The original recipe was billed as a hot and sour soup, but I call this my not-so-hot-and-not-so-sour soup. It has shrimp, tofu, bamboo shoots, and all manner of other good things but it was not particularly hot, nor was it particularly sour. And I do love me some hot and sour soup, so I was momentarily disappointed by it. But then once I began to think of it as just a soup, I warmed up to it more and more. And while I thought it was good the night I made it, the leftovers today were simply amazing. It has a delicious broth, the vegetables still have a toothsome crunch to them, and it's just the thing to have on a cold and windy day with the trees whipping around outside in gusts strong enough to make me wonder if the house was built with enough nails.
My husband's currently out of town, hunting little deer on Prince of Wales Island, home to the perhaps-endangered Prince of Wales Island flying squirrel. I love the sound of the words 'nocturnal glider,' don't you? (Vegetarians and animal rights activists, cover your eyes for this next part). When I texted to ask if he'd spotted any flying squirrels or shot any cute furry forest animals today, he texted back: "No. And two." He neglected to reply to my next text though, asking if he'd taken a bite of of their still-beating hearts. Apparently he doesn't think I'm as funny as I am.
Anyways, when he's gone I'll make a full recipe of something then eat the leftovers for days, either taking it to work with me for lunch or having a quick and easy ready-made dinner when I get home in the evening. The mark of a good I'm-home-alone-and-have-to-eat-this-entire-thing recipe is if I taste it and then think either:
"Oh, I have to eat this for days."
"Yes! I get to eat this for days!"
This is one I'm looking forward to polishing off all on my own.
Although this much shrimp can't be good for a person. Ah well. Crosses to bear and all that.
The original recipe is here. My version follows. And here's a short video I shot this morning while walking the dog, to give you a taste of what it's like outside my door. I think the trees are absolutely hypnotizing when they flail around like this.
Not So Hot and Not So Sour But Still Very Good Soup
A slosh of sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of chopped onions
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 cup of shredded or thinly-sliced carrots
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 (8-ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 large egg white, beaten
1/4 teaspoon chili oil or your favorite hot sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat, then add the next 4 ingredients in a large pot. Saute till the onions sweat and turn a little opaque. Add the broth, soy sauce, bamboo shoots, lemon juice, vinegar, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp and tofu to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are almost done. Combine cornstarch and with a few tablespoons of the soup broth in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to pot and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly and gently. Slowly drizzle egg white into pan, stirring gently. Remove from heat; stir in chili oil and onions.