Saturday, January 19, 2008

Recipe: Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

Now, here's one of my favorites before I became a vegetarian - there's something about Chinese hot and sour soup that is just plain comforting, especially when it's downright freezing outside (like today - it's about 2 degrees Farenheit right now).

Unfortunately, most hot and sour soups you find in Chinese restaurants are made with chicken stock, and many contain either pork or chicken. You can find vegetarian hot and sour soup in some health food stores (and occasionally in supermarkets), but to be honest, it's pretty awful stuff.

So I did some experimenting to come up with a vegan hot and sour soup that had the same wonderful smell and taste as the commercially available version, without all of the animal products. It took a few tries, but I finally tweaked a couple of meat-centered recipes, and came up with a hot and sour soup that hits the spot!

If you can find mixed mushrooms at your supermarket, this hot and sour soup is pretty easy to make. If you can't find packaged mixed mushrooms, any of the types I've listed below will work fine.

Here's what you'll need:

8 oz. sliced mushrooms (white button mushrooms, cremini, portobella, straw mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms)
1 package (16 oz) extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1/4 " x 1/2" strips
1 bunch scallions
4 oz chopped kale
1 carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 oz. ginger, grated
4 cans vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp chili sauce

Pour water, vegetable broth, rice vinegar, white vinegar in a stock pot or large soup pot on medium high heat. Stir frequently until liquid starts to boil.

Chop scallions, add to liquid, saving some of the green part for garnish. Add remainder of ingredients and cover.

Heat for 15 minutes or until kale is tender. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with remaining scallions.


  • For those of you that want a more meatlike texture, you can either freeze and thaw the tofu before preparing the soup, or substitute seitan. You might even be able to use those Morningstar Farms Chik'n strips, but I haven't tried it.
  • You can also add egg whites for a non-vegan version. Slowly stir 6 egg whites into the liquid when if comes to a boil, and before you add the other ingredients.

Prep time: 10 min.
Cooking time: 15 min.
Total time: 25 min.

Note: This hot and sour soup can be easily frozen and saved for later. I typically make a double batch and freeze half of it.

1 comment:

Shumila said...

I tried this today and it came out great. The only vinegar I had at home was apple cider and the only mushrooms I had were enoki, but it was still brilliant. Thank you!

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