Begin with chicken stock preferably fresh homemade, or if you are short on time use Swansons low sodium chicken broth. Heat chicken stock with minced fresh garlic, ginger and fresh chili pepper to taste.While stock is heating up prep your veggies. Shown is a simple mix of thinly sliced crimini and shiitake mushroom, carrot, fresh lotus root, fingerling potatoes, green onion and cilantro, and a couple of smallish lobster tails. Add spuds first, cook 5-6 minutes, add carrot, cook additional 2 minutes, add mushrooms, cook 2 minutes, add remaining ingredients cover and remove from heat. Finish soup with a splash of nam pla (fish sauce), and/or a little fresh lime juice.
Lobster was on hand for this dish, but most any seafood, chicken and/or tofu would work just as well.
Soup allows for tremendous creativity, simply varying a few key seasoning ingredients can change it completely. Replacing the cilantro, ginger, nam pla and lime juice with fennel, a little white wine, a pinch of saffron, fresh thyme, a swirl of EVOO and a strip of orange peel turns it into a heavenly Mediterranean soup needing nothing more than a baguette and someone to enjoy it with.....the fresh lotus root works beautifully in the Mediterranean version
Asian soups are an Om Chef favorite, I love the myriad of dried ingredients available, including dried lily buds, shrimp, oysters, scallops, wood ear, black fungus, jujube, seaweeds, jellyfish, and multiple kinds of fungi to name a few.
Om Chef downtown L.A. enlightened omnivore clients will find all ingredients for this dish cleaned and chopped in labeled glass containers conveniently located in their refrigerator...making this dish qualify as 'fast food' the enlightened omnivore way