Category Archives: Soup

Tomato and Carrot Soup


This soup surprised me. I read a Choosing Raw recipe for gingery carrot tomato soup and got inspired. I don’t really like raw ginger so I thought I’d just throw some stuff together. It’s all about fresh ingredients. I could have just eaten the vegetable pureé itself.

Tomato Carrot Soup

Serves one

2/3 Japanese carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 dash salt
1 dash thyme

Put everything in a blender and blend until desired smoothness. Serve.

Btw, that is a sourdough rye from Pompadour. I believe it is called サワー (sour). Just look for the German flag. Kobeya has a nice light rye called ジャーマン (German).

Blended Veggie Soup

This was going to be a veggie filled okayu (rice porrige) but I put too much water in at the start. It ended up being a soup thickened with rice.

Blended Veggie Soup

1/2 broccoli, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 medium kabu (turnip), chopped
1 cup of leftover rice
4 cups broth (I used chicken)
A dash or two of thyme
A dash or two of garlic powder
A small glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Diced tomates for topping

Bring the broth to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add the carrots and broccoli stalks and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the kabu and the broccoli tops and simmer until the broccoli changes color. Add the rice and turn off the heat. Puré using your method of choice. Return to the pot, add the spices and oil to taste. Reheat and serve.

Broccoli Soup

On the menu:
Barley topped with spinach hummus, celery, kabu and tomato
Broccoli soup

This is one of my favorite soups. It is simple and not creamy. I do not like creamy soups. I stopped eating them a long time ago and can no longer stomach them.

Broccoli Soup

One head of broccoli
one liter of water/soup broth
one chicken/vegetable bouillon cube (if using water)
one small onion, chopped
one to two tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
a bit of oil

Saute the onions in the oil. When they are translucent add everything else. Bring to a boil and simmer until the broccoli is just barely cooked. Cool a little and puree. Reheat and adjust seasonings. Serve.

A Quick Wonton Soup

This is one of my favorite quick lunches. Aside from the chemicals in the soup, this is a nice, healthy meal. I actually made this for dinner with rice on the side for the hubby.

Wonton Soup

1 package fresh wontons
Soup packet for wontons or chicken/onion consomme cube
1/2 carrot, chopped
5cm daikon reddish, chopped
1-2 leaves of Chinese cabbage (I used four mini Chinese cabbage leaves) cut into bite-sized squares

Add the required amount of water, according to the soup package, to a medium sized pot. Add the carrots, Chinese cabbage stalks and daikon raddish and bring to a boil. Simmer until the carrots and daikon raddish are almost cooked. Add the wontons, Chinese cabbage leaves and soup packet. Simmer until everything is cooked. Serve.

Barley and Chickpea Tomato Simmer

This is a quick lunch to make when you don’t have many ingredients in the house. The only vegetable I had in the house was Chinese cabbage. I would have added carrot and mushrooms if I had had them. I love barley but have to eat it mainly for lunch as the hubby doesn’t like it. I was actually saving the chickpeas to make crispy chickpea bite but they will have to wait for next time. I was hungry.

Barley and Chickpea Tomato Simmer

1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
1/2 cup quick cooking barley (the only kind in Japanese grocery stores)
1-2 cans water (use the tomato can and then it will be clean and ready for recycling)
2 bullion cubes of your choice (I used beef)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon each of basil, oregano, cumin
A sprinkle of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes)

Put everything but the salt and pepper in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the barley is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Simmered Vegetables Pork and Tofu

I made simmered cabbage and pork two weeks ago and decided to expand on the recipe.  You may notice a color difference in the soup.  I added some Chinese chili paste to the meat mixture.  I cooked this in the slow cooker but it works just the same on the stove top.

Simmered Vegetables, Pork and Tofu

200g ground pork or pork and beef mix
1/2 block firm tofu
2 tablespoons miso
1 teaspoon Chinese chili paste
1-2 tablespoons cooking sake
1/4-1/2 cup
panko (or bread crumbs, leftover rice, bread, etc.)
1 egg
10-15 cm
negi or leek, sliced very thinly
salt and pepper to taste
a little less than a quarter of a Chinese cabbage, chopped into large bite sized pieces
7cm of daikon, sliced thinly
1/2 carrot, sliced thinly
2-3 cups fish stock (

Chop the Chinese cabbage into large but still bite sized pieces and wash.  Mix the rest of the ingredients, except the fish stock, carrot and daikon,  in a bowl with your hands until combined.  Decide how many layers you want to do.  I did Veggies, meat, veggies, meat, veggies, meat, veggies.  You want to layer the veggies and meat with veggies on top and bottom. Divide your ingredients up based on how many layers you want.  Layer your ingredients in a crock pot, large sauce pan or small soup pot starting and ending with veggies.  Pour the fish stock gently over the top. Cook on low for a few hours or high for an hour in the crock pot.  On the stove top: bring to a gentle boil, turn down and simmer gently covered until cooked through.  Make sure you don’t boil it too much as the layers will probably be ruined – it won’t affect the taste though.

It tastes great the next day as soup for noodles.  I did soba but udon would be even better (udon is my favorite type of Japanese noodle).

Green Pea Soup

This is one of my favorite soups.  I can’t regularly find frozen green peas in supermarkets in Japan, making it tough to make it regularly.  I just noticed last week that they sell frozen green peas at the supermarket around the corner from my house.  Score!  I hope this is a regular stock item.  The original recipe called for green peas but I found it in the dead of winter and had to compromise.  I am quite satisfied with frozen pea soup and haven’t actually tried fresh peas which are readily available in Japan when in season.  The recipe came from The Joy of Soup, a blog that is no longer updated but has a wealth of great soup recipes on it.  Definitely worth checking out.  If I were a cold soup person I would probably like this soup cold as well as hot.  I still have difficulty with cold soups – some psychological problem I guess.

