Tag Archives: soup

DRAGON SOUP (Asian style chicken and egg noodle soup – serves 6)

 Since being confined to my house, because of this….

my back steps

my back steps

I have been cooking big pots of soup, which are made from things that I have, not from things that I planned on having for soup-making. I have been too lazy to dig my car out from under the big white powdery blanket it is now wrapped in,  (and the blanket has gotten thicker by the day!) and so have been making soup from what my kitchen has to offer up – and for the moment, quite good stuff actually!

Dragon Soup

Dragon Soup

My soups tend to veer towards the brothy/Asian side, which are chock full of everything to round out an entire meal;  protein, veggies and carbs. I do like a blended, creamy style soup occasionally, but it doesn’t satisfy me if it’s going to be my dinner. This Dragon Soup has EVERYTHING that is great about soup and it was slurped up while we watched the snow slowly bury our house.

Blue Dragon Noodle Nests

Blue Dragon Noodle Nests (these noodles are very sturdy and hold up well in hot broth)

A bag or two of these egg noodles is always a good thing to keep in stock. They came in handy for this dish. Of course this soup works equally well with a cup of rice added to each bowlful, but there was something so gratifying about winding the long strands around my chopsticks before inhaling them.

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*This is a good Blood Type A Diet recipe – omit the black pepper and chili flakes and we are good to go!*

You will need:

1 lb chicken breast fillet – thinly sliced (If you stick the chicken in the freezer for a 1/2 hour or more, it will be easier to slice)

1 medium onion – diced

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/3 lb shiitake mushrooms – thinly sliced

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional, but I like the subtle heat)

1 tsp salt (use less if salt is very fine – you can always add more later if you need to)

1 bunch chard  – about 5 big leaves, center rib removed and leave roughly chopped

12 cups chicken broth (or 2 good quality bouillon cubes and water)

4 scallions (green onions) – very thinly sliced, including some of  green parts

1 cup julienned or thinly sliced carrots ( about 1 medium/large carrot)

2 tbs finely chopped cilantro leaves (if you have them, but works great without)

juice of 1/2 a lime

salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning

6 oz egg noodles (If you can find egg noodle nests, use 1 per person. Figure on about 1 oz per serving)

Method:

1 – Put soup pot on medium heat and add 1 1/2 tbs olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Turn the heat up a bit and add the thinly sliced chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns white all over (about 3 minutes). Add the broth, cilantro,  carrot, salt, pepper and pepper flakes (if using) to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down pot to a simmer and cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Add base ingredients, saute, add broth

Add base ingredients, saute, add broth

2 – Add the chard and continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minute. Taste for additional seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add the lime juice and let the soup sit for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Add chopped chard

Add chopped chard

3 – While the soup is sitting, cook your egg noodles according to instructions. Drain and add a serving to each soup bowl.

Ladle soup over noodles and garnish with some chopped scallion and serve!

Add noodles to bowl and ladle soup into bowl

Add noodles to bowl and ladle soup into bowl

The BEST ASIAN TURKEY MEATBALL SOUP & FUN IN THE SNOW! (SERVES 4)

This made a fantastic Sunday Lunch but would make an equally fantastic Sunday Dinner. Fast, tummy-warming and oh so delicious!

hc

Asian Turkey Meatball soup with yummy Rice Noodles

I have been getting a little sick of snow lately, but after watching my kids and their friend whooping it up on the giant sledding hill in the park yesterday, I decided there could be worst things to deal with (like later in the summer when I am complaining about the sweltering heat!).

htf

 Ide & Marie-Lyse (Oh Joy!)

Before going out in the snow however, I had to make lunch. This is the one meal on the weekend that I would forgo if I didn’t have kids to feed. I am content with a crust of bread with a slice of cheese or even a piece of cake and a cup of coffee, but when the kids ask me “what’s for lunch?” I am compelled to fulfill my motherly duty and feed them! I was so lucky yesterday because I has some ground meat leftover after making a big batch of wontons the night before. I didn’t have much else, so I made a very light soup but added the ground Asian-spiked meat in the form of meatballs and bulked it all up with some rice noodles. I find I can be pretty ingenious when I’m desperate!

Ide

Ide (oh rapture!)

It was so good, satisfying my soup-loving daughter and my rice noodle-loving son in one big bowlful! My friend picked us all up afterwards, and our kids played in the snow until their faces were numb and the sun started to disappear for the evening. I was happy to see that our teenage children had not outgrown the pleasures of rolling around in the snow.

