Creamy Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs and Spinach

The next dish which the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors made is a bean soup.  Soup is comfort food especially in the colder fall and winter.  This bean soup is adapted from Cara Brunetti Hillyard and it serves 6.   Chris and Paul made this soup.

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Chris and Paul made two versions of this bean soup.  One is the creamy version while another is the broth version.  The creamy version is smooth while the broth version has more texture to it.  The soup is very filing too with the beans as a source of protein.

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Taro Noodle Soup

Julie’s second dish is a Taiwanese Taro Noodle Soup. I have never had a noodle soup with Taro. It is something new that I learnt here. The taro gives the noodle soup added textures, soft and creamy.

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This is an easy meal to prepare at home. Julie added some fish balls in her noodle soup. You may substitute the fish balls with other meatballs like beef, chicken, squid, pork, etc.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large piece of Taro, peeled and cut to bite-size
  • 1 packet of vermicelli noodle
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • fish balls
  • lettuce, thinly sliced
  • a can chicken stock

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Taiwanese Tang Yuan

Julie’s second dish is Taiwanese Tang Yuan, which is Glutinous Rice Balls. The twist from the regular Glutinous Rice Balls which is served in a light syrup is that the Taiwanese version is served in a soup with egg swirls and fermented glutinous rice.

Julie made two types of glutinous rice balls; plain ones and another stuffed with red bean paste. The large ones are the one with filings. Most people preferred the those stuffed ones which are sweeter.

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The Taiwanese Tang Yuan has a winery taste in it due to the addition of fermented glutinous rice.

Ingredients

  • one packet of glutinous rice flour
  • red bean paste
  • 4 eggs
  • fermented glutinous rice
  • water

Fermented glutinous rice can be purchased from Chinese grocery stores. One of the member told us that she made it at home by steaming the glutinous rice and then add yeast to the steamed glutinous rice and let it ferment for a few days.

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The fermented glutinous rice is slightly sweet and tastes like wine.

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Chicken Flavoured Pho Soup Base

We blogged about making Pho at home last year. I made a Beef flavored Pho last time. This time, I made the Chicken Flavored Pho for a change.

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Similar with the Beef Flavored Pho, this seasoning will make 20 bowls of soup. This will last me for a few meals. I do not mind the volume as Arkensen and Nanzaro love Pho.

The ingredients are very simple. One or two chickens, one onion, two pieces of ginger and I also added a bunch of cilantro.

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I used only one chicken because our family is small. I intend to freeze the remaining soup for other meals and I can add more chicken or use other ingredients like meatballs, fish cakes or artificial crab sticks which my kids love to eat with Pho noodles.

I normally cook the whole chicken in the pot as I find its too bulky. I normally cut the chicken in two halves which makes it easier to clean and I do not need a pot which is too deep to submerge the chicken in water.

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The instruction is pretty simple. After cleaning the chicken and removed any excess fat, put the chicken, onion, ginger and cilantro into a big pot. Cover the chicken with cold water and bring to boil.

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Chinese New Year Series: Asam Gai Choy

I made this Asam Gai Choy as a side dish for the Chinese New Year Hotpot gathering. My late mom always made Asam Gai Choy or Kiam Chai Boey after a festive celebration. This dish is made with leftovers from a large meal.

Asam Gai Choy is a sour and spicy dish. You can adjust the sourness and spiciness according to your preference. I love it very sour and spicy. This dish is great with steam rice and very appetizing.

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There are only a few key ingredients for this stew.

  • Leftovers meat. Instead of leftovers meat, I used roasted pig feet. You can get this from Chinese BBQ store at a relatively cheap price, usually $1 to $1.50 per feet.

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  • Gai Choy or mustard greens. Gai Choy is a pungent green and is usually cooked for a long period with pork on bone to absorb the flavor form the meat. Mustard greens are extremely high in Vitamin A and K.
  • Gai Choy comes in 2 types, big leaves and small leaves, They taste the same. I would prefer the small leaves if I can get them, save time on tearing up the big leaves.

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  • Pickled mustard. This will gives the dish the required saltiness without any addition of salt.

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  • Asam pei or tamarind skin. It gives the dish the sourish flavour. You may substitute with tamarind paste if the skin is not available.

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  • Dried chilies. The chillies give the dish the spiciness.

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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