Do you ever stumble upon a recipe that changes the way you think about food?! Somali Soup was one of those recipes for me. I am a huge fan of 177 Milk Street. I actually pay for their content! Which seems weird when there are so many free resources online, but it is totally worth it!
While I was surfing their site, I came across Somali Chicken Soup. I watched the accompanying video with Chris Kimball and Nimco Mahamud-Hassan. Nimco mentioned in Somalia they put their salad on their soup. I decided to give it a try. When I did, my mind was blown!
I’m always trying to find new ways to incorporate veggies into both mine and my client’s diet. I had to find a way to make this Somalian inspired chicken soup for my clients!
I am a personal health cook, so I cook in my client’s home. This comes with its own constraints. As much as I would love to try authentic Somalian soup (I really really would), I needed to simplify the recipe as well as make it more paleo compliant.
Here is what I came up with. My clients have all loved it as do I. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.
To see more of my adventures and Paleo-ish/ Mostly Low-carb food, what I am currently cooking, and how I prepare for hunting season, follow me on Instagram or Facebook!
1fire roasted red peppernot traditional, and optional
4clovesgarlic roughly chopped
cilantro stems chopped
1tablespoonsea saltto taste
2lbschicken thighsboneless, skinnless
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2cabbageany color, shredded
1bunch radishessliced very thinly
juice of 1/2 lime
In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown onions with a little oil, over medium-high heat.
Add spices and garlic stirring continually until you can smell them.
Add in tomatoes. Use the liquid from the tomatoes to deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom as the juice sizzles.
Turn down the heat to low and carefully add the broth and water.
Stir in cilantro stems and salt
Gently place the chicken in your broth and simmer for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, mix all the salad ingredients together.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from heat.
Take chicken out and either cut or shred into bite-sized pieces.
Replace chicken in the broth, stir in lime juice
Serve soup in a large bowl, warm, with the salad directly on top
Tips and Tricks
You can buy berbere seasoning, here is my favorite. Most other brands contain salt. If you buy a blend containing salt, you will need to adjust the amount of salt you add to the soup. Here is a recipe if you would like to make your own. Berbere is delicious so be prepared; you will want to use it in other ways.
You can fire roast your own peppers. I fire roast all sorts of peppers all the time because it adds a lot of flavor. Here is how. I rinse off the pepper while gently rubbing off the chard skin, instead of letting it steam. If you don’t have a gas range, you can use a broiler. You can also skip this step if you want to simplify the recipe.
Store soup and salad separately, for leftovers heat up soup then add the salad
Try adding salads on top of other soups. This same salad is great on green chili
If you are a little short on broth, just add enough water to total 6 cups. If you have more broth use it. I highly recommend bone broth, by the way…. If you aren’t familiar with my bone broth preaching ways
This is a great recipe to use up those cilantro stems you have left over from another meal. You could even store the stems in the freezer until you are ready to make your soup. If you have the leaves, throw them in the salad, if you just have the stems, no worries
A mandolin will make all the slicing for this recipe easier. Here is the one I use. If you do use a mandolin, PLEASE BE CAREFUL, I have cut myself sooo many times on a mandolin, a few times pretty badly. You can protect yourself by wearing a protective glove.
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Gina Shively is a Personal Health Cook and American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Health Coach located in Anchorage Alaska. Her background includes a Bachelor’s of Science in Physiology from the University of Wyoming. For the past six years, she has lived in Alaska, where she can’t get enough of the active Alaskan lifestyle that for her includes hunting, fishing, hiking, and the occasional weekend race. She loves to cook for people and enjoys the challenge of making healthy food taste delicious. Her family includes two young boys, two packgoats, and a rambunctious Weimaraner, as well as a very patient husband.