March 25, 2011 § Leave a Comment
J: Welcome to our first Nombudsman “feature”! I decided that a fun way to challenge myself to try some new things would be to go onto the Food Network’s website, pick seven chefs, and choose a recipe from each of them. It’s taken me way too long to get through all of them, but I did it, finally! Some were delicious, some were pretty good, and some, with all due respect to the chefs who created them, were things I probably wouldn’t make again.
We’re starting off with Giada De Laurentiis. In all my evenings spent watching FN, I haven’t actually seen any of her shows, but of course she has a reputation as a fantastic Italian-American chef. I was pretty excited to make this soup; it’s not really similar to other soups I’ve made, and is quite simple, full of fresh leafy greens. I have to say I found it a little bland and yet a little overpowered taste-wise by the egg, and a little overpowered texture-wise by the spinach, so if I were to make this again I would probably actually add a bit more cheese, a bit more pepper, and maybe a bit less spinach to try and make it smoother, saltier, and a little more complex. With that said, this is definitely a fun soup to make, and I imagine that if you had a youngster with a budding interest in cooking, it could be a nice dish to make together (carefully, of course!).
So, on to the recipe!
February 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
E: I’m pleased to say that this recipe is finally making its way out into the world. It comes from my mother–her attempt to copy a dish she had at a French restaurant years ago–and I’ve had it (and made it) countless times. It was rediscovered in my family around the time I got my wisdom teeth out, and honestly, that first night of not being able to eat anything solid was, I think, the night I fell in love with this recipe. Joanna and I made this over the holidays with the express intention of finally getting it out in the world where it belongs.
January 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: So, some things to say before we begin. First, this recipe is quite good–with a tantalizing mixture of sweet and tangy and spicy–but honestly the lime is a bit too much. I have made the soup twice, and both times it was really good to start, but eventually got a little tiring. By the time I got to the end of my bowl, I didn’t like the soup as much as I did to start. And I also found it was impossible to eat cold or even mildly cool, so keep that in mind. The original recipe suggests tamarind paste instead of limes, and I really think that could be what this soup needs, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. If you do choose to use lime, consider keeping some of the lime juice used to soak the tofu out of the soup itself.
(And why haven’t I used tamarind paste yet? Because it is hard to find. Check your grocery store, but it may or may not be there–it wasn’t at mine, and I wasn’t in the mood to go elsewhere at the time. Try an Asian grocery store if you can’t find it wherever you normally shop–unless that is where you normally shop, and then congratulations, it is probably there–or get some online.)
Speaking of the original recipe, it is from Delicious Wisdom, a wonderful whole-food blog that appears to be no longer in existence. The pages still load, but appear totally blank. We have one or two other recipes from that site on this blog, and will likely have a few more, so same goes for them. If you need to find the original, I suggest searching for “Delicious Wisdom” “Thai Tofu Soup.” For now, at least, Google has a cached version.
So, if that hasn’t scared you away, we now turn to the soup itself. This is actually pretty easy. These amounts make enough for 5 or 6 small-ish portions, or 4 large portions (but as I said before this soup is best consumed in smaller amounts).
November 29, 2010 § 1 Comment
I don’t love soup in general. When it starts getting chillier, though — and it is, even down here in the South! — there is little like a big bowl of warm, creamy, delicious soup to keep you cozy and comforted. Broccoli and cheese soups are my favorite, but commercially they are so often full of unnecessary fat and other unhealthiness, so when I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it. It is so simple and refreshingly clean that while I know you will love it for its warmth and the lovely slight tang that it leaves in your mouth from the goat cheese, you will love it even more because of the knowledge that you are doing something healthy for yourself, body and soul.
Two quick notes, before we move on to the recipe: first, the ever-present boyfriend made this for himself, but he is not a fan of goat cheese, so he swapped it for feta instead, and reports that it was delicious. If you were considering not doing this because of the goat cheese, now you have no excuse!
Second, my one complaint with this soup was that it was a bit thin for my preference, once everything was blended. I think that when I make this again (and I will, no question about it), I might add another head of broccoli, maybe even another small onion as well, and perhaps another ounce or so of cheese to compensate for that. If you like thicker soups, you might consider doing this as well.