This is a combination of a recipe I found for beef soup, that was a bit boring and a recipe we learned in China for beef stir fry: I just threw them together and added some other things as well for good measure.
5 pounds of beef - I use London broil cut into strips, about 1 inch across
1/4 olive oil
Fresh Ginger peeled and cut into 12, 1/8 inch slices and smashed
5 cloves of garlic minced
2 medium onions diced, you need about 2 cups
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped and stems removed
1 small can water chestnuts sliced (drain can)
3 baby bok choy, bottoms removed
1 small jar of red bean chili paste
5 green onions chopped and the tops set aside
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 whole star Anise
4 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 plum tomatoes quartered
White Ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 pound of egg-less wheat noodles - find in the Asian market
In a large skillet on medium-high heat sear the beef on each side. Once cool enough to handle, cut beef strips into 1/2 inch pieces.
In a large deep soup pot over medium-high heat add olive oil, ginger, and garlic and saute for about a minute. Next, add onions and saute until soft. Add chili bean paste and stir for about 20 seconds. Now add about 16 cups of water, the soy sauce, bottoms of the green onions, and sugar.
Place star Anise and Peppercorns into a tea ball and drop into the pot.
Next, add the beef to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour uncovered; you want a simmer, not a rolling boil.
After an hour remove the tea ball and add tomatoes and water chestnuts; continue to simmer for another hour. Taste throughout the simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.
About the last 15 minutes cook noodles as per package and cool prior to adding to the soup.
Once the beef is nice and tender, remove the pot from heat. Stir in green onion tops, cilantro, and bok choy.
Place cooked noodles into the bottom of each bowl and add soup to bowls and serve.
If you are going to freeze the soup, undercook the noodles and add them to the soup prior to freezing. Also, I omit the cilantro from the soup if I am freezing it and I just add it in later once I reheat the soup.
The soup will also keep well in the fridge for several days, just store the noodles in different content and then add them to the reheated soup as directed above.
This soup also works well with pork.