When the weather is cold, when my hands and feet are white and when it's air conditioning outside, I make soup. Not just any soup! But the kind of soup that gives you some sort of 'chi' feeling to your body. I don't know why, but somehow, someway, something tells me it's good for me.
What you see in the picture above is what I call, the "Level 4 Chi Soup." In my world there are 10 levels of chi, level 1 being the type where its distinct enough for you to know there is a hint of "chi" and level 10, the type that makes blood spurt out from every hole in your body. Level 4 is perfect for the weather now, because it's just rain. If I'm somewhere that is snowing then I'd probably bring it up to a 7.
In the soup I made, there are root vegetables, garbanzo beans and smoked ham. Don't ask me why ingredients like that produce "chi", because it is difficult for me to explain. The only thing I can tell you is that you will feel it when you eat it, unless you like lying to yourself.
Besides the "chi" factor, boiling root vegetables will give you a better soup base. I used carrots, green radishes, onions and potatoes. The starch from the potatoes will work the soup, making it thicker as you simmer. Carrots for sweetness. Radishes for a mild peppery flavor and "chi"(don't ask why). Onions for flavor. Imagine how your taste buds will like a deliciously thick soup that has the sweet aroma of onions, peppery tones from the radish and sweetness from the onions.
If you have taste buds like mine, you would have immediately spotted a missing element. Acidity. Yes, I got that covered too, it's just not shown in the picture. I added 2 medium tomatoes, quartered with seeds. Yep. It's perfect.
1. In a stock pop, boil a slab of smoked ham with water 4 times its weight. That means, if you have a 500g slab of smoked ham, you use 2 litres of water. Simmer for 30 mins.
2. Add in carrots, radishes, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. For a 500g slab of smoked ham, I used 1 medium carrot, 1 white onion, 1 medium radish, 2 peeled russet poatoes and 2 quartered tomatoes.
3. Add 1 tbsp of white peppercorns and 1 tbsp of dried herbs(I used rosemary, oregano and thyme). Simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the smoked ham, dice it up and throw it back into the simmering stock. Then I add 1 can of chick peas(garbanzo beans). Simmer for 5 mins then turn off the stove.
5. To serve, place the ingredients in a bowl, then ladle over hot stock. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, crack black pepper and sprinkle a little salt. Great with bread.