Cucumber Soup

cucumber soup ++ the pear and plum

Down with salads…. lets make soup!  This is actually a summer recipe that I didn’t get a chance to post back when i wasn’t wearing a scarf to bed.  You know… the good ole days.

(original recipe from here)


  • 1 3/4 pound seedless cucumbers – peeled and cut in 3” pieces (or 2lbs regular cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in 3″ pieces)
  • 1/4 medium red onion – skinned
  • 1 garlic clove – skinned
  • 1 jalapeño – stem removed, halved and seeded
  • 8 large mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1, 6 ounce non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup spring water to taste
  • 1 medium yellow tomato – seeded and cut in 1/8” cubes (or 8 yellow grape tomatoes quartered) as garnish
  • tiny mint leaves as garnish
  • lemon oil as garnish [I didnt use this]
  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with 1/2 cup of the spring water. Pulse a few times so the ingredients are coarsely chopped, then process until soup is very smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. If necessary, thin with the remaining water to the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight, until well chilled. Place the soup in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving.
  3. Ladle soup in chilled soup bowls or cocktail glasses. Drizzle a little lemon oil in the center of each bowl. Garnish with a few tomato cubes, a mint leaf and serve immediately.

tags: Side dish, Dinner, Lunch, Alternatives to bread, july, august, veggie soups

Chicken and Lime Soup

Chicken and Lime soup ++ the pear and plum

Great soup for a cool summer ocean breeze evening….

(serves 4 big bowls)


  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • Jalapeno Slices (to taste)
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 7 Cups Broth
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • A handful of greens, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with: Scallions, Cilantro and Avocado


  1. In a stock pot, saute garlic, onions, jalapenos and red pepper in olive oil.
  2. When they begin to brown, push to outside edge of pot and put chicken in the middle. Sear for a couple minutes on each side and then add broth.
  3. Add Carrots, Greens and Lime Juice
  4. Remove chicken from stock when its done. Let sit while the rest of the soup cooks.
  5. Cut up chicken and add to soup right before serving.
  6. Salt & Pepper to taste and garnish with Cilantro, Avocados and Scallions.

Grandma Leona’s Vegetable Soup

Grandmas Vegetable Soup ++ the pear and plum

This soup is the kind of soup thats even better the next day….


  • 1 Shank Bone (looks like a circle –  also called shin bone i think)
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 Small Cabbage, chopped
  • 4 Stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 6 Carrotts, chopped
  • 1 Can Condensed Tomato Soup


  1. Put bone in bottom of pan , cover with chopped cabbage and 5 Cups water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the celery, onion and carrots and cook until the carrots are mashable
  3. Take out meat & bone and mash the soup with a potato masher.
  4. Add 1 Can condensed tomato soup (or 4 T tomato paste)
  5. Add meat back in and serve.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of my own. I’ve made it tons of different ways (carrotts, curry, more apples, etc.) but this mornings spectacular version is below…



  • Olive Oil & a bit of Butter
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 3 1/4 C. Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into cubes
  • a couple sprigs of Lemon Thyme [I used dry but fresh would be lovely]
  • 1 Bay leaf


  1. Saute chopped onion and celery in olive oil and butter in a medium sized pot.
  2. After the onions turn translucent, add garlic and cook for a minute more until things start sticking to the bottom of the pan. (that brown on the bottom adds the amazing flavor)
  3. Add apples and a 1/4 C of the broth. Cook for a couple more minutes
  4. Add Butternut squash, thyme, bay leaf and the remaining 3 Cups of broth. Simmer until done.
  5. Puree in food processor until desired consistency.
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste.


Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup ++ the pear and plum

yep…. made with real tomatoes straight from the farm. But note, the goodness of this soup depends greatly on the yumminess of the tomatoes. Also, this recipe is best when you puree the soup at the end. I use a food processor but i’m sure a blender would be fine too.

(this recipe makes enough for 3 big bowls of soup)


  • Butter & Olive Oil  for the pan
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • about 3 – 4 large Tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 White Wine
  • Basil (to taste)
  • Cream (to taste)


  1. Turn heat till to medium and coat the bottom of a large bottom pan with Olive Oil and Butter. [I like the surface area of my 14 inch saute pan so that more onions can stick to the bottom which = more flavor]
  2. Add onion and cook down until they start browning to the bottom
  3. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds
  4. Stir in tomatoes and cook for about 3-5 minutes [until they fall apart a bit]
  5. Add wine and stock and turn down to low. Simmer for 20 minutes and taste. [If you want more flavor, let it go longer. Just keep on tasting and cooking until you are happy. My batch just went for 40 minutes]
  6. When you like the taste, put basil and soup into food processor and blend.
  7. Add cream to taste.

Curried Lentil Stew

…a nice warm soup for a cold rainy day…

(picture to come)


  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Stalks of celery (or some celeriac)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (bit less)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (aleppo)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (kosher)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree (14.5 stewed tomatoes)



1. In a large skillet or saucepan, caramelize the onions in vegetable oil, (we had some celeriac from the farm so we added that to this step too)

2. While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add uncooked lentils and stir for 1 minute, then add 3-4 cups of water.

4. Stir in the tomato puree and reduce heat and simmer till ready.

(faux) Pho

faux pho ++ the pear and plum

The key to Pho is to strain out any impurities so you are left with a clear broth with TONS of taste…. which usually takes time….. of which I am limited. So this is our take on pho. Still awesome (but not as authentic).

Also note: dont waste a lot of time chopping vegetables carefully because you’re going to strain them out in the end.

(recipe updated and overhauled 2/14/13)

Ingredients: (makes 4 bowls of soup)

  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1tsp. Whole Coriander Seeds
  • 3 Cloves
  • 9 Cups Broth  (because so much of it boils off)
  • 1 Onion, rough chopped
  • 3 Celery Stalks, rough chopped
  • 1 T Ginger, minced [I keep mine frozen and zest as needed]
  • 1 T Fish Sauce
  • 2 or 3 Green Onions, rough chopped
  • Rice Noodles (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Chicken (2 Breasts)
  • Shrimp (how ever many you want)
  • Bean Sprouts, Green Onions, Cilantro, Hot Sauce & Lime for toppings


  1. Put all your broth in a medium sized stock pot. Add onion, celery, ginger, fish sauce and green onions. Cook on medium.
  2. In the mean time, toast spices in a small pan on medium low for 3 or so minutes. Then add to broth and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. While thats cooking, prepare your noodles according to the directions and set aside.
  4. Go take a break until the broth is ready.
  5. After 30 min or so, strain out the vegetables from the broth and discard.
  6. Add Chicken. [I used Trader Joes Frozen Chicken breast]. Simmer on medium until done and remove from soup. Add shrimp for a couple minutes and remove. [Its really alll about the broth so taste it now to see how its doing. If you like it, eat it. If its not concentrated enough flavor for you, take out your chicken and shrimp and boil it for a bit longer and taste again until you like it.]
  7. Fill your bowls with the rice noodles and ladle soup over it.
  8. Have your toppings in the center of the table: bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro, limes and Sriracha (of course)

[This recipe has a lot of freedom for creativity… just shoot for a really flavored broth and dont overcook the meat.]

Good to know:
+ There are a ton of other ingredients you can play with as well : Lemon grasss, Hoisin sauce, Basil, Mint, Star Anise…
tags: vietnamese soup, noodle bowl, chinatown, udon noodles, cellophane noodles, bean thread noodles, lunch, dinner, winter soup