I created this recipe for The Great Wall of Chinese Vegetables Soup for a Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers event a few years ago. The organization originally gave groups of volunteers an opportunity to make enough soup to supply domestic shelters across Canada for a month at a time. The idea was to send a “warm hug in a bowl” to people going through the worst times in their lives.
Soup Sisters started by supporting shelters across Calgary to many chapters supporting 40 shelters across Canada. Those shelters are all striving to end abuse and create domestic harmony and functional relationships. I’m crazy about making soup and have always been thrilled to be a part of this organization in my own small way.
Now, Soup Sisters is a National Soup Bank. They’ve expanded. Because of the pandemic, gathering groups of volunteers is not currently possible. So, the soups are made in a large FOODSAFE commercial kitchen. Soup Sisters partners with Versa Cold and their dedicated drivers to deliver the soup to impact food inequity and food insecurity across the country.
It’s incredible they’ve taken on this new mandate during a global pandemic in answer to the increased needs of so many. They now support frontline health workers, domestic violence emergency shelters, marginalized seniors, transitional housing for homeless, First Nations, youth in crisis, centres for drug addiction and mental health, and Food Banks.
You can support the work of Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers no matter where you live. It’s easy to buy the Soup Sisters’ cookbooks. There’s three and each one is filled with over 100 heart-warming seasonal soup recipes.
I’m thrilled that Soup Sisters’ founder Sharon Hapton asked me to contribute a recipe to all three of the Soup Sisters’ cookbooks. This Great Wall of Chinese Vegetables Soup is not in those books. It’s a recipe I created and taught at one of their #TheBigStir fundraising events. It went over well so I thought it’d be fun to share it here as well.
I savour the life I have. I have a loving and supportive husband, son and extended family. I know that I will be making soup filled with love until the day I die. It helps me savour it all. I hope this soup helps you savour it all too and maybe on March 3, National Soup it Forward Day, each year, you’ll make this or one of your own favourite soups and take it so someone who needs a warm hug in a bowl.
Soup Sisters’ founder Sharon Hapton is a Souper Hero of mine.Print
The Great Wall of Chinese Vegetables Soup
I developed this recipe because so many people I meet wonder what do to with the great wall of very unfamiliar vegetables available at Asian markets. Soup is always a good answer. Play with the vegetables you choose – it’ll always turn out well with these classic flavours to hold your bowl together.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 15 to 20 litres (divide by 4 for single family use, keep this original amount to share with many others) 1x
- Category: soup
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese Canadian
½ cup sunflower or canola oil
8 leeks – green tops cut off, halved, washed and chopped in ½ inch slices
4 Tablespoons garlic paste
4 Tablespoons ginger paste
4 Tablespoons of lemongrass – this will take about 3 stalks with which you’ll need to cut the tough tops off, peel the outer layer and mince the tender white bulb
4 teaspoons of green curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
8 cans coconut milk
4 litres chicken stock
4 lbs bok choy (about 4 bunches), chopped in bite-size chunks
4 medium-sized daikon, peeled and chopped in bite-size chunks
4 pkgs extra firm tofu (may substitute 8 cups of cooked chicken), cut in cubes
4 cups assorted Chinese mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 bags of frozen edamame beans
2 heads of broccoli or Gai-lan, chopped
Salt to taste
4 red peppers, chopped in thin strips and cut in 1 inch segments
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Lime wedges (optional)Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the leeks.
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the leeks. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat until the leeks are moist and soft but not brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass, stirring to mix well and cook on medium heat until fragrant – about 1 minute.
- Stir in the curry paste until well distributed and then slowly add the coconut milk.
- Add the chicken stock and then the bok choy and daikon and simmer about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the tofu (or chicken), mushrooms, edamame and broccoli and heat through – about 5 minutes.
- Taste the broth and season it with salt as desired.
- Enjoy in large bowls topped with chopped red peppers, green onions, cilantro and a wedge of lime, if desired.
Keywords: The Great Wall of Chinese Vegetables Soup