Vietnamese Gift Soup
extra firm tofu (one package, drained)
any kind of mushrooms, finely chopped
large-leaf fresh spinach
one large yellow onion, chopped
chopped garlic cloves, how ever many as desired
green onion (chives), left long
carrots, cabbage - any number of seasonal veggies
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
This recipe is from my mother-in-law.
In a bowl, combine mushrooms and garlic. Take chunks of tofu and squeeze through your hands so that it crumbles into the mixture. Using your hands, combine the mushroom, garlic and tofu mixture. The moisture from the tofu should make these ingredients stick together easily. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. Set aside.
Saute the large yellow onion with oil in a large soup pot. When it is translucent, add vegetable stock and whatever vegetables you want. Cover and let it simmer.
Boil a pan of water, then quickly drop the spinach and green onions into it -remove after only a few moments; they should remain strong but malleable. Lay out a spinach leaf and put a small spoonful of the tofu/mushroom mixture near the bottom; carefully roll the leaf, keeping the mixture near the middle - the rolls should be about 1 and a half inches thick. Next, fold the two sides into the center, making a small pocket. Take a green onion and lay the pocket on top it, then tie it as you would a small gift, in two directions. After you have made all of the "gifts," place them in the broth and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat -be careful not to cook too long, as the spinach tends to fall apart after prolonged exposure to water and heat.
Serve soup over rice or with French bread, with soy sauce on the side.