I know, the orzo doesn’t make it very Chinese, but my family loves small-sized pasta that I decided to turn this soup into a solid meal for the children. This is another quick boil vegetarian soup that can be done in under 30 minutes. For my kids, I added pan-fried sausages on top for some protein, but you can always consider adding tofu or even egg drops! This recipe was inspired by another mommy on instagram – you can follow @TheChineseSoupLady for my adventures of “souping”.
Soup Name: Vegetarian Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes and Corn Broth with Orzo
To see the full recipe, scroll down to skip my commentary.
For this recipe, you’ll need: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, fresh corn and vegetable broth is optional, or for those who prefer meat, you can add the preserved Chinese Ham or chicken / beef broth.
To start, you can begin boiling your soup water, which I use around 3L of water. Like most quick boils, the ingredients need to be cut small so that they can cook quickly. I would normally recommend ingredients like onions, leafy greens, melons to be cut smaller, but because potatoes and sweet potatoes melt into soups or self disintegrate, I cut them bigger – roughly 1 cubic inch will suffice.
If your soup water has boiled, just dump in your chopped potatoes into the soup, but if it’s still work in progress, I’d recommend soaking the potatoes and sweet potatoes in warm water until you can use them or they will brown and then stay brown in the soup and just doesn’t look as appealing.
I also shuck the corn. This is another recommended technique for quick boil soups because the corn will cook faster. Don’t throw away the cob! You can use these as part of your soup base and heightens the sweet flavours. You can just simply snap the cobs into halves with your hands once they have been shucked. Makes me feel strong – grrrr!
At this point, you can throw it all into your soup if the water’s boiled. Add some vegetable, chicken, or beef broth to heighten flavours or throw in 2 slices of preserved Chinese Ham. At this point, you can start preparing the orzo – which is simply to throw as much as you can eat (without wastage) into a pot of slightly salted water for about 7-9 minutes. Once the orzo is done – you can try a few to make sure it’s soft enough to your liking, drain and rinse under running cold water. This will help ensure it’s stopped cooking and won’t stick to each other. I personally don’t mind soaking in cold water.
This next part is about adding some additional ingredients that the children don’t like, but I do! I’ll pan fry diced garlic and onions to use as a garnish for the soup. If I could, I’d probably throw in the onions into the soup base as well! Actually, come to think of it, I could eat the garlic and onion garnish just by itself… a little bit of salt and omigosh – so delicious!
Interestingly enough, this sets the beginning for a chowder soup, but because I’m keeping it Asian-styled, I don’t go chowder. Once the soup has boiled on medium heat for 30 minutes, you can salt if you’d like, but be sure to taste it first. If you’re using Chinese ham, I wouldn’t recommend more salt.
In a bowl, scoop as much or as little orzo as you can eat and then scoop your boiling, hot soup on top. Then garnish with the onions, garlic or a bit of parsley if have and ta-da – your meal. Again, for the children, I topped with pan-fried sausages, but you can really add anything you’d like that will put a smile on your face. Enjoy!
- 2 large [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/sweet-potatoe/”]sweet potatoes[/url], peeled and largely cubed
- 2 large [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/potatoes/”]potatoes[/url], peeled and largely cubed
- 1 white [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/onions-fresh/”]onion[/url], peeled and diced
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic, diced
- 2 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/corn/”]corn[/url]
- orzo pasta
- 3L water
- Boil your soup water
- Wash, peel and largely cube your sweet potatoes and potatoes
- Shuck the corn, keeping the cob
- When the soup water boils, add all the ingredients together and boil on medium heat for 30 minutes
- Add optional broth or salt to the soup if you’d like
- For garnish, dice garlic and onions
- Pan-fry until golden brown in a little bit of oil
- Set aside to cool
- In a smaller pot with 1 tsp of salt, boil the orzo for 7-9 minutes until soft
- Once the orzo is finished, drain and rinse under cold running water to prevent sticking and further cooking
- When soup is done, in a bowl, put orzo on the bottom and add in hot soup
- Add garnishes