Vegetarian Recipe: Sour Hot Soup

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Every week on the Good Food Blog we celebrate Meatless Monday by sharing a vegetarian recipe from our archives.

Corinne Trang, author of Essentials of Asian Cuisine, first shared this recipe for Sour Hot Soup on July 19, 2003.

Keep reading for the full recipe…

Sour Hot Soup
Serves 4 to 6

8 small dried or fresh cloud ear mushrooms

16 dried tiger lilies

8 cups vegetable stock (recipe to follow)

2 Tablespoons Chinese black vinegar

1 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine

1 Tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce

2 tsp Chinese dark soy sauce

1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chili oil

3 dried whole red chiles

1 small bamboo shoot, quartered lengthwise and juilienned

1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, and julienned

Kosher salt

Freshly ground white or black pepper

8 ounces firm tofu, sliced and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks

1 to 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch

2 scallions, root and dark green ends trimmed, and 6-inch stalks thinly sliced into rounds

Put the cloud ears (if dried) and lilies in separate bowls with hot water to cover, and set a plate over each bowl to prevent steam from escaping. Let stand until they re-hydrate and soften, about 30 minutes (or longer depending on their size.) Squeeze the cloud ears and lilies between the palms of your hands to get rid of the excess water. Using a paring knife, quarter the cloud ears and remove any hard stems. Cut off the very hard tip of each stem, and tie them in knots.

Bring the stock to a boil in a pot over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the vinegar, wine, light and dark soy sauces, sugar, sesame oil, chile oil, chiles, bamboo shoot, ginger, cloud ears and lily stems. Season with salt and pepper and simmer through, about 15 minutes. Add the tofu. Dilute the tapioca starch with 1 to 2 tablespoons water and stir it into the soup until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle the soup in individual bowls and garnish with scallions.