vegetarian hot and sour soup

When I’m sick, I crave hot and sour soup.  Since we’re smack in the middle of cold season, I am surely not the only one out there with a nasty bug — so it’s the perfect time for me to give you all this recipe for vegetarian hot and sour soup.

Traditionally, hot and sour soup has a pork or beef base; however, I feel as though earthy dried mushrooms and silky pieces of firm tofu make this soup “meaty” enough.  This soup did a fantastic job both in clearing my head and lifting my spirits.  The heat from the ginger and pepper cleared my head and sinuses like a charm!  It’s so easy to make that I could put it together easily even though I was still really drowsy from my cold medicine. Just a ton of veggies, some herbs and spices, and before I knew it, I was back in bed, all snuggled in blankets and slurping this yummy soup.  It was so good, I ate it for three meals in a row!

Now I feel super, this soup is not only delicious, but it’s overflowing with vitamins and antioxidants from all of the veggies.  Whether you’ve caught a bug or not, heat yourself up a big bowl of hot and sour soup tonight. 


With love,
Erica
 

Ingredients
1 oz. dried mixed mushrooms
8 cups water
3 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Pure sesame oil, for serving

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling
water. Cover and allow to sit for at least 1/2 hour. While mushrooms
reconstitute, prepare the other ingredients.
Remove the mushrooms from the hot water and reserve the liquid for the soup. Slice the mushrooms thinly.
In a soup pot, combine the remaining 6 cups of water with the
reserved liquid from the mushrooms and the sliced mushrooms. Bring to a
gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add the sherry, vinegar, soy sauce,
salt, ginger and tofu. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer uncovered for about
10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with about 3/4 cup of hot
broth from the soup pot until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour the mixture
back into the soup pot, stirring to distribute. The soup should thicken
slightly. While stirring constantly, drizzle the beaten eggs into the
hot soup. Add the scallions and white pepper and cook for another minute
or two.
Serve hot with a drizzle of sesame oil on top.

 

tomato soup

My dad said that he could have soup and a toasty sandwich every day, and never get tired of it.

This soup is traditional, mellow, and has a lovely tomato flavor.  It conjures up peaceful, childhood memories — without coming from a red and white can.

As the days get cooler, and the air gets nippy, I start to think about comfort food.  Mac and cheese, lasagna, and warm biscuits come to mind.  Unfortunately, most of these dishes contain dairy, and my mom has sensitivity to dairy products. Luckily, this tomato soup is dairy free.  It’s nice, thick and creamy… but contains no heavy cream!  How do I achieve such a rich texture without dairy? Ritz crackers.  My dad always crumbles Ritz crackers onto his tomato soup, why not put them in the soup? When crumbled into the broth they act as a delicious, buttery thickening agent.

This soup is extremely easy to make, and uses all fresh, wholesome ingredients.  One of the things that makes this recipe unique is that it 100% fresh, roasted tomatoes.  Nothing comes from a can, bag, or freezer — resulting in an extremely rich, tomato flavor.

Whip up a pot of this steamy soup and cuddle up for some good, wholesome comfort.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh tomatoes (use small tomatoes, like plum or cherry)
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
4 small Vidalia onions, cut in half (or 2 regular onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
2-4 cups water (depending on how thin/thick you like your soup)
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Slice the tomatoes in halves and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Place the garlic cloves and onion halves on a separate baking sheet and
drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast the vegetables until soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.

Peel the skin off the garlic cloves and place with the rest of the
vegetables, in a food processor. Add about 2 cups of water and puree
until smooth. Add more water to reach your preferred consistency. Add to a large pot on the stove top and add Ritz crackers.  Simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust
the seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.

Adapted from Cup of Jo