Sunday, February 24, 2013

33 #SundaySupper - Beef Pho Soup

In the past month, Virginia weather has ranged from early spring weather to cold disgusting winter weather. All the better reason to have a good soup recipe ready to eat under some nice warm blankets from the comfort of your home. This week Sunday Supper is bringing you soup recipes to warm your body and soul.

My recipe this week is pho soup. For those who aren't familiar, pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup made with either beef or chicken. It is a flavorful broth infused with Vietnamese spices, and served with noodles, beef, and fresh garnish. The beef is sliced very thin and added raw to the hot broth, which cooks the meat in a matter of minutes.I was introduced to it when I moved to D.C. and fell in love with it.

One of the keys to a good pho is a stock made from beef bones. One of the tricks to creating a clear soup is to parboil the bones. By boiling the bones for a couple minutes before creating the stock, all of the heavy grease and impurities are boiled out of the bones. The picture above shows the bones halfway through parboil, and as you can see the water is already fairly cloudy. 

Another easy method of enhancing the flavor in the soup is to lightly toast the spices before adding them to the broth. This brings out the aromatics in the spices, and releases some of the oils. By placing them in a cheesecloth bag before adding to the soup, it makes removal of the spices a lot easier.

A good pho also needs quality garnishes to add flavor to the soup. Before adding the noodles and beef to the soup, I like to prepare my cilantro, green onion, and onion so that I don't have to chop these while the broth cools. Fresh basil, bean sprouts, lime, and peppers (I don't have them pictured because I don't like adding peppers to mine) are wonderful to serve on the side so people can add what they want to the soup for more flavor.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time 4 hours to overnight
Cook Time 2 1/2 hours, 10 minutes when reheating broth

Broth Ingredients
2 pounds beef bones
4 quarts water
1 onion, quartered
1 3 inch piece of ginger root, quartered
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp anise seeds
2 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup fish sauce

Ingredients per Soup Bowl
1 cup of rice noodles
10 slices of thinly cut beef sirloin
1 handful of cilantro
2 thin slices of onion
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Garnish per Soup Bowl
2 lime quarters
handful of bean sprouts
3-4 leaves fresh basil

In a soup pot, cover the bones with water. Bring the water to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain the pot, and transfer the bones to a strainer. Rinse with warm water to get residual gunk off the bones. Clean the inside of the pot of any residue. Return the bones to the pot and add the 4 quarts water. Set aside.

Set the oven to broil, place the onion and ginger onto a pan and cook in the broiler for 5 minutes, until slightly charred. Add the onion and ginger to the pot. 

On a pan without any oil or grease, roast the seeds, cinnamon, and cloves over medium heat for 5 minutes. Transfer the spices to a cheesecloth sheet and tie with a knot. Set aside. 

Bring the stock base to a boil. Once boiling, add the spice bag, salt, and sauce to the pot. Reduce to medium heat and cover with a top. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Once the simmering is done, remove the bones, spice bag, ginger, and onions from the pot. Let the soup cool to room temperature and then transfer it to the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight. This will let the oil coagulate on top of the broth so you can remove it with a spoon. 

Once you are ready to serve, remove the soup from the refrigerator and reheat over medium heat. You want to heat it to about a minute or two before it begins to boil. While the soup reheats, prepare your rice noodles per the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to rinse the noodles in warm water after they are cooked. When you are ready to assemble the soup, place the noodles in the bottom of the large soup bowl, and place the raw beef on top of the noodles. Add soup broth to the bowl, until the soup covers the meat. Add the scallions, cilantro, and onion to the soup. Serve with the garnish to the side, and enjoy!

Be sure to check out everyone's soup recipes for this week's Sunday Supper. Be sure to join us at 7pm EST tonight to participate in our twitter chat. Search for #sundaysupper for the discussion!

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

0 Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pie

GF Peanut Butter Pie

Can't resist chocolate and peanut butter? Well, this recipe is definitely for you!
This dessert has been a family favorite since I was a kid. With a slight change in the crust I now prepare it gluten-free for my family to enjoy.  This easy to make frozen PB pie is perfect for a weeknight or to take to a gathering.

