Monday, April 25, 2011

Vegetarian/Vegan Hot 'n' Sour Soup for Cold Spring Nights

Note : This post was written almost a month back in march, 2011 but I guess I forgot to hit the publish button. It's finally spring here not that cold but this soup is perfect for any weather.

What do U do when Mother Nature Gives you not only rain in the spring but some white stuff too.....

last week when spring started on calenders, in our part of the world we saw some snow too, temperatures dropping back from 80 degree to 45 degree. We did had a very warm weekend just before the spring started but it was just for couple of days and then back to cold. Mother Nature knows what's best so rather than complaining why not go out in jackets & draw some butterflies to cheer up

and then come inside and sip this deliciously spicy and perfectly sour world famous Chinese Hot 'n' Sour soup.
As an Indian we prefer Chinese food which is made Indian style mainly known as Indo-Chinese but I always enjoy this one soup no matter where ever I eat/'s the perfect balance of heat from garlic + chilli sauce & sourness from vinegar and O'course lots of veggies, which makes you go for another serving of it. I also like this soup as only work in it is of chopping veggies and I love to do that( I find cleaning & chopping veggies as a very soothing & satisfying activity). It's easy recipe no oil, no saute, only boiling  the prepared stock with your choice of veggies. Though I have my personnel choice of veggies when it comes to this soup but many a times when I make it on a night before the grocery day, we get to see many different combinations of veggies in our soup bowls and no matter what veggies goes in, it always tastes good. Color, taste & texture of this soup does need your attention when it's fresh but for me I enjoy leftovers also. Now for the recipe.....

What I used :
Vegetables :
  • 2 med. sized carrots, julienned/matchstick cut
  • around 1 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms(i used baby bella variety)
  • around 3/4th cup of thinly shredded cabbage
  • half red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • around 1 cup of thinly sliced baby bok-choy(keep the shredded leaves separate)
  • around 2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
  • 1/2 cup mung sprouts
For stock/broth :
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock(* see notes)
  • 2&1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic or use garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
  • 3 tablespoon of green chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of rice vinegar(regular vinegar can also be used)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (optional)
Corn starch mixture :
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon con starch
What I did :

Take all the ingredients from stock/broth list & whisk them together. In a big pot(non reactive kind as we are using vinegar) put them to boil, turn the heat to slow after it start boiling. Let it simmer for around 10 minutes or so.

While the stock for the soup is boiling, prepare the veggies by chopping them into thinly sliced/shredded/ julienned/ matchstick cut.

After 10 minutes of stock boiling drop all the chopped veggies into it except green leaf parts of bok choy, add that during the last 3-4 minutes only. Mix everything together give it a little taste & add salt as per your taste. I suggested to add salt at this point because various sauces used above will add saltiness to the soup, so it's better to hold it in the beg.

Let soup simmer for another 10 min. or so. When ready to serve mix cornstarch & water, making sure no lumps are there and add this mixture to soup, make sure soup is hot and on the heat at this time. Once it's stirred into the soup turn the gas off & serve the soup immediately.

Notes :
  • This recipe is the one which my family likes but I've read some recipes which don't use garlic but I can't imagine making any soup without garlic, specially this one.
  • For making vegetable broth I boil around 5 cups of water with roughly chopped 2 carrots, 1 onion, 2-3 stalks of celery, 3-4 garlic cloves 1/2 tsp. salt, 2-3 cloves(Laung), 7-8 black peppercorns, a bayleaf for around 30 minutes or so.
  • U can easily reduce or increase the heat in this recipe by changing the quantity of chilli sauce. Black peppers also give it little extra heat.
  • Veggies like green beans/french beans are also good addition to this soup. Generally tofu is also used in this soup, if using add it towards the last 3-4 minutes of simmering.
  • I'm not using egg in this which makes it vegetarian/vegan. For garnish usually chopped up green onions are used but I didn't had any so didn't used any.
  • Also at the end usually a spoon of sesame oil is added to the soup but I don't do that. If U like just add it to it before turning the heat off.
  • I used baby bok choy in this, not a typical veggie for this soup but it's my new fav. veggie & we liked it in the soup.
UPDATE (Feb/04/2013)  : this yummy soup is on it's way to Sayantani's blog  to beat some winter chills. She's is having a giveaway sponsered by at her blog.


sangeeta said...

Even i like experimenting with my favorite hot and sour and sweet and sour soups ...garlic is a must for me too...

And i like bok choy in any Chinese dish too , just the sprouts are a no no in soup for me unless it is a lentil soup...

Delhi is getting hotter and seeing those white flecks on your grass i feel like a cool breeze coming my way :)

Aruna Manikandan said...

looks healthy and delicious dear :)

Chucky said...

Stop it! Stop it! You making me salivate onto my keyboard.

My co-workers are thinking that I'm probably looking at porn instead of beautiful vegetarian recipes!

Thanks for sharing.

Suman Singh said...

yummy and delicious soup.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Very healthy and tasty veg preparation. Great pics of the snow flakes and the butterfly design. Thanks for showing us the step by step method.

Hamaree Rasoi

Nitha said...

Delicious.. I love any hot & sour soups..

Reva said...

Lovely soup ... looks and sounds delicious... Beautiful writeup which make the post even more interesting..:) Glad to have visited your space.. great work..

Priya Suresh said...

Wow wat a comforting,filling and hearty soup..

Unknown said...

Looks super comforting :)

Preety said...

yummy soup

lubnakarim06 said...

Wow...that's an comfort bowl of yum soup...

Rita said...

Our kind of soup and love that baby bok choy; what a inspiring post; gotta make this sooon.

Puja said...

My all time fav soup- in fact this is the only soup I order whenever I go to a restaurant- looks lipsmackingly delicious!

US Masala

Malar Gandhi said...

Thats really a comforting-hearty the ingredients gone into it.

Mehjabeen Arif said...

nice flavor to the soup..

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Hilary said...

Thanks for following at Crazy as a Loom glad I popped over here, I LOVE this recipe and I am going to make it this weekend.

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Unknown said...

Brilliant photographs! wow....lovely n delicious .it tastes yummy too!
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