Roughly chop the vegetables and put them in a large saucepan with the remaining ingredients except the kombu and tapioca. Bring close to boiling point and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, add the kombu and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids.
Return the liquid to a clean saucepan and add the tapioca. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring regularly to prevent the tapioca from catching, for 10 minutes or until you notice only a small dot of starch in the middle of the tapioca: the outside will be translucent. Pour the tapioca into a sieve and briefly drain then pour the tapioca out onto a flat tray to cool. Refrigerate in an airtight container until required.
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