This Asian broth was a bit of an experiment for me. I tend to be more a fan of thick and creamy soups, but I thought that a creamy soup would be too heavy when dealing with Asian flavours (cream of soy sauce soup? Umm…) – so, Asian broth it was.
You wouldn’t believe how simple this kale and asparagus broth was to make. Well, you probably would, because it’s just about as easy as it looks – some yummy bits, floating in a tasty broth. Make sure you start with a good quality vegetable stock, since let’s face it, about 90% of this soup is just stock. Infuse it with garlic, ginger and chilli, and add some soy sauce, some spelt (for a little bit of bulk!), and your veg.
Then it’s just a case of garnishing your soup (sorry, here I go again with the garnish) with some spring onions and fresh coriander, and serving it up warm.
You can change up this soup however you like, if you have other things in your fridge to use up or just fancy something a bit different. The veg I used were asparagus and kale, because they’re some of my favourite vegetables ever, but most greens would work. You might want to go for a cabbage that’s a bit more Asian, like pak choi, rather than the kale – what can I say, I just love kale.
You could even throw in a few chunks of silken tofu if you want to make this light broth a bit more dinnery.
Oh, a quick word of warning: go easy on the chilli! I used 4 thin slices of chilli, and my broth was verging on too spicy for me, even though I didn’t even eat the chillies themselves (they still give plenty of heat to the broth). Obviously this will depend on the exact type of chilli you use, but maybe start with just a couple of small slices, and adjust the heat from there.
By the way, I know I’ve included some chopsticks in my photos, but I’m going to call that ‘artistic license’ – if you can actually eat broth with chopsticks I will be thoroughly impressed, and will probably fly you over here to teach me, since I can’t even use them for solid foods (yes, I’m that annoying person who asks for a fork at a Chinese restaurant. I don’t like battling with my food!).
Asian-style kale and asparagus broth with spelt
- 500 ml good quality vegetable stock ~2 cups
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 small mild chilli thinly sliced
- 5 stalks asparagus
- Small handful kale
- 100 g cooked spelt ~2/3 cup
- Black pepper
- 1 spring onion sliced
- Small bunch fresh coriander cilantro, chopped
- Add the vegetable stock and soy sauce to a deep frying pan, and add the grated ginger, minced garlic and 2-3 slices of chilli (depending on your preferred level of heat). Heat gently for about 5 minutes.
- Trim the ends off the asparagus, and remove any tough stems from the kale. Cut each vegetable to your desired size.
- Add the vegetables to the broth, along with the cooked spelt and plenty of black pepper. Continue to cook gently for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve warm, garnished with spring onions and fresh coriander.