Around the Bowl

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


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U.S. Senate Bean Soup (with Serrano ham)

 

I spotted this recipe in Pinterest, pinned it and unlike most of the times, I decided to try it right away instead of pin it for another time and forget about it, as it usually happens (I’m not the only one, am I?).

As its name indicates, this is a soup served daily at the U.S. Senate restaurant from the beginning of the XXth Century. There are two official recipes, with or without potatoes, according to the U.S. Senate web page. However, the one that caught my eye linked me back to a Foodista recipe that has also carrots on it and it was the one I cooked and slightly altered to the ingredients I had at hand and to a quicker version.

I loved the result and therefore wish to share it, besides it is the first American recipe I post and it always makes me happy to broaden my culinary borders. I hope you enjoy it!

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Sopa de Legumes Portuguesa – Portuguese Vegetable Soup

Hello foodie friends, I hope you’re all having a great 2015 start! With this post I’m not only celebrating the beginning of the new year but also my one year anniversary with “Around the Bowl”, I can’t believe a year and so many soups have gone by! It’s been a pleasure, and I’m tremendously eager to keep sharing many more!

Today’s recipe is brought straight from Portugal, as we received the New Year in Porto, an enchanting city in the Douro river estuary with very kind local people and amazing food! Old and modern collide in a very special way in Porto producing amazing results design and food wise. I was totally inspired by it all: its streets, its old buildings and churches with their blue tiles, the river and the good design shops, cafés and restaurants.

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I was positively overwhelmed by Porto’s good food and the fact that soup was served everywhere; definitely my kind of town! Pastries of all kind are also typical and delicious. The majority of food establishments are open all day long, serving pastries, tea & (great) coffee during the morning and afternoon and complete meals at lunch and dinner. Check out the following places that we loved and the photo galleries for recommendations!

  • Aurora Portuguese Restaurant: a very cozy restaurant with amazing service and great Portuguese dishes with a modern approach. Also ideal to try Douro wines and of course Porto wine! We loved it so much that came back more than once!
  • Casa Grande Chocolatier: in a great location this lovely coffee shop and tea room is an ideal place where to make a stop and try delicious chocolates, cakes and pastries. We also had a light lunch one day, consisting of soup and sandwiches, as good as the sweet treats!
  • Mercearia das Flores: beautiful grocery store and tasting place for local delicatessen, located in one of the most cute streets downtown.
  • Mitica Inspiraçao: probably the most amazing pastry shop I’ve ever been to, everything is very tempting and utterly delicious. Is not centrally located, but it was around the corner from our hotel, so we enjoyed our breakfast there every single day!

Aren’t you hungry now? Then is time for a wonderful vegetable soup, so let’s cook!

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Courgette Cream Soup

Hello my foodie friends! Busy times around here, so quick and healthy solutions are required without sacrificing flavour. Also, with the most caloric holiday season of the year around the corner, I like to keep it as light as possible as long as I can, before chocolates, pannetone and other Christmas delights become impossible to resist…

Last evening I prepared this simple and easy cream of courgette soup that I’d like to share, I hope you like it! An easy formula that can be applied with any other vegetable you fancy: aubergine, pumpkin, carrots…

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Shchi remastered (with Middle-Eastern Meatballs)

I can´t believe that 10 months have gone away since I started this blog! 60 posts later, it’s time to start revisiting some of my favourite recipes, to get creative and add a different twist. Shchi, the classic Russian cabbage soup was one of my first posts and definitely among my favourites! Now that autumn is finally here, some days ago I was really feeling like eating Shchi again, I haven’t cooked it since the first post! But this time, I added some Middle-Eastern style meatballs, and the fusion turned out amazingly well!

I slightly varied the Shchi recipe and the meatballs are of my creation, however you’ll notice a clear Middle-Esatern influence: I prepared them with bulgur, inspired by the traditional Kebbeh, and it just gave them the perfect texture! I think I’ll always use bulgur from now on instead of bread crumbs or flour. A pinch of cinnamon, among other typical spices, is a little secret I’ve been applying to my meatballs since I first saw the delightful movie “A Touch of Spice” (2003), which I highly recommend by the way, every foodie should watch it!

Would you like to try it? It’s a great healthy complete meal to warm up your evenings! and I made Yakisoba with the remaining cabbage, yummy!

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Dal Shorba (Indian Lentil Soup) with Summer Veggies

Every now and then I find myself craving for a specific type of food and I always think it is my body speaking to me, telling me I’m in need of some kind of nutrient. Apparently, there’s no scientific support for this theory, since our cravings are totally tied to our eating patterns that are in turn more related to psychological mechanisms and cultural baggage than to actual physiological needs. In spite of it all, although I’m a science believer, I usually follow my impulses when it comes to food cravings. Particularly a couple of weeks ago, when I was strongly fancying lentils, and couldn’t think of a single bad thing about lentils nutritionally speaking.

I had had a dal dish pending in my “to try” list for ever so I went for a refreshing vegetarian one and totally loved it. *In case you’re wondering, dal means lentils, but for Indians the term is generic to lentils, dried beans, chickpeas, split peas both skinned and unskinned and split peas flours. Dal is an everyday source of protein for most Indians and it can be as soupy or as thick as desired. (*Source: Madhur Jaffrey. 2010. “Curry Easy” Ebury Press. pp. 178-179.)

