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Cool Weather and Hot Soup Week

photo (15)As the weather becomes cooler and the leaves start to change, I can’t help but feel excited about this time of year. I had never experienced a true fall season until I moved to the beautiful northwest eight years ago and, oh my, it is a gift to see nature prepare itself for the cold months that lie ahead. This past summer, we spent our time with family and friends playing outdoors, having al-fresco dinners, grilling and enjoying fresh salads. These past few weeks, however, have brought some crisp weather and a bit cooler evenings, which I have welcomed with the occasional hot soup or stew.

Sometimes there’s nothing more soothing than a good bowl of soup. I find soup to be the best way to get warm after being in the cold and an excellent way to cut down your cooking time if you are in a rush. There are recipes for all palettes, plus soups satisfy the appetite and warm the soul. It’s been so fun to introduce the different soups I grew up with to my soup-loving husband, especially since growing up I did not like soup! Now, I can’t have enough of it! Peruvian Minestrone, Seafood Chowder, Bisques, Chicken and Rice Soup and my go-to soup “My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup,” to mention a few. 

Growing up, my Dad would make his own version of wonton soup whenever mom would be out of town. It was his turn to be in the kitchen. To this day, he makes this soup every time I come home and I look forward to it. He’s never spent much time in the kitchen, but he has two specialties: Peruvian Garlic Rice and “Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.” Every time he makes it, after the first sip and with a smile on his face, he will jokingly say, “You won’t even find a soup like this at the restaurant around the corner.” 

I am always amazed at how food can evoke so many different feelings, bring back comforting memories and feed the soul. It doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the recipe is, how many ingredients you use, or how pretty it looks, that special dish you make for your family is doing more than feeding them dinner. When your kids leap over the stairs so they can get the first seat at the table, fight over the last piece of something or even lick the plate, memories are being created that will forever stay in their hearts and minds. 

For me, it is this soup. It’s light and filling at the same time, full of flavor and delicate. I have applied my own twists to it, but I was taught to always give credit where credit is due, so in this circumstance I hope you enjoy “My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.” 

What is your special dish?

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
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My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.

INGREDIENTS:

12 cups of water and 3 cubes of vegetable bouillon (or you can replace for 6 cups of water + 6 cups of vegetable broth)
3 thumb size-pieces of ginger, peeled
8 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 tablespoons of sesame oil (I use Trader Joe’s Toasted Sesame Oil)
1 lb of fresh white mushrooms, sliced or 1 lb of chicken breast washed and thinly cut into slices
1 bunch of green onions, green part finely chopped
1 pack on Vermicelli rice noodles (Beans thread style)
6 organic eggs (soft boiled)
Garlic-Chili Sauce (optional)

PREPARATION:

Boil the water with the three pieces of ginger and bouillon. If using chicken, add chicken now. Boil for about 7 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the rice noodles and boil for 4 more minutes. Add mushrooms and green onions. Turn off the burner and let it sit for a few minutes.

Separately boil the eggs to a soft boil. Exactly 6 minutes once the water starts boiling. Cool down with cold water and peel. Learn how to peel soft boiled eggs here.

Serve with half a boiled egg and garlic-chili sauce.