Around the Bowl

Soups of the world – Recipes from around the globe & some creations of my own


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Ten months, ten posts: Reader’s Top Ten Recipes

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Hello foodies of the world! Sorry for my absence the last few weeks. I’ve been pretty busy with no time for new recipes worth posting. Although I always cook, in busy days I tend to repeat old favourites or cook easy and quick things like omelettes and salads.

The truth is, I’ve never been good at extreme multitasking, I know, is shocking to acknowledge such a thing these days, but I’ve been like this since I can remember and I’ve made my peace with it. But, as I’m also a perfectionist, I rather do one thing at the time and do it right than to do everything just like that. To me, is like my father says: sometimes is not that I don’t have the physical time,  is that I have no “mental” time. Of course I keep challenging myself to find the balance, but I won’t fight my nature either.

I’ve thought of this post a while ago and since is less time-consuming than posting a new recipe is a good way for me to show up and say hi! I reckon that after 10 month blogging, it would be a good time to make a top ten of Around the Bowl’s reader’s favourites and give these recipes a second chance to be discovered and hopefully inspire someone new!

The top ten is based on the blog statistics for all ten months and the posts are rated upon visits and sharing figures. I hope you like the recipes if you haven’t tried them before or that they inspire you once again if you did! I’ll be back soon with new soup recipes to share!

Top Ten Recipes from Around the Bowl (so far)

  1. Soup à l’ognion gratinée – French Grilled Onion Soup

  2. Indian Minced Beef Curry

  3. Mercimek Çorba – Turkish Lentil Soup

  4. Thai Prawn and Lemongrass Soup – Ken Hom recipe

  5. Ciorba de Perisoare – Romanian Meatball Sour Soup

  6. Vegetarian Risottos – Aubergine and Mushroom + Spinach, Courgette and Mushroom

  7. Parihuela – Peruvian Seafood and Fish Soup 

  8. Dal Shorba (Indian Lentil Soup) with Summer Veggies

  9. Avgolemono Chicken Soup – A Greek Egg and Lemon Chicken Soup

  10. Thai Chicken and Aubergine Yellow Curry – The Basic Recipe


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Spaghetti alle Vongole – Spaghetti with Clams

I can’t wait for the soup season (I mean, autumn) to start! But there are still a few weeks of summer left where I live and although I’m anxious to start wearing jackets, boots and to throw a duvet over my sheets I’m trying to fully enjoy these last warm days. And I certainly do, with the same anticipation I start  savouring a trip when preparing it!

Last weekend while shopping for groceries, we decided we wanted pasta for dinner (I know, carbs for supper! who does that nowadays? well… we do sometimes… uppsss) and in a sudden inspiration strike I remembered I had frozen clams and Spaghetti alle Vongole immediately came to my mind!

Like many others of Italian pasta dishes the sauce is actually simple both by its preparation and number of ingredients but the flavour resulting by its combination is supreme! And this was indeed the case, we loved them!

I added my own twist by changing the fresh parsley traditionally used in this recipe by fresh basil; mainly because there was no parsley left at the supermarket and I had a pair of basil plants thriving on my balcony.

I encourage you to try it, this is one of those easy but success-guaranteed recipes that I use either when entertaining or just to indulge myself with something extremely yummy but not decadent.

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Moroccan Bruschetta with Basil and Goat Cheese

I know, I know Bruschetta is Italian, so why Moroccan Bruschetta? Well because I made this one with Moroccan bread. Moroccan bread is a flat circular loaf of white bread, with a golden crust on the outside and a yellowish fluffy interior, it is delicious, I love it! I think part of its secret lies in the semolina on its composition making its flavour quite unique. There’s a local shop near my house that sells it fresh every day, so I usually keep a loaf on my fridge for many uses: breakfasts, meals, it even serves as a base for pizza (opened into two halves)!

A couple of weekends ago, we were on lazy mode and haven’t planned anything for lunch, so we simply took two slices of this wonderful bread and decided to turn them into fabulous Bruschettas, with a little help from the basil plants I grow on my balcony, that I’m today sharing with you!

It is simple, quick, delicious and frugal. Ideal for a summer (vegetarian) lunch or a great appetiser all year round! Leave the cheese out of the equation and you’ll have a perfect vegan snack!

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Vegetarian Risottos – Aubergine and Mushroom + Spinach, Courgette and Mushroom

I absolutely love rice cooked in its many varied forms, paella, sushi, curries, fried rice, you name it. And risotto, of course! It is in fact a staple dish in my usual menu. I love its creaminess and particularly that it is possible to prepare it with virtually anything you have in your fridge and pantry (besides the rice and stock, which I always have in stock and some hard Italian cheeses I always keep in my freezer). It is also an excellent option to entertaining, being quite easy to scale up and prepare larger quantities. There are endless options to adapt it to the seasonal produce availability and to your guests taste: vegetarian, gourmet, etc., you just need to use your imagination and play with ingredients, following the basic preparation that remains basically the same. Besides, who doesn’t love a good risotto?