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*This is also a great Blood Type A diet recipe (omit the pepper flakes and black pepper if you are very strict, and stick to olive oil)*

You will need:

3/4 lb ground turkey

3 scallions – finely chopped

1 clove garlic – finely chopped

2 tbs mirin (sweetened rice wine – found in the Asian section of your supermarket or specialty shop)

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tsp freshly grated ginger root (I use my zester for this job or the finest side of your grater)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 medium sweet onion – finely diced

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

1 med/large carrot – thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

3/4 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

6 cups chicken or veggie broth (or water and good quality bouillon cube)

sea salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbls oil (olive, canola, veggie or safflower oil)

1/2 lb rice noodles (I use Roland Pad Thai Rice Stick Noodles)

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Put the ground turkey in a medium bowl and add the next 6 ingredients on the ingredient list. Mix together well (use your hands!). (you can do this earlier and leave in the fridge covered to save time later).

mix seasonings with ground turkey

mix seasonings with ground turkey

2 – Make and cook the meatballs: Put the flour on a plate or a shallow bowl and coat the palms of your hands with some oil. Make meatballs be rolling in your palm into a ball and then roll lightly in flour. Place on plate as you go. Make the meat balls on the small side – small enough to be able to pop one in your mouth

Deliciously flavored meatballs

Little meatballs

3 – Add 2 tbs oil to a baking sheet and place in hot oven for about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove and add the meatballs in a single layer. place back into the oven and cook for 10 minutes. remove and turn each meatball and cook for a further 5 minutes. Take out of oven and set aside.

4 – Put saucepan or medium soup pot on medium heat and add about 2 tbs olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the parsley, carrot and about 1/2 tsp salt to the pot and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

5 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon cube) and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn down heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the meat balls and continue to simmer for another 5 minute. Turn off heat.

Roland Pad Thai Noodle Brand

Roland Pad Thai Noodle Brand (In my opinion these are the best brand of rice noodles commonly available. They hold up and don’t get gluey and sticky like other brands (Thai Kitchen and A Taste of Thai to name but a couple). If in doubt – go for the plainer and imported variety.

6 – While soup is simmering, put water on for the rice noodles and cook according to package instructions. When you drain, rinse with cold water and leave in colander until ready to add to soup, (if the noodles start to stick together, just re-rinse under cold water).

hktf

Brothy cockle-warming soup!

To serve: Divide rice noodles between four bowls and ladle soup with meatballs on top. The hot soup will warm up the noodles instantly. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper flakes and more salt and pepper to your taste.

Whoa!

Whoa!

Happy Birthday Dante!

Dante Alighieri by Luca Signorelli

Dante Alighieri by Luca Signorelli

Great Soup with Chicken Sausages (serves 6)

It is Summer time and the one meal that can be a hassle for me is Lunch. In the middle of the day I have to stop what I am doing because people start clammering for food. I am not a proponent of the cooked meats you can buy from deli and meat counters in supermarkets. They are as a rule full of things that are bad for you (nitrites for one!) and are ridiculously expensive. I also hate making sandwiches and don’t know why people think it is less trouble to make 4 or 5 sandwiches then it is to say make a quick pasta dish or a pot of soup.

Very easy and nutricious lunch

Very easy and nutritious lunch (or dinner of course)

I think of soup just as much a summer dish as it is something people huddle around during the winter. In fact, it is easier to find ingredients that are fresh and quick-cooking when there is an abundance of produce everywhere. I’m also lucky in that I have a little backyard where I can grow herbs and have friends who have even bigger backyards who grow vegetables. When their gardens are in full swing the only way to use up the bounty is by giving it away to their friends!

Apium from my garden

Apium leaves from my garden: apium is a cross between celery leaves and Italian parsley. It can be thrown into almost anything and has a great mild celery flavor.

This soup is typical of something that I like to make for lunch. It is a great nutritious meal and can be made from whatever you can scrounge from your fridge, pantry, garden or generous friends. I made this because I had a head of escarole and 4 chicken sausages in the fridge. The rest of the ingredients were used to tie it all together. I grabbed herbs from my garden and my life-saving bouillon cube and this amazingly fresh and delicious soup was invented.

In the ingredient list I gave lots of alternative suggestions to let you know that anything will work, so don’t feel you have to run off to the shop to buy a thing!

