Hot & Sour Broth

This entry is filed under Soup Recipes.

Hot & Sour Soup

Uplifting fiery broth to kick start your metabolism


If I’m honest, hot and sour pretty much sums up my mood all week and so it seemed pretty appropriate to make a fiery broth to match my temperament. Remarkably, it’s had the desired effect, flushing out the gloom and doom, lifting both spirit and jaded palate brought on by comfort eating of the worst kind and a desire to hibernate ever since the clocks went back.

Don’t you think it strange how food can effect  our mood like that? But then again we are what we eat… Maybe the ‘feel good factor’ comes from the dry peppery heat, balanced with tangy sourness.  Being a clear broth rather than a thick creamy soup could be the reason. After all broths have been used down the centuries to cure the sick and promote health and wellbeing. Whatever the case, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is every mouthful slurped down feels restorative, or as my dear old Nan would say, doing you the power of good. And to be honest after a week of endless drizzle and low grey skies, a steaming bowl of this searing broth is just the tonic for dampened spirits, whether they be carnivore, veggie or vegan.

The great thing is, you don’t need weird, wonderful or exotic ingredients. In fact you probably have everything already… tabasco, vinegar and white pepper are the stars of the show and readily available at your local supermarket or corner shop.

Where the stock is concerned, just use whatever’s in your cupboard. I like Essential Cuisine which I recently discovered, but even Thai fish sauce will do if you have it. Miso sachets come into their own here, savoury and clean tasting, free from MSG and suitable for vegans too. In this particular broth I’ve used homemade chicken stock from a roasted carcass and therefore isn’t quite as clear and pristine as it could be.

Tabasco provides the chili heat, but if that’s not available chili powder or cayenne will do. However, the real heat hero is ground white pepper which you absolutely can’t do without. It adds depth and a certain je nais se quoi elevating the flavour into the exotic and authentic. Surely everyone has this little condiment lurking in their cupboard somewhere?

The final ingredient you need, is vinegar. Ideally clear rice vinegar, though having said that, I used brown malt vinegar which was all I had at the time and you know what it tasted absolutely fine.

Four great things about this broth:
1) You only need 4 ingredients
2) Made in 3 minutes
3) Almost zero washing up
4) Very low in calories, (+ chili speeds up your metabolism)

How wonderful is that…? And now to the recipe…..

Hot & Sour Soup
Serving Size: 500ml
Preparation & Cooking Time: 3 minutes
Effort Level: Very easy

½ litre stock (homemade or shop bought see above)
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp Tabasco
½ tsp ground white pepper
Here’s What To Do:
Boil half a litre of water in a kettle. Ignore this step if using your own homemade stock.

Meanwhile in a heavy based pan mix 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon white pepper, 1 tbsp Tabasco ( or  substitute with ¼ – ½  teaspoon of chili flakes or cayenne) and place over a medium heat.

Add half a litre of boiled water from the kettle and flavour with your chosen store cupboard stock according to instructions on the packet, or add your own homemade stock. Bring up to the boil and then simmer for a couple of minutes before serving.

That’s it!
N.B: In the event you’ve got fresh chili and coriander lurking in your fridge, feel free to add them too. Chop finely adding the seeds for the chili heads amongst you. Bring back to the boil and then strain before serving.

2 Responses to “Hot & Sour Broth”

  1. deborah hutton says:

    I made this twice now and its helped get rid of my cold!!!

  2. Gina says:

    Nice post. Going to make it tonight after gym.

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