Today I’m sharing two recipes I cooked at home in two different occasions and that we enjoyed a lot. I thought of presenting them together in the same post to show you what I was talking about above: it’s the same procedure, just changing the variable ingredients. Easy and delicious!

Today, in addition to the “print friendly and pdf button” that you can find at the bottom of each post,  I’m “launching” a new improvement: the recipes are in a printable format, that make even easier to save or print them. I hope you like it!

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Pesto alla Genovese – A Legendary Italian Sauce

I’ve always loved pesto, but I didn’t use to make it at home. I usually ate it at restaurants or (I confess) used jar bought pesto. Although I was totally aware of what I was missing, I don’t know why, I never decided to prepare it at home. That was until a few weeks ago, when I saw a beautiful fragrant bunch of basil at the supermarket and have a pesto epiphany!

I did some research and having no family or friends secrets and tricks, I followed the official recipe approved by the Consorzio del Pesto Genovese (Genovese Pesto Consortium) to begin with. The homemade version turned out to be one of those things in life that once you’ve tried it, you’ll never be able to settle for anything less.

This sauce is so healthy, fresh, fragrant, simple and yet delicious that I’ll keep preparing it and further experiment with it for sure. It’s also very versatile: it can be served with pasta, vegetables, meats and anything else you can imagine.

Apart from the good quality supplies, the key to this recipe is the use of a mortar and pestle. Pesto has to be prepared using these utensils, since a blender will heat the mixture, ruining it. The ideal would be to use a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. I don’t have a marble mortar, but as in any other Catalonian household, I do have a ceramic mortar with its wooden pestle to prepare all-i-oli (Catalonian garlic and olive oil sauce), which I don’t, but inherited the utensils nevertheless.

And… if you happen to be angry or frustrated  about any issue, using the mortar and pestle is a great, cheap and harmless therapy, so prepare your wrist and let’s begin!

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Bulgur and Rucola Vegetable Soup

Last Monday was my 36th birthday and a dear friend gave a wonderful gift: A Soup recipe Book, that I loved and put to good use right away. The Book is a Spanish edition of Soups, from Carole Clements (Parragon Books Ltd). Its recipes are great, easy to make and very well explained. To begin I chose a bulgur wheat (aka bulgar) soup packed with vegetables that turn out so delicious that definitely passed to our recipe “permanent collection”

I absolutely love bulgur wheat and I normally use it to make kibbeh, using a recipe from Chef in Disguise, a fabulous Middle-Eastern cuisine blog you probably already know. I found kibbeh to be such a great alternative to plain hamburgers that is a usual dish in our kitchen. I’ve also tried a delicious spinach and bulgur soup from Sitno Seckano, another great food blog. But that was as far as I went with bulgur and knowing there are so many other options out there I wanted to further explore them. Besides, bulgur is a delicious way to incorporate whole grains to our diet.

The other protagonist to this recipe is rucola (aka rocket or arugula), one of my favourites green leaves. At home we eat it raw in salads, with pasta or like in today’s dish in a soup!

I think this is a very versatile recipe and you can vary the vegetables on it according to the season and I also reckon it would be very good with quinoa instead of bulgur for a different version. Besides, I like to keep it meatless at some meals and this one is a great complete satisfying dish.

Here’s the recipe, slightly adapted to my cooking stile. I hope you try it and like it at much as we did!

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Minestrone di Verdure (light version)

And now it is time for one of those traditional and popular soup recipes that everybody, no matter where from, love: minestrone! Who can say no to Italian food? undoubtedly a safe bet that goes far beyond pasta and pizza. Let’s not forget olive oil, wine, cheese, prosciutto, the great variety of vegetable-based dishes from the Mediterranean areas, coffee and gelatto; and I could go on and on for ever. Besides the regional variants within Italy are almost unlimited and there is a lot to discover!

Due to my Argentinian origin I was very exposed to Italian gastronomy my whole life.  Argentinian food was absolutely taken by Italian flavours after the big wave of  immigrants (some of my ancestors came from Northern Italy)  that went there during the first half of 20th Century along with Spanish and some other Europeans. However, the European and the local tradition mingled resulting in a new food style of its own, very multicultural but adapted to the local produce and taste.

That is why, in spite of my somehow Italian background, when I was lucky enough to set a foot in Italy for the first time as a teenager; I was overwhelmed by the flavours and also the high quality of everything I ate (not to mention the beauty of the places I visited). I had the fortune to spend some time living with a lovely Italian family in the Cuneo province and every day was a gastronomy feast ! I really recall this as a turning point in my life, it truly changed my view about food and cooking forever.

From then on, Italian cuisine have become of great influence in my every day cooking and minestrone is a must, so there we go!

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