Soups / Stews

Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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If you’ve ever lived in Germany or even just visited for a short time, you know that sauerkraut is everywhere, especially as you go further South.
Sauerkraut is surprisingly versatile. At some time not too long ago, before fridges and freezers were found in every household, cabbage was one of the few vegetables which were available abundantly year-round. During the first few months after the fall harvest, there was fresh cabbage available, cheap and healthy. Then, as the months went on, fermented cabbage (Sauerkraut) took its place, also cheap and even more healthy (It helped that every house usually had a big cellar to store all these goodies). Therefore, while sauerkraut in Europe is certainly eaten with foods like sausages and roasted pork, you’ll also find sauerkraut in casseroles, savory pastries, breads, meatballs, pasta, fritters, salads, quiche, sandwiches, pizzas and stews. And of course in soups, such as today’s recipe, “Sauerkraut Soup”.
Sauerkraut soup comes in a myriad of variations, being different from house to house, restaurant to restaurant, region to region and country to country. My favorite is of course the one which reminds me of my Mom’s version, mild, creamy and chock-full of smoked meat. This can be smoked meat from any part of the pig or a combination of different smoked meats.
But, whatever you do, whatever variation you prepare – DO NOT USE INFERIOR QUALITY KRAUT.
If your butcher prepares and sell’s his own sauerkraut, use that. If you can not get fresh from your butcher or, even better, make your own (I do not advise this if you live in a small place without separate storage space – (fermenting cabbage does NOT smell too good in the house), buy the best you can in a can or glass.
For commercial Sauerkraut, I usually choose Kühne, Paulsen or Hengstenberg. There are many more available all over the world, but if you don’t want to gamble, stick with these three.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Excerpt from Wiki :
Cabbage soup may refer to any of the variety of soups based on various cabbages, or on sauerkraut and known under different names in national cuisines. Often it is a vegetable soup. It may be prepared with different ingredients. Vegetarian cabbage soup may use mushroom stock. Another variety is using a fish stock. Traditional cabbage soup is prepared using a pork stock.

Cabbage soup is popular in PolishSlovak and Ukrainian cuisine. It is known as kapuśniak or kwaśnica in Polishkapustnica in Slovak and капусняк (kapusnyak) in Ukrainian. It is also found in Czech (Czechzelňačka or zelná polévka), German (GermanKohlsuppe or Krautsuppe), French (Frenchsoupe aux choux) cuisine, and Swedish (Swedishkålsoppa) cuisine.

The Swedish cabbage soup is usually made from white cabbage, which is browned before being boiled, and seasoned with generous amounts of allspice and sometimes served with boiled meatballs.

A variety of the soup called shchi (Russian: щи) is a national dish of Russia. While commonly is it made of cabbages, dishes of the same name may be based on dockspinach or nettle. The sauerkraut soup is called “sour shchi”, as opposed to “fresh cabbage shchi”.
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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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Preparation :
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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Some of my favorite dishes are the ones that come together without set ingredients, without planning and without recipes.
I just go to the fridge and/or cupboard, look what’s available and what needs to be used, and just throw together what I think will fit and taste delicious. Such was the case with this soup. I had some krakauer sausage, leftover cooked broccoli, leftover cooked cauliflower and leftover fresh leek from previous dishes, and of course there are always onions in the cupboard and at least 2 or 3 types of cheese in the fridge. Throw it all together and in a few short minutes – a dish as good as can be 🙂  Life is Good !
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transfer to soup bowl or soup plate, sprinkle ea bowl with 1/2 tblsp grated asiago and drizzle with 1 tblsp EVO

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Preparation :
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Cancer Free !!! (For Now)

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Got the good news this afternoon – for now, C-free 🙂
However, this needs to be checked every three months for 5 years, only then will I be declared 100% cured. But, I’ll take this for now 🙂
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On my way home from the Cancer clinic, I bought a bottle of wine to celebrate.
However, it’s not fun to drink alone, so I prepared and enjoyed this soup with Bella instead.
The wine will be used to prepare sauerbraten next week    
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Life is Good !

