Warming Chinese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Day 9 - Healthy Eating Plan

Hot and Sour Soup - this will warm you right down to the tips of your toes!
Hot and Sour Soup - this will warm you right down to the tips of your toes!

As you can see tonight's recipe is a Sweet and Sour Soup, if you've never tried it please do it's one of the world's wonders - a heat that hits you in the back of your throat without being overpowering and such an incredible taste - Asian cuisine created a masterpiece in this very, very easy to make soup. Bear in mind that the secret to good soup lies in it's base, in this case the Chicken Stock, homemade is preferable but you can find really good homemade versions in the supermarkets nowadays.


Hot and Sour Soup is reputed to be good for colds, increasing the ginger can help to fight off colds and will increase your blood circulation too.



Breakfast


2 Slices of One Clever Loaf; malted wheatgrain with seeds thinly spread with Flora Light and low sugar homemade Raspberry and Apple Jam.


1 cup of Blueberries.



Comment: Love this jam, so easy to make and straight from the fruits in my garden, we had an absolute glut of raspberries last Summer and so I was sticking them in cakes, pies and of course jam, and it's so satisfying eating something in the cold Winter months that you gathered in the ... I was going to say hot Summer but let's be honest this is England and it wasn't, hot that is, let's say 'gathered in the sunshine' which is much more appropriate.



Lunch


2 Slices of One Clever Loaf; malted wheatgrain with seeds barely spread with Flora Light, 2 teaspoons of Hellman's Lighter Than Light Mayonnaise, slices of Tesco's Chunky Tandoori Chicken Slices, Tesco's Beetroot, Spinach and Lettuce Salad.


1 Slice of Melon sprinkled with a little ginger powder.


Comment: Lovely, lovely lunch - thoroughly enjoyed the Tandoori Chicken which was very soft and not dry at all, I love the Tesco's Beetroot, Spinach and Lettuce salad, those little baby beetroot leaves are soooo cute, yes food can be cute too, although the strips of beetroot tendto go off quickly so eat it within a day or two of buying it.




DINNER - HOT AND SOUR SOUP


This evening's dinner turned out to be oven baked Haddock in crispy breadcrumbs with a baked potato and beans, low in fat, high in satisfaction, very filling and the family devoured it BUT it was not what my mouth or my stomach wanted, I really didn't fancy eating a whole plate of food, sometimes all I want is something hot and nourishing but without having a huge meal and when that mood hits me then this is what I turn to - Hot and Sour Soup.


Ingredients:


1 Free Range Skinless Chicken Breast

4 oz / 125g Organic Mushrooms, preferably shitake or button mushrooms

1-2 Spring Onions / Scallions

1 stalk of Lemongrass

1 small Red Chilli

2 Garlic Cloves

1 in /2.5 cm piece of Ginger

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons / 30 ml of Light Soy Sauce

A handful of fresh Coriander



Method:


  • Wash the lemongrass - making sure you remove all the white powder from the leaves. Cut the stalks into about three parts and crush the younger white part with the back of a large knife or a rolling pin.
  • Slice the Chilli, depending on how hot you want your soup discard or don't discard the seeds (I prize taste over heat and leave the seeds out, my husband is a chilli addict and normally I end up with two pots on the go, one with, one without).
  • Crush or thinly slice the garlic.
  • Grate or thinly slice the ginger.
  • Tie half the coriander in a bundle.
  • In a large saucepan place the coriander, lemongrass, chilli, garlic, ginger and chicken stock. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  • Meanwhile cut the chicken into thin strips.
  • Slice the larger mushrooms and half the smaller ones.
  • When the soup has come to the boil, reduce the heat so that is just simmering.
  • Carefully put the chicken strips and mushrooms into the soup.
  • Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering shred the spring onions for sprinkling on the soup as a garnish. Don't leave these out they are wonderful against the hot soup, just that little crunch is perfect.
  • Check that your chicken is cooked, if you've sliced them thinly enough this really shouldn't be a problem.
  • Add the lime juice and soy sauce to the soup.
  • Here's the good bit, taste your soup, if you think it needs salt then add a little more of the soy sauce, and add more chilli if you want at this stage too.
  • Remove the coriander bundle.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with some of the spring onion and a few of the coriander leaves.


Variation:

You can also replace the chicken with 8oz / 225g of peeled, cooked prawns but only add the prawns 2 minutes before the end of the cooking process otherwise they will be hard and taste like little bits of rubber with no flavour.


Comment: This is really quite a quick dish to make even though the instructions look lengthy, it is worth every second of the cooking for that hot sweet and slightly sour flavour that hits your tastebuds from the very first mouthful to the last, definitely food for the soul. I can never have just one bowl of this uplifting soup and since it contains no fat and about 50 calories a bowl there's no reason why you couldn't have as much as you like. This is definitely one of my favourite things to eat and it never fails to hit the spot and put my world back into place.





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