I had a soup similar to this in Hunan in London's Pimlico, a fantastic Chinese restaurant with no menu where the small plates of delicious, home-style Chinese food just keep coming.
Chef Peng is about to publish a book, Hunan: A Lifetime of Secrets From Mr Peng's Chinese Kitchen. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy.
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
1 large onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
40g root ginger, peeled and finely grated
150g minced pork
2tbsp light soy sauce
1tbsp black Shaoxing vinegar
2ltrs chicken or beef stock
Salt and ground white pepper
40g Chinese salted black beans, soaked for an hour and rinsed
60g canned or vacuum-packed bamboo shoots, rinsed and finely chopped
3tbsp chopped coriander
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the onions, ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes without colouring.
Add the pork and cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, breaking the pork up as it's cooking so it doesn't stay in big lumps. Add the soy, vinegar and stock, season, bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour, skimming every so often.
Add the bamboo shoots and black beans and simmer for another 15 minutes, then stir in the coriander, simmer for another minute, and serve.