Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

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One of my favorite things to do is gather wild vegetables and herbs – and use them.  This time of year offers abundant wild vegetables, and what to me and so many other people looks like just another weed, to Dr. Tae Yun Kim they are very precious foods.  When I am lucky enough to get to accompany her on a wild herb picking adventure, she talks about how when she was little, those herbs saved her life.  If you follow my blog you might remember that when she grew up, she was rejected and abused and eventually abandoned just because she was a girl – and during the time of having to fend for herself she relied on those wild herbs.  Later on, when Dr. Kim was training under a Buddhist monk in the Martial Arts, he passed onto her an amazing treasure of knowledge, not just what you can eat, but how to use all manner of herbs for healing all kinds of conditions.


In the above basked you can see some herbs that are easily available in most places, such as young dandelion, shepherds purse, purslane and more.  This particular basket includes a few green onions that had gone astray and grown way outside the actual vegetable garden.

In addition to the great taste, wild herbs also help detox your body after winter.

To use them in soup, soak these herbs well in apple cider vinegar for about 10 minutes, change the water, and repeat.  Then chop them up into big pieces, including the roots if you can, and boil until barely tender.

For the soup base, you really can you use any broth you like.  Chicken soup is a great one as is beef.  The most traditional way to eat the herbs is boil them briefly in “bean paste soup” or Deng Jang chigae as it is called in Korean.

Let’s go outside and gather some herbs!  Just be sure you know which ones are edible.




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On a rainy/snowy/rainy day like today, soup for dinner is a must!  Want to see what today looked like?


Turkey soup is very popular in our family and while I am positive that pretty much every family has a perfectly good recipe for turkey soup, this one is worthy of trying.

It just so happens that it is one of the many versions of soup that Dr. Tae Yun Kim has created.  It is easy to prepare, outstandingly delicious and happens to pair perfectly with her brand new gluten-free bread recipe.  The fresh herbs really make this superb!


Don’t worry – not these girls!  Those are quite safe.  Those are wild turkeys roaming the area.  They get to live on Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s property freely and nobody bothers them.

To make the soup, here is what you need


2 whole turkey wings

about 1/8 c raw minced garlic, or more if you can handle it 😉

Himalayan salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into small strips

2 stalks celery, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 medium size carrot, cut into bite siz slices

1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

3 stalks broccolini, cut into bite size pieces

4-5 stalks of asparagus, cut into pieces

2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme

1 large sprig of fresh Rosemary

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped green onions

Before you get started with the actual soup, you’ll need to pre-boil the turkey, as Dr. Tae Yun Kim recommends, to get rid of as many impurities as possible.  To do this, cover the turkey wings with water, add 3Tbs Kosher salt and some crushed garlic and let come to a boil – boil until the foam stops bubbling up.  This probably will take about 10 – 15 minutes.  Drain, rinse, rinse your pot well and fill with about a quart of water.Cut the turkey wings into sections, and add to pot, season with salt and pepper.

Let it come to a boil, and cook for about 15 -20 minutes; then add the onions, herbs, carrots and celery, let boil for 5 minutes, and add rest of vegetables, adding the parsley and green onions just before serving.  You can serve this with any kinds of (gluten-free) noodles and/or bread.  It is most delicious with this particular bread! The blend of herbs and mushrooms and all the other flavors really makes this soup special.  Go ahead and give it a try!


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Today is a sort of guest post from a wonderful Korean lady that came and cooked for Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim a couple of days ago.  This was really great, after a hard Jung Suwon workout nourishing food is always wonderful to have!   I had the pleasure to watch her prepare this soup, and it looked like a special art form to me!

She was certainly applying Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s teachings while she was cooking – to focus with love and care on the food you are making, and to only think beautiful, positive thoughts about how much this food will bring health and happiness to the person receiving it!

First, to make the broth, boil water with crushed garlic and roughly cut yellow onions.  Add small dried fish (you can get those at most Oriental markets) and some anchovy sauce (it is naturally gluten-free.)  Let this boil gently for about 20 minutes, being careful to not let it boil down too much.

Meanwhile, cut carrots, green onions, zucchini if you have them, into matchstick size pieces and saute separately in olive or sesame oil.

Beat a couple of eggs, fry gently and cut into thin strips when they are done.

Boil the noodles, being careful not to overcook.

If you are gluten-free, be careful as to what noodles you use.  If noodles come in packages like this:

without any label, don’t use them!  These might taste good and look fantastic, but without any description and documentation, you will have no idea what is in them!  And yes, these were the noodles this lady had brought.  Luckily she didn’t cook the noodles in the soup, but in a separate pot, so all was well.

