Around the Bowl

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


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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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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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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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Chilli con Carne – The Autumn Kick-off

Hello foodies of the world!

Equinox are here, spring in the southern half  of the globe and autumn in the northern one, both suitable seasons for nice strolls at sunset, new clothing and make-up and comforting soup among others… What do you enjoy the most about season changing?

It is autumn in my current half of the world and I couldn’t be happier about it!  It has always been my favourite time of the year, and to celebrate it, today I prepared a Chilli con carne that was so yummy I wish you could smell it through your screens.

Restaurant Tex-Mex food has always disappointed me, honestly is not very well mastered in Spain in general. So, as I always do when I can´t  find it elsewhere, after a some research, I make my own!

The good thing about this dish is that its ingredients are simple and easy to find in any regular grocery store and although slightly time-consuming is easy to prepare. I have at least a couple of recipes I made before the chilli that I also want to share, but this one was so delicious that I felt the urge to post it right away. I used dried beans, but a quicker version can be prepared with pre-cooked or tinned beans, in which case you won’t need to use the pressure cooker.

Let’s dig in?

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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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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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