National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month. Soup makes a marvelous mouth-watering way to warm up on a chilly winter’s day. A favorite of mine is Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, which I have been making and enjoying since the mid-1970s. Here’s my only slightly updated 1975 recipe.

Cathy’s Hot-and-Sour Soup
Update of my 1975 recipe

2 T peanut oil
1 T finely minced garlic
1 T minced ginger or ginger paste
¼ lb boneless pork, cut in matchstick-sized slices
½ c coarsely chopped cabbage leaf, optional
¼ c shredded, chopped, or matchstick-sliced carrots
3 T tamari or soy sauce
1 c bamboo shoots, sliced
12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
12 canned straw mushrooms
12 lily buds (golden needles) (rehydrated in boiling water, if dried)
12 tree ear fungus (wood ears, cloud ears) (rehydrated in boiling water, if dried)
4 c chicken bone broth or stock
1/3 c dry sherry (or saki)
1 c red wine vinegar
2 T cornstarch combined with ¼ c cold water
1/3 c diced fresh bean curd (tofu)
2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green portions)
¼ lb shrimp, medium-sized (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten, optional
1 T sesame oil
3-5 T hot chili oil, or a few dashes crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper
In 2-handled wok or large saucepan, heat peanut oil; add garlic and ginger, stirring ½ minute.

Add pork, cabbage, and carrot, cooking till the pork loses its pink color. Add tamari, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, lily buds, tree ears; stir 1 minute. Stir in broth, sherry and vinegar; then cornstarch/water mixture. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat. Add tofu, green onions and shrimp. Add the egg in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in sesame oil, hot oil, and white pepper. (Add salt and black pepper to suit your taste, if desired.) Serve with crispy fried Chinese noodles, if desired. Makes 2-3 servings.
KISS Tip: I have also made this as a Mushroom-Hot-and-Sour Soup, by omitting the pork and shrimp and quadrupling the mushrooms.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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