Ingredients: to make 1 pie

  1. 1--8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
  2.  2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 1 TBLS honey
  4. 1 cup powdered sugar
  5. 1--8 ounce container of Cool Whip
  6. chocolate sauce such as Hershey's syrup (optional)
  1. 1 1/2 cups finely ground gluten-free graham crackers (regular or chocolate)
  2. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  3. 2-3 TBLS melted butter-just enough to moisten the graham cracker crumbs
To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees; mix sugar with the finely ground graham, pour into pie plate or foil pie tin.  Add melted butter to graham cracker mixture, stir and then press moistened mixture into pie plate.  Place pie crust in oven for 5 minutes just to bake crust slightly.  Let cool.

To make PB filling: with an electric mixer beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until creamy; add peanut butter & honey to cream cheese mixture--beat until creamy; fold in 8 oz. cool whip.  Pour peanut butter cream cheese filling into prepared pie crust. If you choose to use the chocolate sauce this is the time to drizzle sauce lightly over the PB pie.  Place in freezer until dessert time.  Let pie thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

40 #SundaySupper - Hearty Basil Tomato Soup

tomato, soup

This week's #SundaySupper Theme is skinny! This weekend all the recipes we share as a group are healthy recipes that are tasty and won't leave you feeling guilty about eating them later. We've got quite the range of healthy recipes below, so be sure to share them with anyone who may want something healthy to eat, whether it be a light soup or a guilt-free dessert. Thank you to Sue for all of her work organizing this week! Please be sure to check out her Gluten-Free Cafe page, it has a lot of great recipes and I encourage anyone who is gluten free to go check them out.

I've never been a huge fan of soup made out of the can. Most brands, aside from being potentially unsafe for gluten, taste overly salted to me, and really ruin the overall taste. That's why I love making batches of homemade soup. They'll normally last for a couple days and are really delicious. This is my healthy tomato soup, which contains low sodium chicken stock, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh basil, and some seasoning. There's something really satisfying about being able to count all the ingredients of a recipe with only two hands! My secret to making this soup smooth is to use a cheesecloth to strain out the pulp after cooking, and to serve with fresh basil on top. I hope you enjoy!

Servings 6-8, depending on the size of the tomatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

2 cups low sodium chicken stock
5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 fresh basil leaves
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper

Place a stock pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, onion, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Tear the basil leaves into shreds and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, and then cover. Let the soup boil for 30 minutes.

Once the soup has cooked, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until all of the tomato is broken down. Line the inside of a strainer with cheesecloth and place over top a bowl. Strain the soup into the bowl. Serve into soup bowls and top with some finely sliced basil leaves.

Be sure to check out all the other skinny recipes this week! Join us at 7 for our #SundaySupper twitter chat!

Sizzling Skinny Appetizers & Soups
 Healthy Skinny Mains & Sides
Guilt Free Skinny Desserts & Snacks
Wine Pairing Recommendations for Skinny Sunday Supper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special skinnified recipes! Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite healthy recipes with us!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

1 Ratio Rally: Gluten Free Chocolate Souffle

Hey everybody, it's been a relatively intense couple weeks for me, so I'm glad to be bringing a Ratio Rally to you all with a recipe suited for Valentine's Day this week! Souffles can be very intimidating things to bake, but aren't all too hard. Here's my three main tips:

1. Do not open the oven before the souffle is ready. Otherwise it won't be able to rise and achieve the desired form.
2. Serve them immediately. The longer you wait to serve a souffle, the more it will deflate. Take my image in point. It took me a little too long to set up the lighting and camera that my souffle deflated in that period of time.
3. Be careful with incorporating the egg white. If you over fold it, the souffle won't take the form you want. Be gentle and loving to your souffle!
My ratio that I used for this rally is:
Milk : Sugar : Egg : Chocolate

As you can see from the ratio, my recipe is flourless. This is one variation of souffle, look to our other participants for a flour variety of souffle! Thank you to everyone who participated this week! Check out their recipes!

