Recipe makes 4 to 6 entrée portions
1 lb. Leeks, whites and pale greens thinly sliced into rings, leeks then rinsed well to remove any particles
Reserve the Leeks’ Dark Green Tops to make broth
3 cups Filtered Water
1 large or 2 small Carrots, julienned
4 cups Napa Cabbage or Green Cabbage, thinly sliced
2 Bell Peppers, julienned
2 cloves Garlic, minced OR 2 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1 inch knob Fresh Ginger, peeled and ginger finely grated on a microplane
3 cups Vegetable Broth or Fish Stock
1 lb. Seasonal (skinless) Fish such as Mahi, Snapper, Cobia, Corvina, Tripletail or Salmon, cut into small pieces
2 Tb. Fish Sauce
2 Tb. Roasted Sesame Oil
2 Tb. Sesame Seeds
1 cup (or more if you like) Fresh Ripe Pineapple, small diced
Sriracha Sauce or finely chopped Spicy Chiles to pass for guests to add as they desire
8 oz. Dried Soba Noodles, cooked as the package directs OR 1 lb. Fresh Soba Noodles (in refrigerated packaging)
The dark green tops of the leeks will make a delicious broth to use for the soup base. Rough chop the dark greens and place in a stockpot with the 3 cups of water; bring mixture to a boil then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the leeks to extract their flavor for 15 minutes. Drain the golden green leek broth through a sieve into a measuring cup or bowl. Discard the cooked leek tops. Reserve the leek broth for finishing the soup.
Return the stockpot to the stove; heat the pot on medium high and add enough grapeseed oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the leeks and carrots to the pot, season lightly with kosher salt and sauté until just barely tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and bell peppers; sauté until cabbage has wilted and decreased in volume, about 2 minutes longer. Add the garlic and ginger to the vegetable mixture and sauté briefly until aromatics are fragrant. Pour in the reserved leek broth and the 3 cups of vegetable broth or fish stock. Cover the stockpot and bring the soup base to a simmer. Uncover the pot and stir in the cut seasonal fish, stir to evenly distribute the fish into the soup. Recover the pot and allow the fish to poach in the soup for 2 minutes until just cooked through; the fish is cooked when it easily flakes apart when pierced with a fork. Turn the heat off under the soup and stir in the fish sauce. The salty fish sauce is the main “seasoning” for the soup, so after stirring it in taste the soup and then decide if you need to add any additional salt for seasoning the soup to bring out all of the flavors.
In a small bowl stir together the sesame oil, sesame seeds and pineapple; this will be served on top of the soup.
Divide the cooked soba noodles between soup bowls. Ladle the hot soup on top of the noodles. Divide the pineapple mixture between soup portions so that it sits on top of the vegetables; guests can stir it in while eating. Pass the chile sauce or spicy chiles for guests to spoon into their soup as they desire to spice up their portion.