Leek, Chinese mushroom and cabbage soup

30 Jul

My goal was to create a leek and mushroom soup of sorts, but I always forget how much more body Chinese mushrooms have than the mushrooms I used to cook with in the U.S. (usually button mushrooms).  This is mostly because I couldn’t afford more expensive, flavorful mushrooms back then.  I bought a lot of mushrooms in the wet market today and only spent just over 1 USD on them because they are so fresh and abundant here.  However, my desire to make a non-Chinese-food tasting leek and mushroom soup in vegetable broth failed.  This recipe is very Chinese tasting.

I combined vegetable and chicken broth because I didn’t have enough vegetable bouillon. I added cabbage to give the soup more flavor and to fill me up when I eat it for lunch this week.  The seasonings definitely made the soup cross the point of no return as regarding Chinese flavors, but the end result is delicious and clean-tasting (which is my way of describing very fresh, home-cooked Chinese food that noticeably differs from the saltier, oilier – though tastier – dishes you get in restaurants here).

Here’s some eye-candy in the form of mushroom selection in a street-side market in Dali, in Yunnan Province:

1 small head cabbage, cored, 1-inch think slices
1 bunch Enokitake mushrooms
2 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 small leeks
5 cloves garlic, sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
vegetable/chicken broth
1-2 T. soy sauce
1 t. rice vinegar
1 T. hengshun vinegar
1-2 T. yellow sriracha sauce
black pepper

Saute leeks and garlic in oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.  Add the cabbage and stir for another few minutes.

Add 6 cups broth and bring to a boil.  Boil until cabbage begins to wilt.  Add salt, soy sauce, vinegars, sriracha sauce and black pepper.  Let cook for 1 more minute until flavors are combined.


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