Asian-style Mushroom and Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

Serves 2 as a main or 4 for lunch

For the broth

  • 40g dried mixed mushrooms
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • Splash of sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, well bruised
  • ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sheet nori (optional)
  • 60ml gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

To make the soup

  • 200g mixed or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 110g asparagus, chopped
  • 1 bok choi, green leaves chopped off, base chopped into 4 or 8 depending on size
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 75g beansprouts

To serve

  • 75g cooked rice per person
  • 2–3 spring onions, finely sliced, green parts included
  • 5g coriander, chopped
  • 5g basil, chopped
  • A little red chilli, finely chopped
  • 10g (approx.) unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Method

1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl with the boiling water and leave for at least 20 minutes until stewed, or overnight.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry off the onion and chilli until cooked through and softened, about 3 minutes. Add in the lemongrass, ginger and garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.

Jane’s Tip – “I always cook the onions, then add in the garlic for just a minute or two before adding more ingredients. Onions take longer to cook than garlic and burnt garlic is very bitter and can really spoil your dish before you start.”

3. Put the soaked dried mushrooms and stock into the pan with the nori (if using; this adds a fishy flavour to the broth in much the same way fish sauce would, so leave out if you prefer), soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat, strain and reserve the stock, discarding the vegetables. Use immediately; or cool and keep in the fridge for 48 hours in a covered dish or freeze.

5. To make the soup, bring the stock to the boil and add all the ingredients except the beansprouts. Leave to boil for up to 1 minute, turn off the heat and add in the beansprouts. Stir through and serve immediately.

6. To serve, divide the rice among your serving bowls, spoon over the broth with the vegetables, and sprinkle on the spring onions, herbs, chilli and peanuts, if using.

Jane’s Tip – “Rice noodles work really well in this dish as well; just cook according to the packet instructions and add them to the broth instead of the rice.”