Tag Archives: soups and stews

Garlic on a table with Wall of Chefs cast members photoshopped on it

From Peeling Garlic to Fixing a Soup-Fail, These Are the Best Foods Hacks from Wall of Chefs

If you’ve ever struggled to open a stubborn jar lid, you know clever hacks are a must in any kitchen. When it comes to food hacks, the following genius ideas for saving time and adjusting flavours in the kitchen will come in handy – especially since they’re expert-approved from the chefs behind Wall of Chefs.

Roger Mooking and Hugh Acheson looking away, Photoshopped a photo of garlic

Related: Meet the Cast: Wall of Chefs Season 2

Acidic Soup Hack

Ever taste your tomato soup and it’s a bit too tangy? Chef Roger Mooking has a great recommendation – just add some diced carrots to sweeten it all up.


Related: Anna Olson’s Quick Guide for Ingredient Substitutions

Easy Peel and Store Ginger

If you’ve ever struggled with trying to peel a fresh piece of ginger, you need to watch this hack. In the meantime, put away your knife and reach for a spoon.


Salty Soup Hack

Too much seasoning in your soup or stew? Just drop a diced up potato in there and taste magic happen, says Roger Mooking. (What Roger says, we do!)


 

 

Related: Meet the Home Cooks: Wall of Chefs Season 2

Easy Peeled Garlic Hack

Peeling garlic with this hack will take this task from a chore and turn it into a good time! Thanks, Hugh.


Related: Watch More Wall of Chefs Clips 

Wall of Chefs Season 2 airs Mondays at 10 ET/PT beginning January 3. Stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Close-up of a a plate of beef bourguignon

Watch The Kitchen’s Jeff Mauro Make the Most Tender Short Rib Bourguignon


This classic French beef stew is braised in red wine and beef stock, typically flavored with carrots, onions, garlic and a bouquet garni. Jeff Mauro’s chef’s kiss? A splash of cognac. 

 

Short Rib Bourguignon Over Creamy Polenta

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 4-5 

Ingredients

Short Rib Bourguignon:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz slab bacon, rind removed, cut into lardons
4 lbs bone-in English cut beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 2-inch chunks
8 shallots, peeled and halved, leaving root end intact
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
3 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
¼  cup cognac
Bouquet garni (10 parsley stems, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, tied together with kitchen twine)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Creamy Polenta:
4 cups milk, plus more as needed
1 cup cornmeal
½  teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lardons and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the fat has rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Reserve the rendered fat in the Dutch oven.

3. Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In the same Dutch oven, working in batches, brown the short ribs in the remaining bacon fat over high heat, then remove to a plate and set aside. Remove all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the Dutch oven.

4. To the Dutch oven with the reserved fat, add the carrots and shallots. Cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until slightly darker, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Remove about half of the carrots and shallots, and reserve.

5. To the Dutch oven, add the wine, beef broth, cognac, short ribs and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the beef is very tender, 2 to 3 hours.

6. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

7. Bring the Dutch oven from the oven to the stovetop. Remove the bouquet garni, carrots and shallots and discard. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

8. Using a fork, in a small bowl, cream together the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and flour, using your fingers if necessary to mix well. Stir the mixture into the stew. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

9. Serve the ribs over creamy polenta along with the mushrooms and reserved carrots and shallots. Ladle some of the sauce over the top before serving.

Creamy Polenta:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the milk, then add the cornmeal gradually, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Turn the heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until the polenta is very thick, but is still creamy, 30 to 35 minutes. If the polenta becomes too thick, whisk in additional milk or water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until it is the desired consistency (it should be about the consistency of porridge).

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter using a wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

Tune into The Kitchen to see new episodes. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

taiwanese beef noodle soup in a patterned bowl

This Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is Brothy, Slurpy Perfection

Chewy noodles and tender beef in a rich and earthy broth. Need I say more? Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is as iconic a Taiwanese dish as they come. Everyone loves it and everyone also makes it a little differently. This one is adapted from a hand-written recipe in a yellowing spiral notebook entitled ‘Silvia’s Cook Book’ in charming block letters by my childhood bestie who used to tail her mom in the kitchen, taking notes while she made her favourite dishes from their homeland. Doubanjiang (豆瓣醬) is a Chinese fermented soy and broad bean paste that is quintessential to this dish and worthy of seeking out at a Chinese supermarket or online to make this dish. I’ve listed pickled mustard greens as an optional garnish but beef noodle soup connoisseurs consider it a must-have!

taiwanese beef noodle soup in a patterned bowl

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
For blanching the beef:
3 lbs beef shank, chuck or brisket, excess fat trimmed and cut into 1½-inch cubes
3 slices fresh ginger
10 cups water