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*This is a great Blood Type A Diet recipe. Omit the curry powder, black pepper and pepper flakes if you are very strict. You can replace with perhaps a 1/2 tsp of cumin and the seeds from about 3 green cardamom pods (crush pods in a mortar and pestle or back of knife to remove the seeds)*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4 large chicken sausages, casing removed (mine were seasoned like a mild Italian sausage, but any combination of herb or spice infused sausage will work just fine. Also, pork sausages are good too)

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional or 1/2 tsp if you want less heat)

1 tsp sea-salt (if using fine grain, add a little less to start)

2 tsp (or 1 if you want less heat) mild aromatic curry powder (optional)

3 thyme sprigs (OR 4 chopped basil leaves, 1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves or winter savory: in other words – whatever you have on hand)

1 cup chopped apium (see description with picture above) OR Italian parsley

1 head of escarole, chopped, OR 4 cups chopped spinach

8 (or more if needed) cups chicken or veggie stock OR 1 good quality bouillon cube and water (I use a Rapunzel vegan cube with salt and herbs)

2 to 3 cups cooked white rice (I used aged basmati rice leftover from another dinner)

Method:

1 – Put large pot on medium heat and add the oil. Saute the onions for 5 minutes, then add the sausage by breaking it into bits with your hands as you go, or using scissors to snip it into the pot. Turn the heat up slightly and cook until the sausage takes on little brown bits from the pan (about 7 or so minutes). Stir frequently, breaking the meat a little smaller with you wooden spoon as you stir. Add the herbs.

Saute onions, herbs, then sausage

Saute onions, herbs, then sausage

2 – Add the seasoning (pepper flakes, salt and curry powder) and stir into the sausage. Cook for 1 minute.

add pepper flakes

Add pepper flakes

3 – Add the apium (or parsley) and stir.

then apium

Then apium (or parsley)

4 – Add the water and bouillon or stock and turn heat up to high. Add the chopped escarole (or spinach) and give everything a quick stir. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down, cover with lid and cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes, giving it a stir a couple of times while it cooks. If the consistency feels too thick to you, add a little more water.

add liquid and escarole (or spinach)

Add liquid and escarole (or spinach)

5 – Add the rice and stir into the soup. Turn off heat and taste for addition of more salt and pepper. Let the soup sit covered for 10 minutes before serving.

add cooked rice, then serve

Add cooked rice, then serve

Ladle into bowls and serve as is. You can pass more pepper flakes and offer salt and pepper to anyone who wants it. 

An A+ Soup with Chinese Noodles (chicken, spinach, lime) – Serves 8

I got home at 7pm last night and we were eating this soup in 45 minutes (granted I worked in the kitchen like a speed demon!). This was another case of knowing I would be home late but not wanted to waste money ordering out (not to mention the food wouldn’t be as good and all of that paper and plastic waste from containers, utensils and napkins!).

A+ Soup

A+ Soup

This is an amazing meal and satisfies all kinds of hunger, from the person who wants lots of food to the person who has a longing for something restorative and healing (like my daughter who was getting over a tummy bug).

A few ingredients made this dish stand out for me: lime juice, thin vegetable-laden broth and the addition of fresh Chinese-Style noodles (below).

These Chinese Style Noodles worked great with this soup

These Chinese Style Noodles worked great with this soup

I try my best to keep fresh wonton skins, egg-roll wrappers or these noodles in my fridge. They can be found in the cold fridge in the veggie section of most supermarkets. They are fresh, floury, light, and delicious for all kinds of dishes. They have an expiration date so I always grab a packet from the back with the longest expiry date. Last night they were the perfect thing to bolster the thin broth.

If you decide to make this, and have some leftover, keep the noodles in a container separate from the soup and add to the reheated soup cold, (the residual heat will warm them up nicely). At least that is what my plan is for lunch today!

Just wanted to show you more of what is growing in my garden at the monent: lovely chives

Just wanted to show you more of what is growing in my garden at the moment: lovely chives (they would also make a great garnish for this soup)

* This is a very good Blood Type A Diet recipe. if you are very strict or a sensitive “A” omit the cayenne pepper flakes*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb chicken breast, very thinly sliced

1 medium onion (sweet or yellow)

2 celery ribs, including leaves, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 sprig fresh rosemary (left whole)

1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

1 bunch scallions, including green part (green onions), sliced

10 or so medium shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced

4 cups baby spinach leaves (or regular spinach – chopped)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

10 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 12 good quality bouillon cube and water)

juice of 1 lime (or about 3 tbs)

sea-salt to taste

Method:

1 – Put large soup pot on medium heat and add the oil. when it has warmed, add the onions, garlic and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper flakes.

