soup it up

cold weather outside = more soup cooking opportunities inside. problem is, i don't so much like the blended soups. i prefer a brothy base with the ingredients in their original form, all floating around. and since i've been slowly building up my spicy tolerance over the past year, hot and sour soup seemed like an obvious choice. what i love most about this soup is the bright array of colours. it's pretty to look at. and then you eat it. and you smile even more.

hot and sour soup

i'm not putting exact amounts and measurements here. just go with your hunger level and available ingredients.


the particulars:

  • cooked and peeled prawns
  • thin rice noodles
  • shitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • pak choi, roughly chopped
  • red chilis, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • tons of vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 lime leaves
  • some sesame seeds
  1. boil a pot of veggie broth, and add half the chopped red chili and all of the ginger. also thrown in the agave nectar, fish sauce, lemongrass, lime juice, and lime leaves. let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. strain this into a new pot, leaving just the liquid.
  3. add the prawns, mushrooms, and pak choi. while that is bubbling away, cook the rice noodles.
  4. when the noodles are soft enough, add to the soup mixture and serve hot with the rest of the red chili and the sesame seeds as a garnish.

lesson learned: if i was a soy eater, tofu would be an obvious choice instead of prawns. it would soak up the flavours and spices much more.