Italian Wedding Soup

While the meatballs are in the oven, Sydney is busy preparing the vegetables for the Italian Wedding Soup. The term ‘wedding soup’ is originated from the Italian language, minestra maritata which literally means ‘married soup’. It is referred to the green vegetables and meats which go well together.

Joyce was jokingly saying that it’s great to work with Sydney again on this recipe as both of them were working on the Pavlova Roll with Passionfruit Cream with great success at the previous cooking meet. However, she continued to say that she does not need another wedding as she enjoys her single and free life now.


The Italian Wedding Soup is very flavourful and is rich with lots of vegetables, especially the escarole which has a very mild hint of bitterness in it. With the addition of pasta in this soup, it is very filling too and can be a meal by itself. It is also great to serve the soup with some bread sticks which I will blog later.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or beef stock (we used a combination of both)
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, such as ditalini, orzo, or stars
  • 1 12 oz. bag of spinach, or 1 bunch kale, chard, or escarole (broad leaved endive), chopped
  • additional Parmesan for serving


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Salmon and Potato Chowder

Minoo shared this Salmon and Potato Chowder recipe in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. She also shared the following soup tips.

  • homemade stock can be freeze in small batches for convenient use later
  • look for low sodium stock if you are on a low salt diet
  • use vegetable spray on non-stick pan to saute vegetable with minimum fat
  • always simmer soup covered, on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent evaporation
  • when pureeing soup, process in small batches to achieve even smooth texture
  • if soup appears too thick after reheating, add more stock.
  • for more fiber, use unpeeled vegetables, just scrub the skin to clean them
  • leftover vegetables are ideals for making soups
  • to ensure vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus or zucchini to retain good color, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking
  • chop hard vegetables like carrot finely so that they take lesser time to become tender
  • when a recipe calls for canned crushed tomatoes, you can use whole canned tomatoes and pureed in a food processor with the juice, or use fresh pureed tomatoes
  • for a tasty and sophisticated garnish, add a dollop of light sour cream or yogurt to each bowl of soup
  • most soups can be frozen for up to 2 months; reheat gently


This Salmon and Potato Chowder is sweet, creamy and cheesy. The sweetness comes from the onion, carrot and creamed corn. A great soup for brunch and lazy days.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 cans salmon
  • 1 (12 fl oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (15oz) can creamed corn
  • 1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded


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Tomato Soup Chowder

This Tomato Soup Chowder recipe is from Joyce Gerein. Lorna and Carol made this chowder in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. Tomatoes is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant and the storage and temperature affects the amount of lycopene in the fruit. Below is an extract of a hand out from Stella which explains the best way to harvest lycopene.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives tomatoes, watermelon, and red fleshed grapefruits their rich red color. Temperature is an important factor in the development and availability of lycopene in the above said fruits. According to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Ph.D, a plant physiologist who conducted the watermelon study; the normal biological processes in watermelon that produce lycopene are strong at room temperature, while cooler temperatures slow them down. Perkins-Veazie recommends letting a whole melon sit on the counter for up to five days to fully ripen and develop lycopene. Then place it in the fridge to chill before enjoying (unless the melon has been cut, in which case it should be refrigerated immediately). It will taste sweeter and crisper if it’s cold and if stored for two days or less you will not lose any of the lycopene gained wihole the melon sat out.

In the case of tomato, the benefits are actually better when they’re processed. Lycopene in tomato is located inside cells. when the cell walls are broken during processing, lycopene is released and can be absorbed. According to Steven J. Schwartz, Ph.D;, professor of food science at Ohio State University in Columbus; heat alters lycopene’s molecular structure, making it two to three times easier for our bodies to absorb than raw.


This Tomato Soup Chowder is a hearty soup and it’s very filing too, with the potatoes in it. You can have this for brunch with some biscuits for dipping.


For Soup:

  • 2 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 28-oz, can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water

For Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley


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Tomato Egg Soup

The second dish which Lucy showed us in the Gilmore Park Community Kitchen is called Tomato Egg Soup. This is her family’s common soup. This soup has similar texture like the sour and spicy soup you get at most Chinese restaurants except that it’s not sour and spicy. It is a thick soup.


We enjoyed this Tomato Egg Soup as it is not too heavy in flavour. You can incorporate your own favourite vegetables into the soup but I like the texture of the cloud ear fungus. Enoki mushroom, bamboo shoots and tofu are good incorporations for this soup too.


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons diced green onion
  • a few cloud ear fungus, reconstituted, chopped
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushroom, chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • corn starch
  • 6 cups of water or chicken broth


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Potato Leek Soup

Minoo made a staple soup which is Potato Leek Soup. Soup is always great for the cold winter days and what better than a hearty soup with some crusty bread. It is also a great recipe to use up the potatoes which we often buy in bulk in those 10lbs bag.


The leek gave this soup a very refreshing oniony flavour. Make a big batch of the soup and you can freeze your leftover in single portion size in ziplock bags or freezer safe containers and you can have soup any time. Just reheat the soup on the stove on medium heat until it comes back to a simmer. Do not add any cream if you intend to freeze the soup. Add the cream just before serving.


