May 24 - 30, 2020: Issue 451


Late Autumn Tonic Soup

Autumn Tonic Soup

The family coming home from work, school or in from the surf chilled to the bone needs a big hot bowl of something scrumptious and good for them to chase out those chills and top them to the brim with seasonal goodness. The ‘tonic’ part of this ‘adapt to suit self’ recipe lies in the base cold chaser outerers of ginger, garlic, lemon, and lemongrass. This meal takes around a half hour to do from scratch and has become a firm favourite in this household. It’s very simple but very effective for warming cold people and boosting immunity. It’s also a great way to enjoy the vegetables in season as you can adapt it to suit what’s at peak freshness. The slight lean towards a touch of Asian hot-sour-sweetness simply reflects the lighter smaller dishes we prefer ingesting at the end of day.

This is a simple idea for a soup, more a reminder of what you can easily do to look after you and your loved ones as we head into Winter, and with the long conversation free silence, amid the sounds of slurping that accompanies the eating of this soup, followed by rounds of ‘Beautiful!’, appreciation of the beauty in simple things will have been shared.

Enough preamble – the ingredients (adapt to suit yourself) to stave off sniffles and warm everyone up;

Broth base: we used a vegetable stock powder to make up 6 cups, that way you can choose level of salt, which we err in under recommended teaspoon to water ratio. 
1 x parsnip (this is an Australian substitute for daikon – use if you like or find a daikon. The parsnip always adds body, fibre, taste and texture to any soup, roast – we love them!) – cut into small dice
1-2 small carrots cut into small dice
200 grams fresh cabbage, shaved
1 capsicum (roasted) – do up batches of these and store in olive oil in your fridge ready to go- cut into slivers 
200 grams fresh green beans, washed, cut into 3-5cm lengths
1 x can of corn kernels 
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
Fresh ginger – 2-3cm piece – shaved into broth
1 x stem of Lemongrass
2 x tablespoons of light soy sauce
Juice of 1 ½  lemons
3 x Spring Onions – sliced thin for last moment garnish/taster boost
200-300 grams meat or Tofu of your choice – leftover pork lion roast, cut into small dice, 1 x chicken breast cut into small dice, or some fish. Just remember however long it was cooked (if using up leftovers) or how long may need if using fresh items. Or substitute some nice tofu if prefer meat free soup.
1 x packet of dumplings (pack of 8-9).- we used Szechuan Pork Dumplings to match in with leftover diced pork lion in broth.
Optional: 1 x packet rice noodles.

Serves: 3-4 (or two very hungry humans)

Step One

Make your broth base and put on to simmer. Add in the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, cabbage and root vegetables and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Add in capsicum strips, corn, meat or tofu, allow to simmer for 2 minutes.  Season with the lemon juice and light soy sauce – taste to check is as you want it and adjust to your own palate.

Step Two

Add in your green beans and dumplings(and rice noodles if using)  – allow to simmer for around 5 minutes.  Serve into soup bowls and garnish with the spring onions – eat while very very hot.