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Wonton Soup with Bok Choy & Barbecued Pork

a white bowl containing Chinese chicken broth, wontons, bok choy, barbecued pork and Chinese black mushrooms

Chinese soups are generally very subtle in flavor. This starts with the chicken broth which is one of the simplest broths ever made and when completed has only the small flavor and nose of a chicken, it is only after you choose the soup you are making and add some seasoning, especially salt, does the chicken broth come to life, yet it is still very subtle in its overall flavor.

The chicken broth is the medium for creativity. To the chicken broth in this soup we are adding homemade wontons, baby bok choy and Chinese barbecued pork slices.

Bacon Corn Chowder

Loraine and I came across this soup a few years ago. It is a great soup for winter, it sticks to the ribs as they say. The soup is very easy to make and cooks in less than a half an hour. It is a complete meal!

Although the soup calls for milk (we use 50% condensed milk, 50% water) we have also made it with 5%, 10% and 18% cream. It all depends on what we have in the refrigerator at the moment.

The soup will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and you can freeze it for at least a month.

Beef Vegetable Soup

This hearty beef and vegetable soup recipe uses lean ground beef instead of the more common stewing beef. This is a very basic soup and a great starting point for soup creativity. It can easily be augmented with a variety of seasonings and herbs.

We never make this soup exactly the same way twice. Ingredients definitely depend on what vegetables and herbs happen to be in the refrigerator and what spices are in the pantry.

With some bread this soup is a meal unto itself.

Butternut Squash Soup

A few years ago we made this soup for a Thanksgiving dinner for eight. Since then it has become a favorite winter soup. The combination of butternut squash with the pancetta bacon is right on the mark.

We cheat a little bit and use fresh butternut squash that is cut into chunks and sold in a package at our local supermarket. The recipe makes a very thick soup, you can thin it by adding more chicken stock.

You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe.

Chicken Broth

We try to use homemade chicken broth whenever possible, although sometimes we do use store bought. Our butcher makes a good chicken stock, without any additives or chemicals that I can't even pronounce, that we do use on occasion, although we find it rather expensive for what it is.

We like to have Chinese chicken broth from time to time and because of that we have a somewhat unique method of creating a western style chicken broth. We start by creating a Chinese chicken broth, which uses a whole chicken with a few green onions and a couple of pieces of ginger. After we have made the Chinese chicken stock, we set aside how much we want of it, usually a couple of cups and put the balance in a clean stock pot. We add some vegetables, herbs and seasoning and let it low simmer for a few hours, the quantities of the vegetables and herbs is not critical.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This chicken noodle soup recipe is made with free range chicken giving it a fabulously rich chicken flavor. A small amount of heavy cream gives the broth a smooth creamy texture. This is the ultimate chicken noodle soup and it is sure to please the entire family. Serve with some fresh bread or corn muffins and you have a total meal.

The chicken stock for this ultimate chicken noodle soup is made as the initial steps of the recipe.

Chinese Chicken Broth

Chinese chicken broth is quite different from what westerner's make as chicken broth. To start with Chinese chicken broth is made from a whole chicken not just a bunch of chicken bones. The only additional ingredients added to the pot with the whole chicken, are a few scallions and a couple of small pieces of ginger.

There are many recipes for Chinese chicken broth and the only variables are the cooking time and amount of water.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Earl is definitely a soup person, he could probably live on soups alone, if I let him.

Do not confuse this recipe for a cream of mushroom soup. This recipe uses chicken broth as its base. Whereas a cream of soup would use milk or cream as its base. This recipe is not as rich as a cream of. However, we think that it has an excellent texture due to the two egg yolks and 35% cream.

This creamy mushroom soup is based on a Julia Child recipe, but as usual Earl and I have modified it to suit our tastes and made it somewhat less complex to make.

French Onion Soup

One of our favorite late fall and winter time meals is our French onion soup. Our recipe is based on Julia Child's classic French onion soup, although as we often do, we have modified to suit our tastes.

Let me start by saying we try to use our own homemade beef stock which is often in whole or partially created when we make pot roasts. Hence, it's not a consistent flavor, especially with respect to salt and pepper. When used in our French onion soup we go taste the soup at various stages and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Ham and Split Pea Soup

Ham and split pea is one of my favorite soups. Although I usually try to cook for two with no leftovers, soup is generally an exception to that rule. Most soups freeze exceptionally well and it makes a great lunch or snack.

The ham imparts a lot of flavor to the soup, so it is important to choose the ham you use with care. If it is a hickory smoked ham it will impart a smoky hickory flavor to the soup. Try to stay away from hams that have been glazed with maple syrup or anything else that is sweet. Sweet doesn't really work in this soup.

New England Clam Chowder (Extra Thick & Creamy)

Loraine and I like our New England clam chowder to be really thick and creamy. We are sure that most people in New England would say that this is not real New England clam chowder and we really don't care. We like it.

We use tinned yellow clams, because it is difficult to get fresh clams that are really fresh if you know what we mean.

This soup can be made in about 30 minutes from start to finish. We have doubled the recipe for guests and made it the day before and it tasted as if it had just been freshly made.

Shrimp Stock

Although we call this our Shrimp Stock recipe, it does at times include lobster shells, if we happen to have them available. This shrimp stock can be used in any recipe that calls for a light seafood stock. Of course shrimp stock is not as common as chicken or brown (beef) stock there are many recipes that are truly enhanced by using a high quality homemade shrimp stock and it is one of the easiest and fastest stocks you will ever make. When a recipe calls for seafood or shrimp stock and then says you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock, someone really doesn't care how that dish tastes.

We have a few recipes that call for a light fish or shrimp stock that are listed within our favorites. I'm pretty sure we never suggest that you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth.

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