Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

When we get sick, especially with a stuffy head cold, we crave hot soup to soothe us. There's something magical about soup and its healing properties. It's true that it's mostly about the steam and simply getting hydrated, but when a particularly gnarly sinus cold gets you down, it's nice to curl up with a steamy bowl of soup that also acts as a decongestant. Enter: hot-and-sour soup!

Lee has been feeling the early symptoms of one of these colds for a few days now. He mentioned a craving for hot-and-sour soup but also noted that he had trouble finding a Chinese restaurant to get it from near his office. Because hot-and-sour soup is typically made with pork, I'd never had it before and quite frankly didn't even know what the other ingredients were. Nevertheless, I decided right then to whip up a batch of vegan hot-and-sour soup in an effort to ease the troubles of my sniffly partner. After a bit of research, I was able to veganize some traditional recipes and develop one that does the job!

Vegan Hot-and-Sour Soup

1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced thinly
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
6-8oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb extra firm tofu, cut into 2 inch x 1/2 inch pieces
6oz bamboo shoots (drained, if canned)
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
2 Tbsp cup soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp minced or crushed garlic (fresh)
1-2 Tbsp red chili paste (or a wicked hot sauce like Sriracha)
pinch crushed red chili flakes
1 green onion, chopped finely

Heat oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Stir to coat with oil and cook until just beginning to get tender.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the green onion) and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are cooked to your liking. Taste and add more hot stuff if you prefer. Garnish with green onion and dig in!

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