I love hot and sour soup. Love. It. Unfortunately the nearest Chinese restaurant doesn’t have very good hot and sour soup. It’s super gelatinous to the point of nearing Jell-O consistency. My favorite place for hot and sour soup around here is the Mid-Hudson Buffet in Kingston, NY. It’s perfect every single time, but let’s face it — it’s not practical (or healthy) to head to the Chinese buffet every time I have a craving for this soup. It was time to learn to make it on my own. I looked over several recipes and figured out a recipe that would work for me. It couldn’t contain any of the slimy mushrooms I dislike, it could not be too gelatinous, and it had to be easy. Now, I’ve never had good luck with Chinese cooking at home. Everything turns out kind of ho-hum at best. Luckily, this soup proved to be the exception.
Hot & Sour Soup
4 cups of chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cups of water
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (I used a 3.5 oz. package)
2 cups of white mushrooms, thinly sliced (or other mushroom of your choosing)
4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Wondra
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 package extra-firm tofu, well-drained and sliced into small rectangles or squares (I like a mix of both)
2 Tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger
In a large stock pot, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add all of the mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes. Next, whisk together 3 Tbsp. of rice wine vinegar and the Wondra. (I like to use Wondra because it adds just a bit of creamy mouthfeel to the soup, but it doesn’t do the gelatin thing that I dislike.) Add the slurry to the pot and stir for one minute.
Next, add the egg to the soup through a slotted spoon and immediately stir. This will create pretty egg ribbons throughout the soup. Finally, stir in the tofu and remove the soup from the heat. Cover the pot and let it stand for a couple minutes.
Put the grated ginger in a small sieve, and squeeze the juice into soup. Add the remaining Tbsp. of vinegar. Serve with scallions. For a little extra heat, add a few drops of Sriracha!
Drew and I both ate two bowls of this for lunch. I could have eaten a third, but I held back. I also want to see how it holds up overnight. This is a great change from regular old chicken soup and one that I’ll make again and again.
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
1 oz. angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces
2-3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 oz. processed cheese (Velveeta), cubed
1/2 cup sour cream
Cook both the broccoli and pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the water, milk, and pepper until blended. Brint to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir in the broccoli, pasta, and sour cream; heat through (do not boil). Yield: 4-5 servings
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 c. orzo
1 Tbps. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
Juice of 1 1/2 fresh lemons
1 Tbsp. oregano
Bring the broth to a boil and add the orzo. Boil for about 8 min. Remove pot from heat. (I actually forgot to do this and it still came out fine). In a bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 c. water. Whisk in eggs, lemon juice, and oregano. With a ladle, remove about 1 c. hot broth from saucepan. Gradually whisk broth into egg mixture. Add a little lemon zest if you want a more intense lemon flavor. Return mixture to the saucepan and stir well. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until soup is thickened and creamy. Season with salt and pepper as desired and garnish with parsley.