Bitter melon is an ingredient that you either love—or don't. Chef Dennis Lee of California's Namu Stonepot restaurants, and Kristyn Leach, of Namu Farm, which provides the restaurants with Asian produce, both adore it. Lee thinks it speaks to their appreciation of all aspects of life that are both bitter and sweet. This is a riff on a soup he grew up eating. Read more about Leach and Lee.
Dried anchovies add rich flavor to soups and stews or can be eaten as a snack. Kombu (dried kelp) is used to add umami to many Korean soups. Some large grocery stores sell these Korean pantry staples, but you may need to visit your local Korean or Asian market or order them online.
1 1/2 cups
418 calories; fat 36g; cholesterol 81mg; sodium 421mg; carbohydrates 2g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 24g; saturated fat 14g; vitamin a iu 136IU; potassium 149mg.