Chinese Vegetable Soup

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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10 cups water
1 1/2 cups mushroom liquid
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce -- low sodium
1/4 cup sherry -- optional
3 cloves garlic -- crushed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root -- grated
2 packages shiitake mushrooms -- dried
1 medium Onion -- cut in wedges
1 bunch green onions -- cut in 1 inch pieces
3 stalks celery -- sliced
1/2 pound Chinese cabbage -- sliced
1/2 pound soba noodles -- ** see note

Preparation / Directions:

Pour 2 cups hot water over the mushrooms in a bowl; soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put 10 cups water in a large soup pot. Add tamari, sherry, ginger, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Add onion wedges. Reduce heat. Squeeze excess water from the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add 1 1/2 cups of this liquid to the hot broth. Chop mushrooms discarding tough stems, and add to broth. Add remaining ingredients, except for the noodles. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes, add noodles, and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot. HELPFUL HINTS: This will make a meal for four people, or a first course, with other Chinese food, for eight people.

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