10 Minute Broth and Bits Soup

You might not have noticed but this soup is chock full of bits and bobs under the surface. It is a neat trick of mine, to make a 10 minute soup that surprises anyone who happens to be in the kitchen. Now it can be your trick too.

The secret is to have some broth handy (I always keep some in the freezer), or make a quick one with some miso paste, a little soy sauce and mirin. You can even puree some tomatoes and thin the puree with water for your soup base. Use vegetable water, or some water left over from cooking lentils. Even throw some herbs in water, vegetable water or thinned pasta water, simmer and drain – a lovely summer soup base. Today I used some left over Indian broth, the remainder of a kuzhambu that was in the freezer, thinned with pasta water. Divine.

Check out some of the different broths/stocks we make, with more ideas and variations here. But remember, for this recipe, you can use whatever you have in the kitchen, fridge or freezer right now.

This soup takes 10 mins – the time taken to heat the broth, cook some tiny pasta (if you are including it), and chop veggies.

Similar recipes include Indian Soup with Drumstick Leaves, Cauliflower Soup, and Chickpea and Orzo Pasta Soup.

Browse all of our Soups and our Stocks. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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A New Approach to Vegetarian Stocks – How to Make Really Flavoursome Vegetarian Stocks

My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique, and one that does not require additional work. I make the stocks in the dish I am cooking. More often than not this is soup but it can be any dish – risotto, braises, bean bakes, veggie casseroles, sauces, veggie stews, etc.

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Quick, Deeply Flavoured Stocks

My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique.

By the way, you can see all of our Soup Recipes here.

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Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup

Recently in the kitchen we have renewed our love affair with miso soup. While others will tell you to spend time making stocks and broths for miso soup, and cook any number of ingredients, I have a wonderful, never-fail, 5 minute approach to making miso soup. The secret is, there is little that needs to be pre-cooked for miso soup. The most I do is to soak some cute little beancurd bows (but even the pre-soaking can be skipped), and perhaps some noodles. They soak while the kettle boils and the ingredients are sliced. Mix miso with hot water until dissolved, pour into a lovely bowl, add the thinly sliced ingredients and a few other flavour enhancers (see my post), the noodles if using, the beancurd perhaps, and sip contentedly. Deep flavours, comfort and nourishment. What more could you want?

Ottolenghi’s approach to what I consider to be his version of my miso soup (without using miso, let me be clear). Yet his is faaaar more complicated. It is a kitchen-sink style approach. Perhaps he should use miso! He considers this recipe to be a variation on Asian soups such as Thai tom yum or Vietnamese pho. The key is the stock, which must be rich and hearty, with many layers of flavour. And, miso or not, the broth is extraordinary! Hot and sour as promised. Earthy and deep, yet with a lightness too. It was a real surprise.  Make double and freeze half.

He doesn’t add noodles, but you can. I recommend making double the amount of broth, make the mushroom soup as-is, then decide how to use the second half with the noodles. Mushrooms and noodles. Greens and noodles. Fried tofu and noodles.

It’s interesting to me that he doesn’t include dried shiitake mushrooms in the stock (and sliced for the soup). Dried Shiitake are a vegetarian’s best friend when it comes to dark, flavoursome broths. Anyway, this is how I make an Asian Stock that is so delicious it is worth keeping some in the fridge and freezer, and using it for whatever you are making – rice, risotto, noodles, …. Ottolenghi’s is rather similar, come to think of it. But my broth is light and summery, his is deep and earthy.

You’ve guessed it, this is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More. In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include Hungarian Mushrooms Soup, Udon and Shimiji in Mushroom-Miso Broth, Mushrooms in Terracotta, Curry Laksa with Fried Tofu, and Slightly Pickled Mushrooms with Tamari and Sesame.

Browse all of our Soups and all of our Mushroom recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Young Broad Bean Pod Puree

Did you know that you can make a puree of young, vibrant green Broad Bean pods? They must be young, and the simple puree then can be used as a dip, with grilled vegetables and salads, or as a base for a wonderful soup. It does oxidise very very quickly (to an interesting shade of black), so needs to be covered well or made immediately before use.

The taste is green and fresh. I made this with broad bean pods straight from the garden, from about 6 cm long to 12 cm long. I left the beans in the pods, although you can remove them if you want to use them for a different dish.

We love this top to tail eating with vegetables. With broad beans, the shoots can be eaten, the beans of course, the pods as in this recipe, and also the dried beans. A life-cycle of uses.

Similar recipes include Salty Battered Broad Bean Pods, Broad Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta, Dried Fava Bean Puree, Umbrian Broad Bean Puree, and Tawa Broad Beans. Also try Fava and Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Chilli-Garlic Kale.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, and all of our Purees. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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How to Make Vegetarian Dashi | Japanese Stock

Many Japanese soups and noodle dishes require dashi to make their stock, and this makes Japanese cooking difficult for vegetarians (the common dashi type contains dried bonito fish flakes). However, you may find that this simple recipe is sufficient to provide great broth and stock flavours for your Japanese cooking adventures.

