Soup with a Difference (recipe)

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Soto Ajam with Quorn

Soto Ajam with Quorn

This soup is a bit different. It doesn’t simmer on the stove for a while. And no, it’s not a cold soup either! It’s a soup where you first prepare the ingredients and then you assemble it all when it’s time to eat.

It’s an Indonesian soup called Soto Ajam. In the restaurant at my previous job, an Indonesian cook would make this soup every now and then. It was popular: rumor would spread through the building in the morning: she’s making the soup! And, sweet as she is, she always made sure to have a vegetarian version as well¹.

This soup is made by adding together the following in a bowl (the amounts are for 4 people, so divide over four bowls):

– A boiled egg, in slices (the original recipe says half an egg per person, I’m happy to use one per person)

Chicken filet (1 per person), in pieces, fried OR Quorn pieces, about 50 gr/2 oz per person, also fried.

Vegetables, such as carrot, celery, leek, onion, bean sprouts: cut in small pieces and add 1 teaspoon of ginger powder. Then fry in a frying pan for about 5 minutes. Use about 300 gr/10 oz of vegetables for 4 people. I prefer to boil harder vegetables (carrot, celery) for a short while first, whereas bean sprouts, I only add at the very last minute to fry for about 1-2 minutes.

Potatoes (about 250 gr/ 1 lbs for 4), diced, fried with 1 tablespoon kurkuma (curcumin) and some salt and pepper. I tend to boil the potatoes first, for a short while, to soften them.

– Then the only other thing you need is some stock, for instance vegetable stock made the lazy way (from a cube). Use about 750 ml/ 26 fl.oz. for 4 people. Bring this to the boil and add 1 teaspoon sambal and 2 tablespoons ketjap. If you can’t get sambal (it’s a chilli paste), use some chilli peppers or anything to make it spicy (but not curry). Ketjap is an Indonesian soy sauce. It’s quite sweet, but if you can’t get it, use a different soy sauce.

Add the stock to the bowl and you’re ready to eat. You can have this as a starter for dinner. Or maybe have some crusty bread with it and use it for your lunch – I can eat half the (4 persons) amount for lunch (and save the rest for the next day – in different containers).


¹The recipe that you see here is not from her, it’s from a Dutch magazine called Lekker Leven.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

20 Responses to Soup with a Difference (recipe)

  1. JoAnn says:

    This looks like a very special treat… no wonder it generated so much excitement!

  2. gnoegnoe says:

    Would love the vegetarian version… Indonesian food is my favourite!

    • leeswammes says:

      In the recipe, it says you can replace the chicken with quorn – which is exactly what I did. But the original version is with chicken.

      • gnoegnoe says:

        Er… silly me 😉 *sorry* I had read past the soto AJAM title, but when I actually read “chicken” I guess stopped dead in my tracks 😉 I’ll remember now that your a veggie too!

      • leeswammes says:

        Ah, you’re suggesting that Soto Ajam means Chicken Soup! Makes sense. A vegetarian chicken soup, that’s quite a feat really! 🙂

  3. looks amazing. what is kurkuma though?

    • leeswammes says:

      Good question, I thought kurkuma sounded foreign and didn’t need translation, but it turns out the English is curcumin, it’s an Indonesian spice, derived from turmeric. It gives food a yellowish color. Can’t suggest a replacement if you can’t get it. Maybe just leave it out.

  4. Margot says:

    I love the idea of this soup where you have various ingredients already prepared and in the bowl and then the broth is added. It does sound like a special treat. Thanks for suggesting this.

  5. This looks good. Like another commenter, I’m interested in the vegetarian version. I’d never heard of quorn — I’m googling it now. Does it taste like chicken?

    • leeswammes says:

      It isn’t too different from chicken, I think. It has more of a meat texture than any other vegetarian meat-replacements that I can think of. It’s actual a brand, Quorn, and it’s made of mushroom microprotein, I believe. So it’s a fabricated, processed food stuff.

      It’s very low in calories and I like to use it in recipes that ask for meat chunks (as long as it does not need to be cooked for too long).

      Here’s the link to the quorn website:

      So, to be clear: the vegetarian version of the soup uses quorn instead of chicken but is the same in any other respects.

  6. Heather says:

    What an interesting way to make soup. YOu could custom make each bowl to deal with food allergies and dietary preferences. I am looking forward to trying this.

  7. Carin B. says:

    This sounds like a great recipe and not difficult to make which I am most definitely a fan of. Thanks for posting what Quorn was–I didn’t know what it was either! I may have to have a ladies’ night with some friends and try making this. It sounds yummy.

    Is the egg really important? I get sick everytime I eat boiled eggs for some reason (it’s really sad too because I love boiled eggs).

    • leeswammes says:

      No, the egg is not important. Just leave it out (although you could add it to your guests’ bowls of course!). It’s very easy to make. It’ll be ideal to make for your friends, you can prepare most beforehand, warm it and serve!

  8. PeachyTO says:

    This looks sooo tasty! I love potatoes in soups. Actually, I love potatoes anytime, haha.

    Just hopping by to say hello and thanks for stopping off at my blog during the hop last Friday. I look forward to reading more of your posts. 😉

  9. Beth F says:

    I love the sound of this — perfect for when family members have to eat at different times. As the summer progresses and the bounty of vegetables are found in the farmers market, I’m definitely trying this.

  10. Sherrie says:

    That looks and sounds so good! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

    Just Books

  11. I love the idea of throwing it all together at the last moment. Great idea!

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