For the soup:
2 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 Cassia cinnamon stick (can substitute Ceylon cinnamon stick)
2 large tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
1 white onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 slices fresh ginger
6 scallions, whites cut into 2-inch pieces and green parts thinly sliced and reserved for serving
2 dried chilis (or to taste)
Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp Doubanjiang (Chinese spicy bean paste)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp yellow rock sugar or 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
½ cup Shaoxing wine or ½ cup Taiwanese clear cooking rice wine (which yields a lighter coloured broth)
¼ cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp dark soy sauce, plus more to taste
5-6 cups water, or enough to cover everything in the pot by 1 inch
Neutral oil

To serve:
4 portions of Chinese wheat noodles, cooked al dente according to package directions
1 lb bok choy, cleaned and stems trimmed, blanched 3-4 minutes along with the noodles
Green parts of scallions reserved from above
Chinese chili oil, to taste (optional)
Chinese pickled mustard greens, finely chopped (optional)

Directions
1. In a large pot, place beef cubes, ginger slices and 10 cups of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for 5 minutes or until all the scum floats to the top. Pour everything into a colander set inside the sink. Give the beef a quick rinse. Drain well.

Note: Rather than browning the meat, Chinese cooks often braise using this method. Start by briefly blanching the meat to rid impurities so the resulting broth is clean and clear. You won’t lose flavour from the beef, but you will find it satisfying to pour all of that scum down the drain and far away from your bowl of noodles!

beef and ginger in a boiling pot of water

2. Lay out a 5-inch square piece of cheesecloth for the spice sachet. Set a medium pot over medium heat. Toast the star anise, bay leaves, coriander seeds and cinnamon stick in the dry pot briefly until fragrant and darkened slightly, ensuring they don’t burn. Set bay leaves and cinnamon stick aside. Scoop star anise and coriander seeds onto cheesecloth and tie up with twine.

Related: The Best Ways to Shop, Prepare and Cook Chinese Greens

star anise, bay leaves, coriander seeds and cinnamon stick being toasted in a dry pot

3. Increase heat to medium-high and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion, dried chili peppers and sauté. Season with salt and continue to sauté for 3 minutes or until tomatoes and onions are slightly softened.

tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion being sauteed in a pot

4. Add doubanjiang, tomato paste and sugar. Add the drained beef. Stir well and continue cooking a couple of minutes.

Related: Restaurant-Worthy Chinese Scallion Pancakes You Can Make at Home

ingredients for taiwanese beef noodle soup in a pot

5. Add the spice sachet, reserved bay leaves, cinnamon stick and all remaining ingredients: Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt as needed. Reduce to a simmer. Skim and discard the scum. Cover, ensuring liquid is at a gentle simmer rather than a vigorous boil. Cook for 2 hours or until beef is tender.

taiwanese beef noodle soup simmering in a pot

6. Taste again and adjust seasoning with more salt and/or dark soy sauce to taste.

7. Place noodles and bok choy into serving bowls. Ladle beef and broth over top. Serve immediately with reserved scallions, chili oil and/or pickled mustard greens.

Love this Taiwanese beef noodle soup recipe? Try these Chinese Coconut Buns next!

herby green spinach soup in a beige bowl

Herby Green Goddess Soup with Avocados and Feta

We all know we need to eat more greens, and oftentimes that means eating lots and lots of salads. But as the weather cools down, a raw salad just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time to blend up those greens into a refreshing and creamy soup, and we have just the recipe. The fresh herbs add a wonderful aromatic scent and flavour, while the avocado lends the soup a gorgeously creamy texture. Don’t forget to top with feta for the perfect salty finish!

herby green spinach soup in a beige bowl

Herby Green Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 oz or 1 small box of baby spinach
1½ cups fresh parsley, leaves and stems
1 cup fresh mint, leaves
½ cup fresh basil, leaves and stems
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable stock
2 avocados, 1 reserved for garnish
½ lime, juiced
¼ -⅓ cup crumbled feta

ingredients for herby green soup on a white countertop

Directions:
1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat, pour in the olive oil and swirl around the pot.

2. Add in the onions and cook until translucent.

3. Next, add in the spinach, parsley, mint and basil. Mix around until slightly wilted. Season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Related: This Yummy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the Perfect Appetizer

ingredients for herby green soup in a stock pot

4. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Carefully blend the soup with 1 whole avocado, squeeze in the juice from half a lime, re-season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Related: This Creamy Green Hummus is Made for Avocado Lovers

6. If it’s too thick, add more broth to get your desired consistency.

7. To serve, pour into individual bowls and garnish with crumbled feta, diced avocado and cracked pepper.

herby green soup topped with feta and avocado in a bowl

Love Tamara and Sarah’s herby green soup? Try their sourdough toasties next!