  • 7 large potaotoes (leave peels on)
  • 3 to 4 leeks
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • a little fresh basil (or dried ones)
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 or 2 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried ones
  • light cream (optional)
  • 6 to 8 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste


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Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup (Caldo Verde)

Charlene kicked start the South Arm Community Kitchen for 2009 with two recipes. Also, Charlene is working with Family Services to start up a few more seniors kitchen which had been a roaring success last year. We wish her the best in her new role.

Back to food … the first dish which Charlene demonstrated is called Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup. Kale is a very nutritious vegetable which is not common among Chinese. I had blogged about Kale’s nutritional values in this blog.


This is a hearty soup complete with protein, carbohydrate and fiber all in a pot. It is great for cold winter days.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs boiling potatoes, peel & thinly slice
  • 8 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb Spanish chorizo (spicy cured pork sausage), cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 3/4 lb kale


Click on Read More for the instructions. Continue reading

Supreme Miso Soup

The next item Frank served in his Japanese feast is Miso Soup. I called it Supreme Miso Soup because I have never had such a rich miso soup.


This supreme Miso Soup has so much ingredients in it unlike those we had in most Japanese restaurants which only has a few tofu cubes.


  • water
  • fish and seaweed seasonings
  • dry seaweed
  • miso paste
  • tofu, cubed
  • tofu pocket, sliced
  • egg plant, cut into small pieces
  • button mushroom, sliced
  • spinach
  • bean sprout
  • green onion, chopped
  • fish cakes
misosoup-22-300x200Egg plant, tofu cube, chopped green onion, miso paste misosoup-20-300x200Dry seaweed
misosoup-18-300x200Various fish cakes misosoup-17-300x200Tofu pouch

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Squash, Corn and Lemongrass Soup

The Greenhouse Social Club of the Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project met once again on the last Thursday of the month for a cooking workshop. Arzeena is the organizer for this workshop and Karen Dar Woon will be the demonstrator for this workshop. Karen is the chef for the community meal at the Gilmore Park Church. The Gilmore Park Church community meal ended end of November and will resume in January. Karen can now concentrate on her own catering business in the month of December which is a very busy month for her. I enjoy Karen’s workshop as she always shares cooking tips with us.


The star ingredient for this workshop is Squash. Above are a few of the squashes for the workshop. The large white squash is called Blue Magic. The smallest one is Acorn Squash while the remainder two are Japanese Squash or also known as turban squash.


The first recipe for this workshop is called Squash, corn and Lemongrass Soup. The soup is velvety, light and sweet with a hint of freshness from lemongrass and cilantro. We enjoyed the soup so much that we had second helping of it. The recipe is taken from Gourmet, November 2007 by Lilian Chou.


  • 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, root end trimmed and 1 or 2 outer layers discarded
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 3/4 lbs kabocha or butternut squash
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (10 ounces; from 2 to 3 ears)
  • 5 cups water
  • cilantro leaves for garnishing


Click on Read More for the instructions.

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Lentil Soup

The South Arm Community Kitchen was in the local newspaper a week and a half ago. The article was published on 30th Oct. The article covered both the South Arm Community Kitchen and the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors.

In this week’s Cooking Club for seniors meet, Hugh shared with us a Lentil Soup recipe. He made this Lentil Soup for his son at home. The Lentil Soup is rich with vitamins and fiber from the vegetables and the lentil is a rich source of protein and fiber too. Karen and Santosh helped Hugh with all the peeling and chopping for this recipe.


Regional seasonings can change the character of this Lentil Soup. The variations are:

  1. Arabic Lentil Soup: add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger with other seasonings.
  2. North African Lentil Soup: add 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads or powder with the onion and 1 (8oz) can whole tomatoes, crushed with the broth.
  3. Persian Lentil Soup: add 2 tablespoons orange juice or 2 teaspoons grated orange peel or lemon peel just before serving.


  • 1 can lentils, rinse several times, drain and set aside
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 small turnip or parsnip, if desired, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups beef broth (2 qts) or vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 parsley sprigs, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar


Click on Read More for the instructions.

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Cranberry Sweet Potato Soup

The soup which the seniors made in the South Arm Community Kitchen is called Cranberry Sweet Potato Soup. Soup is just great for the colder fall weather. Moreover, most soup can be frozen in small batches for up to 2 months. Reheat the soup on the stove gently and you can have a bowl of hearty soup anytime.

October is the harvest time for cranberries and Richmond is the top producer of cranberries in BC. Cranberry is a superior source of nutrition and vitamins. It is an excellent source of antioxidants which helps to protect against cancer, heart disease and bladder infections. Cranberry juice is also rich in polyphenol content as in red wine which makes it a heart-healthy drink.


This Cranberry Sweet Potato Soup is a sweet soup with a hint of tanginess from the cranberries. It has a very strong flavour of cinnamon.


While one team is working on the soup recipe, another team worked on the dessert which is Apple Banana Muffin. I had blogged on the muffin recipe here.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 large yam, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (optional), recommend to change it to 1 teaspoon as the cinnamon flavour is too overpowering
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • parsley for garnish


Click on Read More for the instructions to make the Cranberry Sweet Potato Soup.

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