They say, ‘Every Day’s a School Day,’ and while figuring out how to introduce today’s recipe I learnt something new…. Now, this may be total and utter common knowledge and I’m going to look pretty special here, but while thinking about soup I started thinking about ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’, and how it was a well-known saying (much like ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ and ‘butter wouldn’t melt’), and learnt that it’s actually a book, and a New York Times No.1 Best Seller at that!!! #MindBlown!
Anyway, despite the revelation about the book that I’ll most likely never get around to reading, the point I was originally looking to make (instead of rambling), is that this Hot and Sour Soup is the new chicken soup. It’s delicious, it’s warming, it’s exciting and boy does it make you smile! It is also suitable for everyone; vegetarians, vegans, coeliac and even the hard-core meat lover! If you don’t believe me you’ll just have to try it for yourself…!
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled
- 1 fresh red chilli – deseeded and roughly chopped
- Twist of salt
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger – peeled and finely chopped
- 150g shiitake mushrooms – cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper – deseeded and sliced
- Splash sesame oil
- 3 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
- 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon runny honey
- Twist of pepper
- 1.5 litres hot vegetable stock
- 150g firm tofu – cut into 1 cm cubes
- 2 spring onions – finely chopped
- 100g vermicelli noodles – prepared according to pack instructions
- 50g baby bok choy – stalks trimmed
Place your garlic in a pestle and mortar and bash with a pinch of salt into a rough paste. Add the ginger and bash until fully broken down.
Heat the sesame oil in a large wok or saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the red pepper and mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Stir in the chilli paste and fry for a further minute.
Meanwhile, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, the honey and a good twist of pepper. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute, then pour in the hot stock and the bok choy and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, adding the noodles for the last 2 minutes.
Once reduced, stir in the tofu and return to the heat for 1 minute to warm through. Season to taste with soy and vinegar, then serve immediately with the spring onions scattered on top.