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Tomato, Bean Curd, and Chicken Leg Mushroom Soup

Soups and Congees

Tomato, Bean Curd, and Chicken Leg Mushroom Soup
1 pound tomatoes
4 firm bean curd cakes (one pound), frozen
1 fresh chicken leg mushroom, about five ounces
2 Tablespoons garlic oil (see note below)
1/2 inch thick piece peeled ginger, smashed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup diced shallots, made into quarter-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons diced salted turnips, made into quarter-inch pieces
1/8 teaspoon white peppercorns
1/2 cup finely sliced scallions
1. Place tomatoes in a large heat-proof bowl and pour four cups boiling water over them. After a minute or two, pour off the hot water and fill the bowl with cold water, then remove their skins and cut them into half-inch pieces, separating the liquid from the pieces.
2. Remove the bean curd from the freezer, allow to thaw for thirty minutes, and cut them into one-third by one-third-inch dice.
3. Heat wok or large pot then add garlic oil, ginger, and salt. Stir for half minute then add shallots, stir, and reduce heat to medium. Cook the shallots for two or three minutes until they soften. Then raise the heat to high and add the tomatoes and mix well. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or until the tomatoes soften and break apart. 4. Add stock, mix well, then the tomato liquid, mix again, and bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and let tomatoes cook for five minutes or until very soft. Add turnips, mix well, and cook for one minute, then raise heat to high and add bean curd and peppercorns, rerun to the boil, then turn off the heat source. Transfer to a heated tureen and serve.
Note: This mushroom is more commonly known as and abalone or king oyster mushroom. To date we have never seen it by this name.)
For the Garlic Oil: Heat wok, add one and a half cups peanut oil and two and one quarter cups (about three heads) of peeled and thinly sliced garlic. Stir and allow oil to come almost to the boil, then immediately reduce heat to low (watch carefully as you may need to lift the pan until the heat source cools somewhat). Simmer on low for ten minutes, then strain. Store the oil in a closed sterilized jar and refrigerate; you can also store the garlic refrigerated in another sterilized jar. Use as needed. The oil stays for up to three months, the garlic pieces for up to two months.

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