Vegetable Clear soup with rice vermicelli

1:34 AM

Its been raining here non stop for last couple of weeks. We hardly get to see the face of the sun these days. Hubby is irritated as the traffic jam keeps him on the road for a long long time, I feel frustrated as the clothes are not drying (with a 1 year something very active baby which is not less by any number) and the baby himself is annoyed for not being able to go out in the garden. Amidst all these stress simply love the weather. For me nothing is as good as being confined in the comfort of my house, watching the raindrops with a good book and a hot cup of coffee. Though these days I hardly get any chance to enjoy it by myself but I make most of the time when the baby takes his afternoon nap. Finished some long pending work of quilted bedspread and some paintings. The weather even inspired me so much that last week I even made some garden inspired cushion covers and also hand stitched some block printed curtains for our living room. Yes! Am feeling extra domestic these days. But its completely another story when the baby wakes up…then the only entertainment for me is to watch TV mostly my favourite cookery shows.

It’s a boon that we get to see channels like Discovery Travel and Living, Star world and NDTV good times. They air some real good shows on world culture, history and cuisine, which I love to watch. One such program is Kylie Kwong’s My China, which apart from showcasing some delectable dishes from Australia’s celebrity chef Kylie, also shows food cultures, habits and lifestyles of various provinces of China. I especially enjoyed the episode where Kylie visits her ancestral home in a remote village called Toishan, meets her distant relatives, cooks and eats with the fresh produce from family farm.   It’s a beautifully put together show that reveals the vast contrasts of China through the eye of an expatriate. Though this was her personal journey to discover China but at the end it almost takes the shape of a culinary travelogue spiced with many authentic Chinese dishes made in a modern way.

The dish that caught my eye was this soup stock or broth that she prepared from scratch and her choice of ingredients spelt ‘burst of flavour’ to me. My hands almost itched to try this one and when yesterday Hubby came home with a bag of fresh bok choy, celery and mushroom I instantly recognized the time. I had some rice vermicelli that Hubby bought from China. This soup is incredibly easy to put together all you need to do is, chop and boil. Within hardly 45 minutes we had two big bowlful of hot steaming aromatic soup ready in the table. The homemade chili oil accompanied it very well and we enjoyed our pleasing dinner watching the rain.

And rain reminds me of my favourite song by the ace singer Shubha Mudgal. This song beautifully depicts the essence of Indian Monsoon. Hope this will uplift your mood perfectly.

Chinese style Vegetable soup with rice vermicelli
(Serves 2)

Onion: 1 medium
Ginger: 1” piece
Garlic: 2 flat cloves
Celery: chopped 1 cup
Carrot: 1
Capsicum: 1 small
Beans: 8-9
Coriander roots and stems: 1/3 cup
Bok choy: 1 (optional)
Spring onion: ½ bunch
Tofu: 1/3 cup (optional)
Soy sauce: 3 tbsp
Vinegar: 2 tbsp
Stock cube: 1
Pepper powder: ½ tsp
Oil: 1 tsp
Rice vermicelli: 2 bunch or any noodles. Even maggie and top ramen will work fine in this.

First we need to make the stock or broth. For that use the not so fresh vegetables and those parts which we generally do not use in cooking. Like stem and roots of coriander, the hard inner parts of celery, bok choy, mushroom, capsicum, old and hard beans, the thicker part of carrots etc. wash everything and cut them in thick slices.

Cut the onion in half moon shape, roughly chop ginger and garlic. Lop off the stem and leafy part of celery and keep the fresh soft portions for the soup, roughly chop the hard parts for the stock.

The stock should have minimum 2 cups (tightly packed) of chopped vegetables.

In a big pan heat the oil and add the ginger and garlic. Fry till they turn color and quickly add onion. Fry for a minute and then add all the other veggies. Add a little salt and keep frying for 2-3 minutes till a nice aroma comes through.

Add 1.5 liters of water. Bring it to boil and then add soy sauce, vinegar, stock cube and some pepper powder. Cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.

After that check the seasoning and strain the stock through a muslin cloth. (Don’t throw away the boiled veggies. nicely tuck them away in your fridge till next time I tell you what delectable monsoon goodies you can make with them.)

While the stock bubbles prepare the veggies for the soup. The major part of cooking Chinese dishes is the chopping. In whatever shape and size you decide to chop your veggies make sure they are all the same. I tried to cut them in julienne. Keep everything ready.

Now bring another pan full of water to boil. Add a little bit of salt to it and place the rice vermicelli bunches in them. Cover and let it soak and fluff for min 10 minutes. Before serving drain the excess water and serve at room temperature.

Once the stock is strained put it again on heat and bring to a gentle boil. Add the prepared veggies one by one. Start by the hardest veggies first like beans and carrot and end with tofu. Don’t over boil the vegetables should retain their crunch and texture.

