Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hot And Sour Soup

Have you met anyone who is super prepared to face anything the day throws at them. These are the girls/women who tote rather large bags/ purses that contain everything from a small sized hand lotion to hand sanitizer to even a clothes stain remover. Amazing isn't it, I always admire such people, they seem to anticipate every possibility that could come their way in a day. 

Recently when I was in a buffet style restaurant which serves soups and salads, I observed this couple that sat at a nearby table. Like everyone else they too had filled their plates with salad. Then the girl whipped out a large tote and removed a couple of bottles from it. It seemed to contain olive oil and soy sauce which she proceeded to use to flavor her salad. I could not believe my eyes, I have seen a lot of well prepared people but never so well prepared that they carry their choice of sauces and oils to add to their salad when eating out.I think if there was ever an award instituted for being the most well prepared for the day, that girl definitely would qualify for it :-)

Moving on, here is a hot and sour soup that belongs to the category of Indo-Chinese or Indian-Chinese cuisine. I have already mentioned about this type of cuisine here and here so I will not go into it again. Suffice to say this soup with its blend of spice, tart and sweet flavors is one of our favorites. When served in restaurants this tends to be thicker with lesser vegetables, but when I make it at home I make it a little lighter with far more vegetables. One of the best things about this soup other than its taste, is that it is very quick to prepare and can easily be made in under thirty minutes.



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Ingredients and Method to make Hot and Sour Soup

2 large carrots cut fine (yielded 1 1/2 cups of cut carrots)
8 button mushrooms sliced thin ( yielded about 2 cups cut mushrooms)
1/4 head cabbage cut fine (yielded about 2 1/4 cups of finely cut cabbage)
1 tsp salt ( or to taste)
approximately 5 cups of water or stock ( I used water)

7 tbsp Light (reduced sodium) soy sauce (or to taste) (see notes)
3 tbsp chili sauce (Chinese style ) (or to taste)
3 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp Corn starch (Corn flour) mixed well in 1/4 cup of water so that there are no lumps

Add all the vegetables, salt and water to a heavy bottomed pan and allow it to come to a boil.

Lower heat and allow the vegetables to cook until slightly soft

Add soy sauce, chili sauce, ketchup and vinegar. Taste test and add some more if required.

Add the corn starch mixed with water to this soup. Allow  it to simmer for a minute or two for the flavors to mingle.

Serve hot.

Serves approximately 2 to 3

The copyright of this content belongs to Veginspirations.com

Notes:
If you want a thicker soup you can increase the quantity of corn starch to 2 tbsp or 2 1/2 tbsp depending on how thick you want it. Usually restaurants serve this soup with a thicker gravy, I like mine light, so if you want restaurant style soup you might want to increase the quantity of corn starch/ flour.

You can garnish this soup with finely chopped green part of green onions

I used reduced sodium, light soy sauce, if you use regular soy sauce you may need lesser quantity of it, as it may be stronger.


This soup is off to the Healthy Inspirations Event - Soup that is currently going on here...

28 comments :

Rachana Kothari said...

Healthy and spicy Soup!!!! Looks really good:)

Bhagi said...

when I was in Atl one of my friends at school used to carry her hot sauce in her handbag. i never understood it though......
your soup looks yummy

kitchen queen said...

refreshing appetising and a healthy soup.

SE said...

perfect for the season...and yes, Usha..people have lot of stuff in the bags, from snacks and sauces to clothes and makeup !!

indosungod said...

That is the height of preparedness but hey my early days here I wouldn't have minded having a hot sauce bottle in my handbag when I went out to eat.

But this soup is delicious. I might whip up some for tonight.

Vaishali said...

You gave me a good laugh, Usha, with that couple and their bottles of olive oil and soy sauce :) I too am always amazed at those super-prepared people, but I'd rather take things easy. That way, I don't have to worry about spilling olive oil in my bag! :)

simply.food said...

Looks absolutely yummy and delicious.

Laavanya said...

That is precisely why i prefer home made soups too - we can add more veggies and make it lighter - sounds delicious.

Priya said...

I can finish the bowl rite now, looks simply fantastic Usha..prefect for this cold evening..

indhu said...

that is super-duper preparation... I guess I am on the other side... I hardly ever have the thing I need when I need it :)
love all your chinese recipes!

- Indhu (www.thayirsaadham.com)

Swathi said...

Usha,
Hot and sour soup looks delecious.

Ruchikacooks said...

Yummy Soup, my fav in the chinese places.

I couldnt believe it when I read about what the girl did. I carry snacks and hubby thinks that is too much.

Yup, Lassi became Laban there. Good for the heat though.

www.ruchikacooks.com

jayasri said...

Mmm., spicy & hot soup can have it now!!, suddenly it has become too cold here!!, and about those two girls in resturant kudos to them, it is indeed very surprising!!, I have seen people carrying make up & medicines this is completely new to me!!

Gita said...

Wow...that's so strange, condiments in bag!....soup looks delicious Usha...good for a cold winter dinner with garlic bread :)

Preety said...

its been a while since i visited your blog, looks you made some awesome changes,

soup looks so yummy, great entry

Sharmilee! :) said...

I like the sweet taste in soups...looks great!

Prathibha said...

Oils n sauces in a hand bag???
I can't imagine that...even I do carry hand sanitizer and some other necessary requirements but never saw any one carrying oils n sauces..she truly deserves an award dear...
Hot n sour is one of my favorite ones..

sowmya.s said...

your blog is raining soups nowadays..i hardly make soup though i want to..now as iam on diet , i think i am going to do it regularly...and send you for the event too...lovely soup...

Valarmathi said...

My favorite one... never tried at home.. will try this sure.

Parita said...

Delicious!!! I feel like having it right now!

Happy Cook said...

My hand bag contains the emergecny things. A wallet, few painkillers, hancher chief, a lipstick etc.......i think if we were in a place and I too bottles of soysauce, oil etc.... my family would have heart attack :-)
Lov ethe soup; this is my sisters favourite soup.

Renuka Bedre - Rao said...

I love this spicy soup..urs looks delicious!!

Cham said...

Hehe I use to carry a small first aid box quiet fitting in purse! Everyone use to laugh when I pull out a bandage when a kid bleed in playground! But the gal should be a real foodie freak!

Red Chillies said...

The only thing liquid I carry around in my purse is a hand sanitizer. I would be too worried about carrying anything else for the fear of spilling it, ruining my purse, phone, pen, keys etc etc.

soup looks delicious.

Vaishali Sharma said...

Usha..The soup looks absolutely appetising! I made it too last week. Love Hot and Sour!

Latha said...

Perfect soup for the winter. looks yummy.

Enjoy Parents said...

Hi, Just a suggestion, I used ARROWROOT FLOUR instead of corn starch in all chinese recepies and else where as well, for a health tinch . It worked great maintaining the taste and texture as well.

Usha said...

@Enjoy Parents, liked the idea of arrowroot powder instead of corn starch. Have never used arrowroot powder before though, am going to check up on it and see what health benefits it offers :)

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