The life of this rice cake and spinach soup is in the broth. Beef bone broth made from beef shank bones. Simmered for four hours, some of the bone marrow and the ligaments liquefied and became part of the broth. When chilled, the broth turned jelly-like. So richly concentrated it was.
Each spoonful of the soup tastes of bone marrow that cannot be seen but can be clearly made out by the tongue, the palate and every nerve inside the mouth. And the rice cakes soak up some of that goodness while, at the same time, expelling some of their starch into the liquid making it just a tiny bit thicker.
I don’t know if a soup this simple would taste just as good if made with a less concentrated broth, or if chicken broth will do. You can substitute, if you like, but I really think that it’s the beef that did the job on this one.
- Bring the broth to the boil.
- Drop in the rice cakes and cook over medium-high heat, covered, for about seven minutes.
- Taste the broth. Add salt and pepper, if needed (the rice cakes would have soaked up some of the saltiness and the broth might taste bland at this point).
- Throw in the spinach, pushing the leaves down into the broth. Lower the heat, cover and cook for another two to three minutes.
- Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with toasted garlic bits and cilantro.
- Squeeze a lime or lemon wedge over the soup before digging in.