Spicy Soup with Spring Onions

The chefs at the Hyatt Regency in Adelaide, Australia, developed this inspired soup as a daily special. I found it simple but classic in its clarity and subtle taste. They combined modest ingredients – vegetables, seasonings, stock – into a most satisfying treat.

The vegetables are first stir-fried in the wok. This imparts a lovely smoky flavour to the dish. chicken or vegetable stock is then added and, as with any soup, a good stock is essential to its final flavour. The Chinese leaves bring a gentle sweetness.

To make a more substantial one-dish meal of this soup, just add cooked rice or wheat noodles or serve it with rice. The soup can thus be a perfect opener for any meal, or it may be a meal in itself. Use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) Chinese leaves (Peking cabbage)
  • 100 g (4 oz) button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspooon salt
  • ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 fresh red or green chillies, seeded and finely shredded
  • 4 whole spring onions, finely shredded
  • 5 sprigs of fresh coriander

Method

Cut the Chinese leaves into fine shreds. Finely slice the mushrooms.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the Chinese leaves and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the mushrooms, salt, pepper and soy sauce and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the stock, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the cabbage is very tender.

Stir in the chillies and spring onions and continue to simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the coriander sprigs.

Ladle into a large soup tureen and serve immediately.

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