RECIPE: Soup to spice up a new year

Say goodbye to the same-old soup recipes. Spice up your new year with fiercely flavorful (and oh-so-healthy) kimchi. Kellie Hynes for The AJC
Say goodbye to the same-old soup recipes. Spice up your new year with fiercely flavorful (and oh-so-healthy) kimchi. Kellie Hynes for The AJC

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Credit: Kellie Hynes

I made a lot of soup in 2020. Homemade soup is my soul food. It’s comfort in a cup, inexpensive, yet filling and nutritious. But now that my family has enjoyed soup on the regular for roughly 10 months, they no longer appreciate the magic of a perfect al dente noodle and have politely requested something different. Fine. They better hold onto their hats because this kimchi stew is a fiercely flavorful soup like no other.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented cabbage and veggies. There are as many kimchi variations as there are vegetables, and all of them are tart, tangy and delicious. Like other fermented foods, kimchi is a natural source of probiotics, which improve gut health and give tired immune systems (and taste buds) a boost.

ExploreNourish body and soul with these warming winter soups

You can find kimchi in the refrigerated produce section of most mainstream supermarkets as well as your favorite Asian specialty market. To make the stew, bring broth to a boil, add the kimchi, and simmer until the flavors come together and your house smells heavenly. Feel free to throw in the random vegetables that are close to wilting in your crisper drawer, and any cooked grains or rice, to make a hearty meal.

I’ve written this version as a vegan recipe, using soy sauce (not traditional) instead of anchovies (traditional) for umami. If you eat meat, feel free to use anchovies, or fish sauce, and add whatever cooked pork, chicken or beef is in the fridge. Whether you make your stew with just the basics, or use it to reinvent last night’s leftovers, you’ll never make the same kimchi stew twice. So it’s always exciting, like a new recipe for a new year.

ExploreHealthy Cooking recipes
A new year calls for some adventures at mealtime, such as Kimchi Stew. Kellie Hynes for The AJC
A new year calls for some adventures at mealtime, such as Kimchi Stew. Kellie Hynes for The AJC

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Kimchi Stew
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 quart lower-sodium vegetable, chicken or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) jar of spicy fermented kimchi, with liquid
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) or 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 ounces firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1/2 pound cooked pork, beef, fish, chicken or hard-boiled eggs (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped quick-cooking vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, baby bok choy or mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice (optional)
  • 2 green onions or chives, chopped
  • Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the broth, soy sauce, kimchi and gochugaru, stirring to combine. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the diced tofu and any optional ingredients. Cook 5 minutes longer, or until heated through. Garnish with green onions or chives and serve hot. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, using vegetable broth and no optional ingredients: 130 calories (percent of calories from fat, 39), 13 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 831 milligrams sodium.
ExploreMore must-try recipes

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

In Other News