Hot and Sour Tofu Mushroom Soup

January 18, 2015

I am one of those fortunate people who doesn't get sick very often.  Most likely it's partly because I don't have or work with small children, so I'm not exposed to many germs.  I like to think that my high level of produce consumption and regular work out routine plays a major role, but probably I'm just genetically blessed with a robust immune system.  But this January, I've been unusually under the weather.  The month began with sort-of cold that was never quite bad enough to justify taking medicine, but nonetheless featured lots of annoying coughing and sniffling.  Once the cold wound down, I was hit with a stomach bug that left me bleary-eyed and nauseated after a sleepless night, lugging a two-liter of diet ginger ale through the SkyWay (Target didn't have any 20-ounce bottles), for once grateful that my job does not require much in the way of high-level thought.

But I have emerged from my brief period of illness with a new appreciation for the good health I enjoy most of the time, a liter of flat diet ginger ale, and a new hot and sour soup recipe.  Since it has some assertive flavors, it's probably not the best thing for the depths of the stomach flu, but it's a nourishing way to clear your sinuses if you're dealing with a cold.  I used red cabbage, since I had some left over from a salad recipe, but I'm sure green cabbage would work too.  The soup itself is mostly sour--the heat comes from the drizzling of sriracha that you serve it with, so you can adjust the spiciness level to your liking.

Also, white spots on the jalapeno pepper in the photo are frost (I store whole jalapenos from our CSA in the freezer and use them year-round); I'm not serving moldy food!

Adapted from The Kitchn recipe by Faith Durand

Serves 4


Hot and Sour Tofu Mushroom Soup Ingredients  
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-inch long piece of ginger, peeled and minced (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons zest and 6 tablespoons juice)
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12-ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, cored, halved, and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • sriracha sauce, for serving

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add oil and tilt to evenly coat.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are well-browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the jalapeno pepper, garlic, and ginger and cook until garlic and ginger are light golden, about 5 minutes.

Add lime zest and broth and bring a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add tofu.  Continue simmering for 5 minutes.  Add lime juice, soy sauce, and cabbage and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 5 additional minutes.

Serve with sriracha sauce.

Hot and Sour Tofu Mushroom Soup