Arabic lentil soup in white bowls

This Classic Arabic Lentil Soup is Perfect for Ramadan

Ramadan is a month celebrated by Muslims across the globe — and it requires fasting from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Most Muslims wake up before sunrise to have a small meal and then break their fast with a few dates and this Arabic lentil soup at sunset. Breaking the fast with soup helps to prepare the stomach for the meal to follow and it includes a lot of nutrients. Soup is also rich in fluids, which are much needed after a long day of fasting. This specific recipe uses a few simple ingredients that add a depth of flavour — and it only requires a few minutes of hands-on time.

Arabic lentil soup in white bowls

Arabic Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups split red lentils
7-8 cups water
Lemon juice (optional)

Arabic lentil soup ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. In a soup pot, add the vegetable oil along with the onions, potatoes and salt. Cook for a few minutes until they soften.

2. Add the cumin, turmeric and black pepper to the onions and potatoes and continue to cook for a few minutes to toast the spices.

Related: Healthy and Hearty Soup Recipes

3. Wash and drain the lentils several times until clean. Add the lentils along with the water to the pot. Mix well, then cover and simmer on medium heat for 40-60 minutes. (Halfway through, taste and adjust the salt. Also, add more water if required, depending on the consistency you prefer).

Arabic lentil soup cooking in pot

4. Remove from the heat once the vegetables have softened and serve with a squeeze of lemon on top.

Arabic lentil soup cooking in pot

Like Amina’s Arabic lentil soup? Try her Middle Eastern eggplant casserole or her curried Brussels sprouts.

Buffalo stew in a boat next to bread

This Buffalo Beef Stew is Classic Comfort Food in a Bowl

This warm and hearty stew filled with chunks of buffalo stew meat, vegetables, potatoes, corn and peas will fill you up and keep you happy! A Dutch oven or heavy saucepan is the best way to cook this buffalo beef stew: which is classic comfort food served in a bowl.

Buffalo stew in a boat next to bread

Buffalo Beef Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

¼ cup canola oil or olive oil
¼ cup butter
2 lb(s) buffalo stew meat, cubed
1 splash red wine
2 onions, chunky slices
2 clove garlic, diced
4 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp steak spice
Few sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary
1 bay leaf
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced chunky
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cup corn
2 cup peas
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Using a large pan, heat oil and butter.

2. Add the buffalo meat and brown the meat on all sides.

3. Add red wine, onions and garlic and cook until translucent.

Related: Warm and Comforting Beef Stew Recipes

4. Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, steak spice, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and bring to a boil.

5. Add carrots, potatoes, celery, corn and peas.

6. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately 1-2 hours.

Related: Canadian First Nations Recipes You’ll Love

7. Remove bay leaf.

Tip: To thicken the stew, shake 1 part flour to 1 part cold water in a covered shaker. Add slowly into the buffalo stew until desired thickness is reached.

8. Serve with fresh hot baked bannock or buns of your choice!

Buffalo stew in a boat next to bread

This recipe was originally featured on You Gotta Eat Here! Check out more of John Catucci’s foodie adventures on Big Food Bucket List.

Two Ways to Roast Peppers Perfectly (Every Time!)

Roasted peppers have a wonderfully sweet, caramelized flavour that makes for a tasty accompaniment to many dishes. They’re rich in vitamin C and packed with antioxidants and we’ve got two easy ways to cook the colourful capsicum.

Green, Yellow, Orange or Red?

All bell peppers come from the same plant, with each colour representing the different points of maturity. Green peppers are basically unripe, lack sweetness and can have a subtle bitter taste at times. This is why green peppers are cheaper to buy than red peppers and are a despised ingredient among many chefs. Orange, yellow and red peppers are matured green peppers and have a much fruitier, pleasant taste, though most argue that red peppers are the sweetest.

RoastedPeppers_Stove_Roast

Using a Gas Stove

If your house has been blessed with a gas stove, you also lucked out on the fastest and least messy way of roasting peppers. Simply turn on the burner and place one or two whole peppers directly on the flame. Using a pair of tongs, rotate the peppers to ensure all sides are blackened. The more charred the peppers, the easier they’ll be to peel later.

RoastedPeppers_Stove_Roast2

Using an Electric Stove (or Toaster Oven)

Unlike most vegetables where you simply roast them at 375°F, bell peppers are best cooked using the broil setting. Broiling is like using an upside-down BBQ; the heat comes from above and will char the surface of the food, which is what you want when cooking peppers.

RoastedPeppers_Broiler

Give your whole peppers a very light coating of oil and then place them on a lined baking sheet (it gets messy when the peppers’ juices start leaking out). Set the oven to a high broil and place the pan of peppers inside. You’ll see the skin start to bubble and then blacken. Flip the peppers every so often to ensure they get an even char on all sides. This should take anywhere between 40 minutes to 1 hour.

