Roasted Garlic Scape Soup

These past few weeks, our farmer’s market has yielded some pretty great stuff, in particular strawberries (which actually taste like awesome strawberries), rhubarb, all sorts of herbs and onions, and one of my favorites this time of year, garlic scape. I buy garlic scape every time I see it at the market, and I make a variety of things with it, but this year I decided to make a roasted garlic scape soup. If you are not familiar with garlic scapes, it is essentially the flower bud from garlic, and have the taste of a mix between a mild garlic and onion flavor. That’s right up my alley.

This roasted garlic scape soup is not only easy to make, but it’s super comforting, loaded with great flavor, and has the texture of a nice bisque. Not the prettiest of soups, but one that you will want to make again.

Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe
Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • generous pinch of salt, and more to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 small to medium sized shallots
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 whole russet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup of half and half
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, stem removed

I like to roast my scapes, garlic, and shallots (both skin on) over some charcoal, but you could place yours in the oven on high heat if you prefer. It’s summertime so I make every attempt not to heat up the kitchen. So start by rubbing the olive oil all over the garlic scapes, garlic, and shallots, and season with some salt, and place onto your hot grill, turning along the way. You want some nice charred marks on the scapes, as well as to soften the shallots and garlic. So once they are slightly charred, remove them from the grill and set aside.

Chop up the garlic scapes and carefully remove the skins from the garlic and shallots.

Next, get a pot onto the stove and pour in the chicken stock. Add in the cubed potatoes, and the garlic scapes, garlic, and shallots, and cook for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe
Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe

Once they are fork tender, this is when you want to bust out your immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, I highly recommend you purchase one, then you can carefully ladle, in batches, the soup mixture into a blender, making sure you cover the top and place pressure down onto it. Hot stuff in blenders without putting a towel over the top, once covered, can lead to a mess. Trust me.

So whichever route you take (I used an immersion blender), blend until you have a nice smooth puree.

Keep the pot on medium to low heat, and continue to cook. Add the half and half, black pepper, red chili flakes, and fresh thyme. Stir, cook for a few minutes, and taste. If more salt is needed, add a bit more.

Now you are ready to serve. Ladle some into a small soup bowl, garnish with fresh parsley if desired, and dig in. This roasted garlic scape soup is super smooth, and you get the taste of everything you put in there. It’s comforting, easy, and delicious, and granted soup season has somewhat past us here in Wisconsin, it is still worth making.

So if your market has scapes, get a bunch of them and give them a try. It’s a must if you love garlic. Hope you enjoy!

 

Mexican Menudo

Whatever you heard about menudo is probably right. Mexican menudo is one of those soups that you typically only find being cooked on the weekends, whether that be in a Mexican restaurant, or in many traditional homes. My home was one of those this weekend, and I only made this because on a recent lunch break at my favorite taqueria, I noticed some guy was buying a massive amount of honeycomb tripe. This essentially sparked my interest. After talking with the guy, I pretty much looked at him and said ‘Menudo this weekend?’. Yep, he announced, and he stated the honeycomb tripe was the one you want to make your menudo with. I honestly thought the guy was buying all of it, as he did state ‘you gotta buy a lot when it’s on sale, and today is that day!’. I kid you not, the guy bought 21 pounds of tripe. That’s a lot of tripe!!

Mexican Menudo Recipe
Mexican Menudo Recipe

I actually fell in love with tripe years ago when living in Dallas, and eating Vietnamese pho. Tripe is essentially the edible lining of a cow’s stomach, and it is something that not only needs to be cleaned well, but also cooked nice and slow so it is really tender. This menudo is not only super easy to make, granted it takes a bit of time, but I love that on the weekends, but it is really, really good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of beef oxtails
  • 2 lbs honeycomb tripe, any fat trimmed and removed
  • 1 whole cows foot, split down the middle
  • 2 heads of garlic, to of each head removed
  • 1 whole white onion, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 oz Menudo spice mix (found at local Mexican grocery store)
  • water
  • 25 oz can of hominy, drained and rinsed

Ingredients for the chili paste:

  • 3 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 6 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 6 dried chili de arbol chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 3 dried morita chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 7 oz can of chipotle chili sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

For garnishing the menudo:

  • limes
  • fresh cilantro
  • diced onion
  • warm corn tortillas
  • Additional chili powder
  • chicharrones

Get a large soup pot on the stove. Add the oxtails, and cows feet. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and let this cook for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the oxtails, and cows feet, reserving them.