Would you like to give it a try? It’s a great one pot complete meal!

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Piperrada/Piperade – A Basque Country Pepper Stir Fry

I recently discovered today’s recipe in the short trip we took to the Basque Country with my parents while they were here on holidays. We visited some locations both in the Spanish and the French sides and Piperrada (or Piperade in French) is cooked all over. It is basically a pepper and tomatoes stir fry, from the family of Spanish Pisto, Catalan Samfaina and French Ratatouille but with peppers as the base vegetable.

In spite of how wonderful and delicious Mediterranean cuisine is, is fair to point out that some of the best food of Spain is produced and created in the Basque Country within the less known but also fabulous Atlantic Diet. In fact, along with Catalonia, Basque Country concentrates the majority of chefs and restaurants holding Michelin stars. But there’s no need to visit a Michelin star restaurant to eat delicious food, it is served everywhere, and we indeed enjoy it!

Once in the French side, we re-visited a little restaurant in Bayonne in which we had eaten really well the first time: Auberge du Petite Bayonne; everything was certainly as good as we recall. If you happen to go, just remember to make a reservation because it is usually crowded, since not only the food, but the prices are very attractive and the staff is very friendly!

I took some pictures of the menu we had consisting of: Squid cassolette and Piperade (today’s recipe) with eggs and Bayonne ham (designation of origin, totally worth trying) as an entrée; lamb txilindrón (tomato and pepper sauce typical from Basque Country) and duck tournedos with mushroom sauce (yummy!) as a main dish. Finally, we had the marquise au chocolat as a dessert that was to die for! There is also a picture of how great an ordinary breakfast can be in a French cafeteria (that is, of course, if you enjoy croissants and bread with salted butter!).

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Piperrada

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • a dash of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finally chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 red pepper cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper cut into strips
  • 1 tin of whole tomatoes + their juice, cubed (of course you can use fresh peeled tomatoes!)
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs (skip these for a vegan option)

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté over medium heat the onion and the garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the peppers and stir fry for some minutes
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer till the peppers have soften and the juice reduced.
  4. Break the eggs into the pan and stir until they have curdled.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!


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Tarator – A traditional Bulgarian Cold Soup

Hello foodies of the world! It’s a hot and sunny Sunday morning, and I’m thinking I might be going to the beach (for the first time this summer!) this afternoon, but not before I share with you another refreshing dish perfect to beat the heat!

Tarator is basically a cold cucumber and yogurt soup. It’s a very typical Bulgarian dish, also eaten all across the Balkans. As is seasoned with garlic and olive oil I thought that it would be similar to Tzatziki, but the addition of dill and walnuts really make its taste completely different and unique!

Apart from being delicious and refreshing, tarator is one of those easy to prepare yet gourmet dishes. It makes a great entrée as well as a light summer supper and is healthy!

Let’s try it?

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Gazpacho – The King of Cold Soups

 

I can say now that summer is officially here, the typical extreme high temperatures and sunny days in the  Mediterranean “Costa Dorada” ,where I live, have arrived unusually later this year, but they finally did and I guess they’re going to last at least a couple of months. I understand that people who are here on holidays enjoy it and it is indeed the perfect beach weather!

Personally, I really hate the heat, summer is not my favourite time of the year at all. My skin is very sensitive to the sunlight and I’m heatstroke prone. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t find ways to enjoy it! A nice terrace at the seaside, under the shade is perfect to gather with friends while having fresh beverages and food. In fact, I love the opportunity to change menus and recipes according to the seasonal produce and fresh vegetables are at their best in summertime. And there is no better way to celebrate veggies freshness than a good gazpacho!

I think gazpacho is one of the most brilliant Spanish recipes, is the perfect refreshing and healthy meal! It is also very friendly to any kind of diet need or choice: is vegan, raw, gluten-free, dairy-free and low carb. Besides, it has a very high water and fibre content and it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It can be a snack, an entrée or a main dish if adding the right toppings to it, just be creative!

Just a word of warning: If you’re looking for a gluten-free  gazpacho, beware if you’re not making your own, because there are versions that use some bread on it!

Today I’m sharing the classic recipe, you’ll see how quick and easy is to prepare and to customise!

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Japanese Potato Salad

You may think that a potato salad is not a Japanese recipe, buy apparently it’s a very common every day bento and side dish. I have never heard of the Japanese version of the potato salad until I read the last Haruki Murakami book (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage), where the main character orders a potato salad in a restaurant, arising my curiosity. As usual, I did a little research and finally went for (and slightly adapted) the recipe from Just One Cookbook, a Japanese recipe blog that is in my blogroll and I’ve already introduced in this post, along with the fabulous H. Murakami book.

I instantly liked this recipe because: I love potatoes in every possible way (I think I might be addict to starch) + it’s a fresh salad ideal for a summer meal + it can be both a side dish or a complete meal + it’s quite easy to prepare + it’s an ideal dish to take to friends and family gatherings and finally, unlike other kind of potato salads, is packed with veggies!

Let’s cook and dig in!

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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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