Treat the broth seasonally - if it's summer, toss some corn in. Late spring? Go for sliced asparagus. Also, for a more substantial meal, serve over brown rice or soba noodles. All tasty. Also, a mandolin makes quick work of all the slicing here, but watch those fingers! I like enoki or nameko mushrooms, black trumpets are good, and regular brown mushrooms do the job as well.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grated ginger, peeled
3/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, trimmed
8 ounces firm tofu, sliced into thin slabs
2 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
to serve: lots of chopped green onions, sliced watermelon radish, and/or pea shoots
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, and stir in the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and ginger. Gently sauté just until soft, you don't want any browning. Add a small splash of water if the pan drys out in the process. Stir in the white pepper and 10 cups of water. Dial up the heat to bring the broth to a simmer, and hold there for about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tofu, and salt, and gently simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir well, taste, and adjust with more salt or water if needed. Ladle the soup into shallow soup bowls and top with lots of green onions, pea shoots, and a few watermelon radish slices. Add a finishing drizzle of olive oil, and enjoy!
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