On its own, the soup is a punch of health, a soothing bowl of bright, fiery broth—it's basically a hot green juice, with extra chile. But, as Swanson told me, "The other thing that makes it great is the way it's wonderful on its own, but also great over just about whatever you've got on hand, making a one-bowl meal a breeze." Adapted slightly from Near & Far (Ten Speed Press, September 2015).
Serve with: poached eggs, hot white beans, soba noodles, or brown rice. And top with: chopped black olives, lemon wedges, toasted almonds, shaved green onions, or roasted, sliced mushrooms (or other oven-roasted vegetable). —Genius Recipes
As the water heats, combine the garlic, basil, cilantro, mint, ginger, olive oil, chiles, almonds, salt, lemon zest, and honey in a food processor. Blend until smooth, thinning with a couple of tablespoons of cold water and scraping down the sides along the way, until the mixture becomes as smooth as possible.
Taste and adjust to your liking; the paste should be strong and spicy.
Just before serving, add the paste to the simmering water and stir well. Dial back the heat at this point; you don't want it to return to a simmer, but you do want it very hot.
Taste and adjust the seasoning—a bit more salt or a squeeze of lemon juice. (Editors' note: Don't skimp on the lemon!) Ladle into bowls with your chosen accompaniment and enjoy on its own or topped with any of the suggested toppings.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.