Soup up the season

With autumns arrival, we take off our sunglasses and don our raincoats and shiny rain boots; we make warm soups and welcome good friends. With these soup recipes, you can spend 20 minutes making a healthy lunch or take a Saturday afternoon to have an exotic dinner from Eastern Asia. Try your hand at being a gourmet chef or just feed your roommates during a long night of studying.

Phó (Vietnamese beef & rice-noodle soup)

4 quarts beef broth
1 large onion, sliced into rings
6 slices fresh ginger root
1 lemon grass
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 pound sirloin tip, cut into thin slices
1/2 pound bean sprouts
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
3 fresh jalapeño peppers, sliced into rings
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 8-ounce packages dried rice noodles
1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 dash hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce

1. In a large soup pot, combine broth, onion, ginger, lemon grass, cinnamon and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
2. Arrange bean sprouts, mint, basil and cilantro on a platter with chilis and lime.
3. Soak the noodles in hot water and cover for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain. Place equal portions of noodles into 6 large soup bowls, and place raw beef on top. Ladle hot broth over noodles and beef. Pass platter with garnishes and sauces and enjoy.
—Based ona a recipe from

Bacon & leek soup with a twist

1 packet of bacon bits
2 leeks
2 chicken bouillon cubes
Curry powder

1. Chop leeks up into chunks, as small or as large as preferred.
2. Fry bacon bits and chopped leeks together. Meanwhile, measure as much as water as desired for soup base, then place water into a stockpan, and bring it to boil.
3. Once bacon is ready, pour the boiling water into a pot and add bacon bits, chopped leeks and chicken bouillon cubes.
Tip: Crumble cubes in your hand before you throw them in.
4. Stir the soup a bit and put the lid on. Let boil. Stir occasionally.
5. Sprinkle in some curry powder once it’s boiling, or add it to your bowl once it’s out of the pot. Stir. Enjoy.
—Based on a recipe from

Tex-Mex tortilla soup

2 light or fat-free flour tortillas, halved and cut into 1/4 inch strips
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
12 tomatillos, husked and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chile powder
3 fresh green Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup cooked chicken breast, skinned and shredded
1 ounce lowfat cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

1. Combine chicken broth, tomatillos, garlic cloves, onion, chili powder and Anaheim chiles in a large saucepan and
simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Puree soup mixture in a food processor or blender. Return it to the saucepan and add tomatoes, parsley and chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes, and season to taste.
3. Place tortilla strips on an ungreased baking pan, and spray lightly with vegetable spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
4. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with tortilla strips and cheese. Serve immediately with poppy seed cheese chips, if desired.
—Based on a recipe from

Thai pumpkin soup

1/4 cup of red curry paste
2 17-ounce cans pumpkin soup
2 13-ounce cans coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
Barbecued chicken breast, shredded

1. Heat curry paste in a medium saucepan until fragrant.
2. Add pumpkin soup, coconut milk and stock to the curry paste. Stir, and bring to a boil until slightly thickened.
3. Stir in shredded, barbecued chicken before serving.
—Based on a recipe from

Yummy homemade “tommy” soup

4-6 tomatoes
2 carrots
1 parsnip
Half an onion, chopped
Ground black pepper
Chicken stock
Worcestershire sauce
1 tube tomato puree
Fresh basil, chopped

1. Chop onion, and peel and chop the carrots and parsnip.
2. Peel the tomatoes.
Tip: The easiest way to do this is to pour boiling water over the tomatoes and let them sit for 5
minutes. Then drain off the water, and pour cold water over them. Nick the tomato with a knife, and the skin peels right off.
3. After tomatoes have been peeled, chop them in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
4. Add some butter to a frying pan and lightly fry the onions, carrots and parsnip until onions turn slightly brown and everything has slightly softened.
5. Add chicken stock and to stockpot and boil gently.
6. Add carrots, parsnips, onions and tomatoes to the pot. Put in a large squeeze of tomato puree (about half a tube), a few pinches of salt and as much Worcestershire sauce, paprika and black pepper as desired.
7. Chop a few basil leaves, and add them to the pot.
8. Let simmer lightly for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Tip: Cover and stir every 10 minutes or so to make sure nothing burns or sticks to the pot.
9. Cool, and whisk using a hand blender or normal blender. If you prefer chunky soup, serve as is.
—Based on a recipe from

compiled by Jaffy Xiao/Features editor
Jaffy Xiao can be reached at

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