There are several variations of soybean paste soup, and the chard soybean soup that my mom makes is one of my favorite kinds. More so than cooking, my mom specializes in growing fresh chard in her back yard all year around (yes, it's possible in Southern California) which is a key ingredient to this soup. Whenever she makes chard soybean soup at home, the chard is so fresh that the soup is full of its chardy flavor. If chard is not available, spinach also makes a surprisingly delicious combination with soybean paste soup.
Here is a picture of the chard field in my parents' back yard. What's in the front row is garlic chive followed by chard in the back and to the right.
While in the backyard, I also got a shot of an apple tree. This picture (and the chard field) was taken quite a while ago, on our visit this Spring. It's already autumn now and those flowers turned into amazingly juicy sweet fuji apples. :D
Ingredients for 4 servings
water (4 cups)
dry anchovy (6 to 7, large)
soybean paste (4 tbl)
chard (2-3 bunch)
garlic (1 tbl, minced)
green onion (1 tbl, minced)
1.Wash chard in running water, and boil for no longer than 3 minutes.
2.Drain and squeeze out water completely. One ball of squeezed chard makes approximately one serving.
3.Add soybean paste, minced garlic and green onion.
4.Fold in the garlic and green onion. Mix well, and set it aside for 10 minutes or so.
5.Meanwhile, make anchovy stock by boiling water and dry anchovies. Fish out anchovies after boiling at least 5 minutes.
7.Add clams to anchovy stock and bring to boil.
8.Add chard mix into the stock and boil for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add a little bit of soy sauce, salt or ssamjang, if available, to your taste.
Soybean Paste Stew