This recipe hot and sour soup is considered a regional dish in both Mandarin and Szechuan cuisines. The hot comes from chile pepper and the sour comes from vinegar. Paired with stir fry or other Chinese-inspired mains and sides, this stand-out soup is perfect for winter.
Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup [Vegan]
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 hot chile pepper, seeded and diced, or cayenne pepper, to taste
- 6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (try straw or shiitake)
- 1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped small zucchini
- 1 cup chopped small carrots
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or organic sugar
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
- Half a 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, grated (optional)
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
- 1/4 cup diced green onion
- Place the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chile pepper, and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add the water, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and mixed vegetables and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the agave, vinegar, and arrowroot mixture, and gently stir until soup thickens. Add the soy sauce and tofu, if using, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the green onion and mix well before serving.