I consider soup as one of the more patriotic culinary symbols any country or culture can have. It does not require a particular type of meat ingredient or cooking utensil. All it takes is boiling water and all the local ingredients you dare put in.
A sad reality is that soup often originated from the lower income class of a society. Those that cannot afford higher quality ingredients and had to make do with the cheapest and least sought after produce. Surprisingly, the lower cuts of meat and vegetables were hardly devoid of flavor. Although less tender and rougher in texture, these cheaper ingredients tend to offer more nutrients. And the low, slow and immersed cooking that tougher ingredients require allows the development and extraction of more intense flavors.
A famous Chinese chef once said, “when you have good stock, you can make good soup.” I totally agree. For me, the best soup stock comes from shrimp shellings. The last time we had some shrimp leftover from Turo’s seafood grilling Sunday lunch assignment, I knew a shrimp-based soup was in order.
It was a Chinese food night and what better soup to go with it than shrimp & corn soup. Here’s how I did it.
I cooked sweet corn kernels in shrimp stock.
Chopped up some shrimp, tofu and leeks and added them into the soup.
Added the yolk of an egg and a little cornstarch mixture for a thicker consistency.
With fresh ingredients, a rich soup stock and a well-matched menu, your soup is always good.