Japanese Onion Soup

This is the basic Japanese soup that's given out as an appetizer at most Japanese restaurants. Very mild, a bit salty, and a touch of tang. It's a very improvisable recipe; most of the ingredients' quantities can be changed according to taste. Use your favorite mushrooms in this recipe.


  • 1/2 stalk celery, chopped

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1/2 carrot, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock

  • 3 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

  • 1 cup chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms

  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


  1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the celery, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, and a few of the mushrooms. Add chicken stock, beef bouillon, and water. Place the pot over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. When the mixture reaches boiling, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 45 minutes.

  2. Place all of the remaining mushrooms into a separate pot. When the boiling mixture is done, place a strainer over the pot with the mushrooms in it. Strain the cooked soup into the pot with the mushrooms. Discard strained materials.

  3. Serve the broth with mushrooms in small porcelain bowls, and sprinkle fresh chives over the top. Use Asian soup spoons for an elegant effect.