Kimchi Soft Tofu Soup

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One of my New Years goals  of 2017 is to make 52 new dishes I’ve never tried before. I want experiment on new techniques, flavors and dishes this year and to really expand my culinary knowledge. That averages to about one new dish every week. I felt that was a good number to push myself, but also taking into consideration that I am completely exhausted after working a full day of work and I just want something quick an easy. On the menu this week was kimchi jigae!

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This was my first time making Kimchi jigae. It’s a classic Korean staple which I am a sucker for even though I’m not Korean, despite popular opinions of strangers. I feel it’s the under-rated older brother of Korean barbecue. Everyone is all in a tizzy about all the meat; the bulgogi, the kalbi, the… wait, is there other meat besides those two? Anyway, while everyone else is scarfing down the meat, I go straight toward the soft tofu soup. 1. I love soup. 2. I love kimchi 3. enough said. But in all honesty, it’s the tangy-ness and spiciness of the fermented kimchi combined with the flavors of a pork based broth that gives some good layers of flavor.

I bought a stone bowl to try to see if it make any difference, cooking with it was a whole different beast in of itself. I have an electric stovetop and it took FOREVER to heat up the bowl and then another FOREVER to heat the soup in the bowl. I don’t know if it makes the soup taste any better, but it did look a lot cooler and more authentic in the special Korean restaurant stone bowl.

Pretty much making kimchi jigae at home is a total game changer. Now, I can have my soft tofu soup at home on the regular.

What about you, what new dishes have you tried making this year?

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Kimchi Soft Tofu Soup

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Toast

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I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately while I walk my dog and I’m learning a ton about people and myself listening to these TEDx talks, but I think the biggest thing I’ve taken away from the hours of radio I’ve been listening to is that fear is the biggest hindrance in anything you do. But, I think more specifically, I think fear of what others might think or react stops me the most from doing things that are out of my comfort zone. Now, imagine how liberating it can and will feel when we let go of fear and start working on things that we always have wanted to do, but were too afraid to start.  I know Autumn isn’t traditionally known for new beginnings, but this time it is. and…

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Autumn is in full swing and the cooler weather brings warm soup and squash. LOTS and LOTS of squash. So here’s to new beginnings and new soup recipe. I roasted the squash and carrots so the soup is a lot sweeter. Not to mention turning on the oven has a dual purpose of making my dinner and also heating my apartment at the same time. I like to accompany the soup with toast to bring a crunchy texture to the soup.  The easiness of this soup will make it a classic fall recipe.

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Sage Butternut Squash Soup
serves 4 as side

1.5 lb butternut squash,chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb carrots (3 skinny carrots)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp chopped sage
2 C chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Place squash in single layer on baking sheet and toss with salt and olive oil.Bake for 20 min,turning once. Meanwhile, heat burner to medium heat and sauté onions and garlic for 5-6 minutes,or until soft and fragrant. Add sage and cook for another minute. Add chicken broth and roasted squash tot meld flavors for 4 minutes. Blend in blender until soup is smooth.Salt and pepper to taste.

Parmesan Toast

1/2 C grated parmesan
1 mini baguette

Slice baguette into 1/4in slices, diagonally. Top with grated parmesan. Arrange toast in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes at 425 degrees

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Toast