Tag Archives: soup

Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup

We really enjoyed this creamy soup. I didn’t have any red bell peppers, but it was fine to leave it out. I also used beef broth instead of chicken broth. I served this soup with brown rice.

You can find the recipe at:
http://www.crumblycookie.net/2011/01/27/curry-coconut-chickpea-soup/

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Ramen Noodles in Beef Broth

This is my first beef related recipe since we had a cow butchered! You can read more about that experience here.

Don’t skip past this post just because you think people who care about good food and health don’t eat ramen. They do! Before moving to Laos, I thought ramen noodles were sort of a lazy junk food for college students. Actually that’s not true, my mom used to serve them without the liquid as a side dish and I always loved them.

Anyway, ramen can be more than junk food. The best ramen I’ve ever eaten was from a ramen restaurant in a Japanese neighborhood of Bangkok. The noodles were handmade and served in a beef broth with leafy greens and tempura shrimp. It isn’t fancy Japanese food, but it’s real food and a good ramen shop should be appreciated.

In Laos, noodles are very popular, but the noodle shops usually specialize in straight rice noodles rather than wavy ramen noodles made of wheat. But, you can buy dry ramen packets at almost any convenience store and people do. Many Lao people usually eat ramen in a healthier way than Americans do. They cook it the same way, but at the end they pile on green vegetables – cilantro, green onions, celery leaves, Thai basil . . . They might also include tomato and a cooked egg or some meat.   Continue reading

Good Everything – restaurant review

cute silverware holder

Since Udon Thani is the biggest Thai city close to Vientiane, we find ourselves there pretty often. Sometimes we go to Udon for its airport and sometimes for it’s hospital. Whenever we’re there, we love to eat at Good Everything. It’s a cute little restaurant across the street from Nong Prajak Park where everything really is good (everything we’ve tried at least). The atmosphere is airy, fresh, quiet, and quaint. It reminds me of an old flower shop and it’s surrounded by a small, carefully maintained garden.

The menu includes both Thai and foreign dishes. It can be hard to find good western food in Southeast Asia. Sometimes it’s too bland, too ketchup-y, or not very healthy. I don’t know how, but Good Everything has figured out what western food should actually taste like!

The last time we ate there, I got the corn cream soup and a mango shake:

corn cream soup with garlic bread

Mango Shake - so pretty!

James ordered a Vietnamese style wrap set (sorry for the out of focus lettuce):

In the past we’ve had the salad nicoise, bread basket with spreads (one of our favorites), Thai latna, and many of the fruit drinks. All the fruit drinks are presently beautifully and made of real fruit. They also have a good selection of teas and desserts.

Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

It’s been chilly with a cold drizzle lately. The rainy season has mostly ended and we’re starting to get into the cool season. Somehow it feels a lot like American fall even though we don’t have leaves turning red and falling. We do have crisp cool air, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and warm drinks. What a good time for bean soup! It’s a great soup to serve with cornbread.

I invented this soup because we had some sweet potatoes from Vientiane. You can get sweet potatoes here at this time of year, but they’re not as orange and big as the kind from Vientiane. Break off a small end of a potato to make sure it’s yellow or orange inside and not purple or white. In Laos there are many kinds of potato-type vegetables! Continue reading

Seendat – Lao Barbecue

I’m having a hard time translating “seendat”. It’s inspired by Korean barbecue, so I’ll call it Lao barbecue, but using “barbecue” in this way sort of bothers me. My family is from Texas and Kansas, and to people in that region, barbecue is a very specific way of cooking beef. This dish is not at all what Texans mean when they say “barbeque”.

Maybe I should call this “Lao Grilling”, but Lao people have lots of grilled foods, and this is only one of them. Plus, seendat is not just grilled, it also includes a soup. Continue reading

Gazpacho – Chilled Tomato Soup

Gazpacho is a well known Spanish tomato soup that is served cold. It’s a great light lunch with some crusty bread. When my mom and I went to Spain, we ate this for many lunches because it was so hot in the middle of the day and this was refreshing and easy to find. Traditionally gazpacho includes cucumbers, but it’s a flexible soup. Add cucumbers to this recipe if you have them. I decided to make gazpacho because green bell peppers are finally available in town and that’s an essential ingredient for me. Continue reading

Indonesian Pumpkin Curry

IMG_3580

Pumpkin is a common vegetable here, so I’ve learned how to make a variety of things with it. Actually not much variety – mostly soups that are a lot like this. Most of the time I use a packaged Thai curry paste instead of making a spice paste myself, but this recipe includes directions for an Indonesian style of spice paste. Thai and Indonesian foods have some similar flavors and both ways of making the soup taste delicious. Continue reading