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Author Notes: This is one of those go-to recipes that I make for sick friends or when there's just nothing in the house. Great for rainy days... or any day!
Plus you probably have everything you need already in the fridge or pantry except the kimchee - and a quart jar is usually less than $5.00 at your local asian market! —sgoyette
- 1 cup orzo (or any pasta you have handy)
- 1.5 tablespoons corn or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 one-inch piece garlic, grated or finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1 large tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cube bouillon (or about 2 quarts homemade stock) - any flavor
- 1 pint cabbage kimchee, chopped
- 3-5 eggs
- Bring salted water to a boil in a 1.5 or 2 quart saucepan. Add orzo. The orzo will cook while you make the soup. You can substitute any pasta you happen to have in the cabinet for the orzo, or even use rice - or leftover rice from another meal. If using orzo, cook to very al dente before adding to the soup and drain lightly - that is, leave a small amount of cooking water in the pasta to add to the soup. The gluten will give nice body to the finished liquid.
- In a small soup pot (I have a great 4 quart pot that I love), fry red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger in the oil. Be careful not to burn your ingredients. As the garlic and pepper become fragrant, add the tomatoes. Simmer briefly, then add the bouillon and 2 quarts of water, or 2 quarts of stock. Any kind of bouillon works - I like using Maggi beef flavor.
- Bring the soup base to a boil and add carrots. You can add any vegetables you like (or have in the crisper) to this recipe - green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. But carrots are usually the cheapest choice and add a nice sweetness to a spicy soup. Chop and add the kimchee with the liquid from the jar.
- Partially drain orzo and add to soup with leftover pasta cooking water. Stir, bring soup back to a boil, and boil for 3-4 minutes. The carrots and other vegetables should be cooked through but al dente. Turn off the heat. Add salt or other spices to taste, if needed. If using kimchee and bouillon, you probably won't need much if any salt.
- In a separate pan, fry as many eggs as bowls of soup you will serve. Fry the eggs to barely done - over very easy. Portion the soup into bowls. Slide an egg on top of the soup. When you eat it, you can puncture the yolk and let it flavor the soup. (If you don't like a runny yolk, just cook the eggs a bit harder.) Garnish with sliced scallions if you have any and enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner