Beef Nilaga (Boiled Beef Soup)

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This is how I would celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year. Instead of going for Corned Beef and Cabbage boiled dinner, I’d go for Filipino-style boiled beef soup which we call Nilaga. This is a very similar clear broth dish in terms of ingredients and cooking style.

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This is the supreme comfort food in the Philippines. It is served all year round even on a hot summer day. Unlike the Irish corned beef and cabbage, Nilaga doesn’t usually include carrots but may sometimes include string beans or sweet corn roundels, if corn is in season. Bokchoy, Napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage could be used as well instead of head of cabbage.  As for the meat, Filipinos usually use beef brisket, shank or tendons. Often, pork ribs and pork belly are also used as cheaper substitutes.

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Creamy Potato Basil Soup

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When I thought I was done making soup for cold winter days because it already felt like Spring here in Wisconsin in the middle of February; then came a big snow storm just couple of days ago. Only in Wisconsin where you have such a Spring-like weather in 4 days and a snow storm on the 5th day.

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But anyway, I was craving for hot soup so I decided to make an easy and light creamy potato basil soup without using any heavy cream or cream soup in cans. Instead, I made roux which is a paste-like texture of flour and butter mixture cooked on low heat. Roux is used to thicken sauces and soups. When you add milk into the roux paste, you create béchamel or white sauce, which is the base of most cream soups.
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