Hot and Sour Soup
This is a good winter pantry soup, most of the ingredients are either canned or dried.

6 cups Vegetable Broth
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of sugar
4 large dried shitake mushrooms
6-8 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
6-8 pieces of dried wood ear (optional)
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots, sliced again into narrow slivers
1 can of sliced water chestnuts
4 oz firm or extra firm tofu, cubed
1/2 cup canned baby corn
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 Tablespoons of white vinegar
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tablespoons of water
2 T sesame oil
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
large chow mein noodles to garnish

Place the shitake and wood ear in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Rehydrate the dried shitake and wood ear for 15-20 minutes.
Slice the bamboo shoots into slivers. Slice the tofu into bite-sized cubes.

Place the vegetable broth, soy sauce, sugar, bamboo shoots, shitake, wood ear and button mushrooms in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add water chestnuts, tofu, baby corn and return to a boil. Stir in white pepper, white vinegar and the cornstarch mixed with water. When the soup returns to a bubbles add the sesame oil and garnish with green onions.  Serve hot with large chow mein noodles.

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