I like to use brown rice noodles and my family enjoys those as well.

Now you can start assembling this delicious soup:

Into each bowl, put one serving of noodles, then arrange the sautéed veggies and eggs beautifully on top.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim emphasizes how important it is for the food to look good, it needs to have eye appeal, like in the picture:

Gently add the soup (only the liquid part) and top with some crumbled seaweed.

Now, after a prayer of thanks, open mouth, insert spoon………

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I have always been intrigued by natural foods, and living off the land.  But I didn’t know just how much you can literally live off that land!  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has opened up my eyes as to what you can eat, and what is better left to the cows!

When Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim was just a little girl, she was abandoned by her parents during the Korean War, because she was considered “just an extra mouth to feed.”  During that time, she learned to fend for herself, and quickly learned how to pick “weeds” and make food from it.  At the time, it was just for survival, but now Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches that these “weeds” are very healthy and cleansing and work as a wonderful body detox, especially after the winter months.

The following “recipe” is just a guideline, a lot will depend on what you can find, and your taste buds.  But here I will share how Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim showed me to prepare this.  Incidentally, this soup is wonderful after a strenuous Jung Suwon class, when you crave food, but need something light and healthy.

First, go outside and see what plants you can find.  If you don’t know plants very well, you could go to a local health food store and buy some dandelions, it will work well.

Otherwise, here are some plants you could use:

Stinging nettle

stingless nettle


Pick a bunch of very young leaves only.  No flowers or old leaves – just the very young sprouts and tips of leaves.  Wash very well in water with Kosher salt, several times.  Chop into bite sized pieces (they are probably the right size if you picked them at their ideal “age.”)

Saute some onions and ground garlic in olive oil (if you prefer butter, that works too), until onion and garlic turn beige to light brown.  Add half of the wild herbs and briefly saute.  Add some flour (I use Shirley’s gluten free mix (see bottom of page), but you could use any gluten free combination you like, except, perhaps, coconut flour and almond flour.)

Brown the flour and then add either chicken broth, or water.  I prefer water, as it lets the fine flavor of the wild veggis come through, but chicken broth is also very good.

Put this in a blender and blend until smooth.  It should be nice and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste, but don’t overpower it.  The main flavor should be the wild herbs.  Finely chop the  rest of the herbs and add into the soup, just slightly heating it.

And that’s it, it’s that simple!  You could of course, get fancy and add a dollop of sour cream.  Or, if you want it more “Korean” flavored, mix in some goju chang.  (spicy red pepper paste.)  Or you could add some croutons and even some chicken.

But, as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim points out, sometimes the simple things are the best!  I happen to like this soup the simplest way possible!

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Don’t these cherry tomatoes look really good?  I love them!  They are perfect after a tough Jung Suwon class, as they help you cool down, plus, as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim points out, they are packed with vitamins and minerals and are great to replenish your body.

Today we are blessed with some torrential rain, which I think is awesome!  To me, this spells soup!  But since it’s a weekend, it’s not just plain tomato soup which I told you about yesterday.  This is a soup that eats like a meal!  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches her students about proper nutrition, and balance.  Not only do we need to balance our bodies after a Jung Suwon workout, we also need to make sure we have a balance of all the nutrients we need!

So todays tomato soup is “enhanced, ” as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim likes to call it.  It is the same recipe as I posted yesterday, except today I didn’t run it through the blender and left it chunky.  But go ahead and make it whatever consistency you prefer.  While the soup is cooking, get started on the “enhancements.”  In this case, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s version of matzo balls.

You can start out with your favorite matzo ball mix (comes in nice little boxes such as this:

One quick note about kosher foods.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim at times recommends the use of Kosher ingredients, and even mentions this at Jung Suwon.  Why?  “Kosher foods are prepared under strict supervision, under the watchful eye of a Rabbi,” Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim explains, “Kosher foods therefore are pure and clean.  You do not need to be Jewish in order to benefit from Kosher foods.

Prepare the dough according to directions, and add some ground beef (that you have boiled out, and drained well.)  Add some finely chopped Italian parsley and/or any herbs you like.  Let this mixture sit for at least 30 minutes.

In a large pot, bring salted water to boiling, then put in the matzo balls you have rolled meanwhile.  Keep them small-ish, maybe as big as half an egg.  Turn the heat down and let the matzo balls simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.  Drain and put into the tomato soup, let it simmer for another 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

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So, in trying to do my “internal spring cleaning,” as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim recommended,  I am feeling great, inside and out.  Skin nice and soft, lost a couple pounds and generally feeling better.  The tomatoes, in conjunction with some “kick butt” Jung Suwon classes, have worked miracles in my body, mind, and spirit.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has a lot of special tomato recipes.  A couple of days ago I started with some very basic ones.  Here are some more!