Fresh Pea Soup

The Joy of Soup

1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 small clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoon butter (I usually use olive oil)
4 cups fresh peas, shelled

chicken stock or vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, chopped
(I used dried and add when cooking)
1 teaspoon of fresh marjoram, chopped (I skip this every time)

Saute the onion in butter in the bottom of a 5-quart soup pot. Add a bit of salt and cover the pot to ensure that the onions slowly become translucent and do not scorch. Add the chopped garlic and continue sauteing for an additional 3 minutes. Add the liquid and the peas. Stir in the chooped herbs with a little salt and cover. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer unitl the peas are tender.

Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup into a smooth consistancy. ( If you preffer to use a blender, let the soup cool down and blend small batches – one cup at a time.) Stir in 1/2 cup of cream and serve.

Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of chopped herbs and some fresh whole peas that have been blanched in salted water.

Double Mushroom Soup

I discovered this recipe quite a while ago on Kalyn’s Kitchen.  It was originally inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s Mushroom Soup recipe on Serious Eats.  I always use all Asian mushrooms in this recipe since there are so many wonderful mushrooms here.  This recipe is dairy free and you don’t really miss it at all – it is surprisingly creamy by itself.  If you don’t have a blender, I think it would taste just as good with everything cut up really small.  This can be vegetarian if you skip the butter (I always do) and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Double Mushroom Soup

Kalyn Denny of Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 cup dried shitake mushrooms
2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp. butter (optional, I always skip this)
1 large onion, cut into thin half-slices
2 packages fresh Asian mushrooms, thickly sliced (
maitake, eringi, etc.)
4 cups chicken stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn’t use much salt.)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, for drizzling over soup when you serve it

Bring 2 cups water to a boil, then put dried mushrooms into a plastic bowl and pour boiling water over. Let mushrooms soak 30 minutes, while you prep other ingredients.
Peel onion and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thin slices. Wash mushrooms, drain in colander, and then cut into thick slices. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 1 tsp. butter if you’re using it) in the bottom of a heavy soup pot big enough to hold all the soup. Saute onions about about five minutes, until they’re well softened but not browned. Add 1 more tablespoon olive oil if you think you need it (plus 1 tsp. more butter if you’re using it). Add sliced fresh mushrooms and saute about 8 minutes, until mushrooms have released all their liquid and it has mostly been evaporated.

Add dried mushrooms, mushrooms soaking water (strained through cheesecloth or a coffee filter if it needs it), chicken stock, and dried or fresh parsley. Bring soup to a very gentle simmer and cook uncovered for about one hour. After an hour (when soup should have reduced by at least 1/4) taste for flavor, and add salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed. If the soup doesn’t seem flavorful enough, cook a bit longer to reduce a little more. When soup has a good mushroom flavor, puree either by using an immersion blender to puree soup in the pot, or by carefully removing hot soup to a food processor or or regular blender to puree. (Be very careful if using food processor or blender. Puree in batches, and don’t overfill the container.)

Serve hot (reheat if needed after pureeing in food processor or blender). Drizzle a little good quality balsamic vinegar over each bowl of soup as you serve it.

Spicy Miso Soup with Udon

My new favorite thing is to add Chinese chili paste (四川辣豆板醤) to miso soup.  I’ve made several variations over the last month or so.  This particular one has carrot, Chinese cabbage and udon noodles in it.  That is all.  I’ve also added ground chicken or pork and daikon.  It’s a simple, fast soup that warms you up quickly.

Spicy Miso Soup with Udon

1 serving precooked udon noodles
dashi (fish stock) per person
1/2 carrot, chopped, per person
1-2 Chinese cabbage leaves, chopped, per person
miso, to taste
chili paste, to taste

Bring fish stock to a boil and add the carrots and Chinese cabbage spines.  Simmer until almost cooked.  Add the udon and Chinese cabbage leaves and simmer until the leaves start to go limp.  Turn off the heat and add miso and chili paste.  Serve immediately.

Note: you can skip the noodles, add ground chicken or pork and/or add daikon and it still tastes great.

Chinese Chili Paste – found in the Asian import section of most supermarkets in Japan

The brand I got was Lee Kum Kee and the name of the sauce appears to be shisen raa toubanjan (シセンラートウバンジャン)

Kenchin Udon

Kenchin is a type of miso soup that has a lot of root vegetables in it.  It is a great thick miso soup for winter.  I decided to add udon noodles to it and make a one pot meal.  You can eat it sans noodles with rice but I love udon noodles in soups.

Kenchin Udon

one serving of precooked udon per person
500mL of
dashi (fish stock) per person
1/4 carrot per person
3cm burdock root per person
daikon per person
5cm Devil’s tongue jelly (
30g shaved pork per person (I used ground pork this time)
1/2 taro root (
satoimo) per person
negi (like a leek) per person
white miso to taste (I used red miso because that’s all I had)

Peel, quarter and slice the carrots, daikon and taro root.  Slice the devil’s tongue jelly, burdock root and negi thinly.  Put the soup stock, all vegetables except negi and pork in the pot and bring to a boil.  If you use ground pork like I did, brown it first.  Turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables start to get tender.  Add the miso, negi, udon and devil’s tongue jelly.  Simmer for a couple of minutes and add the precooked udon.  The udon basically just needs to be reheated so you only need to cook if for a couple minutes. Serve.  Tastes good topped with shichimi (a Japanese pepper blend).

A tip on adding miso:

Put the miso into a ladle and partially immerse it in the soup.  Take cooking chopsticks and mix it with the soup in the ladle.  Replace the soup in the ladle frequently.  This prevents lumps.