RoastedPeppers_Broiler_2

Cleaning the Peppers

Once the peppers are completely blackened, place them in a large bowl or pot and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to steam. This steaming process loosens up the skin to make the peeling process easier. When they’re done steaming, slice open the peppers (be warned, there will be lots of juices spilling out) and clean out the seeds, ribs, and stems. The charred skin should slip off easily. Do not rinse the peppers under running water in an attempt to make the skin flake off easier, as the water will simply wash away the pepper’s sweet juices. Slice the peppers to desired thickness.

RoastedPeppers_Stove_Roast4

Store the peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Use them for sandwiches, salads, an addition to your homemade hummus or in the following recipe for roasted red pepper soup, which pairs superbly with a grilled cheese sandwich on a chilly afternoon.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 pats of butter
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped potato
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium-sized red bell peppers, roasted, cleaned and diced
4 cups no-salt added chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream, whole milk, or coconut milk
Salt, pepper, and chilli flakes to taste

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Soups and Stews

Directions:

1. In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions until they begin to sweat and turn translucent. Add the potatoes and garlic and continue to cook for five minutes. Add the peppers, broth and cream/milk. Stir, cover and bring down to a simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Using a blender, blend everything until it reaches a creamy and smooth consistency.

3. Season with salt, pepper and (optional) chili flakes to taste.

RoastedPepperSoup

4. Serve immediately or let cool completely to room temperature before storing in airtight containers in the fridge for up to three days.

Published November 18, 2015, Updated January 2, 2019

a bowl of vegan celery soup on a black countertop

7 Ways to Make Your Soups Creamy Without Dairy

During winter’s bitter, blustery days, a warming pot of soup is top of mind. If you’re craving a rich and comforting soup without adding the heaviness of cream, you’ve got plenty of options in your crisper or pantry. It’s time to think outside the box (or carton) with these seven easy, dairy-free thickeners.

a bowl of vegan celery soup on a black countertop

Creamy soups, like this vegan cream of celery soup, don’t have to be loaded with fat or heavy cream.

1. In A Slurry
When it comes down to it, some creamy soups are just white sauces with more liquid added. Building a roux from flour and butter (or margarine), cooking for a few minutes to remove the raw flour flavour, and adding chicken or vegetable stock will give you a sturdy soup without a whisper of cream. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is mixed with a few tablespoons of liquid and then stirred into the soup after it has come to a boil. Either way, the tricks you use to thicken a gravy — flour pastes, cornstarch slurries or even add-ins such as arrowroot or tapioca — can give your soup a thicker mouth feel.

2. Koo Koo For Coconuts 
For creaminess without cream, full-fat coconut milk will add a luscious sheen and body to your broth (you can use low-fat if you must, but it won’t give you as much richness). In Thai cuisine, coconut milk is added to flavourful curry pastes to produce creamy soups that pack a punch, such as this Vegan Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup. If coconuts aren’t your thing, try subbing in soy or nut milk instead, although your soup will be a little thinner in consistency.

3. Against The Grains
Anyone who has ever made a Chinese congee knows the thickening power of rice — absorbing liquid and releasing starch to add a velvety texture when cooked. Add half a cup of rice at the beginning of the simmering period for your soup, and blend when the grains have plumped out. Pressed for time? Try using quick cooking rice instead to shorten the simmering time needed.

4. The Power Of Spuds
Don’t forget the humble potato — adding just one can add significant body and creaminess to your soup. Peel your spud if you desire, or leave it unpeeled and well scrubbed if you’re pureeing the soup afterwards. Just be warned that unless you’re using a full blender, you may end up with visible bits of potato skin sprinkled throughout. A smaller dice or thin slices will help the potato break down quicker in the boiling liquid. Sweet potato or yam can also be used, but keep in mind it will affect the colour of your finished product. You can also raid the fridge for yesterday’s mashed potatoes, leftover potato soup or baked sweet potatoes for a head start.

5. Back To Your Roots
Don’t stop at potatoes — chopped root vegetables, such as parsnips, turnips, rutabaga or carrots, all make economical and easy ways to add velvety texture. Beyond the basics, Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes, taro or water chestnuts can also be cooked and puréed for body. Try  sneaking in some cauliflower or broccoli for some added vegetable goodness.

6. In A Nutshell
Soft nuts, such as cashews, add a creamy texture when soaked, such as in this vegan cream of celery soup. Nuts can be pre-soaked the night before, or cooked directly in simmering liquid to soften before blending.

7. Check Your Pulses
White beans, such as cannelloni, release a starchiness when cooked that will taste creamy on the palate without providing a dominant flavour. Soak and cook your own, or open a can for convenience, if you desire. Chickpeas or lentils, on the other hand, will impact the taste of your finished soup, but also provide a hearty helping, especially when paired with salty pancetta or bacon.

Looking for comforting soup recipes? Try this Arabic Lentil Soup next.