Myrique balsam and mugwort: the touski soup reinvented
Sweetgale and mugwort for a delicious recipe!
Sweetgale and mugwort are two forest spices that can have multiples of uses. Among these, we can enhance the taste of a soup or a dish. Its name comes from “all that’s left”, “touski” soup is a great all-purpose solution to incorporate these two essential spices.
In order to avoid food waste and make your grocery bill profitable, let’s be creative in finding a use for them! The idea came to my mind, because at the end of the week, it is not uncommon that we end up with several leftover vegetables that have not been fully used in previous recipes.
Why use sweetgale and mugwort?
Sweetgale is mainly used in cooking to season soups and stews, but can also be delicious with game. The flavor of this spice is similar to that of balsam fir and jasmine.
In the same vein, mugwort is used in gastronomy for more fatty dishes. Mugwort can also be infused into all kinds of broths or casseroles and pairs beautifully in a variety of flavors!
For me, here’s what i had in my fridge:
- 2 small yellow zucchinis, diced
- 1 orange pepper, cut into strips
- ½ cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 onion, diced
- A few chopped cabbage leaves
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 Thai chili, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ pressed lime
Obviously, you can get hold of these ingredients, but it would be nice to grab what you have on hand!
To add a little extra, here are some suggested ingredients: Shrimp, mushrooms, kale, ginger, carrots, spinach, broccoli, celery, cilantro, leek, bean sprouts, etc.
In addition, we often already have several useful ingredients on hand, such as canned, dry ingredients, spices, etc. So I used:
- Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp. soup
- 1 can of coconut milk (which I always forget in my cupboard)
- 1 can of lima beans
- 500 ml of chicken (or vegetable) broth
- Dehydrated shallots
- Pepper, salt, sweet balsam (substitute for bay leaf!) And wild mugwort
- 1 empty tea bag (to be filled) or an infuser
- In a large saucepan, pour the oil and brown the harder vegetables. These are cauliflower, zucchini, and onion.
- Meanwhile, prepare the spice infusion by incorporating the balsam and mugwort into the sachet (or infuser), then seal it tightly.
- Add the other vegetables to the pan: the pepper, cabbage, tomatoes and Thai chili. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring.
- Stir in the coconut milk, broth, shallots, lima beans, lime juice, salt and pepper then bring to a boil.
- Place the sachet of spice in the pot, making sure it is well submerged in the broth. Then, simmer 5-6 minutes so that the infusion releases all its flavor.
- Finally, remove the sachet and mix well to even out the taste. Serve the soup with the green onions on top and enjoy your creation!