Broken Rice Paper Noodle Soup

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I enjoy making and eating Summer Rolls but I am often left with many cracked or broken sheets of rice paper. What to do? Make soup! This is an Asian Fusion vegetable soup. Rice paper has its own unique flavor and holds its own in this soup.

1/4 white onion, chopped fine
6 scallions, chopped fine, separating white and green parts
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 carrots, cut in 2 inch by 1/4 inch strips
1 cup chopped cilantro
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemongrass powder or about 2 Tablespoons dried lemongrass pieces soaked in water (optional)
8 cups of water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dried leeks (parsley may be substituted)
1 teaspoon dried basil
2-3 cups coarsely broken rice paper
2 pinches kelp powder or salt to taste

In a large soup pot over medium heat, coat the bottom with a thin layer of sesame oil. Add in the onions, white part of scallions, garlic and ginger. Saute for several minutes until tender, stirring occasionally, watching not to burn. Add 1 cup of water and the carrots. Cook about 5 minutes. If using lemongrass pieces, wrapped them in cheese cloth tied with string or put in a tea egg before adding to the broth, so they can be removed from the soup before serving. Add the remaining 7 cups of water, lemon juice, basil and leeks and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the cilantro, green part of the scallions and rice paper and stir well. Cook another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 large bowls or 6 – 8 small bowls.

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