Monday, October 15, 2007

Carrot, Ginger, Coriander Soup

Carrot, Ginger, Coriander Soup. Adapted from Bruce Sherman, North Pond Restaurant (!)

1 Tb olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 piece (1/2 inch long) ginger, chopped (opt.)
1/2 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 pound carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Each of salt, pepper, ground coriander
2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1/2 stick butter, cubed

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger and celery. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook until the carrots and fennel begin to soften, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the coriander. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the carrot pieces can be easily mashed, about 25 minutes.

Puree the vegetable mixture in a blender or food processor. Pulse in pieces of butter, one at a time, until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer into the saucepan. Heat over medium heat, about 3 minutes.

** To make vegetarian, replace chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dduk-gook (Rice cake soup)

This soup is traditionally eaten on the first day of the New Year (according, of course, to the lunar calendar.)

1/4 lb Beef (stew meat)
1/2 onion (optional)
1 clove garlic (optional)
2 scallions (cut at a diagnal)
1 egg, beaten for egg-drop soup
Rice cakes (flat oval-shaped pieces of rice cake, as many as you can eat in one sitting)
5 Dumplings/person (optional-- and could be frozen)
1 sheet of dried seaweed (cut up into small bite-size strips)

In a stock pot, cook the stew meat in a tbsp of sesame oil with the optional onions and optional pressed garlic. Once the meat is cooked through, add water to fill to about 1/2 to 3/4 of pot. Bring water to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Cut up scallions in the meanwhile and beat eggs. Add rice cakes and cook for about 3 more minutes. Then add dumplings and green onions, reserving a handful of the scallions for garnish. Finally add the egg, but be sure to stir vigorously as you drop the egg into the boiling soup base. When the dumplings are floating, they are done. Try a rice cake to make sure that they are ready. Serve in bowls, garnish with the remaining green onions and seaweed. And serve a spicy kimchee to accompany the soup.

If you have more soup than you can consume for the evening, you may want to remove the remaining rice cakes to store separately or toss into the trash. The broth itself will keep for a few days, and may be more flavorful the day after. Bring the soup to a boil again and add more rice cakes, scallions, eggs, dumplings, and seaweed.