Soup Nazi

As most people know, we’re big fans of soup. I’ve posted pictures and even a recipe for War Wonton Soup in the past. We’re also fans of Seinfeld. One of the most famous episodes of Seinfeld deals with the Soup Nazi – “No soup for you!”. After watching this episode, Paige and I found a recipe for Mulligatawny which we still cook occasionally.

Earlier today, I came across a site called Top Secret Recipes that has several of the soup recipes from this episode. The guy who runs the site went to the real Soup Kitchen International in New York, ordered the soups, and took them home to figure out the recipes. Here are the soups from the show:

I really don’t know if these are good or not since I haven’t tried any of them yet, but they sound pretty good. I’ll update the site with some results. Now that it’s cold outside, I’m ready for a warm bowl of soup.

Improvisational Cooking

I’ve been covering for my boss this week by teaching his class from noon til 1:00pm everyday. This means that I haven’t been able to have lunch with Paige like I usually do.

Paige left me a nice bowl of soup yesterday. Unfortunately there was nothing she could leave me today. I didn’t want just another cold ham sandwich, so I started looking around for what I could cook. Keep in mind this is Friday so we haven’t bought groceries in about a week. Also, I only have an hour for lunch so it had to be something quick.

The first thing to catch my eye was the package of hamburger buns on top of the pantry. They still looked and smelled like bread, not even a hint of fur. Perfect, I thought, everything is better on a bun. Now I began digging through the fridge looking for something to put on a bun.

Way back in the very back of the freezer I found a box of Veggie burgers. I’m not sure when they were purchased, but surely frozen vegetable patties never go bad. These were a match made in heaven for my recently aquired buns.

I threw one of the frozen chunks of everything but meat in a skillet and dove back into the fridge for some toppings. Mustard, pickles, even tomatoes were all there waiting for me.

Next I reached into the bottom drawer for a slice of cheese. Cheese! What would the cows think of cheese on a meatless burger?

The thought that entered my head next was even wilder than cheese on a vegetable pattie – the only thing better than a cheeseburger is a bacon cheeseburger.

Of course, we didn’t have any bacon, but there was some prosciutto left over from the last time I made pizza. I knew from experience that the thinly sliced prosciutto would cook up just like salty bacon so I grabbed four slices from the package and threw them in the skillet with the burger.

And thus was born the Prosciutto and Cheese Veggie Burger.

Soup Recipe

I didn’t get home last night until about 10:30pm, so I had to put off posting this recipe one more time. Sorry to everyone who’s been asking for it for the last few months. Finally, here it is.

All of these ingredients should be readily available. The wonton wrappers are usually in the produce section or near the tofu. Be sure to check the date. Refridgerate the wonton wrappers and use them within a few days of buying them. They will turn green if you leave them sitting around too long.

War Wonton Soup

1/2 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons sliced green onion
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
24 wonton wrappers

6 cups chicken broth
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 carrot, sliced
1 cup chinese cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sliced green onion

This soup cooks very quickly, so be sure you have all of the ingredients ready to go
before you start.

First, prepare the wontons by mixing the pork, rice wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger,
sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges the
wrapper with water and fold the bottom corner over the filling to make a triangle. Fold
the left and right points of the triangle in to the middle of the wonton, then fold the top
point down.

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the wontons and cook about 3
minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute. Add the carrot, cabbage, snow peas,
and mushrooms and cook 1 minute.

Everything should be done at this point. The wontons should be white and the shrimp should be pink. Simmer a little longer if needed.

Add the pepper and sesame oil to taste and garnish with the sliced green onion.

The following ingredients are also sometimes added to the soup:
1/4 cup sliced chicken breast
1/4 cup sliced barbequed pork
1/4 pound fresh scallops

To me this is like chicken noodle soup on steroids. Nothing makes me feel better when I’m sick or just feeling run-down.

If you can only buy ground pork in 1 pound packages, you’re probably wondering what to do with the other half-pound. It’s great added to sauce with pasta, or you can do what I do – make egg rolls.

Mmmm, soup

When Paige and I first started going out, we spent a lot of our time at China Star. In those days, it was a completely different restaurant. Back then it was run by a really neat old Chinese guy. When we came in he knew us by name, and he always knew what we wanted – Paige had Empress Chicken, I had Pepper Steak, and we shared a War Wonton Soup for two. The soup was great, it had wontons, shrimp, snow peas, cabbage, and more, all in a great broth. I have lots of fond memories of those days (and not just the soup). Unfortunately, the neat old Chinese guy sold the place to someone else who turned it into a “Super Buffet”. So now there’s no more War Wonton Soup or Empress Chicken.

I’ve been casually looking around for a recipe for this War Wonton Soup for a long time. We’ve tried to make it once before with pretty good results, but it just wasn’t quite right. The other day on, they were running a poll called “What’s your favorite Chinese soup”. In the discussion that followed, several people posted recipes or clever ways of using Google to find recipes. After reading this I resumed my search. I discovered that what we had been calling War Wonton Soup was more commonly called Wor Wonton Soup (note the ‘o’ instead of the ‘a’), and I found a few new recipes. Here’s a picture of the end result –

War Wonton Soup

It’s still not perfect, but I think it will be after I make it a few more times. And it’s good enough now, that I don’t mind trying. Once I get it just right, I’ll share the recipe for anybody who’s interested.