Soups, stews and Autumn

A few weeks ago, during one of the last warm weekends of the year, Carolina and I made our way to the Atwater market. It was an opportunity for a nice bike ride and, more specifically, the chance to try some food from the seemingly infamous Satay Brothers. I’d been hearing about real South Asian style street food being sold at the market for some time, and had a craving for a spicy coconut broth we headed through Westmount, admired the architecture, did a bit of dreaming, and sped down the steep slopes of the neighborhood for a taste of Singapore. Satay Brothers: here we come! I could only hope that the hype was well placed…


Opened at the beginning of the summer, the Satay Brothers is a small food stand at the market that is indeed manned by brothers, as well as on occasion their mother. Simple and straight forward, the menu was short with a total of about 5 dishes available including dessert. There were marinated meat and shrimp skewers(satays), porc buns, a noodle salad and a coconut broth with rice noodles, a quail egg, chicken(optional), bean sprouts, tofu, shrimp and fresh coriander.

Carolina and I both opted for the soup with chicken. There was no disappointment. It was fresh and delicious; the kind of food perfect for all seasons, well conceived to warm you up, cool you down, make you smile and sigh.

yum

Inspired, I’ve been making a rather large amount of soups and stews. The weather certainly helps, and as I’ve mentioned before, I like leftovers and it’s easy to make large portions of the stuff…

It’s the perfect time of year to do so obviously, as the northern winds blow, and the clouds unfurl above, the crisp air is made more appealing with a bowl of steamy grub and some thick wool socks…

Here’s one of the more interesting ones I made:

Matsutake and kale soup

This was a relatively simple soup to make. I made a broth with some dried lobster mushrooms(not too much; they’re not cheap…), shiitake mushrooms, celeri, a white onion, garlic, a bay leaf, and the stem of a Matsutake mushroom I bought with the purpose of making the soup. After letting that develop flavor, I strained it, mixed in a Tbls of miso paste, and added large chunks of the Matsutake mushroom, and kale leaves. I let that cook, and prepared some toppings for the soup in order to make it more consistent(I realized that it wouldn’t be enough for dinner otherwise). I fried some tofu to make it crunchy, grated fresh daikon, mixed in some bean sprouts and make a quick thin omelet in sesame oil for extra flavor. All of these were mixed together, sprinkled with mirin and light soya sauce and then added to the soup when ready.

soup with its toppings

Fortunately the result of the experimenting was very good. This is not always the case… 🙂

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