Around the Bowl

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


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Curry Vegetable Soup with Tofu. Mediterranean-Chinese fusion

The other day I was in the mood for a very light meal and in much need of a little detox and I thought: why not a simple a vegetable soup?  just some in-season veggies and some stock, period. And I realised I have not posted a basic vegetable soup yet and it would be a good recipe to share. So I went to a little grocery store around the corner and came back home with what I found there; a mix of winter and spring vegetables plus something I already had at home.

However… I couldn’t help myself and I end up turning my Mediterranean vegetable soup into a Chinese-inspired dish by adding some curry powder, ginger and tofu, among other Chinese flavours, to the mix and the result was wonderful! Shall we take a look at it?

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Sukiyaki – Japanese Beef Nabemono (Hot Pot)

At home we are big fans of Japanese culture, including food, of course. A couple of years ago while celebrating a birthday in a Japanese restaurant in our area, we discovered Sukiyaki and immediately knew we were going to try it at home and so we did! Is really very easy to prepare once you got the right ingredients.

Sukiyaki is basically a sauce simmered in a hot-pot at the table centre where all the ingredients (beef, tofu, mushrooms and vegetables) are slowly cooked while eating.  Udon are added at the end to soak the rest of the broth.

My approach to it is slightly simplified and I served everything already cooked in a big flat pot at the centre of the table, or sometimes in separates bowls, including the udon. I also add stock to the sauce because we like ours “soupy”

The sauce ingredients are the same you would use in a basic udon soup, check out the recipe Francesca, from SicilySelfies kindly gave me the other day, you’ll find it at the Vietnamese Pho Chay post comments.

Prepare those chopsticks and let’s dig in!

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Vietnamese Pho Chay – A Vegan Noodle Soup

Me a little obsessed with Asian food? nah… And yet another Asian dish…I’ve been wanting to cook Pho for a while and today was the day! It was my first time and surprisingly it doesn’t taste like any other Asian soup I’ve cooked before at its flavour it’s quite unique; the spices on the broth really make a difference.

The traditional Pho is made with beef stock and usually contains beef as well, but Chay is the veggie version of this soup, usually with tofu as the protein ingredient. The choice of vegetables was based on what I have at hand this time, but you could use broccoli and bok choy for instance. Would you like to try it? It’s a safe bet!


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Chinese-style Shrimp and Tofu Soup

I love Chinese food, I simply do. I never been to China (yet, hopefully one day I will) but the best Chinese food I have tried was indeed while travelling. I experienced great Chinese food in Australia, they have amazing restaurants there covering quite a range of different regional gastronomy. I particularly and fondly remember this charming Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: the Old China Cafe http://www.oldchina.com.my/, where I tasted some excellent spicy soups in a very nice environment.

Old China Cafe-KL

Old China Cafe-Kuala Lumpur

I also have a very good memory of some Chinese restaurants in New York, specially a great dim sum buffet in Queens. Unfortunately there are not really good Chinese restaurants where I live but this fact encouraged me to do some research and start cooking my own Chinese food. I began many years ago and nowadays we usually have home-made Chinese at least once a week. There are a few Asian food stores in the area where I stock my pantry with the basics. Today I am sharing with you a Chinese-inspired soup that I have prepared for a light tasty supper, it is very easy to prepare and quick, here we go!

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