If needed add more soy sauce. Check the seasoning and serve hot with rice vermicelli and chili oil

Spiced Chili oil
I don’t follow any recipe for this. I read the Chinese chili oil label and used the ingredients written there in my own way.

Tear and soak handful of dry red chillies in water for 10 minutes.
Drain and grind the chillies with 2 fat cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp vinegar and 2 tbsp of tomato puree.
In a pan take ½ cup of peanut, sesame or any cooking oil. Heat the oil to smoking point on very slow fire.
Switch off the heat and add the crushed spices. Mix and cover.
Keep aside for 2 hours till the oil absorbs all the aroma and heat.
Use as required.

A Homemaker's Note:

This is a very light but comforting soup. Please adjust the seasoning as per your choice.

Chicken Clear Soup: Hubby requested a chicken soup following the recipe which I made yesterday. it came out well. I boiled some chicken pieces (with bone) while making the stock and later fried the boiled shreds of chicken and added it to the soup. 

sending this soup to Souper Soup sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

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  1. Super and delicious soup...

    The colours make me droollll...

  2. yummy soup....
    i love all travel n living shows.......all the food shows are just amazing..

  3. Yummy and delicious soup.. looks very tempting :)

  4. This is just wonderful buddy...I m drooling over your wonderful presentation...

  5. the soup is looking delightful.. so light n comforting

  6. Looks so very good Sayantani. I have vermicelli noodles only in Vietnamese soups. A few shrimp will jazz it up even further?

  7. Awesome looking soup,just perfect......

  8. the soup looks yum. but that spiced chilli oil looks awesome........I've been trying to get the recipe right for ages now...thank you so much for posting this!!!!

  9. Couldnt have been perfect. You nailed it.

  10. the chilli sauce looks real yumm.....soup is awlays healthy and filling for weight watchers...nice one....picture perfect :)


  11. yummy soup.. luks delicious..feels like to have it now... happy to follow u

  12. thanks everyone.

    @Indo, that would make it super yummy I guess.

  13. wow what a delicious n tempting soup ...adding vermicelli must make it more filling to have this healthy soup anytime ..thanks for sharing


  14. The soup looks so refreshing...This soup is very common in my dinner table....I never used Stock cubes....I have seen in the stores but dare to buy it because of the addition of MSG....We prefer the chicken soup rather than veg....all in my household are chicken addicted....:)

  15. I remember watching this episode and love the alacrity with which she cuts, chops and cooks..just amazing.
    That's surely a perfect soup for a rainy day with such amazing veggies going in.

  16. Looks great and the presentation is excellent. I love to watch Kylie's show too, very informative and inspiring...

  17. Is it raining so much there .. oh bot i am missing it :)This soup picture only sends so much aroma to me ..I am sure this is one killer recipe.. will try this for sure

  18. @Guna, thanks Dear. you have a lovely space too.

    @Kamalika, check out the label. not every brand contain MSG. I get it without the thing and being in US you should be spoilt with choices.

    @Pavithra, come back soon from Amma's. the weather is lovely here.

  19. soup looks so comforting and to make this sometime..liked the red chilli

  20. I love Monsoons in India, but yes traffic jam is a nightmare especially when we have a meeting first thing in the morning. Chinese soups are so flavorful yet simple. This looks so comforting and perfect for this season.

  21. rain traffic jam everything bringing back to homeland.. i always enjoy rain. like to simply watch the rain drops.. how beautiful that is..
    The soup looks so delicious.. and the chili oil thats so good one..

  22. ummmmmmmm..slurrrrrrrp....soup looks divine, Sayantani...wonderful presentation

  23. ooohh.. would love to sip these hot noodles on such rainy days! love that song too :)

  24. Looks so yum, love chinese soups and this one is different from what i have and it looks very healthy and nice

  25. lovely soup and lovely read on chinese food journey!

  26. such a yummy and filling soup. perfect for the weather.nice picture

  27. This soup sounds really tasty. I like Kylie Kwong too. I must say you certainly made the most of the rainy days :)

  28. Your soup is indeed the perfect thng to warm up with in this cold and wet monsoon.

  29. Dear Sayantani
    I enjoy reading your non-cooking part equally. When we come to your place , dont forget to show all the work you have done ( apart from food-work)
    I Liked the soup. it is generally tough (not for you) to get the right taste in this kind of soup.
    Bhalo theko

  30. Thanks dear...wish you the same...Happy Friendship day....kintu monta bhalo nei...shampar kotha bhebe....bechara khub bhugchhe....

  31. This looks perfectly healthy and delicious and I like the chili oil you made. Thanks for joining in Souper Sundays this week--hope to have you back again. ;-)



  32. and that shubha mudgal song is one of my favorites too :)

  33. Soup looks so Delicious .With a small baby, it is surprising that you find time for painting and stitching! Great

  34. Looks really delicious... i love clear soups

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