Five Unusual Soup Recipes That Taste Great

7 06 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from moohaha

Soup is delicious and can be very good for you. It is also really simple, you just shove a load of ingredients in your Waring soup maker and you’re virtually ready to eat. It is a process there is little point in complicating unless you’re a top chef.

Vegetables, soup’s main components, are low in fat and full of vitamins, helping you to your all-important five a day. If you’re after just a basic soup that is good for you, you could do a lot worse than Mediterranean vegetable. Red peppers are full of vitamin C and tomatoes contain lycopene – an antioxidant that helps to fight heart disease. You should also add a bit of oregano which is known to be an anti-bacterial.

But, as is the case with many things, people take great joy in complicating and subverting the easy – the most obvious example being extreme ironing. It is true that the combinations of ingredients you can chuck into soup are almost limitless – something some people find it far too easy to take literally.

Crazy doesn’t always mean disgusting, though. Here are some of the most unusual, yet delicious, soups from around the world.

Kiburu soup

Mud soup anyone? This strange broth from the foot of Kilimanjaro is a mix of sweet bananas, beans and dirt. That dirt includes leaves, branches, twigs and soil – according to the locals it gives the soup a salty taste. It is also said to have a very positive effect on the health of those who eat it.

Bird nest soup

One of the world’s most expensive soups, this is made from the edible nest of the swiflet, a bird native to south east Asia. The saliva melts down to a gelatinous solution in water and is known by some as the “caviar of the east”. The first people to eat it are thought to be Tang emperors who existed around the eighth century. It apparently has many health benefits.

Shirako Soup

This delicacy from Japan and China is known colloquially as cod’s milk soup. Nature enthusiasts will know that the cod does not produce milk. The males, though, do produce sperm – this soup is made from the sac it is stored in. It can be raw or cooked – when cooked, the sac melts down and becomes creamy, a little like the consistency of custard.

Menudo

A Mexican speciality, menudo is made from cow stomach. This is stewed up with chillies, onions and oregano for up to ten hours. Its fans say that by the end of its huge cooking time, the trip is so tender it just melts away on your tongue. The dish is sometimes served with tortillas on the side.

Incidentally, Menuo was also the name of a Puerto Rican boy band formed in the 1970s.

Supu Soup, Tanzania

In these straitened times it is better to waste not want not – this Tanzanian soup does just that. Supu, in Tanzanian, means soup and this is a basic staple of the country’s diet. It uses pretty much every bit of a goat possible, including its lungs, heart, liver, head, intestines, tongue and stomach. Strangely the soup is eaten as a breakfast meal, but that may have something to do with its supposed ability to cure hangovers.

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