There are actually 5 types of dashi that are use in Japan and I have highlighted the vegetarian ones:

  1. Kombu Dashi – made from kombu
  2. Katsuo Dashi – made from dried bonito flakes
  3. Iriko Dashi – made from dried anchovies/sardines
  4. Shiitake Dashi – made from dried shiitake mushrooms
  5. Awase Dashi – made from a combination of all above or two (eg, kombu + shiitake)

In our main recipe below, Awase Dashi, we combine Kombu and Shiitake and add a little miso for a deeper flavour to give it a wider use. It can be used for noodle dishes, vegetarian ramen, steamed and simmered dishes, stir fries, soups, and vegetarian versions of Japanese dishes.

Similar recipes include Special Miso Sauce, S. E. Asian Flavoured Stock, a Light, Infused Indian-Style Stock, and a Coconut Curry Stock.

All of our Stock recipes are here. You might also like our Asian recipes and our specifically Japanese recipes. And explore our easy Mid Spring recipes.

Read about the different types of Kombu here.

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How to Make a Light, Infused Vegetable Stock/Broth, Indian Style

A perfect base for light soups.

Vegetable stocks are great to have around, in the fridge or the freezer, for soups, risottos, cooking rice, gently cooking vegetables in stock and olive oil.  We have a couple of other stocks, and often we will make an instant stock by infusing spices, herbs and a few vegetables before making the particular dish.

This stock recipe is suggested by Meenakshi Ammal in her series of books Cook and See – technically speaking it is by the author of the fourth volume, Priya Ramkumar, but the series of books are so associated with Meenakshi Ammal that most refer to her as the author of the fourth volume as well.

It is a light stock – just barely infused with flavour, so as not to overwhelm the final dish. his stock uses vegetables not usually included in stocks, but as it is infused rather than receiving a long boiling, it is so well suited to Indian soups. Feel free to use it in other ways too – as the base for miso soup, for example, or simply use as it is, floating some finely sliced mushrooms, spring onions and/or broccoli florets in it.

Stocks are great to make when you have a spare moment in the kitchen – while some tomatoes are baking in the oven, or the pumpkin is roasting. Or while the potatoes cook, or while the dishwasher is working away. They take little work apart from preparing vegetables, and this one is so easy that you can make it while you iron the cloths or draft a strategy for work.

Similar recipes include Coconut Curry Stock, Easy Vegetable Stocks, and Asian Stock.

Or browse all of our Stocks. Our Indian Soups are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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How to Make a Deeply Flavoured Coconut-Curry Stock

Stocks are so important to the success of many dishes, but if you cook constantly with herbs and spices, it is easy to throw one together as needed. In the past I would always have a freezer full of vegetable stock, but these days I prefer the stocks made with the ingredients on my kitchen benchtop. This way, I can flavour them appropriately for the dish I am making, and quickly put it together as I am prepping the main dish.

But once in a while a dish requires a little more attention to the stock. This is one of them. A beautiful, roasted, deeply flavoured South East Asian style of stock. Gorgeous.

By the way, this is an excellent base for Laksa!

Similar recipes include Great Vegetable Stocks, and Asian Stocks.

Browse all of our Stock recipes and all of our Malaysian Dishes. Our Soups are here.

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How to Make Easy, Great Vegetable Stocks – use those peels too

How to make great flavoursome vegetable stocks

Many people ask me about vegetable stocks, saying it is hard to make a truly good and tasty veggie stock.

I tell them that I believe it is actually easier to make vegetable stocks because we are not working with one dominating flavour. We work with a combination of flavours, and the joy is that we can fine tune that combination to suit the mood, the day, the recipe. People are so attuned to adding meat when we want a certain, gutsy flavour that they don’t spend time thinking about how to get gutsy flavour without meat. Here are some of my tricks that I would like to share with you.

Also, I often make my stocks to order. Just before I make a soup, risotto or other dish requiring stock, I heat the water, gather the ingredients from my garden,  fridge and pantry, and let it simmer while I get the ingredients for the dish ready and perhaps do an odd job or two while it simmers for 15 – 20 mins.

This article gives you guidelines. You can find a specific recipe for a great vegetable stock here.

Similar recipes include a S. E. Asian Flavoured Stock, a Light, Infused Indian-Style Stock, and a Coconut Curry Stock.

All of our Stock recipes are here. We have a wealth of soups and risottos for you to explore. Both are key users of stocks. Browse our Soups here, and the Risottos here. And feel free to explore our Winter recipes here.

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How to Make Asian Flavoured Vegetable Stock

Often I would make this stock, add some sliced mushrooms and Asian Greens and call it (a very light) dinner.

Fragrant and delicate, Asian Stocks for the basis of many S. E. Asian dishes, especially those with noodles. Often I make this stock, add some sliced mushrooms and Asian Greens and call it (a very light) dinner. This is perfect for the days when you need to nurture yourself and your body.

Similar recipes include a Light, Infused Indian-Style Stock, and a Coconut Curry Stock.

All of our Stock recipes are here. You might also like our Asian recipes and our specifically SE Asian recipes. And explore our easy Mid Spring recipes.

This is a vegetarian recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. Feel free to browse other recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.

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