This stew began as another recipe, stopped before the last step – it was going to be a version of the spinach soup, but using xue pi cai instead of spinach. (The name of the plant means ‘snow skin vegetable’ and I know I have seen it back home but could not find an English name; it has many leaves radiating out of a base with pale stems and dark green leaves.)
I was trying to make the soup with my last ¾ cup of chicken broth, making it very thick. When I lifted the lid to check the greens just before blending, the potatoes and greens looked and smelled so good just like they were that it suddenly seemed like a waste to use and clean the blender.
Rough knife work aside, the stew was amazing just like this, and reminded me of how good vegetable stews can be in the summer. They come together much more quickly than meat based stews which often need long, slow simmering. They are often better served closer to room temperature, rather than hot. They are full of the flavour of summer without being heavy.
For this one, dice one small onion and four cloves of garlic (less if you want) and sweat with a little oil and salt over med heat until tender. Add ¾ cup chicken broth and two medium diced potatoes, cover and boil til potatoes are tender, adding more liquid if necessary. Meanwhile, chop one and a half cups of sturdy greens like bok choi or