More summertime soup!

looks great!

Well another soup recipe.  I will remember this summer fondly as the summer of soup! 
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btw I want that dish on the cover...NOW!!
btw I want that dish on the cover…NOW!!
[/span4][span8] This soup recipe came from the cookbook “Vietnamese Home Cooking” by Charles Phan. This is the second Charles Phan cookbook I own, you can read about the first Phan cookbook adventure here.
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[/span4][span8] The recipe tagged was for Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup. In order to make the soup I needed a chicken stock so I decided to make Phan’s stock. To do this I roasted an onion and piece of ginger in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.
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[/span4][span8] After an hour I removed the onion and ginger and this is what it looked like.

Once cool enough to handle I peeled the onion and cut it into 4 pieces. Then I sliced the ginger into 1/4″ coins.
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chicken parts having a shower
chicken parts having a shower
[/span4][span8] Meanwhile I blanched bony chicken parts. Bony chicken parts are necks and backbones, the things you typically don’t eat. I was able to pick up my chicken parts from Market Square in Windsor, 99 cents a pound! To blanch I brought a large pot of water to boil and put the chicken parts in the pot and boiled for 3 minutes. Then I drained the pot and rinsed the chicken parts with cold water.
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stock in process
stock in process
[/span4][span8] I rinsed out the pot and added the chicken back into it along with the onion and ginger, salt, brown sugar and water. That was brought to a boil and then reduced heat so it would simmer for 4 hours.
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chicken stock!
chicken stock!
[/span4][span8] After 4 hours I removed the pot from heat and removed the solids with a slotted spoon. Then I strained the stock through my mesh colander into a large bowl. That sat for a few minutes and skimmed off the fat (but left some because Phan says it adds flavor). Once completely cooled I refrigerated.
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This is tamarind paste - another thing I had to buy at the Asian market (in the background you can see the red chiles from my garden!)
This is tamarind paste – another thing I had to buy at the Asian market (in the background you can see the red chiles from my garden!)
[/span4][span8] Onto the actual recipe. Like I stated earlier it’s another Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup (you might remember back a few posts when I made a Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup). So let’s get cooking! I took the chicken stock and heated it over high heat with tamarind paste and red chile peppers.
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whisking away...
whisking away…
[/span4][span8] Once boiling I reduced the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes occasionally whisking to break up the tamarind paste.
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Getting toasty
Getting toasty
[/span4][span8] Meanwhile I was also making toasted garlic to be used to garnish the soup. To make the toasted garlic I heated canola oil over medium low heat and added finely chopped garlic and let it cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes I strained the oil from the garlic (the oil was kept for another use – Phan says the garlic oil is good to use for salad dressing or on rice…we will see what I decide to do with it).
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looks great!
looks great!
[/span4][span8] After the stock simmered for 15 minutes I strained (btw I noticed Phan likes to strain quite a bit) the solids from the soup. The soup was added back to the pot along with fish sauce, lime juice and salt. It was brought to a simmer over medium heat when shrimp and pineapple was added. Pineapple seemed like an odd thing to add to a soup but whatev. The soup continued to simmer for 30 seconds until the shrimp was done – pink and curling. Then it was poured into a bowl which already had bean sprouts and shredded iceberg lettuce and garnished with cilantro and the toasted garlic.
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Verdict:  I was super excited to eat this soup because it was so good looking!  But I was soon kinda disappointed.  The soup really wasn’t hot or sour but it did have decent flavor – just not a hot or sour flavor.  The pineapple, which I really questioned, seemed to actually work though.  But after eating a bowl I started to feel a bit “weird.”  I’m not really sure what caused the weirdness, my guess would be the tamarind since it’s something I haven’t had before, but whatever it was I won’t be making this one again.  But I did include the recipe for the stock above.  The stock itself is really good and can be used whenever you have a recipe that you need stock.  I like to make a batch and freeze it into small containers and defrost what I need when I need it – the stock will freeze for 3 months.