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Mexican Hot and Sour Soup

Mexican Hot and Sour Soup

It’s soup night, kids! And a few of us happen to be in the mood for Mexican food. And as you’ve probably guessed, I’m also a sauerkraut fanatic. That’s right, I like superfoods that happen to be savory. So hey, I’m going to throw sauerkraut in my soup.

Before you ask, it is true that boiling sauerkraut will kill the beneficial bacteria that are in the raw kraut.  But sometimes it is tasty cooked, so I sacrifice the probiotics in service to a particularly good dish and then, for good measure, finish with a little bit of raw kraut as a garnish for the probiotics.  Sauerkraut is also loaded with vitamin C, fiber, mineral rich sea salt, and glucosinolates which aren’t as impacted by heat and also have a positive impact on our health, so yes, I add sauerkraut to my soup and I stand by the practice.

But the Main reason I put sauerkraut in my soup is I consider OlyKraut to be a flavor package, so when I want to make a Mexican Hot n’ Sour soup for example, I indulge in Smoke and Kale. Aside for tossing in some diced garlic, or fresh oregano if I have it, Sash’s combo for Smoke and Kale, including the smoked jalapeno, does the rest. After all, who has time for food prep these days? Especially something this crazy good.

One more thing before we get started. Smoke and Kale brine, if you can get ahold of it, acts as a soup starter. With enough of this brine, which you can actually purchase at farmers markets in Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, and Portland as well as a few New Seasons and Co-ops, you can sub out some of the water listed in the following recipe.

So here goes. In a medium-sized soup pot, combine the following ingredients:

  • Three cups water; Substitute up to a half cup with OlyKraut’s Smoke and Kale brine where available.

  • 1 cup white beans

  • At least three diced cloves of garlic

  • Chopped vegetables—At least three cups. Choose as you like from: corn, carrots, kale, potatoes, and/or zucchini.

  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (taste it! You may not need much salt if you’ve added brine)

  • ½ or more cups OlyKraut Smoke and Kale

  • 1 ½  tbsp powdered cumin or equivalent in cumin seeds

  • <1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1-2 tbsp butter (optional)

  • Upon serving, top each soup bowl with a handful of cilantro and a slice of avocado.

On a low boil, cook the vegetables and spices to generate a broth. After about an hour, add cooked beans and potatoes, stirring often. (You can also cook beans separately, which will require soaking. Simmer another 45 minutes. Not a problem to add the kraut late in the process. Add garnishes last. Serve with toasted, seeded, and even a stale piece of bread if you want to be old school and a forkful of raw Smoke & Kale OlyKraut. This soup goes quite well with croutons and will definitely be better next day. Makes four servings.

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