Soups & Stews
Fenugreek greens, a Sindhi favorite, are the centerpiece of this hearty stew.
A wine-simmered dish of meat and vegetables is cooked in a dough-sealed pot is Alsatian through and through. It's an improvised meal of odds and ends that cooks for hours at low heat while you go about your business and emerges from the oven with enormous flavor.
You can get a bowl of green chili most anywhere in the American southwest, but New Mexicans are particularly proud of their chile verde, with its hunks of juicy pork shoulder and tart tomatillo-based sauce.
Salmorejo, gazpacho's richer, deeper, Spanish cousin is a cool, creamy tomato soup that transcends seasonality.
A hearty beef stock serves as the base for a rich soup of mushrooms and barley, a more elegant (but no less satisfying) version of the New York deli staple, elevated with fresh thyme and a squeeze of lemon juice.
The list of ingredients in a West African Peanut Stew often extends to okra, tomatoes, hot chiles, and other bright foils for the stew's intense richness, but it's the indispensable peanut that gives this dish its essential earthy character.
Eaten hot or cold, vegetarian or with shreds of beef, enriched with a dollop of sour cream and wisps of dill, the beet-based soup is the quintessence of good Eastern European cooking.
Southern Vietnamese cooks often simmer catfish steaks with caramel sauce, and use the fish's head and tail in this refreshing soup brightened with tamarind and pineapple.
The Indian antecedent to my favorite soup, mulligatawny, likely was a thin, spicy lentil broth. The British thickened it, added meat, but, thankfully, kept the glorious Indian spices.
A stew made from chana dal (yellow split peas), sambar is a spicy medium for vegetables from miniature eggplants to okra to pearl onions.
The trick to soup dumplings, seemingly miraculous shots of savory, meaty broth encased in steamed dough, is both simple and clever. They're made using a collagen-rich pork stock that gels as it cools; the jelly can then be sliced and mixed with ground pork and aromatics and used as filling. The soup reliquefies as the dumplings steam, ready to be slurped out upon serving. —Margo True, from "Secret Soup" (April 2004)
This savory pumpkin soup is served in Haiti on January 1, the anniversary of Haiti's liberation from France. It is said that the soup was once a delicacy reserved for white masters but forbidden to the slaves who cooked it. After Independence, Haitians took to eating it to celebrate the world's first and only successful slave revolution resulting in an independent nation.
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