I have always been intrigued by natural foods, and living off the land. But I didn’t know just how much you can literally live off that land! Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has opened up my eyes as to what you can eat, and what is better left to the cows!
When Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim was just a little girl, she was abandoned by her parents during the Korean War, because she was considered “just an extra mouth to feed.” During that time, she learned to fend for herself, and quickly learned how to pick “weeds” and make food from it. At the time, it was just for survival, but now Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches that these “weeds” are very healthy and cleansing and work as a wonderful body detox, especially after the winter months.
The following “recipe” is just a guideline, a lot will depend on what you can find, and your taste buds. But here I will share how Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim showed me to prepare this. Incidentally, this soup is wonderful after a strenuous Jung Suwon class, when you crave food, but need something light and healthy.
First, go outside and see what plants you can find. If you don’t know plants very well, you could go to a local health food store and buy some dandelions, it will work well.
Otherwise, here are some plants you could use:
Pick a bunch of very young leaves only. No flowers or old leaves – just the very young sprouts and tips of leaves. Wash very well in water with Kosher salt, several times. Chop into bite sized pieces (they are probably the right size if you picked them at their ideal “age.”)
Saute some onions and ground garlic in olive oil (if you prefer butter, that works too), until onion and garlic turn beige to light brown. Add half of the wild herbs and briefly saute. Add some flour (I use Shirley’s gluten free mix (see bottom of page), but you could use any gluten free combination you like, except, perhaps, coconut flour and almond flour.)
Brown the flour and then add either chicken broth, or water. I prefer water, as it lets the fine flavor of the wild veggis come through, but chicken broth is also very good.
Put this in a blender and blend until smooth. It should be nice and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste, but don’t overpower it. The main flavor should be the wild herbs. Finely chop the rest of the herbs and add into the soup, just slightly heating it.
And that’s it, it’s that simple! You could of course, get fancy and add a dollop of sour cream. Or, if you want it more “Korean” flavored, mix in some goju chang. (spicy red pepper paste.) Or you could add some croutons and even some chicken.
But, as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim points out, sometimes the simple things are the best! I happen to like this soup the simplest way possible!