I wrote about making kimchi a few posts ago and the kimchi has now fermented into its hot, tangy, spicy, lovely self. Sauerkraut it isn't--but I love the mix of the hot, the garlic, the ginger with the cabbage, onion, and scallion. It is now part of our "flu protocol" which we'll start today (more on the flu protocol later) because of its reported action against SARS and respiratory illnesses.
It has gotten cold here, at least, chilly in the mornings. And there is nothing nicer on a cold day than hot soup. So I made kimchi soup--not an authentic Korean recipe, although you can find those with google. I knew what I wanted: something hot and tangy, spicy, a touch sour and brothy. I figured the kimchi I made last week would work great as a base.
I used four or five BIG tablespoons of kimchi and sauteed that with some more garlic and onions. Then I added some chicken broth and tossed in some other veggies, celery and carrots and a tiny potato. Got all that to a boil, then backed off to simmer. Added some hot pepper flakes and sea salt. Ummmmm, now we're talking. Then--and this may sound as awful to you as it did to me when I first thought of it: sardines. Yes, a can of sardines. It was a total surprise--and very, very good. I recall thinking I could always toss the soup on the compost if it was awful because of the sardines, but man, I wish I'd been doing this for years. The sardines work great in a soup. They stay firm, add a lot of flavor, and are mild in the midst of hot garlicky pepper broth. I added some noodles to it and voila, a wonderful kimchi soup!
For me, this soup is a winner, and a very pleasant way to eat the kimchi. See, food IS medicine. Your body requires nutrients--and doesn't require synthetic chemicals, which is what all drugs and most processed foods are. Give your body the nutrients it needs and you'll feel good and healthy. Deprive your body of nutrients (by taking drugs and eating processed foods) and you'll get sicker and sicker. Simple. More simple than it is, of course, but that is how I think about foods and medicine.