper like Jalapeno or Fresno, more lemongrass and ginger as well as brown sugar. The original recipe calls for a shrimp paste but I wasn’t able to find it. Instead, I added 1 pocket of Fumet de Poisson (fish stock) that I found in my local japanese market. It is a mix of fish, crab and vegetables extracts in a powder form. Amazon sells both.
Process everything until smooth. Using a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the cashew paste, stirring often, about 2 minutes until it turns golden. Set aside.
In the meantime, cook the ramen noodles according to the directions. Drain and rinse them using cold water to stop the cooking process.
Taste the simmering broth and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add shrimp and cook until it turns pink, 2-3 minutes.
To serve, divide the noodles between the bowls and add 1-2 tablespoons of cashew paste into each bowl. Pour in the hot broth and shrimp. Serve with a generous amount of chopped scallions, cilantro/Thai basil and mung bean sprouts as well as lime wedges and hot sauce.
Serves:6-8 Prep time: 20 minutes Ready in: 2 hrs
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 3-4 star anise pods
- 3 dried chiles de árbol
- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 3 medium shallots, halved through root ends
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 6-inch pieces lemongrass, tough outer layer removed, lightly smashed
- 1 4-inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced ½-inch thick
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 1 Jalapeno pepper or Fresno chile, chopped
- 1 3-inch piece lemongrass, tough outer layer removed, finely chopped
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste with bean oil or 1 5g fish stock pocket
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ramen noodles, cooked according to directions
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled
- 8 oz mung bean sprouts, preferably organic
- 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- chopped cilantro and/or Thai basil
- lime wedges
- hot sauce like Sriracha or Sambal Olek
- Broth: using a large pot toast the spices (cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, dried chiles, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns) until very fragrant, 1.5-2 minutes. Add the remaining broth ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1.5-2 hours. Pour through the sieve, discard the spices and herbs and return the broth to the pot.
- Cashew paste: using a food processor chop cashews until fine. Add the remaining ingredients, except for oil, and process more until it resembles a smooth paste. Using a small skillet, heat up the oil and add the paste. Cook until it turns golden brown. Set aside.
- Cook and drain the noodles.
- Assembling: add shrimp into the hot broth and cook until it turns pink, 2.5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings in the broth. Divide the noodles, add cashew paste, bean sprouts, scallions, and herbs. Pour in hot broth with shrimp. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.
Recipe comes from March 2016 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.