Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shiitake & Cabbage Soup

While talking to my bestie today I fell into one of my usual slumps. Slumps are only curable by cooking, so I headded into my fridge.

It all started with some napa cabbage. I don't know why I bought it because really, it's one of those things that torture you. It sits and hangs out in the cripser drawer and you wonder "what on earth am I going to make with you?"

And then it happened... Like magic. I saw my jar of dried shiitake mushrooms. I had been saving them for something special. It would become part of my cheering up party! I had 101 Cookbooks' Porcini Mushroom Soup once, I decided to use it as my base for my more.. Asianified version. Please note the numbers for salt and pepper are really loose. I tend to like a lot of white pepper in all of my soups, some people prefer less so just use your own judgement :)

Shiitake Cabbage Soup

  • 5oz dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 coins ginger, smashed
  • 3 shallots, chopped OR 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme
  • 1/4 tsp fresh minced rosemary
  • 4 leaves napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  1. Give the dried mushrooms a quick rinse to get rid of any grit, then let them soak in 4 cups of simmering hot water until soft, maybe 20 minutes or more depending on the size of your bowl. Squeeze out excess liquid from mushrooms and slice them roughly. Keep the mushroom liquid for later.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot and saute shallots or onion on medium heat until fragrant. Lower to medium low and add herbs and garlic, let cook 1 more minute and add mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook for 3 - 4 minutes, don't worry if they get a little sticky with the pot.
  3. Add the soy sauce, broth, 1 cup of water, and the ginger. Bring to a simmer and add the cabbage. Allow the cabbage to wilt. Then season with white pepper and salt (if needed).
  4. Drizzle the seasame oil on top and remove the ginger. Serve hot. Note: if you want to add some sort of protein source, I suspect tofu cubes would work well.

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