Dressed Up Tomato Soup

Since I’m in a hotel for another week, I decided to think about simple stuff I could make. I got a can of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup, but I thought plain ol’ tomato soup was too boring, so I thought of ways to make it more interesting.

I decided to add a bit of “Mexican”. I put “Mexican” in quotation marks and didn’t tag this as “Mexican” because I don’t really think it’s Mexican food… but it did come out kind of salsa-like. Kind of. It’s a lot chunkier than the picture would suggest, but all the solid stuff sinks to the bottom.

It was really tasty though. I had 2 bowls for lunch today, then another one later as a mid-afternoon snack… and I still have a reeeaaaally big bowl left over in my fridge. I’ll probably have that for dinner tomorrow.

Ingredients
1 can Campbell’s condensed tomato soup
1 10oz can diced tomatoes and green chili peppers
1/2 15oz can black beans, drained
1/2 15.5oz can corn, drained
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
salt
garlic powder

Preparation
Dump soup, tomatoes/chili peppers, black beans and corn into a pot and heat until boiling.

Add salt and garlic powder to taste, then melt in cheddar cheese.

Serve topped with some more cheddar cheese (also optional).

Baked Potato Soup

Well, I’m back. Not to the states yet, but reunited with my laptop in Singapore. Hong Kong was good! Lots of interesting sights and awesome food. If you’ve never had dim sum, it’s definitely something you want to experience. Sadly a lot of dim sum places these days just have paper menus where you write the quantity of each dish you want next to dish name, but there are still some old school places with the carts. I love the cart ladies. They’re these (usually) cute little old(er) ladies who push carts of food around the restaurant calling out what they have.

If you’re in the Boston area, the three places I would recommend are: Hei La Moon (Chinatown), Winsor Dim Sum Cafe (Chinatown) and China Pearl (Woburn). Winsor is really small, so get there early, but it doesn’t have the carts. The other two still have the carts and are much bigger, but they still get extremely crowded, so get there early!

Anyway, none of this has anything to do with the recipe I’m posting for today. I wish I could make dim sum food. Maybe one day. Today’s recipe is one for baked potato soup. I am a huge fan of soup. From the healthier variety (chicken noodle, tomato) to the not so healthy (pretty much anything cream-based), I love soup. My parents once had a “theory” that the reason I loved soup so much was that I was indeed so lazy that I preferred foods that didn’t involve chewing. They have now revised that “theory” in light of the fact that my jaw joint is messed up. Chewy foods do make my jaw click, so it’s possible that the jaw thing would lead me to prefer soup (not very chewy).

I decided to make this after a friend and fellow college alum posted her recipe on her food blog, Dorsey Kitchen. I made some modifications, mostly scaling it down, but all in all it was a great recipe!

Ingredients
2 large potatoes
1/2 sweet onion
6 slices of bacon
1 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation
Wash potatoes and use a fork to poke holes all around them. Bake at 400F for around 60 minutes.

Dice the onion. Chop the bacon into small squares. In a nonstick saucepan, fry bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and place in a bowl lined with a paper towel.

Saute the onion in the bacon grease. When they turn translucent, add the flour and stir until smooth. Add milk and simmer for a few minutes. While mix in simmering, coarsely chop the potatoes into cubes. Mix the cornstarch and water and add this mixture to the pot.

When mix thickens, add potatoes and chicken broth. Mash some of the potato chunks against the side of the pot. Stir in cheese and most of the bacon bits. Let simmer until the soup reaches desired thickness.

Serve topped with cheese and bacon.

Wonton Soup

One day I was really craving wonton soup.. so I grabbed a friend, went to Stop and Shop, and did it! I was really impressed to find that Stop and Shop (especially the one in W-town) stocked both wonton skins and ground pork. Wonton skins are only sold in increments of 50 though… so I ended up freezing a bunch and making some dessert wontons (which will be posted tomorrow).

One note– if you freeze wontons, make sure they’re dry when you bag them… otherwise they will stick to each other… which is no fun. Also, in addition to boiling them, you can also pan fry them which is crispy and delicious.

Anyway, this soup was exactly what I needed. Next time I’d use less garlic oil in the broth though.

The recipe is from Tastes of Home.

Ingredients
For wontons:
20 wonton skins
1 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz water chestnuts, minced
garlic powder
soy sauce
salt
cornstarch
vegetable oil

For soup:
1 can chicken broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
salt
20 shiitake mushrooms, cut into fourths
1 clove garlic, minced
vegetable oil

Preparation
Marinate ground pork in soy sauce, salt, garlic powder, oil, and cornstarch.

Mix in minced water chestnuts and garlic.

Prepare wontons by placing a spoonful of the meat mixture in the center of the wonton skin (be careful not to put too much or it will burst!). First brush 2 adjacent edges of the skin with water and fold in half diagonally to make a triangle. Then dab one of the bottom 2 corners with water and fold the 2 bottom corners together.

Heat a pot of water to boiling and add wontons and heat until wontons begin to float. Meanwhile, prepare garlic oil by microwaving the oil and garlic for 30 seconds. Heat the rest of the soup ingredients in a pot and add the garlic oil. Serve wontons and soup together.