1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, peeled & finely minced (about 3 large cloves)1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled & finely minced (about 2" piece)
1/4 c. baby carrots (about 8 baby carrots)
1/4 c. parsnips, peeled & sliced crosswise into 3/8" rounds & then quartered (about 1 large parsnip)
3/4 c. celery, diced
1/4 c. fennel (bulb only), diced into 1/2" cubes
1/2 c. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced into 1/4" thick pieces1/4 c. Shaoxing rice cooking wine (found online or at international or Asian markets)
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce1 c. low-sodium organic beef broth1 c. low-sodium organic chicken broth4 c. water1/2 Tbsp. white rice wine vinegar1 Tbsp. oyster sauce, or to taste1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
1 c. Chinese (or green) cabbage, julienned3/4 c. broccoli florets, separated into pieces that are no bigger than 1 1/4" thick
1/2 c. red bell pepper, stemmed, deribbed, seeded, & diced (1/2 medium-sized pepper)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped & tightly packed
1/2 c. scallions (including green stalks), sliced crosswise into 1/4" thick rounds (about 8 large scallions)
Directions: In a large (10 qt.), nonstick stock pot, heat sesame oil. When oil is hot, add leeks, garlic, ginger, carrots, parsnips, celery, fennel, & mushrooms, & sauté on low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine & soy sauce until liquid volume has been reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Then stir in beef & chicken broth, followed by water, white rice wine vinegar, & oyster sauce. Season with salt, white pepper, & red chili pepper flakes. Simmer (on low), uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender & the soup's flavors have melded. In the last 7 minutes of cooking, add cabbage, broccoli, & red pepper. (These vegetables take less time to cook; they'll get mushy & lose their color if cooked for too long.) Taste soup & adjust seasonings as needed. Remove soup from heat & allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, & garnish each portion with cilantro & scallions. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 3-4. (Makes about 6 c.)
Variations: If you like, you can also add other vegetables to the soup -- i.e., mung bean sprouts, shredded daikon, bamboo shoots, baby carrots, snow peas, &/or sliced water chestnuts, etc.
If you are serving this soup as a main course, you'll need to give it more nutritional substance by adding protein & carbs. For instance, you could add a 1/2 c. silken tofu (diced into 1/2" cubes) and 2 blocks (or 4 servings) of dried chow mein stir-fry noodles (1/2 block per person). (This would be enough for 3-4 servings.) If you'd like to try other types of noodles, soba noodles would work as well. For other protein options, try steamed chicken, shrimp, or beef, or a combination of any of these selections. Also, a bit of melted miso paste would taste particularly good in the soup as well. (If you're going to add miso paste, don't add it until the soup has been removed from the heat & cooled for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, the heat will denature its nutrients.)
If you'd like your soup to have a bit more heat (with regard to piquancy, not temperature), sriracha sauce would also be a great addition.