Red Leaf Amaranth Soup

Amaranth. Is it a grain, seed or vegetable? While amaranth has been cultivated as a grain that is a good source of trace minerals and vitamins, the amaranth leaf vegetable is equally nutritious, particularly high in iron content. I hardly buy them till I saw the young tender Red Strip Leaf Amaranth (large green leaves with red stripes in the center) at the farmers market.

At the same time, after watching a cooking segment about how amaranth and gojiberries support healthy vision (or for myopic like myself - to slow down vision deterioration), I was inspired to go searching for amaranth leaf vegetable so that I can try cooking it at home. In the cooking segment, the chef made a clear soup of amaranth vegetable in homemade chicken stock. However, I am adapting it to a clear soup of amaranth vegetable and fresh tiny (Japanese) anchovy.

A word of caution though, is that amaranth vegetable is also high in oxalic acid which inhibits absorption of calcium when oxalic acid and calcium combine to form oxalates.

Red Leaf Amaranth Soup
1 knob thumb-sized ginger, slightly crushed
1/4 cup tiny fresh anchovy (optional)
1/4 cup gojiberries, re-hydrated in Japanese sake
1 bunch of amaranth leaves and tender stems
Water or chicken/vegetable stock

Directions: Boil water/stock with ginger, then add the fresh anchovy and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add the gojiberries and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the vegetables, and allow it to wilt down - taking about 5 minutes or less.

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