My husband has a very healthy appetite. I knew we were meant-to-be after those first couple of dinner dates when I realized that he was a total foodie, but he didn’t even know it (the best kind of foodie, in my opinion). Although the hubs doesn’t cook all the time, it does happen, and when he does, it’s calculated; he follows recipes to a “T” and the food is always pretty darn good.
This may or may not surprise you, but when two foodies get married, they talk about food (past, present and future) quite a bit. So one day this past January, the hubs and I were talking via g-chat during work and he sent me this link; as soon as I clicked, I knew this would be made in our kitchen in the near term future. The hubs knows exactly how to motivate me to cook something new: send a link to a totally awesome blog with great recipes and killer photography. I really love Food52 for more than just this soup recipe; it’s a great site to explore on rainy Saturday mornings when you are looking to be inspired before hitting the grocery store or on slow Thursday afternoons at work when you are looking for a pleasant distraction.
I must preface my photos with a head’s up – my soup does not look as good as Joanne Chang’s… I could probably make this 100 times and it still would not look as good as Joanne Chang’s, but that’s ok, because it tasted amazing. I didn’t really stray from Joanne’s easy-to-follow recipe, except that I used a ton of mushrooms and a lot of meat because the hubs and I really love ‘shrooms and meat – need I say more? Joanne’s recipe is here: http://food52.com/recipes/25530-joanne-chang-s-hot-and-sour-soup
Another thing, I don’t usually cook with tofu – it’s not really a go-to of mine, but it was really, really good in this recipe. I think you could pretty easily make this soup into a vegan soup by using vegetable broth, taking out all the meat and kicking up the seasoning a little bit. We used the Nasoya brand soft tofu and I was happy with it. I think the next time I make this recipe, I will cut the tofu a little bigger in hopes that it will stay together a little bit more.
Overall, this soup really hit the spot; it’s super simple, rustic and has flavor for days. I will definitely, no doubt about it, be making this again. It was a total hit and we emptied our bowls. Also, we warmed this up later on in the week and it re-heated well. It looked different, but tasted just as good.