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Beef shank soup

Can you guys help me figure out how to make my soup have flavor despite a ridiculous number of food sensitivities? Here's what either I or my daughter can't have:
wine/most vinegars
all nuts and seeds (i.e. no sesame oil or seeds; no coconut milk)
any kind of squash or high-carb vegetable (following an anti-candida diet, doctors orders)

We can have herbs and some spices and apple cider vinegar and ginger. I'm usually pretty good at coming up with tasty dishes despite all of these limitations, but I'm a little stumped right now. Any ideas for these shanks I just braised? Indian spices maybe? Thanks!

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  1. Ginger
    Star anise
    Five spice powder
    dried shrimp
    Leeks (?) (are these considered allium?)

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yum! Sounds good. Yes, leeks are allium, but the rest sounds great! Thanks so much. I'll have to pick up some conpoy and dried shrimp. These all go in together, right?

      1. re: makinitgreen

        With ipsedixit's suggestions and a couple of other elements, you can make the clear broth variant of Taiwanese beef noodles, though you'd have to substitute the wheat noodles with something else (rice noodle, or perhaps shirataki).

        1. re: makinitgreen

          These all go in together, right?

          Yes, or you can mix and match depending on your tastes.

          Good luck.

      2. We make a simple hangover soup. OK, flavour profile isn't deep, but it is tasty...
        Beef shank (or beef bones), braise, add tomato juice & salt, simmer a bit.
        Thats it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: porker

          Sounds great! Need to try this sometime....but I think that tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, so may not work for OP.

        2. turnip onion garlic rutabaga all dente..... black pepper generously. chopped hard boiled eggs on the side and an iceberg wedge

          1. Might suggest Vietnamese flavors.....fish sauce, lemongrass, roasted ginger, star anise, cinnamon, rock sugar, and lime juice. Kind of a variation that I think ipse inspired. Plus I have been intensely craving pho in some chilly weather! :)

            Rice noodles could be added to the broth, as well as fresh cilantro and holy basil. This recipe is my favorite one as a starting place, though it clearly has some unallowable ingredients in the original like onions and scallions: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

            4 Replies
            1. re: 4Snisl

              Oh, this sounds fantastic! Can't do rice noodles or the rock sugar, but everything else sounds divine! Thanks so much. I'm saving these ideas for other dishes.

              1. re: makinitgreen

                Why not the rice noodles? I was under the impression that they were gluten-free. Or did I miss something else on your list?

                1. re: Kontxesi

                  Rice noodles are a starch, and on the anti-candida diet, I can't have any sugars are starches. Complicated, I know.

            2. Just a clarification to help with the community brainstorming:

              Alliums: onions, leeks, garlic, chives, scallions

              Nightshades: a huge and diverse family of potatoes and their relatives. Includes potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, tomatillos . Less obvious ones are goji berries and ground cherries. Paprika is from peppers in this family. Ground black pepper is from a different family.

              Sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshades!

              2 Replies
              1. re: meatn3

                All powdered peppers should fall in that category, right? Cayenne, etc?

                1. re: Kontxesi

                  Yes. So most chili powder mixes will be out too. Nightshade allergies can be quite tough since the spices often are not spelled out in ingredient lists.

              2. Ground dried mushrooms are a terrific flavor builder.

                1. I'd probably go with adding leafy greens like watercress near the end along with some lemon juice to help lighten the deepness of the beef. That's one version of lamb soup I make, although I add onions to it as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LMAshton

                    Yes, good idea. I made the soup tonight with the Indian spices, and it felt like it was all bass notes. I tried adding lime to brighten it, but it didn't really work. I'll try lemon next time with the greens.

                    1. re: makinitgreen

                      You could also try a small amount of vinegar or, say, a sourish apple juice. Something with acidity to liven things up.

                  2. Are fish okay? If so, you can melt anchovies into lots of things to give a nice umami boost.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pinehurst

                      Nice idea. Thanks for these suggestions! They're so helpful.

                    2. You may want to experiment with asafoetida. Don't let the initial scent put you off. Once it has mellowed in the dish it adds a sauteed onionish flavor.

                      Lovage is a helpful herb. It adds a celery flavor to food. A friend of mine says it is easy to grow. Hers passes her in height each year (she's 4'10" but still)! You can use it fresh or dried.