Basic tomato soup:

This is my absolute favorite and it is so simple!

First, sautee a chopped up onion in some olive oil. Use good quality oil, it does make a difference.  As Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim always reminds, us, we are what we eat, so we want to use the best available ingredients!

Add freshly chopped garlic, and chopped up fresh tomatoes.  Add chopped parsley and basil.  If you like it spicy, add some freshly chopped Jalapeno pepper.  At this point, if you want to get fancy, you could add bell peppers, celery, mushrooms etc, I prefer mine very plain.

Sautee until tomatoes are soft, season with salt and pepper.  Let it cool a bit, then put in food processor until very smooth and thick.  I love it plain, as is, but you can eat with some nice, crusty bread, or rice, or even put some noodles in it!  It’s awesome however you eat it!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim also recommends stuffed tomatoes.  They are simple, easy, and you could even prep them before you go to Jung Suwon class, so that when you come home you got a good, light meal ready!

Here is Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s special stuffed  tomato recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Take a medium to large tomato, wash well with kosher salt.

Slice off the top, and hollow out.  Put it into a small, oven proof container and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until firm/soft, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, sautee some onions and garlic with some finely chopped potatoes.  You can add parsley, green onions, or even spinach if you like.  When one, add a couple eggs and sautee until just creamy, then put it all into the tomato. Top with some cheese, and bake for 5 more minutes.

Now enjoy!

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Today is another rainy day here in Northern California, and soup is definitely on my mind.  Today seems perfect for some “cream” soup.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim reminds us that we need to eat our vegetables, and lots of them.  Yes, even at Jung Suwon we learn a lot about nutrition!

“Body and Mind as one” is the first of the code of ethics at Jung Suwon, and Great Grandmaster Kim emphasizes that body and mind have to work together!  So, in order to have our bodies function at optimal levels, we need our veggies!

These kinds of soups are quick and easy to make, perfect for after a Jung Suwon class, when we are hungry and don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking.  They are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to replenish our body’s resources.  It’s up to us to put in lots of love and good energy when we prepare them!

Right now, this time of year, there is a lot of sickness going around, and a lot of our Jung Suwon students have been sick – Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim keeps repeating in classes that we need to eat healthy foods, with the right attitude.  Choose foods that are packed with nutrition and prepare them yourself, if at all possible.  And vegetables are available year round and there are so many delicious ones to choose from!  Great Grandmaster Kim also stresses the importance of eating lots of different kinds of veggies, to make sure we get all the nutrients we need.

Here are is a wonderful recipe Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has shared with me.  These soups work with all vegetables, although I tend to stay away from carrots and sweet potatoes and radishes – seems too sweet for my taste.  My personal favorites in this category of soups is mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli or asparagus.  .

How to make healthy “cream” soups:

First, wash your veggies very well.  Several times if needed.

Using either olive oil or all natural butter, sautee most of your vegetables of your choice.  Let’s say you pick asparagus – break off the top 1 1/2 inches and save for addin on later.  Sautee the rest of the asparagus with freshly chopped garlic for a few minutes.  Add chopped onion if you like.  Add either water or chicken broth, a couple of peeled and cubed potatoes, and cook until tender, but not mushy.  Put in blender, and blend (be VERY careful with that or let cool a little, it will want to spill out of blender) until nice and smooth.  Put back into pot, reheat, and add asparagus heads (or if you use other veggies, the amount you have set aside.)  Heat gently until veggies are tender to your liking.  Add seasonings to your taste.  I prefer lightly salted and some black pepper – I love to highlight the flavor of each vegetable.  But experiment!

You should end up with some wonderful, creamy soup, without the calories and cholesterol.  If you want it creamier, mix some corn or potato starch with water, add to soup and boil until thick.

“Dig it in!”  (Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim)

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In weather like this, and especially after a good, hard Jung Suwon workout, soup is the only logical solution to me.

So you see, today requires a good soup.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim talks about the healing properties of food, and that on cold, rainy days our bodies need hot, healing foods.

Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim taught me how to make great soups, and make them quickly.  After training at Jung Suwon, and working up a hefty appetite, most people think noodle soups, ramen, or perhaps meat based soups.  All those are good, no doubt.

But there are also many wonderful vegetable soups that nourish body, mind, and spirt, and are so quick and easy to make!

Here is what Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim suggests:

If you have Kimchi, cut some up and boil for a while, add some freshly ground garlic (or whatever garlic you have on hand.)  Add some of the Kim chi juice. If you have tofu, cut into cubes and add.  And from here on, have fun!  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches that when you prepare food, have the best of attitudes, put a lot of love into it.  Any kind of vegetable can be added, I prefer celery, zucchini, broccoli, and asparagus.  But be free!

