Yoo Family Soup


<Ta-Daa- Let me introduce to you, the “Yoo” soup>

This soup goes way back when I was 12 years old. My family and I just immigrated to Canada and just moved to a new house at Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and is pretty big town however, there was no Asian market nor restaurant so we had hard time to settle in.

My parents and I had to go out for meal since the first day because our luggage sent from Korea had not arrived for a long time. When we were living in Korea, the basic meal contains rice, soup and other side dishes. However, in Canada, meals contain a lot of flour and meat and we were quite tired of those.

After few days, we found a small convenience store run by Chinese and there were limited number of ingredients we could’ve use to make a soup to eat with rice.

As soon as we came back to home, my mother made this soup with carrot, onion, penne, chicken broth and leftover grilled chicken breast from Swiss Chalet.
It does not look like gourmet nor taste like one however, it has our memory when my family came to Canada.

Last year was my family’s 10th anniversary in Canada and I made the soup to my parents to celebrate ourselves. We named it the “Yoo family soup”.

Ingredients for the “Yoo” soup:

  • 1/2 diced carrot
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cup of pasta (I used farfalle but my mother used penne)
  • 750 mL of chicken broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp of mirin
  • Any topping you would like: I used the fish cakes but chicken breast or beef is fine. (my mother used chicken breast)

Real simple recipe:

  1. Dice onion and carrot
  2. Wash spinach with cold water
  3. Roughly chop or crush two cloves of garlic
  4. Pour 750 mL of chicken broth to a pot and bring it up to boi
  5. When it boils, add onion, carrot, spinach and a cup of pasta
  6. Add soy sauce, mirin, and the fish cake
  7. When the pasta is cooked, simmer for about 10 min and add seasoning if needed.
  8. Enjoy while its hot


<I used fish cakes instead of chicken breast because I like the flavour of fish cake that absorbed warm soup and when you bite it, the soup bursts >


<750 mL of chicken broth + 2 Tsp of Soy sauce + 1 Tsp of mirin >


<my mother added some mushroom but I omitted it because I do not like the texture of mushroom>


<add all the ingredients and boil>


<When the pasta is cooked, it is ready to eat>


Sensory Evaluation:

Sweetness from diced carrot and onion absorbed to the chicken broth on entry.
Saltiness from the soy sauce and little bit of salt from seasoning kicks in.
Bitterness, sourness nor umami was found while consuming the soup.

The soup taste like udon noodle soup little bit; if I included mushroom, it would taste much like it.
I liked how tender vegetables and bow-tie pasta worked well together with the mouthful of fish cake.

The soup mainly smells like the chicken broth and small amount of soy sauce.

The texture of vegetables are tender soft yet not mushy, soft fish cakes and pasta was cooked al dente.

I did enjoy the soup but I would not have another bowl in same seating because I can eat once with all those memories but second serving is just too much; there are a lot of better foods to eat.

In my opinion, there were no challenges while making the soup because it is so easy to make. The soup was quite close to what my mother made first time and when I made it last year. However if I was to cook this soup again, I will definitely try with the chicken breast or other protein because it will have more dense flavour in the soup rather than pre-cooked fish cake that does not have much of flavour than the texture.

Other than the Yoo family, no one else tried the soup because I would not really make this soup to other guests; they would not have the memory nor I believe the soup does not fit in the table full of guests.

Throughout making this “documentary” of Yoo soup, I realized food can be meaningful to people. Not just eating a dish but one dish can have a memory of something special like this soup to me is the hard settlement in Canada. I believe by working on this, I will be able to apply this to cook with heart; rather than cooking for money and to show off with beautiful decorations, but one simple dish can attract with the memory and a meaning to someone.



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