Saute onions and celery, add chili flakes

Saute onions and celery, add chili flakes

2 – Add the carrots and rosemary and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

Add carrots and rosemary

Add carrots and rosemary

3 – Next add the sliced mushrooms and scallions and continue to cook for another 3 or so minutes.

add mushrooms and scallions

Add mushrooms and scallions

4 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon cube) and turn heat to high. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the chicken and stir.

add liquid, then chicken

Add liquid, then chicken

5 – Add the spinach leaves (or chopped spinach) and bring back to a boil. When it begins to boil, turn the heat down and bring soup to a slight simmer. Cover with lid and simmer for about 12 minutes. Turn heat off and add the lime juice. Taste for addition of salt or pepper. Stir and replace lid. Let the soup sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Add spinach

Add spinach

6 – While the soup is sitting put a big pot of water on to boil (boils faster with a lid!) and when it is boiling cook fresh noodles according to instructions. Drain and rinse well with cold water and set aside.

*this brand says it takes 3 minutes to cook, but I found they were cooked in 2 minutes. I’d advise checking the noodles earlier than the cooking time stated in the instructions*

Put some noodles into bottom of bowl

Put some noodles into bottom of bowl

To serve, place a portion of noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl (as much or as little as you like) and ladle the soup over them.

Add Soup

Add Soup

Some of us add a swirl of sriracha sauce to the soup which gave it an additional bite of heat.

Add hot sauce if you like (we like Sriracha Sauce)

Add hot sauce if you like (we like Sriracha Sauce)

Hearty Tofu & Cauliflower Soup (serves 6)

I think that soup is the one place even a die-hard meat-eater will succumb to the power of a steaming bowl of broth-y vegetables. If it is overflowing with tons of tasty ingredients, there is a chance the protein-packed tofu will go unnoticed!

Everyone loves soup!

Everyone loves soup!

I made this because my son was sick but was still hungry for something savory. I wanted it to be full of goodness but not a heavy meal that would weigh him down. I am very lucky in that he loves tofu and lots of other foods that you don’t usually associate with the palate of a teenage boy: things like squid tentacles, miso, seaweed and sashimi. He told me his dream is to “live and die” in Japan and judging from the food he likes, I’d say it is his destiny. 

my catalysts

My catalysts (Japanese curry powder, dried celery stalks & Dulse Seaweed salt)

I was in a great shop called Kalustyan’s in New York City the other day and picked up a few things that I though would work great in a soup using tofu and cauliflower (a nice light veggie) as the main ingredients. I gave it a Japanese “feel” by seasoning the broth with a little Japanese curry powder and a lovely seaweed-infused salt from the gulf of Maine called Dulse Seaweed Salt. Dulse is a red seaweed (sometimes called Sea Lettuce) and it gives the salt an intensified ocean taste.

My son ate two bowls, which says it all really.

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*This is a Blood Type A Diet friendly recipe with beneficial ingredients such as tofu, garlic, escarole and onions (cauliflower is neutral so is fine to use)*

You will need:

I cake of tofu, pressed and cubed (tofu usually comes in 12 oz blocks)

1 medium onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, including leaves, chopped

1 head escarole, washed and roughly chopped

1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets (if it is a large head, use half)

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)

1 tsp of fresh thyme or rosemary leaves

1 tsp sea-salt (use 1/2 tsp if the salt you are using is intensely salty)

1 vegetable bouillon cube (I used the Rapunzel brand)

10 cups water

3 cups cooked basmati rice

Method:

*If you have leftover rice in your fridge (I always do!) take it out and reheat at lowest setting on your stove top in pot with lid. If not, cook some fresh right now!*

1 – Press tofu immediately!

tofu stacked with dinner plates!

Tofu stacked with dinner plates!

2 – Chop all veggies while tofu is being pressed.

This is the way I've been slicing onions lately

This is the way I’ve been slicing onions lately

3 – Put big soup pot (4 to 6 qt) on medium heat and add the oil. When it warms, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes before adding the celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes.

Add onions & garlic, then celery

Add onions & garlic, then celery

4 – Add the curry powder, thyme (or rosemary),, cumin seeds and salt to the pot and stir. Add the cauliflower and mix gently. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the tofu and stir gently and cook for another minute.

add spices, then cauliflower

Add spices, then cauliflower

6 – Add the bouillon cube (I usually roughly chop it first), followed by the water. Turn heat up and when it comes to a boil add the chopped escarole and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cover and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes.

add escarole

Add escarole

Serve soup alone, with a scoop of rice or crusty bread and some hot sauce if you are in the mood.

eat with whatever you like

Eat with whatever you like: rice, bread, alone and maybe a dash of sriracha!

