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FLAVORS KITCHEN Q&A

What’s For Soup-per? Broths to boost your spirits and immune systems during the rainy season. By Stephanie Roy photos by Rapeepat Boonmongkolwat

Herbal Tea Spare Rib Soup The main ingredient of the Herbal Tea Spare Rib Soup at Spice Story (G/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-7505, 02-4770905) is Singaporean wolfberry. This herb has a natural sweetness, promotes blood circulation, a healthy kidney and liver. It is also an anti-aging serum as it prevents premature graying and dimmed vision. Doesn’t hurt that the ribs are incredibly tasty.

French Onion Soup Onions have been proven to improve poor appetites and relieve coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Their high sulfide content also prevents the growth of tumors. Mixed with warm beef broth and two thick slices of provolone cheese, Tony Roma’s (G/F, Nai Lert Bldg., 87 Sukhumvit Rd, 02-254-2912) version of French Onion soup (B110) is also jammed packed with the magic ingredient.

Kaeng Som Tamarind helps to break fevers and is good for the digestive system as it relieves gas and has a slight laxative effect. It can also help in stabilizing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Try it at Once Upon a Time (32 Petchburi Soi 17, Pratunam, 02252-8629, 02-653-7857). Its spicy and tangy kaeng som (B179) comes with either cha-om omelet, crab, or shrimp.

Duck Noodle Soup Chinese star of anise and natural licorice are the herbs used in the duck noodle soup at Spice Story (G/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-7505, 02-477-0905). The former has been recommended throughout Chinese history for the treatment of morning sickness during pregnancy. It is also used as a digestive aid and its extracts have been an ingredient in many influenza-fighting drugs.

Tom Leuat Muu At Leuat Muu Samakkee (In front of Moobarn Prachanivet 2, Soi Samakkee, Prachachuen Rd., 081-402-0647), B25 gets you a clear soup with all the goodies like cubes of clotted pig’s blood, pork liver, heart, other entrails, slices of meat and lettuce. A good way to start your morning. If you prefer, you can also order a cup of rice to go with it (B7). Liver in general is 100 percent quality protein that contains a tremendous amount of essential vitamins like A and B12. The organ has also been linked to reducing fatigue.

Kaeng Liang Be good to your body and opt for Banana House’s (2/F, Duangthip, 68/1 Silom Rd., 02-233-8969) healthy choice with mixed veggies like pumpkin, gourd, baby corn, mushrooms and basil leaves, together with shrimps. Pumpkin contains high concentrations of cancer preventing carotenoids. The lutein and ziazanthinin in the big orange ball improves healthy vision and overall eye health.

Chicken Soup The streetside Khao Mok Gai Soi Convent (In front of Bua restaurant, Soi Convent, Silom Rd., 086042-4605) rolls out this perfect cure for a hangover (B30). It’s sour, spicy and stimulating with chunks of tender chicken, sliced onion and tomatoes. Ask for extra tomatoes as they contain lycopene. This anti-oxidant not only counteracts the free radicals that damage our cells, it’s also been linked to the prevention of lung cancer.

Pumpkin Soup This soup is a favorite in those places that have long winters— but we think it works fine for the monsoon season, too. We already mentioned pumpkin is healthy, but it’s also one of the greatest vegetables for soups because of its naturally creamy texture when blended. Of course, the one at B-Resto (27/12, Rangnam Rd, 02-640-1477) has some added cream for a truly velvety treat. Served with croutons, B120. n

Peter J. Vella

Hoping to win over drinkers unfamiliar with wine, Ernest & Julio Gallo and Siam Winery have come together to introduce two simple wines to our market, the Peter Vella Classic white and red. Over a glass of California chardonnay, we speak with Peter, Vice President of Winemaking and Senior Winemaster at Gallo. For more information visit www.siamwinery.com or call them at 02-5335600. What makes your wines unique? We take very traditional winemaking methods and we apply those to carefully grown grapes that we really manage hands-on to capture the fresh fruit. This is the style of wines we are making for the Thai market. We want that fresh fruit to come through. What is your proudest achievement? Lasting 44 years in the business. Also, seeing the evolution of wine in the United States, which went from a non-wine drinking to a wine-drinking country. And it took some 50 years. Thailand is such a small market, why bother? Because Thai people deserve great wine. We want to achieve the same thing in Thailand that we managed in the US, that is convert the population to winedrinking. What kind of personalities do your wines have? They are fun wines. These are wines you can drink and enjoy even if it is the very first time you have ever tasted wine. What is the secret to choosing the right bottle of wine? Knowledge and experience are really the key, but I also think you need to trust your instincts when you are purchasing a bottle. And don’t be afraid to ask. When was your first sip of wine? Oh gosh, I was probably six years old. I come from an Italian culture, but it was watered down—my grandfather didn’t want to give me straight wine! Mim Koletschka

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2008

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BK Magazine (Food)