Coffee culture was at an all-time high, and the wealthy could afford to dine in Western-style restaurants. Regular citizens could only peer in through the glass windows. Thus, where this Shanghai-Style Red Vegetable Soup came from.
In Shanghai, they call it luo song tang, and it’s a red vegetable soup containing beets, potatoes, and cabbage that was possibly adapted from European vegetable soups.
Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Harbin attracted travelers from all over the world in the early 20th century. Without diving too far into the history of the time, they also brought their buildings, foods, and customs from the West.
Tomatoes, a staple in modern Chinese cuisine, were utilized in the original Chinese version of the soup. The soup has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. The actors drinking luo song tang in those gorgeous situations has always stuck with me.
And if that weren’t enough, how much fun is it to make this soup? There can be no beginning and ending until the oxtails have been patted and dried. The soup is ready to go once the stove is turned on. Get out your soup pot, because this is perfect for a cool-weather meal.
- 2 pounds of oxtails
- 1 pound of peeled and cut into large chunks potatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 5 bay leaves
- 3 small tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 2 large carrots (cut into large chunks)
- 2 large onions
- ¼ cabbage (roughly chopped)
- 10 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- Scrub and dry 2 pounds of oxtails. Put the oxtails in a heavy-bottomed soup pot and brown them in 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat.
- Lightly brown on both sides of the oxtails. Brown the oxtails, then add 2 large onions and 6 smashed garlic cloves. While stirring often, sauté the onions until they are tender.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop three small tomatoes while the onions simmer. When the onions are tender, throw them in. Make some room in the pot’s center, then add 2 teaspoons of tomato paste and sauté it briefly. For a few minutes over medium heat, while stirring occasionally, the oil in the pot will become a reddish color as the tomatoes begin to break down.
- Now pour in 10 cups of water and turn the stove to high. Carrots, cabbage, 5 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper should all be added to the pot once it has been well seasoned. Simmer, covered for an hour. Bring to a boil.
- Potatoes should be peeled, chopped, and added to the soup after it has simmered for at least 60 minutes. The potatoes should be cooked by bringing the mixture to a boil, then turning it down to a simmer for 30 minutes. Before serving, salt to taste.
- Don’t worry if you have leftover soup or stew; it will taste much better the next day. You can save the soup for future dinners by freezing it.