The Best Winter Soups: Around the world in 8 Broths
The humble broth - with a history that stretches back almost as long as cooking itself, this simple meal has been known to nurse ailments, mend broken hearts and aid digestion.
Like many ancient dishes, this simple soup goes by many names “caldo” in Spanish, “bouillon” in French and in recent years it has been the latest “food trend” to rise to popularity in the health and wellness spheres.
For the best health benefits, both in terms of nourishing the body and providing comfort for the soul, we can take inspiration from the dishes that have stood the test of time.
So here’s our round up of 8 broths from around the world that have been preserved through the generations and are a great way for you to bring a taste of faraway flavours to your home kitchen.
Dashi can be found in many popular Japanese dishes such as ramen or for cooking and flavouring sushi rice.
This popular broth is more than 800 years old, and was originally made from Japanese spring water kombu (a type of kelp with a rich briney flavour). Nowadays you can find different varieties of dashi using shiitake mushrooms, sardines, anchovies or katsuoboshi (dried and smoke bonito fish flakes).
Simple to make and packing a punchy umami flavour, Dashi is perfect with noodles and is a great home remedy for colds and sore throats.
This classic broth originated in the north of Vietnam in the late 19th Century, drawing inspiration from a combination of local flavours, French colonial influences and Chinese ingredients.
This mix of cultures has become synonymous with the modern cuisine of Vietnam, as chefs have incorporated foreign techniques to create something entirely unique to the region.
For a nice flavourful broth, you ideally want bones and cuts of meat high in collagen, so you can try marrow, knuckles, and feet - cheap off-cuts you’ll find at a local butcher.
For the aromatics, spices are typically wrapped in a cheesecloth and left to soak in the broth - classic additions include cinnamon, cloves, star anise, ginger, cardamom and coriander.
Italian Cappelletti in Brodo
A staple of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, Cappelleti in Brodo is one of the most traditional pasta dishes out there.
Some recipes for this meal of pasta in broth date back to the 13th Century priest Salimbene di Adam, and many believe this is where filled pastas first originated in Italian cuisine.
The broth for this pasta dish is traditionally made from chicken (bones, the carcass or sometimes even the whole bird) and vegetables, and is left to simmer for a minimum of three hours or throughout the day.
Filipino Seafood Sinigang
Often a home remedy for colds and sore throats, Sinigang is the taste of comfort in the hearts of Filipinos the world over (which is why we couldn’t create our Filipino cooking course without including it!) It’s a great dish for showcasing the bountiful seafood found in the waters around this resource-rich archipelago.
But what makes Sinigang stand out? The sour broth is typically made with tamarind in its younger, unripened form which gives a tangy aromatic note.
Nowadays chefs and home cooks alike are getting creative with different souring agents in the kitchen using fruits such as raw mango, guava and calamansi (a small green citrus fruit native to the Philippines).