This is not a typical hearty soup, it is a chinese thickened soup that is closer to the popular hot and sour soup. Chinese thickened soups usually contain a lot of finely sliced or chopped ingredients. For a new cook, gathering and chopping up so many ingredients can be daunting. This beef soup recipe has only a few ingredients so it is a good practice dish for perfecting the techniques of chopping ingredients and thickening the soup using cornstarch or arrowroot powder. This beef vegetable soup contains a chinese vegetable known as chinese kale or chinese broccoli (èŠ¥å…° gai lan). The leaves can be quite tough and bitter but the stems are wonderfully crunchy and juicy. Gai lan is not usually found in soups, they are better quick fried with chopped garlic.If you can't find chinese kale or chinese broccoli, substitute with broccoli stems or kale stems. Peel off the tough outer skin.