Clean out the soup pot, and then rinse off any scum from the oxtails and cows feet. Place back into the soup pot, covering again with plenty of water.

Bring the mixture back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

At this time, add in the 2 heads of garlic, the bay leaves, salt, Mexican oregano, Menudo spice mix, and diced onions. Give a good stir, and cook for about 2 hours, skimming off any additional scum that may surface.

How to make Mexican Menudo
How to make Mexican Menudo

Next, get a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in all of the chilies, and 3 cloves of garlic, skin left on. Your goal here is to lightly toast the chilies, without burning them, to bring out their essential oils. This takes about 5 minutes or so, turning them along the way. Once they are lightly toasted, add in about a cup of water, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

During this time, add the tripe into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Add in about a tablespoon of salt, and set this aside.

Remove the chilies, and place them into a food processor. Remove the skins from the garlic, and add the garlic to the food processor. Add in the cumin powder, the onion, and about 1 cup of fresh water. Blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Next, using a fine mesh strainer or chinois, strain this mixture over a bowl. The goal is to remove any clumps from the onion, garlic, or chilies. Pour the chili liquid from the bowl and into the soup pot. Give this a good stir, then add in the small can of chipotle sauce. Give another good stir. Season and adjust for any additional salt.

Now for the tripe. Strain the tripe, and rinse it off really well to remove any excess salt. You want the tripe, at least in my opinion, to be in about 2 inch pieces. So if you have to cut them down to size, please do so.

Add the tripe to the soup pot, mix, and cook an additional 3-4 hours. About one hour in, add the hominy.

Now you are ready to eat! Remove the cows feet, 2 heads of garlic, and the bay leaves and discard those. You may be thinking ‘cow’s feet?!’. Yes, the collagen from those feet actually create the mouthfeel for this menudo.

Remove the oxtails (if they do not already fall apart for you, and using a large slotted spoon, remove any strange fatty material from the remains of the foot, along with any additional bones. Once the bones and fatty materials are removed, it is now time to create your bowl of awesome menudo.

Ladle in generous amounts of the menudo, making sure you are getting some beef, and tripe. Garnish with lots of fresh lime, onions, and cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas, then repeat.

This soup is really darn good. Not only in texture, but also in flavor. It was just the right amount of spice, aroma, and is really built for a weekend feast. If you haven’t tried tripe before, well, maybe, just maybe is now that time. I hope you enjoy!

 

Shan Noodles

I don’t know about you but there are so many times I wake up in the morning and I crave soup. I’m talking about a few in particular, and they are all Asian based soups. Soups like Khao Soi, Pho, or even Khao Poon. These are all noodle based soups, soaked in great curry based broths and they do nothing more than bring awesome comfort to your soul. I love them, and this soup in particular is right up with them. It’s called Shan Noodles, and is a riff on all of the soups mentioned above, and typically in that same region, just north of Thailand and Laos, in the Myanmar region, a hodge podge of various cultures, and when that happens, you know you are going to have some pretty awesome food. This is one of them.

Shan Noodles Recipe
Shan Noodles Recipe

This soup is basic but loaded with tons of flavor, plus it is way too simple to make. You can make this with ground pork or chicken as well, but I choose pork. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic, optional
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 small baby bok choy, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • Rice noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the canola oil, and let it come to a quick simmer. Add in the ground pork, and using a wooden spoon, continue to break up the pork (or ground chicken), and cook until browned.

Next, add in the diced onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring along the way.

Next, add in the paprika, soy sauce, fish sauce, and turmeric, and stir. Cook for about a minute, then add in the grated tomato. Give this a good stir, and cook for another minute or two. Now add in the water, stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes.

How to make Shan Noodles
How to make Shan Noodles

During this time, heat up the chicken stock on the stove on medium heat. Add in the bok choy and let it cook until tender.

