Backlog Bistro | Not Your Noni’s Cryptobiote

Poor Sam Bridges! Has to carry a billion pounds of cargo all over the place and only has a 6 pack of Monsters and a jar of grubs to come home to! How about a hot and comforting bowl of soup instead Sam? 

Soup-rise!

Cryptobiotes, those ubiquitous little grubs Fragile pops into her mouth like candy. To Sam Bridges, the main character in Death Stranding, they are also an important…snack? Supplement is probably a better word for it I suppose given he by no means seems to enjoy eating them.

For those of you who have played Death Stranding, even just a few minutes, then those little flesh colored invertebrates have popped up and made their unfortunate necessity known. They replenish a person’s blood supply and help counteract environmental conditions, especially Timefall rain. So, lots of health benefits if you’re willing and able to chomp one down!

I would not do well in the Death Stranding world for a lot of reasons, probably the least of which would be having to eat a cryptobiote, but still…that’s nasty and HELL NO However, being the empathetic gamer that I am, I hate to see my beloved Sam Bridges choking these things down on a regular basis. He also needs to cut back on the energy drinks, but whatever. He carries like 200+ lbs. of cargo all across the country, the man can do as he pleases!

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Anyway, my brain got to thinking, do the cryptobiotes have to be alive when eaten or is that merely just convenience? What if you could cook them? If nothing less that might make them more palatable right? Sure…let’s run with that train of thought!

So, here we are in my kitchen making Cryptobiote Minestrone!

Calm down, take a breath, put your head between your knees…listen to me now, I didn’t use any grubs, bugs, worms or any other creepy crawlies in this recipe. Point of fact this soup is actually vegetarian! Huzzah! Rejoice! So, what makes this a “Cryptobiote Minestrone”, you might ask? Well, when trying to think of an ACTUALLY palatable substitute for the ethereal maggot portion of this recipe, gnocchi seemed like just the thing. They even kind of look like those chubby grubbies…just don’t think that way when you are trying to eat. Non bene, as my husband’s very Italian grandfather would say.

That’s also where the whole idea for making it a minestrone came from as well. I’ve never been a fan of just eating a plate of gnocchi in any form and my husband would practically lay down his life for a good bowl of soup so *poof* soup it is. Also, since the whole idea of cryptobiotes is surrounded by their supposed health benefits the recipe had to be packed with lots of healthy things too. Any good Noni worth her salt will tell you that aside from a kiss on the forehead from her, a hearty bowl of minestrone will cure whatever ails you.

The Recipe Pho-down 

  • One large white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced (or 2 tsp from a jar*)
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil **
  • 2 hefty pinches of salt***
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more to make it spicier)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth****
  • 3 (14 oz) cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup of (fresh or frozen) cut green beans
  • 1 bag of gnocchi
  • 4 cups of spinach leaves

*I’m not Anthony Bourdain, jarred garlic is perfectly fine.

**Fresh vs dried will make a taste difference here, but again, you do you.

*** Depending on what broth you choose will depend on how much salt you need to use. The bouillon paste takes care of my salt, but a boxed or homemade broth may require more. You can always add more salt, but it’s hard to get it back out! Pro tip!

****I use the heavenly godsent that is Better Than Bouillon paste to make my vegetable broth, but you can use whatever you like. In the words of Yoda “Matter it does not!”

Here’s What You Stew

Sauté your onion and garlic in the olive oil. Toss in the basil and crushed red pepper. Once everything is starting to get fragrant add in the broth, tomatoes and green beans. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the gnocchi and spinach and simmer for another 5ish minutes. Voila! A soup fit for the bedraggled porter in all of us!

And like a lot of things in life, and much like the game Death Stranding, it’s not for everyone and it doesn’t need to be. Now eat your damn soup and maybe call your grandmother once and a while eh??!!


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