What’s not to love about “MAKE ME Soup” cookbook. There are 55 recipes for soup alone and to make it a little more interesting they throw in a chapter on toppings for soup like chunky croutons, crisp herbs and spiced seeds.
Cookbooks are like traveling to me. Opening a cookbook and exploring what’s between the pages is like walking a winding country road in a place I’ve never been. The number of ingredients can be the difference between taking a short flight from New England to Florida or investing a great deal of time in the air to see breath taking vistas of a more exotic locale. So it was with great pleasure in discovering I had a free pass to go wherever I wanted to go with MAKE ME Soup! I chose exotic and faraway with the Asian Beef & Noodle soup in the chapter “On the lighter side”. My current obsession with regards to soup is a those big bowls of noodles in broth with vegetables and a protein. If this works, I thought, I am going to make this once a week for the rest of my life!
So I begin. I was educated in the American schools system and it was apparent this was written by someone who was educated using the metric system. No need to panic though they were clever and kind by supplying the conversions, making this a friendly and thoughtful cookbook. It’s always a good idea to read through a recipe and list of ingredients first. Really take the time, especially if you haven’t made anything like it before, to visualize what needs to be out and ready to use. That includes pans, of which, no fewer than 4 were used.
There were many steps to this recipe but oh, so worthwhile. From steeping the mushrooms, to flavoring the broth with a mixture of ginger, shiitake mushrooms and star anise, pan searing the beef and boiling the baby bok choy. It was all worth it! You could taste each layer of ingredients. The star anise balanced the earthy mushrooms and the beef was a perfect combination with the ginger and fried shallots. And even though I didn’t have fresh rice noodles, didn’t matter. It was amazing! I can’t wait to make this again or perhaps I have a new obsession, can you say Chicken Laksa? DE-LISH!
Recipe – Asian beef & noodle soup
|Prep time||40 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
|Meal type||Mushrooms, Peas, Rice Noodles|
|Season||Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter|
|By author||Soups - More than 50 Fresh and Easy Soup Recipes|
- 2 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) boiling water
- tablespoon peanut oil
- scallion, trimmed, thinly sliced
- (1 ~ in) piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 star anise
- 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) good-quality salt-reduced beef stock
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) rump steak
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) fresh rice noodles
- 1 bunch (350 g/12 oz) baby bok choy (pak choy), thickly sliced
- 50 g (1% oz) snow peas (mangetout), thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon crisp fried Asian shallots sesame oil and chilli sauce, to serve
|1||Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stand for 30 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Drain well, reserving the liquid. Remove the stems and slice thinly.|
|2||Heat 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the spring onion, ginger and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high, add the rice wine, soy sauce, star anise, stock and the reserved mushroom liquid and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.|
|3||Strain the stock, reserving the liquid. Discard the solids. Return the liquid to the saucepan and simmer to keep warm.|
|4||Put the remaining oil in a medium heavy-based frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.|
|5||Add the bok choy to a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 1 0-20 seconds or until tender, crisp and bright green. Drain and refresh under cold running water.|
|6||Put the noodles in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water and use tongs to gently separate the noodles. Drain immediately.|
|7||Divide the bok choy, snow peas, noodles and beef among serving bowls. Ladle the soup over and garnish with the Asian shallots. Serve immediately with the sesame oil and chili sauce.|