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Pork Dumplings, Ramen Noodles And Nappa Cabbage in Garlicky Pork Broth

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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During my shopping trips to Foodtown Supermarket in Davie, about 5 minutes drive from my home, I usually go to their cooked food section, which has a great selection of Chinese roasted meat – Peking duck, cha siu, roast chicken, etc. I usually buy my dinner there, which I did a few days ago. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, resulting in leftover char siu for today. What better way to use leftover cha siu than in steamed buns or soup? Making steamed bun dough was out of the question because of ….. laziness :-),  so soup was the order of today, and here is the result 🙂

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Preparation :
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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks
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A Ham Hock / Stelze / Hough / Schweinshaxe /  Golonka / Sauhaxn / Stinco / Wädli / Fläsklägg or / Pork Knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog‘s leg.
It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham-proper nor the ankle or foot (trotter), but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone.

(Or, as I like to think, it’s one of the very best parts of the pig).  🙂

Since they generally consists of much skin, tendons and ligaments, ham hocks requires long cooking through stewing or braising to be made palatable (or long, slow roasting). Hocks can be cooked with greens and other vegetables or in flavorful sauces. They are often added to soups, such as pea and ham soup, with the meat being added to the soup prior to serving. The meat of particularly meaty hocks may be removed and served as is. Ham hocks, like hog jowls (pigs’ cheeks), add a distinctive flavor to various dishes. This is particularly true for collard greens, mustard greens, cabbage, green beans and navy beans.

Ham hocks, fresh, brined, or smoked, are an essential ingredients for the distinct flavor in soul food and other forms of American Southern country cooking. In the Mid-Atlantic States, in rural regions settled by the Pennsylvania Dutch, hocks are a commonly used ingredient for making a kind of meat loaf called scrappleEisbein is the name of the joint in north German, and at the same time the name of a dish of roasted ham hock, called Schweinshaxe in BavariaStelze in Austria and Wädli in Switzerland. Golonka is a very popular Polish barbecued dish using this cut. Ham hocks are also popular when boiled with escarole, more commonly called endives, in Italian-American cuisineFläsklägg med rotmos is a Swedish dish consisting of cured ham hocks and a mash of rutabaga and potatoes, served with sweet mustard. In Canada, and particularly Montreal, ham hocks are referred to as “pigs’ knuckles” and are served in bistros and taverns with baked beans. In northern Italy ham hocks are referred to as stinco, and is often served roast whole with sauerkraut.
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Cannellini Beans And Potato Stew

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Preparation :
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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Before you make a long face at the Mollejas (Chicken Gizzards), pls know that you can easily replace them with any other part of the chicken, such as breast, wings, tighs, etc. If you are not in the mood for chicken, many other proteins will work just as well, such as beef, pork, shrimp, or any other seafood, or just add more veggies of your choice.
However, if you love mollejas as much as I do, this soup will surely find a special place in your heart 🙂
In my opinion, the mollejas fit perfectly with the other ingredients, but as usual, use what you prefer, what you can afford or whatever you have in your larder that seems to fit the dish.
If you look at the pictures and try to immagine the taste of it, you’ll know that the main attraction is the Ginger/Tamarind Broth, the pasta pearls and the bok choy, everything else is just icing on the cake 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck – probably the most underrated cut of beef overall. Simmered for soup or braised in red wine sauce, the texture and taste of this cut is only surpassed by beef shank. On top of that, since few people use it, it is the cheapest of all beef cuts, pound for pound. I hope it stays under-appreciated by most folks for much longer, so I can buy it often and in large quantities without breaking the bank 🙂
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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Bella’s Portion

