This is one of my favorite soups. It is a pretty quick soup and uses lots of fresh ingredients. It is kind of fun to make because you make the base first and then ladle it over stir fried vegetables, raw bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and cilantro. The hot broth cooks the cabbage and everything else stays crisp tender. It is my own recipe made up from only my own cooking experiences and ideas so I am sure that there is nothing about it that is even close to authentic even if there is such a thing, but it is a good soup with lots of nice flavors and crisp fresh vegetables. Although the chow mien noodles and peanuts are listed as optional, I highly recommend them. They add so much depth to the soup. The stir fry noodles that I use are fresh. I can find them in the produce isle near the bean sprouts and egg roll wraps. The flavor that I prefer is Hot'N' Spicy. It is a Szechuan recipe after all and Szechuan is a spicy dish.