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Asian Vegan Kitchen
by Hema Parekh
Asparagus Soup (Sup mang tay)
In Ho Chi Minh City, where there is a strong French influence, this is one of the most popular soups. It is often included on party menus, especially at weddings.
Serves 4


• 3 cups (720ml) Vietnamese Vegetable Stock (see below)
• 15 ounces (425g) fresh green asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Dash of pepper
• 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon coriander stem, chopped
• Fresh coriander leaves, for garnish


1. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups (480ml) of the vegetable stock to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch-and-water mixture with the remaining 1 cup (240ml) of vegetable stock. Gradually add to the soup, stirring constantly until it thickens.

3. Add the sesame oil and coriander stem to the soup. Remove from the heat and serve hot in individual bowls, garnished with coriander leaves.

Makes 6 cups (1.5L)

    • 7 cups (1.8 L) water
    • 2 carrots, sliced
    • 3 1/2 ounces (100g) daikon radish, sliced
    • 1 stick celery, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 leeks, chopped
    • 1 cup (50g) coriander stem and root
    • 1 -inch (3-cm) piece fresh ginger, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon salt

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan and put in all the vegetables, the coriander, and the ginger. Simmer over medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Add the salt and simmer for another 5 minutes. Strain the liquid and reserve the stock to use as required. Discard the vegetables.


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