Bacon And Ham Soup With Broken Spaghetti (serves 4)

Necessity is most certainly the mother of invention when it comes to dinners some nights in my house, and this soup-y dish stretched that saying to the maximum. I suppose I could have called this “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink”  but I wanted it to sound as sophisticated as it turned out to be.

Bacon And Ham Soup with Broken spaghetti

Bacon and Ham Soup with Broken Spaghetti

I love to cook but don’t always love to shop for ingredients (unless it is a great outdoor market in some far-flung part of the world, or a really dynamite foodie emporium like Eataly in New York City!), especially if it is just to rush for supplies to my dreary supermarket for one measly dinner.

I was down to the dregs as far as choices go but was determined to find what I could and make a meal out of it. I literally put the pot on the stove with the bacon and onions before I knew what I was making. As I found things, I just added them to the pot (like the cooked ham I had mistakenly tucked into the cheese drawer in my fridge).

I ended up with a really great zesty soup that appeared out of nowhere and disappeared quickly. So, never underestimate the power of a bouillon cube, a few stripes of bacon and a 1/4 box of spaghetti!

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You will need:

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 lb cooked ham, large dice

1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 medium onion, (yellow or sweet), diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

juice of 1 small lime (3 tbs approx)

1 cup peas (I used frozen baby peas)

6 cups spinach leaves (if they are large, chop them)

1 tbs curry paste (I used a Patak brand medium paste)

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

1 veggie or chicken bouillon cube (I used Rapunzel brand)

10 cups water

1/4 lb spaghetti, broken into short pieces

Method:

1 – Prep all ingredients and put large soup pot on medium heat. Add oil and when it is warm add the chopped bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook for another 8 or so minutes (until onions are soft and bacon more crispy). Next add the other seasonings (pepper flakes, stock cube) and stir.

kjb

Cook the base ingredients

2 – Turn heat up to high and add the water and curry paste.  Bring liquid to a boil.

jhv

Add the liquid

3 – Add the peas, spinach and bring stock back to a boil, while giving the pot a stir.

add greens

Add greens

4 – Turn the heat to medium and add the spaghetti, lime juice and diced cooked ham.

yg

Add pasta, ham and lime juice

5 – Cover and simmer until pasta is almost cooked (about 6 minutes). Turn heat off and let pot sit for about 10 minutes, in which time the broth will thicken and the pasta will completely cook through. Taste and add seasonings to your taste (sea-salt and/or freshly ground black pepper)

add ham and cook spaghetti

add ham and cook spaghetti

Serve in warmed bowls with lots of crusty bread, more cayenne flakes or sriracha sauce.

serve with toasted bread

Serve with toasted bread

Hearty Chicken (or Tofu) and Escarole Soup (serves 6)

This was the request for tonight’s dinner. We had been talking about the food we cooked while in Italy this year (read previous posts to find out more), and my kids went on about a soup I made with escarole.

Hearty Chicken & Escarole Soup

I love how escarole wilts and becomes sweetly slimy when simmered in broth. It turns into something that can be slurped with unadulterated pleasure. If you need pleasure in your life and your resources are limited, try this soup. It is certainly better than nothing!

In a word: Yum

*Blood type A Friendly Soup, (Chicken is neutral, but 3 cups of diced firm tofu can be substituted to make it a more beneficial dish. Follow recipe as if with chicken)*

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You will need: 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 3 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized pieces, OR 3 cups diced firm tofu,  1 head escarole, washed and chopped roughly, 4 inner celery ribs, including leaves, sliced, 1 large sweet onion, diced, 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, 2 sprigs fresh oregano, 4 springs fresh thyme, 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 1/2 cups small pasta (ditalini, baby elbows, or any other small pasta that you like), 2 tsp mild curry powder (optional), 15 cups chicken broth, (veggie broth for vegetarians or vegans), 2 tsp sea-salt, more to taste, along with freshly ground black pepper.

1 – Prep all veggies and chicken.

Prep Veggies (and chicken, or tofu)

2 – Put large soup pot on low/medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Celery, onions, garlic

3 – Add celery and cook for another 3 minutes, then add the herbs (including parsley). Continue to cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add liquid, chicken (tofu), salt,

4 – Add curry powder (if using) and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, salt, chicken and escarole and turn heat up to high.

5 – When it comes to a boil, add pasta and turn heat down until soup comes to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.Taste broth for addition of more salt and black pepper.

Add a dollop of hot sauce or sour cream if you like

Serve piping hot with a little hot sauce if you are so inclined, or, a dollop of sour cream. (no cream or hot sauce for strict Blood Type A Diet followers)