Hot & Sour Soup

Winters in Ottawa are long and cold. Every time you think that Spring may finally be here, Winter comes roaring back with 20 cm of snow and bone chilling winds. While most people cower away inside during the winter months, Katie and I like to get out and enjoy the snow. Whether it be snowboarding, snowshoeing, or walking the dog through powdery trails, we just love it. But, like anybody else, we get a little frustrated with the -20C temperatures from time to time.

That is where a good soup comes in handy. Soup has a way of not only satisfying your hunger, but warming you up and comforting you in ways that no other food can. Lately, we’ve been on a bit of an Asian food kick – Pad Thai, chicken cashew, and now, hot and sour soup.

Hot & Sour Soup
8 cups chicken or beef broth
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 fresh ginger, minced
4 green onions, sliced
16 cremini mushroom, sliced
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried chili flakes
1 bundle Soba Noodles (about 80g)
Sriracha sauce, to taste

Soup is often a daunting meal to make. People seem to get overwhelmed with the amount of ingredients and time that it takes to prepare soup, when in fact soup is one of the easiest, most economical meals you could make. The beauty of this soup is that it only takes about 20-30 minutes to make – not hours.

Start by heating the broth in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili flakes, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Add some Sriracha sauce, if desired. I like to put in about 3-4 tablespoons, but I like it hot. If you’re not really into spicy, hold back.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the chicken, green onions, mushrooms and soba noodles. Continue to simmer for another 6-8 minutes, allowing for the mushrooms and noodles to soften, and for the sliced chicken to cook. Reduce to heat to low, add the baby spinach, cover and allow to wilt, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve in a large bowl with chop sticks, a Chinese soup spoon and Sriracha sauce, if desired. Enjoy!


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