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce (Fish Soup). It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But in many parts of Italy, fish soup rules, and rightfully so.
Since Italy is bordered by water on three sides, it’s not surprising that there are thousands of variations of zuppa di pesce throughout the country, especially in the towns that dot the coastline. Families in the same village often have utterly distinct, yet equally delicious, preparations.
In Genoa, fish soup is called burrida, a name residents got from their neighbors in France from the Provencal dialect bourrido (“to boil”). There, it’s a soup made of cuttlefish, angler and anchovies. In Tuscany, it’s called caciucco, and on the opposite side of Italy, along the Adriatic, it’s referred to as brodetto. Many Americans are familiar with the term “cioppino,” which is not an Italian word. It comes from the Ligurian immigrants in San Francisco and is based on their dialects name for the dish, ciuppin.
While this recipe calls for some specific species, feel free to use any firm, light-fleshed fish. There’s a delicate balance to a good zuppa di pesce, so strong-flavored fish like salmon or snapper don’t work. No sole or flounder either–they’re too flaky. Use an ample supply of shellfish, whatever’s freshest is best. Finally, make sure you have a good loaf of bread to serve with the zuppa.
Some traditional preparations from Liguria do not add tomato,, as the original recipe calls for the full flavor of the sea to be maintained in the fish soup.
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Cioppino  is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful of this delicious seafood stew.  Because of the versatility of the ingredients, there are numerous recipes for it.  Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen different kinds of fish and shellfish.  It all depends on the day’s catch and/or your personal choice.
You will not believe how easy it is to make this Cioppino.  The key to this recipe is experimentation.  Be creative with this fish stew: Leave something out, or substitute something new.  Serve cioppino with a glass of your favorite wine and warm sourdough bread.
History of Cioppino:  This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s.  Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf.
The origin of the word “cioppino” is something of a mystery, but many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.”  It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Pork & Beans

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If the mention of  “Pork & Beans” stirs up a picture in your head like the one above, you might be ready to move on to the wonderful “Pork & Beans”  I’d like to introduce to you today.
Admittedly, there were times when during my (much) younger years, after a night of too much booze and too many other spoils of the wild life, many times the final straw was a cold can of baked beans, straight off the cupboard and out of the can, washed down with the last couple of beers of the day. Ahhhh, the sophistication of youth. 🙂
Nowadays, at least for myself, enjoying pork and beans requires slightly more effort, better quality ingredients, and flavor and texture more geared towards grown-ups. The reward is a dish I always and often enjoy to the fullest, any time of the day, either as a snack, appetizer or outsized main course 🙂

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Preparation :
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Thanks to its ease of preparation and its wonderful taste and texture, chicken noodle soup in its never-ending varieties is one of the dishes I prepare at least once every week.  🙂
I remember the noodle soups from my youth, which had the same flaw as all other pasta dishes at the time in the “old country” – the pasta was nearly always overcooked. Not just in the home I grew up in, but in all homes and restaurants.
To cook pasta al dente became only common after the influx of Italian Immigrants and the explosion of Italian restaurants in Germany in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Unfortunately, nowadays, the original Italian patrons of these restaurants have mostly retired. Their (German-educated) kid’s, and more often than not, new immigrants from countries such as Turkey, Albania, Rumania, etc have taken over these restaurants and unfortunately, the cuisine has been watered down to an unfortunate mix of second-class Italian and third-class German cooking style, including in many cases, overcooked pasta. Sadly, when I visited Germany last September, it was nearly impossible for me to find decent pasta, pizza, and other traditional Italian food of good quality ( see also “My trip to Germany and Spain“)

However, let’s get back to the “Chicken Noodle Soup” at hand.
No danger of overcooked pasta to be found here, although, there is the (slight?) possibility to overcook the carrot noodles and/or the beans, so if you decide to prep this dish, please keep the veggies bright in color and of proper texture. 🙂
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Bella’s Chicken Noodle Soup (She still ate half my wings and carrots) 🙂

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE
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