Yes, time to clear the decks. This lighter version of the classic Chinese restaurant soup starts another year New Year off right. Hot and Sour Soup, a bowl that is a little jewel.
In addition to starting the New Year and wanting a start fresh, we have had confinement to keep us at home this winter. Uggh, feeling heavy and very much in need of a bright spot. A clean soup, and maybe a detox will do the trick? Here is a simple soup to pull you out of the doldrums.
COOKING THE CLASSICS
The year (has it really been that long?) at home has nurtured again my love of classic recipes. These are what I cut my teeth on as a budding chef at 21 years of age. However new is good too. Lightening up the classics is a great way to capture beloved food tastes, but in a more healthy manner. This is the age of Aquarius.
I have been making Hot and Sour Soup for years, with many iterations of the recipe along the way. I play around with the basic soup, like Feeling Good Bowl of Noodles, that I ramp up with more hot chili paste. In my search for a lighter fresher version of classic Hot and Sour, I found this recipe and made a few small changes. The soup is warming and light, just like in restaurants.
COOKING AT HOME
I almost always cook all my own food at home, except for those special dinners out (used to). I love being able to control and know what foods go into my body, it’s a health thing. When I was lived in LA for almost all my life I had access to the most amazing Asian cuisine, just down the street from my home. I know poor me, I moved up to the central coast and well the choices of my favorite cuisines are now much more limited. Even as a private chef, I have only prepared basic Chinese recipes. Hot and Sour Soup is a favorite and one you can master at home.
Hot and Sour Soup does not contain a long list of ingredients and most are available in the supermarket. My local Farmers market does have a great mushroom vendor, so for this recipe I was able to use fresh mushrooms supplemented with some frozen mushrooms. We all are doing our best. I think fresh ginger and garlic are key to the recipe. I use an organic vegetable broth and lots of hot chili garlic paste. I think of Hot and Sour Soup as a medicine of sorts, warming from the inside when the weather turns cold. I freeze some soup for later and make soup the meal along with a light salad on days I want to lighten things up.
I am using my isolation time to work on my cookbook #4 Beautiful Food by Design, which is still about a year away.
Stay safe and well and thank you for being a part of Bijouxs Little Jewels from the Kitchen.
As always, enjoy. B