Dec 122012

Well, here’s what I did. 

  1. Spent a good week using my Google search ninja skillz to find out how the heck people eat this weird tuber
  2. Spent another good 3 days figuring out if there was a way to eat it in a soup that wasn’t Chinese nor with meat. 
  3. Tweeted about it and posted on my family website, where 2 professional chefs and many more amateurs — I think last count was 8 — would see it. 
  4. Found 3 recipes that sounded decent (seriously — a lot of the recipes out there for arrowroot in soup sounded wayyyyy boring) and decided to do a recipe mashup. 

Recipe 1.

Recipe 2.

Recipe 3. 

And so here is what I made. I’m calling this Adrienne’s Mash-up Arrowroot Soup (real original, eh?). It’s a nice, comforting, easy-to-eat soup. It’s the kind of soup you’d wanna eat when you’re sick. Or tired. Or both. It’s not really a gourmet meal. And it photographs *terribly* which is why I don’t have a single picture. Sorry. 


  • 1 medium Arrowroot (remove skin, cut into 1 inch bits)
  • 12 pieces dried oysters
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dried shrimp (I am estimating)
  • 1 cup of raw peanuts
  • 10 dried red dates, washed
  • 2 fresh corn cobs
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup adzuki beans, pre-soaked for 10-15 min
  • 2.75 L water
  • light soy sauce to taste

Put the water on to boil. While it is heating, peel and chop the arrowroot. Put pieces into the pot as you slice them. 

Soak the oysters and shrimp in warm water for 10 minutes. At the same time, soak the adzuki beans in a separate bowl with water to cover. 

While shrimp and oysters are soaking, peel and slice the carrots, then husk and cut the corn cobs (note to self: buy a bigger, sharper knife / cleaver for this, or buy fresh corn not on the cob).

Put peanuts into a separate small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 3 minutes, then drain. Set aside. 

Add carrots and corn to the pot. Add also the drained shrimp, oysters, and adzuki beans. Bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to low and add red dates. Simmer for 1 hour. 

Add peanuts. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until arrowroot is very soft and adzuki beans are tender. Taste, and add soy sauce to preferences.

Remove from heat (sadly, I forgot this step and after serving myself a big bowlful, I then proceeded to burn the rest of the soup. Sadface).

Serve hot in bowls. Add more soy sauce at the table if you like.

Serves 4.  


Jan 272011

This time it's no adaptation: I'm posting a recipe straight out of this book. Rather than spend time typing it out, I'm simply including it here as photos. (Sorry, I'm a bit lazy and crunched for time.) Apologies about my notes in the margin; I halved the recipe as it serves 6 and I was making it just for me! You'll notice the recipe calls for cashew cream

Jan 192011
Nov 162010

So I recently decided to start using Basis Foods for my produce, after having been introduced to them at a recent visit to the New Amsterdam Market. I’ve only tried them once, but so far I am quite impressed. They brought me a big bag of produce straight from the farms — both fruit and veggies — as well as eggs, cheese, and bread. My only complaint is that two of the eggs were broken when the delivery arrived but really, everything else has been so fabulous that I can’t complain too much. Their friendly service, reliability, and of course the yumminess of all the goodies they brought me really do make up for a couple of broken eggs.

Speaking of those goodies… one of the things in this week’s delivery was buttercup squash, which I had never heard of before. I consider to be quite a food connoisseur so I of course had to do some research. I do love squash, so I knew this was the perfect challenge! After viewing and subsequently drooling over a plethora of recipes online when I should have been writing my thesis, I decided that I was going to take bits and pieces from various recipes and make up my own recipe. The delivery also included Russian Red kale (another yum!) and so I knew I wanted to include that. Here is what I came up with.

Buttercup squash


  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic — minced
  • 1 leek — quartered lengthwise, cleaned, and then chopped (most people use only the white part but I used it all!)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper — seeded and minced (reduce this if you don’t like kick, or substitute cayenne pepper if you don’t have access to jalapenos)
  • 1 bunch leafy Red Russian kale — cleaned, tough stems removed, and chopped roughly (you can use any other kind of kale you have, of course)
  • 3 medium carrots — peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 buttercup squash — peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (the peeling is tricky; use the sharpest knife you have and be careful)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (if you prefer a richer broth, use chicken; I used 3 cups of vegetable broth and ended up adding 1 cup of water also)
  • cracked or freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or add to taste
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute sour cream, or omit altogether if you want a vegan recipe)
  • cilantro — chopped for garnish

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, jalapeno pepper, and leeks; saute until leeks are translucent and fragrant. Add kale. Saute over medium heat until kale is wilted and soft; about 3-5 minutes. Add carrots; allow them to saute over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add squash, broth, and black pepper. Bring to boil then reduce heat low or medium low and allow to simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

After 20 minutes check to see consistency. By this point the squash and carrots should be soft enough that you can crush them with the back of a spoon. If they are not yet soft enough, return the cover and give it another 5-10 minutes. When squash and carrots are completely soft, remove from heat and puree in batches, or with an immersion (stick) blender. Add additional stock or water if consistency of soup is too thick, and adjust seasonings at this point (check — if you add more stock or water you may need to add salt at this point).

Return to heat and heat soup until it is warm again.

Serve each portion warm in a bowl with a dollop (1 tablespoon) of cream cheese or sour cream (optional) and a half-tablespoon of cilantro as garnish.

Serves 4-6

Buttercup Squash by greeny_meanie

Jul 232010

Okay, another adaptation. The original recipes are here (Epicurious) and here ( My new recipe — kind of a blend of both, but not as sweet — is below.


  • 1 cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup


With a vegetable peeler or paring knife remove zest from lime in strips. In a saucepan simmer water, zest, mint, and brown rice syrup, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let mixture stand 15 minutes. Remove lime zest strips. Cool syrup to room temperature.

Juice the lime and set aside.

Working in 2 batches, scoop flesh into a blender and purée with syrup and half of the orange juice until smooth, transferring to a large bowl as puréed. Stir in lime juice, remainder of orange juice and cinnamon; blend again or stir until mixed thoroghly. Chill soup, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours, and up to 1 day. Skim any foam from top. Serve soup garnished with mint and a handful of blueberries.

Serves 3-4.

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cantaloupe (about 2 1/2 pounds)