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Author Notes: 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). —Genius Recipes
Serves: 4 to 6
cups (1 liter) water
medium cloves garlic
cup (20 grams) firmly packed basil leaves
cups (35 grams) firmly packed cilantro leaves and stems
cup (7 grams) lightly packed mint leaves
A thick 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
small serrano chiles, stemmed
cup (45 grams) sliced almonds
teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
tablespoon runny honey
Poached eggs, hot white beans, soba noodles, or brown rice, to serve
Chopped black olives, lemon wedges, toasted almonds, shaved green onions, or roasted, sliced mushrooms (or other oven-roasted vegetable), to top
- In a saucepan, bring water just to a simmer.
- 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.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!