Just when you think you’ve had every type of soup out there, something new comes along. Like this recipe for Kombu Egg Soup sent in by Aaron Blaisdell for the Primal Cookbook Challenge.
As Aaron so rightly reminded us, “sea vegetables are often an overlooked component of our ancestral diet, even among us primal types.”
Kombu Egg Soup is incredibly nourishing and while the flavor of sea vegetables might be an acquired taste, in this soup you’ll find it to be fairly mild. But what are sea vegetables, exactly? We’ve featured this food group (otherwise known as algae) as Smart Fuel before, but the quick version is this: sea vegetables are in most cases some version of seaweed, whether it be nori (the dried seaweed that sushi is wrapped in) or something like kombu.
Kombu is sun-dried kelp, black in color and sold in strips that are about an inch wide and six or seven inches long. Packages of Kombu can be found in some grocery stores and at many Asian markets. In this soup, kombu flavors the broth and can be left in or discarded before eating. What it leaves behind are easily absorbed minerals (especially iodine) and a variety of vitamins, such as B-12. Kombu has been considered a health food and a base for broth in Asia for centuries, although for many of us in the west, it’s just catching on.
Kombu simmered in beef broth creates a rich and complex broth, ready for anything you want to add to it. Aaron’s favorite combination is sliced carrots and hardboiled eggs, for flavor and protein. He leaves the eggs whole, but you could also slice the eggs at the very end for easier eating.
3-4 cups water
2 cups beef stock (more for richer stock; chicken stock may be substituted)
1 five-inch long piece of dried kombu, cut into thin (1/2”) strips
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) miso paste
1 carrot, pre-cooked or raw, sliced into discs (carrots saved from home-made stock work perfectly)
4-6 hard boiled eggs, peeled but left whole (preferably from pastured hens)
Sea salt to taste
Bring water and kombu slices to a gentle boil.
Add miso paste and stir.
Simmer for four minutes. Stir once more, then remove kombu pieces from broth or leave them in. Your choice.
Add carrots and whole eggs and simmer for four more minutes. Turn off heat, add salt to taste and stir well.
Pour into large soup bowls and savor as the steam lifts your spirits! The warm, rich broth is the perfect foil for the dry yolk. If Aaron really wants a sea-weed kick, he sprinkles a little dulse on top of the finished soup (dulse is another variety of sea vegetable and can be bought ground up, to use as a seasoning.)