If you have some cooked meat on hand, perhaps some chicken, you can add that as well.  Season to taste – and Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim recommends red pepper, some Kosher Salt, or Himalayan Salt, a little anchovy sauce if you like (no MSG) and some cut up green onions.

Now you are ready to enjoy with rice, or, you could add your noodles, dumplings, or rice cakes.

Enjoy!  As Great Grandmaster Kim would say, “Dig it in!”

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I wrote about seaweed soup already, for New Years, but I didn’t give you a recipe.  This isn’t going to be an exact recipe either, but you will be able to make a delicious seaweed soup after you read this!

As Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim always tells us, seaweed soup has a big place in the Korean culture.  It is the food every new mother receives after childbirth, to cleanse their system.  It has great nutritional value, and it also happens to taste really really good, when it’s done right.  I am not going to tell you this version is traditional, or the only way.  No, I learned this version from Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, and that is how I make it.

Plus, it’s naturally gluten free, which is a big plus for me.

There are countless different kinds of seaweed available and not all are for soup.  I used to always ask the people in the Korean store to help me get seaweed for soup, and with a big smile they always did.  Here is what a package might look like:

(This is not my own picture, it is from this blog: http://weekofmenus.blogspot.com/2010/04/korean-seaweed-soup-for-love-of-my.html)

Before you start, you will need to soak the seaweed in plenty of water.  If you are in a hurry, soak it in warm water.  Make sure you use a big container and lots of water, it will absorb a lot!

Take a big pot, and put in some sesame oil, to cover the bottom of the pot.  Saute some chopped garlic – I use a lot!  – and some finely cut good quality beef.  Squeeze out the seaweed really really well, and sautee with the garlic and beef, stirring often.

Season well with black pepper and anchovy sauce – make sure you get the kind that is made from only dried anchovies and salt, no msg added.   Keep sauteeing until really dry, then add water.  Add a lot, the seaweed will still expand.

Best is, use some oxtail soup, or beef bone broth, if you have it, instead of the water.  It will still be superb with just water, but it will be stellar using beef broth of some sort.

Let this boil for a long time, but at least half hour.  I like to let it simmer all day.  You can add any kind of mushrooms to this, and some Korean radish, the big, white kind.  Add in the beginning and let boil.

Just before serving, add some chopped green onions, and season to taste, which, to me, means adding more anchovy salt and pepper, perhaps salt if really needed.

I never measure quantities, so if you are totally new to cooking, especially Korean cooking, keep to the directions on the package – if they are all in Korean, ask at your store.

This is really good with some steaming fresh rice, and a nice variety of Korean side dishes.  Enjoy!



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The fall/winter season has come with a vengeance right now, after a very warm early fall.  It’s cold and dreary and rainy outside and I happen to love this kind of weather. 

It’s also the perfect weather to work out at Jung Suwon.  It’s not so hot that you sweat just changing your clothes.  In fact you’ll need to work hard to stay warm! 

I have found that soup is perfect for this time of year.  But in addition, if you are not a good cook yet, and you are struggling with your culinary development, start with soup. Trust me, they are easy to make, it’s easy to be creative with soups, and it’s easy to impress people with your soup cooking.

For example, spicy Korean soups are my current favorites to make and eat.  They are healthy, filling, but not fattening perfect foods and so easy to make.  A perfect soup base would be some chicken soup as in the recipe earlier on this blog.  Or the oxtail soup I mentioned.  But, if you don’t happen to have that on hand, or just don’t want to bother, no problem!

Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim explained to me that during the Korean War times soup was always a great thing to make – whatever you had, you put into the soup and were able to feed several people for what otherwise would have been just one ingredient for one person! 

So, here are some basics for some good soup.  Let’s assume you don’t have any broth ready.   Boil some water with ground or chopped garlic (and in my opinion there is no such thing as too much garlic).  If you have some leftover potroast, add a couple of slices, or if you have some leftover broiled chicken, you could add that.  Add whatever vegetables you have on hand and boil.  Add salt and pepper to taste and if you like it spicy like I do, add some red pepper flakes.  You could also add some kimchi to this.

As to what to put into the soup, the sky is the limit.  Try some noodles – either the very thin Japanese noodles (boil them seperately), or Korean glass noodles, or whatever size and shape noodle you like.  Or, add some suchebi, or some ready made mandoo.  Or add a few of each.  You can also drop some eggs into the soup. 

Ok ok, I better stop – I believe this will keep you busy for a while.  But do go ahead and give soup a chance!

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