Soft Beancurd and Spinach Soup

This simple but delicious and nutritious soup is easy to prepare and one you would often find on the table in China. Use soft beancurd: its custard-like texture and mild flavour work with the sugar to neutralize the metallic edge of the spinach. The bean thread noodles give substance to this warming soup.

Ingredients

  • 50 g (2 oz) bean thread (transparent) noodles
  • 750 g (l½ lb) fresh spinach
  • 225 g (8 oz) soft beancurd
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method

Soak the noodles in a large bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. When soft, drain them and discard the water. Cut the noodles into 7.5 cm (3 in) lengths using scissors or a knife. Remove the stalks from the spinach and wash the leaves well. Gently cut the beancurd into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes.

Put the stock into a pan and bring to simmering point. Add the bean thread noodles and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and the rest of the ingredients except the beancurd. Simmer for 2 minutes, then gently put in the beancurd. Continue to simmer the soup for a further 2 minutes to heat the beancurd through. Serve at once.