Boil water, enough to cover the amount of your rice noodles, and cook until they are al dente, about 5 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve.

Add your cooked rice noodles to your soup bowl. Generously ladle the pork mixture onto the noodles, then add broth to cover the noodles. Add the bok choy, chopped peanuts, fried garlic,and fresh cilantro. Shower with the green onions. Taste, and season with salt.

Dig in. Again, this is like most of those great Asian soups, but something about this one is really special. Sure, it could be the pork mixture, but when everything is brought together it is really, really yummy. Hope you enjoy!

Shan Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1½ pound of ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic, optional
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 small baby bok choy, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • Rice noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the canola oil, and let it come to a quick simmer. Add in the ground pork, and using a wooden spoon, continue to break up the pork (or ground chicken), and cook until browned.
  2. Next, add in the diced onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring along the way.
  3. Next, add in the paprika, soy sauce, fish sauce, and turmeric, and stir. Cook for about a minute, then add in the grated tomato. Give this a good stir, and cook for another minute or two. Now add in the water, stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. Boil water, enough to cover the amount of your rice noodles, and cook until they are al dente, about 5 minutes.
  5. Now you are ready to serve.
  6. Add your cooked rice noodles to your soup bowl. Generously ladle the pork mixture onto the noodles, then add broth to cover the noodles. Add the bok choy, chopped peanuts, fried garlic,and fresh cilantro. Shower with the green onions. Taste, and season with salt.

 

Chicken and Potato Chowder

I recently decided to make a chowder for my wife. I know she loves most types of soup, in particular of the chowder styles. I did this not only because I love her dearly, but also because I had leftover rosemary fingerling smashed potatoes staring at me every time I opened the refrigerator and I was not going to have them go to waste. Sure, I thought of making a corned beef hash with them, but the thought of my wife took over and won that urge.

Chicken and Potato Chowder Recipe
Chicken and Potato Chowder Recipe

This recipe was not only a great use of leftover, but super simple to make and full of comfort to boot. We ate this chowder for a few days, it was that good.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 whole carrots, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 1 whole medium sized onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 5 chicken tender loins, cooked and cubed or shredded
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of cooked potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Start by having your mise-en-place in place as this is a bit of a quick process.

Melt your butter in a large soup pot. Once melted, add in the celery, onion, and carrots, and cook until the onions have fully sweated, roughly 7 minutes. Next gently stir in the flour, and continue to stir until it just gets slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Now add in the thyme, and bay leaf.

Next, add in the milk, and the chicken stock, and continue to stir until the flour smooths out and creates a thickened sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then add in the chicken and potatoes.

Chicken and Potato Chowder Ingredients
Chicken and Potato Chowder Ingredients

Next add in the corn, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Taste and adjust any seasoning, if necessary.

Now you are ready to serve.

Get a soup bowl ready, ladle in the chicken and potato chowder, and spring some cheddar cheese onto the top of the chowder.

Dig in. This chowder scream comfort. Maybe it is the tenderness of the vegetables and potatoes, or maybe it is the subtle, but flavorful hint of thyme, but overall this chowder will have you wanting another bowl, and another one the following day. My wife was super happy with this recipe, and I was as well, plus I was able to use up those great potatoes. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken and Potato Chowder
Author: 
Recipe type: Soups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 whole carrots, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 1 whole medium sized onion, diced
  • ¼ cup of all purpose flour
  • 5 chicken tender loins, cooked and cubed or shredded
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • ½ tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of cooked potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by having your mise-en-place in place as this is a bit of a quick process.
  2. Melt your butter in a large soup pot. Once melted, add in the celery, onion, and carrots, and cook until the onions have fully sweated, roughly 7 minutes. Next gently stir in the flour, and continue to stir until it just gets slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Now add in the thyme, and bay leaf.
  3. Next, add in the milk, and the chicken stock, and continue to stir until the flour smooths out and creates a thickened sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then add in the chicken and potatoes.
  4. Next add in the corn, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Taste and adjust any seasoning, if necessary.
  5. Now you are ready to serve.
  6. Get a soup bowl ready, ladle in the chicken and potato chowder, and spring some cheddar cheese onto the top of the chowder.