Sunday, February 07, 2010

#4 Asian-Style Hot and Sour Soup

#4 Shiitake Mushrooms and Pak Choi Soup
With the Chinese New Year approaching it is an appropriate moment to go East for some inspiration.

What I like most about Asian soups is that they:
1. get ready Fast
You don't really have to spend hours and hours in the kitchen to have something nice for dinner. Just chop the vegetables, put in the boiling water and after a couple of minutes, serve.
2. the reduced time for cooking ensures most of the good stuff in the ingredients is still there when you start eating, which gives more nutritional value
3. don't need too much and too many ingredients, just the right ones.
4. are low-fat
5. offer feast for the eyes as well as for the stomach, as you can get creative with various shape cutters.

All this makes them a perfect choice when trying to eat healthy and put a couples of pounds off your waistline.

So, today's soup is inspired by the Japanese cuisine, but I added more flavours like in Chinese, so it's something in-between, I guess.

1 l vegetable stock
handfull of washed and trimmed French beans
1 medium sized carrot, chopped

5-6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup gr spinach
1 small pak choi - sliced lengthwise

1 tsp ginger puree

1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbs mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 red chilli - sliced
3 garlic cloves - sliced
green onion for decoration

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil, add the ginger puree, and the soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. Add the French beans and boil for 3-4 minutes, after that add the carrots, sliced mushrooms, and the pak choi, simmer for 2-3 minues. At the end add the spinach leaves, chilli and garlic. Simmer for one more minute and remove from heat.
Decorate with fresh green onion.

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