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Spicy Beef, Cabbage, and Porcini Mushroom Soup

23 January 2015
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Beef Cabbage Porcini Chinese Soup_heidikinscooks_January 2015

On a gray January weekend I sometimes have to deliberately cheer myself up enough to get out of bed. Dreams of this grown-up Ramen were enough to get me up and chopping (although, it must be said, not enough to get out of my slippers). I’m sure this would be equally delicious with chicken, and you could add noodles or other veggies if you wanted to and your New Year’s diet resolutions allowed.

Spicy Beef, Cabbage, and Porcini Mushroom Soup

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, washed well, cut lengthwise, and sliced very thin (white and light green parts only), then rinsed again to remove any remaining grit
1 pound steak, sliced thin
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or, to taste)
4 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white cooking wine or sherry
1 head Napa cabbage, sliced into ribbons (about 2/3 from the tip to the base the frilly parts run out and you just get the firm stuff, stop chopping when you reach this point and discard the rest (or use it to make vegetable stock with your leftover leek parts)

Break up the mushrooms and pour boiling water over them, let stand for 15 minutes (or until the rest of the soup is at the point to add them)

Chop up all your veggies, make sure to rinse the leeks again to remove any leftover dirt, and slice up the steak. Heat oil in a large pot and toss in all the meat, stir until browned but not fully cooked, remove with slotted spoon and let drain. Add leeks, garlic, and ginger to the pot, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir until the leeks are softened a bit, 3-5 minutes. (You may want to add about 1/2-3/4 cup of water to speed this process along.)

Add the meat, mushrooms, stock, soy sauce, and cooking wine and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

Add chopped cabbage and let cook 5 more minutes until it is soft. Taste and season again with salt and pepper. If this is too vinegary, you can add a teaspoon of sugar to fix that right up.

Serve hot.

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