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Healthy Soup – Winter Melon Soup with Pork

A light 'cooling' healthy soup.

Here is a nice, clear soup that is easy to make, cheap, and good for you.  I like making this winter melon soup because a big pot would last my family for a few days.

The main ingredients are pork tenderloin/shank (depends on what you prefer), duck eggs (for saltyness) and winter melon.   Winter melon can help detoxify the body and is normally used in soups, and stews.  Some fancy chinese restaurants serve the soup in the melon (after it’s scooped out) but will require advance notice to order. Read the rest of this entry

Valentine’s Dinner Part 1 – Italian Style Turnip Soup

This is the first part of our epic meal. It also has the least action photos because well, I was helping Patch… but not in terms of cooking. When he’s cooking, all of Little Patch’s duties would be mine while he cooks. That didn’t take long for me to calculate it’s a good trade of my baby sitting service for a gourmet meal. Oh wait, that child is mine too.

Italian Style Turnip Soup
(inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Cooking for Friends’ recipe)

I love turnips, radishes and beets. Sometimes I get them confused even though eating beets makes my teeth look like Gollums afterwards.

Ingredients: 2 medium turnips (1cm dice), 1 medium onion (1cm dice), pancetta (Gordon calls for bacon), 150g risotto rice, 800ml chicken/veg stock, 5-6 tbsp freshly grated parmesan. This calls for parsley but I don't like parsley so we left that out.

How to pick turnips - choose small turnips with unblemished skin that's dense and heavy for its size. Overgrown turnips may seem easier because you don't have to peel as many turnips but they can be woody tasting.

Add butter and oil in the saucepan. When the butter begins to foam, add the panchetta and stir fry until golden brown.

Stir in the onion, turnips and salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are soft.

Add the rice and oil to the veggies and stir until the rice is toasted. Then pour in the stock to cover and partially cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in the parmesan just before serving.

We fed Little Patch some of our risotto. He loves risotto. Now there's more Italian in him than Chinese. He can be the first Chinese-Guido to be cast on Jersey Shores.

It's tasty because of the panchetta, turnips didn't add too much flavour, but this is a nice 'stew'. I wonder if it's supposed to be thick or if the rice expanded while we were finishing up the other dishes. But I would make this hearty soup again.

Valentine’s Dinner Part 2 – Panchetta is the New Bacon
Valentine’s Dinner Part 3 – Shellfish Party
Valentine’s Dinner Part 4 – Duck on Duck Action