What To Eat: Soups Around The World
Locro de Papa (Ecuador)
Locro de Papa is a cheesy creamy soup that hails from the chilly Andean highlands in Ecuador. Potatoes are used as the base for the soup, making it extra creamy and thick. Interestingly, the peeled potatoes are first sautéd with onions, garlic, cumin, and annatto powder (a natural red-orange food coloring powder from achiote seeds) before being boiled in water. They are then mashed and mixed with milk and cheese until smooth. It is often served with slices of avocados and cheese on top.
French Onion Soup (France)
A common starter in French restaurants, French onion soup has seen much popularity around the globe and is a staple dish in many menus. It is very simple to make, with the key component being the caramelised onions. Beef broth and sherry is then added to the sweet onions, and is finished by adding some gorgeous warm bread with gruyere cheese on top. As the cheese melts, it becomes a salty crust that complements the sweet soup beautifully.
Fasolada is an all-vegetable soup from Greece that is also gluten-free. It is largely composed of dry white beans with other vegetables such as carrots, celery, red onion, and tomato. Authentic fasolada also calls for olive oil to add depth to the dish.
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Miso Soup (Japan)
Miso soup is a staple in Japanese households. It is made with dashi or fish stock, miso or fermented soybean paste, tofu, green onions, and seaweed. During Japanese Muromachi period (1336–1573), miso making became widely popular in home parties wherein the host would make the base of the soup while the guests would bring side dishes. During the Japanese civil wars, samurais wore dried taro stems called Imogara-nawa, around their waist and eventually boiled them with miso to make instant soups.
Kimchi Jiggae (Korea)
Kimchi Jiggae or Kimchi stew is very common in Korean households. Their funky days-old kimchi are cooked, simmered into a soup with white onion, pork belly, gochujang (fermented Korean chili paste), gochujaru (Korean chili flakes), tofu, and green onions. Due to its fermentation process, Kimchi is packed with probiotics that is good for the gut; it also has a lot of fiber.
Menudo is a traditional dish in Mexico that highlights beef tripe or the cow's stomach as the main ingredient. The beef tripe is rinsed and boiled for long periods of time until it becomes soft and tender. Meanwhile, the soup is largely made from guajillo peppers, garlic, and cumin. Menudo is also a eaten as a remedy for hangover in Mexico!
A trip to the hilly Tagaytay area is never complete without sipping a warm, salty, and fatty bulalo broth. Bulalo is made by boiling beef shank and bone marrow for hours until most of the marrow and fat is melted into the broth. Vegetables such as corn and cabbage are also added to the soup as well with whole pepper corns. It is best consumed with a steaming bowl of rice on the side!
Unlike most soups in this list, gazpacho is served cold, and serves as a refreshing treat during the hot Spanish summers. It is made of raw, blended vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and garlic. Olive oil, sherry vinegar, and cumin are also a key ingredients of an authentic gazpacho. Prior to serving, it is refrigerated for up to four hours and is often presented with bread.
Tom Yum (Thailand)
Spicy and sour, tom yum is a popular soup in Thailand. Tom means "boil" or "soup" in Thai, while yum translates to "a form of salad". There are two kinds of tom yum: tom yum goong nam sai and tom yum goong nam khon. Goong nam sai has shrimp and a clear broth while goong nam khon has a creamier, milkier soup. Both are made with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and Thai chili.
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