Soups are a common meal course world over and every country has its own specialty, using indigenous ingredients. Served hot and cold, the entrée is a good start to calm the hungry tummy before enjoying a delicious meal. Here’s a list of 10 soups from around the world, that use interesting ingredients right from dirt to fennel. Read on!
1. Meggyleves Soup
Traditionally a summertime delight in Hungary, meggyleves is a soup consisting of cherries and is served cold. Typically, sour cherries are preferred for this soup that has sweet-tangy flavours. The thickness is achieved by adding cream and an important ingredient is red wine. Cinnamon and sugar add aroma and sweetness to this beautiful soup which has light pink colours with blobs of red cherries. A treat for the tongue and eyes alike!
2. Kiburu Soup
A soup with unusual elements, kiburu is made by inhabitants residing near Mount Kilimanjaro who believe in using ingredients that surround them. Kiburu is a sweet flavoured soup that uses bananas and to complement the taste and there is coffee as well. But these two are not the star ingredients, the seasoning of dirt is! The natives think using dirt brings a natural saltiness to the soup and hence is an important component.
3. Binignit Soup
An interesting soup that is stewed with coconut milk, binignit is native to Philippines and has different versions across the country. It is more of a dessert soup and what makes it different is the use of locally available ingredients – all together – for an unusual blend. Yam, jackfruit, sago or tapioca pearls and glutinous rice are some of the elements that concoct the beautiful soup.
4. Pickle Soup
Pickling vegetables or fruits is basically preserving them for the seasons that they won’t be available in. While India has the masaledaar version, other countries simply use vinegar and salt to pickle vegetables. In this soup of Polish origin, cucumbers pickled with dill and vinegar are brought to a boil with the pickle liquid and just before the soup is almost done, flour or milk is added for the creamy texture. The burst of flavours is pungent yet something that lingers on for a long time.
5. Palm Nut Soup
This unusual soup from West Africa is made from the fruits of palm nut tree, where the red fruits are pounded and boiled for a good amount of time to deduce its pulp. The pulp is boiled in water which is used in the soup. It should cook for almost an hour until enough palm nut oil gathers on the surface. While some prefer to keep the oil, it can be removed for those who don’t like to see it floating on top. Palm nut soup is traditionally consumed with fufu, which is a dish made from yam.
6. Apple Soup
Apart from being regularly used in desserts, apples are also a part of several soup recipes which bring a fruity flavour and texture to them. The natural sweetness of apples is one of the reasons that it is added, especially in countries that prefer sweet soups. Carrots, tomatoes, parsnips and onions combined with apples, are some of the most loved soups in western countries.The wonderful melange of flavours is worth a try.
7. Pozole Soup
Pozole is a traditional soup from Mexico which is mostly prepared during celebrations. The most important ingredient for this soup is hominy – dried corn kernels that are paired with meat, pork being the most preffered. A simple seasoning of authentic Mexican spices brings out an appetizing soup that is quite a favourite in the country.
A berry found widely in most parts of Europe, elderberries appear similar to blueberries. They have an acidic flavour, which apparently tastes much better after cooking offering a deep purple colour with hues of dark red. Elderberry soup is a dessert soup concocted in Germany, traditionally served with little roundels of semolina dunked in.
9. Cheonggukjang Soup
This soup is a staple in Korea and is made from soybean paste. What makes it special is the process and the distinct smell. Soybeans are fermented for 2-4 days after which, they develop a pungent odour (disliked by many) and sticky thread like texture (similar to spider webs!). Cooked together with a few more fermented ingredients, this soup might have repellent whiffs but is a powerhouse of nutrition.
10. Coriander-Coconut Soup
The specialty of shorba is the use of aromatic and strong spices that lend a distinct flavour to the soup. Native to Middle East and Central Asia, shorba also made its way to India, way back in the Mughal era. Known in India as hara nariyal shorba, this soup uses coconut milk as the base and the green colour is because of coriander leaves and green chillies. A simples shorba recipe with minimal spices, this is an absolute delight to the tastebuds.
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp cumin seeds
A handful of curry leaves
1-2 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
1-2 tbsp chopped coriander
Lemon juice, as per taste
2-3 green chillies
In a chutney jar, grind the coriander leaves and green chillies together. Remove in a bowl and mix in lemon juice. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat the ghee and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds sizzle, add in curry leaves.
Add the green paste and saute for just about a minute, making sure not to burn the paste.
Now add coconut milk and stirring continuously, just about bring it to a boil.
Season with salt and serve.