Tag Archives: Soup

Cuban Chicken Soup with Plantain Dumplings


Recipe adapted from the cookbook
Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen
by Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn and Jody Eddy

The winter doldrums continue and there is nothing more perfect than a comforting bowl of chicken soup to warm your soul.

But wait!

This is not your grandmother’s chicken soup and dumpling recipe, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a Cuban grandmother. With its long simmering time and the addition of calabaza, a tiny orange-and-white squash, this is a wonderful way to warm up on a chilly day. The additional of Bijol, a traditional Cuban blend of ground achiote, cumin and corn flour, infuses the soup with a pleasant yellow color, but if you don’t have a Latin specialty market in the neighborhood, a pinch of turmeric makes a good substitute. The plantain dumplings are a lovely combination of sweet and savory, but they do not hold well. If you have leftover soup, the dumplings will completely disintegrate overnight. If you are not planning to eat all the soup in one dinner serving, add only enough dumplings to suit your hunger pangs, then freeze the soup without dumplings and whip them up whenever you are ready to dive into the leftovers.

And like every recipe, this soup has many variations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. In Ecuador it is known as Caldo de Bolas and in Columbia, it is called  Sopa de Pollo y Platano Verde. Where as in Puerto Rico it takes on the name  Sopa De Pollo con Mofongo which is considered the Puerto Rican version of Matzah Ball Soup. Imagine that!

Serves 6 to 8

For the Soup:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups calabaza squash, cut into 1-inch dice
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Bijol (optional)*
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the plantain dumplings:
2 ripe plantains, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup rice flour

In a large pot over high heat, combine the chicken, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. Using 2 fork, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and add the squash, tomatoes, cumin cinnamon and Bijol. Simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, make the dumplings: Place the plantains in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 teaspoons water and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave until very soft, about 2 minutes. (If you don’t have a microwave, place the plantains in a fry pan with 1/3 cup  water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over medium heat until the plantains are soft, 12 to 15 minutes. NOTE: Do not use any more water than this or  the plantain’s sweetness will leach out into the water. Sprinkle the plantains with the salt and pepper and mash them with a fork until smooth. Add  egg, cornmeal and rice flour to the plantain mixture until a combined. Roll the mashed plantain into smooth balls about 1 inch in diameter.

Drop the plantain dumplings into the soup and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

*Cook’s Notes:
Six to seven bone-in chicken thighs can be substituted for the chicken breast if you like more flavor to the soup.

If Bijol or tumeric are not readily available, Goya Sazon Culantro y Achiote® seasoning is available in most major supermarkets and grocery stores. With its combination of garlic, cumin, coriander seed, it can be the perfect seasoning for this soup, also giving a vibrant red orange color that is visually appealing.

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Lotus Root and Pork Rib Soup


DSC00520 (2)-Pork Rib and Lotus Root Soup-otm@tk.jpg




All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Thai-Style Pumpkin Soup


This past Summer, I was stuck on cauliflower and all the wonderful edible things that could be made from it.

Well, the  vegetable obsession saga continues. This Autumn, I am obsessed with PUMPKINS.……

Through the fall and  winter months there are a good number of vegetables and fruit that guarantee a seasonal supply of nutrition. Pumpkin is a particularly good example, capable of being stored for several months. Low in cholesterol and sodium, it is also a good source of vitamins A, B6, C and E, thiamin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Just like with any type of food, people tend to fall into two camps when it comes to pumpkin flavored foods; they either love it or hate it. If you are in the ‘love it’ camp then read on. Because I think that you are going to love this Thai inspired recipe that is perfect for the transitional days of Autumn to Winter.


Serves 6
For the Soup:
4 pounds fresh pumpkin flesh, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1  yellow onion, chopped
Two 15-ounce cans organic coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Red Curry Paste:
2 Thai red chillies
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 2 limes

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the red curry paste, simply place all of the ingredients into a blender and process until it turns to a paste.  Remove to a non-metallic bowl, cover  with plastic wrap and set aside.

Place the chopped pumpkin flesh on a baking sheet, sprinkle on the salt and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Put in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or so, until the flesh is soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of   olive oil in a  Dutch oven or a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until it is soft and translucent. Add the pumpkin flesh and the red curry paste. Quickly stir to combine and then add the coconut milk and the vegetable stock.Bring the contents of the pan to a gentle simmer, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool for a another 10 minutes.

Put the soup into a blender, doing so in several  batches and process until smooth. Return the blended soup back to the  Dutch oven or stock pot and reheat gently, simmering, and NOT boiling.

Serve the hot soup in bowls, garnished with the chopped cilantro.

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Paleo, 2013

Miso Soup with Shrimp and Watercress

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, March 2015


Simple but satisfying, miso soup is traditionally served with dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced green onions and tiny cubes of tofu. Here it gets a springtime makeover with shrimp and watercress. Kombu is basically an edible form of kelp or seaweed and bonito flakes  are dried fish flakes.Both of theses products are staples in Japanese cooking and are available at almost any Asian market.

3-inch piece kombu
1⁄2 cup bonito flakes
2 Tablespoons light miso paste
1⁄4  pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1⁄3 cup  watercress greens
Thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts

In a large saucepan, combine the kombu and 3 cups  cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove and discard the kombu. Remove from the heat, add the bonito flakes, and stir gently once. Let stand for 5 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the bonito flakes. Return the broth to the saucepan.

In a small bowl, combine the miso paste with 1⁄4 cup  of the warm broth. Stir until the paste is softened and very smooth. Stir into the broth and warm gently over medium heat, taking care not to boil the soup.

Add the shrimp and simmer just until bright pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the watercress, garnish with scallions and serve immediately.






Chicken and Spinach Noodle Soup with Baby Carrots


When your looking to make a classic dish unique, all you have to do is to change just one ingredient. In this case, Spinach Noodles  were used, which added color and flavor to the traditional chicken soup.

If you do not have the time to make your own noodles from scratch, just pick up a package of De Boles,  Ronzoni or even a store brand spinach  fettuccine at your local grocery store. They work great in a pinch.

DeBoles Organic Spinach Fettuccine

Creamy Boston Style Clam Chowder

Creamy Boston Style Clam Chowder

I love BACON…and I think I would add it to every dish, if I could…..

And this dish is is flavored with bacon, leeks and onions. Diced white potatoes add starch to round out the thickness and flavor of the soup. The perfect dish for an Autumn Day….. or any other time of the year!

clam chowder

SERVINGS: 6 to 8

1/2 pound bacon, medium diced
1 cup chopped leeks (about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 carrots, peeled and julienned (or diced)
3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup flour
1 pound white potatoes, peeled and medium-diced 4 cups clam juice
2 cups heavy cream
2 pounds little neck clams, shucked, chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

In a heavy stock pot, over medium-high heat, render the bacon, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove approximately 1/4 cup of acon and reserve for garnish if desired. Stir in the leeks, onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for about 2 minutes or until the vegetables start to wilt.

Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes. Stir in the clam juice. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are fork tender, about 12 minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring up to simmer. Add the clams and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Ladle soup into shallow bowls and serve.

Yields 6 to 8 servings