Morri | Meals with Morri | Pepperoni Pizza Souffle
Heather | Discovering the Extraordinary | Mini Artichoke-Spinach-Parmesan Souffles

Pete Bronski | No Gluten, No Problem | Amaretto Souffle


Prep Time 15 minutes
Bake Time 30 minutes

Room temperature butter
granulated sugar
60g milk
180g dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
60g sugar
zest of one orange


Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the insides of ramekins and dust the insides with sugar. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the ramekins on top. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, add the milk, chocolate, and vanilla. Microwave the chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until completely melted.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add a spoonful of the chocolate to the egg yolks, and whisk until combined. This will temper the eggs and bring them to temperature. Add the rest of the chocolate to the egg yolks and whisk until combined. Set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar for 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and beat for an additional 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the chocolate, and distribute into each ramekin. 

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, and do not open the oven until they are done. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

1 #Souplove - Gluten Free Chicken and Rice Soup

Hi everyone! It's the beginning of February and time for some #souplove! This event was perfectly timed for us here in Virginia. Up until a few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to experience a relatively mild winter. It wasn't until the end of January that we were hit with cold temperatures and just enough snow to make driving annoying.

That's one reason why I'm glad to be sharing this chicken and rice soup. It's a delicious and simple recipe that will warm your insides on that cold winter day. I know that chicken noodle soup is one of the most iconic soups out there, but the noodle aspect of it isn't the most friendly to those with Celiac or gluten sensitivity. That's why I go with using healthy brown rice for this recipe, it's a great substitute for noodles!

I love using aromatics to add flavor to chicken stocks. Sliced lemons, crushed garlic, and peppercorns are great ways of adding some bold flavor without adding a lot of sugars or fats.

You could use skinless, boneless chicken for this soup, but that would be as close to sacrilegious as I can think. The end soup doesn't have any of the bones or skin in it, but using them in the cooking process adds some great flavor to the soup. I like to brown the chicken skin in the pan that I cook the vegetables in for some great caramelized flavors. Cooking with the bone in not only gives you some tender meat, but adds heartiness to the soup.

I also like to sautee the veggies in the same pan the chicken was in. Not only is it one less pan to use, but you get some great flavor out of the browned bits on the pan.

After the chicken is cooked, I just peel off the skin and chop the chicken into chunks for the soup. Super tasty!

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 whole chicken breasts, with skin and bones attached
2 quarts chicken stock
1 lemon quartered
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 handful of black peppercorns
3 cloves smashed garlic
2 bayleaves
1/2 of 1 yellow onion
3 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
salt and pepper


Do not rinse the rice before cooking it. The added starch will help thicken the soup. Combine the rice, water, and oil in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then cover and cook over medium heat for 35 minutes.

In a sautee pan, add 1 tbsp oil and brown the skin of the chicken breast, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a pot, and remove the pan from heat. In the pot add the stock, lemon, parsley, peppercorn, garlic, and bayleaves. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce to medium heat. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, flipping  the chicken once in between.

While the chicken is cooking, chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Sautee in the pan that the chicken was cooked in for about 4-5 minutes, just until slightly translucent and tender.

Remove the chicken from the pot, and strain out the lemon, parsley, peppercorn, garlic, and bayleaves. Add the vegetables to the pot, and simmer over medium heat. 

After the chicken has rested for 8 minutes, remove the skin, and remove the meat from the bone. Chop the chicken into chunks and add to the soup. Add  the rice to the soup. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

Thank you to all of the co-hosts this month. Be sure to check what they cooked!

Helena @ Rico Sin Azucar | @ricosinazucar
Jennifer @ Leave No Scone Unturned | @Foodie2Choux
Serena @ Teaspoon of Spice | @tspcurry
Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns To Cook  |@Bdgergrl
Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack | @Veganyackattack
Susan @ The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen | @littleredkitchn

If you would like to share your favorite soup recipes this month, please add them to the blog hop, or add them to our Google+ community