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Hot and Sour Soup - Parsnips & Paleo

Updated on November 15, 2014
5 stars from 1 rating of Hot and Sour Soup

Welcome to Parsnips & Paleo

I made a discovery about three or four years ago: I love to cook. Prior to 2011 I could hardly tell you the difference between dicing and mincing, not to mention I felt like Fauna in the kitchen not knowing what any of these odd abbreviations meant.

Moving forward through time, over the course of a year I became a pretty decent cook. I began making things from memory and without really measuring many ingredients. Unfortunately, I was overweight and felt horrible. While cooking more of my meals did help a little, there was something else that I just was not "getting." After about a year, we made the switch to organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed and pasture-raised humane meats, egg, and dairy. The change was phenomenal, we felt so much better. But we still cooked with grains, wheat, and pastas, and I was still a little overweight at 5'4", 180lbs, and a size 16US.

Two years after I started cooking, and one year after we became organic, I discovered the Paleo lifestyle. It just made sense to me, and it was easy to start making the switch. Now, two years into the Paleo lifestyle, I have changed so much for the better. I became a much less picky eater (I still won't touch pickles though); my blood sugar became stable, my asthma disappeared, headaches stopped, and I had more energy and stamina than I really knew what to do with. I began to lose a lot of weight, and with all this extra energy, I started exercising more. I began to learn about gluten, GMO, and Monsanto, and how severe my allergies were to wheat, grain, and all the gluten and sugar that accompanied them.

The first year of Paleo, I lost 25lbs, about 3 inches, and was a size 10US. As of now, approaching my second Paleoversary (2 years on Paleo in January 2015), I weigh 145lbs for a total loss of 35lbs and wear a size 6-8US, for a total loss of 4 sizes.

We feel great, and we do our best to support local produce, including responsibly sourced meat and vegetables from farms and ranches that treat their animals with dignity and respect. It means so much to me to be a part of this movement and this lifestyle, and I could never go back now. I have committed.

Not to mention I no longer look like poor Fauna wondering how to properly fold eggs into a batter (of pecan or almond meal, of course!).

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: About 4 servings


  • 2 cups side pork (or other meat), sliced and browned
  • 3 1/2 cups stock or broth
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 egg
  • sesame oil
  • ginger
  • black pepper
sliced mushrooms
sliced mushrooms
carrot and green onion
carrot and green onion
cooked side meat
cooked side meat

For this recipe, you can use just about any kind of meat you prefer. The original recipe used shrimp, but I've used scallops and shredded chicken. This particular instance we had about 2 lbs of pasture-raised pork side meat in the freezer and not much to do with it, so I decided to throw it in the mix and see what came out. I also was fresh out of shiitake mushrooms so I had to use some small white mushrooms. Shiitakes taste better with this recipe, but really any mushroom will work.

All of my fresh ingredients are organic or gluten-free. If you're a Paleo purist, feel free to substitute the soy sauce for coconut aminos. Even with my soy and gluten allergies, a little soy sauce usually doesn't affect me terribly.

  1. Prepare your ingredients. Slice or shred the meat into bite-sized pieces or strips, if desired, and brown the meat slightly in a skillet. Slice mushrooms, onions, and shred carrots. Keep mushrooms separate and set ingredients aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat sesame oil and sauté the mushrooms until tender. Add stock, vinegar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; let simmer for a few minutes (about 2 or 3).
  3. Sprinkle ginger (about 1 tbsp) and some black pepper (about 1/2 tsp). Stir in meat and add more ginger and pepper to taste. If you prefer really spicy soup, add more! If you prefer it more mild, stick with 1 tbsp ginger and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  4. Add water gradually to the arrowroot to make a thin paste. Add to the soup, bring to boiling and reduce heat. Let simmer. The soup won't get terribly thick, so you can skip this step if you wish. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, but you can let it simmer for as long as you want or need (such as if you're trying to keep the kitten from eating your other ingredients, or you're trying to monitor the fireplace in the other room).
  5. However long you decide to let the soup simmer, add your carrots and onions about 10 minutes prior to serving. When you're ready to serve, whisk the egg in a measuring cup and gradually pour into the soup while stirring. This will cook the egg and help mix it in with the other ingredients.
You should be able to see the cooked egg floating and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients
You should be able to see the cooked egg floating and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients

Final Note

This recipe makes about 4 servings- feel free to add or subtract the amounts to fit your needs. For a thicker soup, add more meat and veggies. For a veggie-only dish, you can probably add some daikon. For a thinner soup, just cut the meat and veggies back a little.

I do hope you enjoy! Please rate, comment and share so I know how I'm doing!


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