Happy New Year everyone! Is it cold enough for you? Well it’s cold enough for me. We may not be under a polar vortex, but it’s darn cold outside. So you need some soup to warm you up. And, you need a fast (I’m being asked by many of you for fast), easy (I’m being asked by many of you for a few ingredients) to make recipe. A few ingredients which you should typically have in your pantry. So here’s a delicious recipe for soup that cooks fast – it took me less than 40 minutes from start to finish, that will warm you through and through. You should have most of these ingredients as pantry items – if you don’t, re-read one of my first blogs on “What’s in Your Pantry”. If you don’t have these ingredients, then stop off on your way home tonight or tomorrow night and pick some up.

I’ll give you a break and let you use packaged stock (sorry Chef Josh) due to the weather and power outages etc. I also keep a bottle of dried sliced Shiitake mushrooms in my pantry so I used these. Just reconstitute them in a bit of boiling water, add the mushroom broth – less the gritty bits, to the soup. Rice is optional (I had some left over from the weekend so I used cooked rice and added it in when everything finished cooking). Cabbage adds heartiness and flavor to the soup. This is a meal in itself with the rice, cabbage and mushrooms, and it is filling.

1 tablespoon oil
1 handful of dried, thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms or fresh shiitake’s thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, halved and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
One 3-inch lump ginger, thinly diced
1 to 2 limes, zested and juiced – to taste, )(remember TST – Taste, Season and Taste)
8 cups stock — I used chicken, but you can use turkey, vegetable or beef
1/2 cup un-cooked rice (or cooked, just add it in at the last minute)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 small head green cabbage, cut in half and shaved thin
Chili garlic sauce i.e. Sambal or my favorite – Sriracha!

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the jalapenos and cook until soft, add the mushrooms
Add the garlic, sauté – add the cabbage and ginger, sauté for about 5 minutes to soften
Add the stock – bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover
Add the rice and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is cooked
Add the lime juice, zest and soy sauce to taste and simmer for another few minutes

Serve with extra soy sauce, lime wedges and sambal. As always – enjoy!