Photo by Jarrett Wrisley
This is a soup recipe which Wu'er Kaixi sent me. It's a Uighur soup, but it has Kazak and Hui influences, and they both eat very similar versions of the dish. I have also seen it seasoned with much cumin and chili in China's Xinjiang restaurants, or even turned into a western-style hot and sour soup with the addition of vinegar and spice. It would usually be eaten with flatbread, and maybe a few skewers of grilled lamb. His version is very simple, the sort of thing one might eat in the Gobi Desert on a cold night.
Kaixi's Hearty Nomad Soup
• 10oz (300g) Lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1/2" dice.
• A nice lamb leg bone (which you can get from your butcher, but chicken bones will suffice)
• 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped into small dice
• Half of one large onion, diced
• 2 medium sized potatoes, diced
• 2 green bell peppers, diced
• 2 medium sized cucumbers, seeded and diced, or zucchini, or whatever you can find in your fridge that is green and seems to please you at the time.
• 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Make a pot of stock--with two quarts of water--with your lamb bone and maybe a carrot or some onion and celery. Or all three.