Sunday, March 22, 2009

Meghan's Magical Detoxifying Hot and Sour Soup

Sometimes when I have a bad head cold, or go on benders binge drinking for a week (all inclusives will do that to you), I know that Gatorade and a salad will not do the trick as far as getting me back into tip-top almost healthy shape. And so I created a recipe through trial and error a few years back that I break out about once every month or two and it does the trick every time. This is one of the only things I can cook, but it's so worth it. And it's my time to share it with you.

Meghan's Magical Detoxifying Hot and Sour Soup
1 small onion
1/2 a spanish (red) onion
5 cloves fresh garlic
3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6.5 cups vegetable stock (you could use chicken but I prefer veg)
2 tablespoons chili sauce (I like it hot! If all else add one, then add more gradually to taste)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch sea salt
1/3 a cup of white vineger

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
Bunch of broccolli
Bunch of spinach (I sometimes use kale as that works too. It looks like a lot, but cooks down)
5 large or ten small mushrooms
2 small zuchinni
1 tin water chestnuts
1/2 a package of medium firm tofu
1 cup cooked, deveined cleaned prawns (to make the soup truly veg you can omit and it would still taste good)
1 tomato

Whew. That was quite a list. But it's totally worth it in the end, trust me.

Start by chopping up the onions and throwing them into a giant pot to soften on medium low heat with the oils. The sesame oil is a Must but use sparingly as it is quite a strong flavour. Use a garlic press to press the garlic in (do you have a garlic press? if not, get one. It is your friend). Also peel the ginger easily by using a spoon to scrape it off. Then use a cheese grater to grate it into the soup. Let it all soften about 5-10 min and make your kitchen smell wonderful.

At that point add all the vegetable stock. You can use homemade or store bought vegetable stock, doesn't matter. If all else you could use vegetable bouillion, but make sure it is blended well and reduce the salt from the soup as bouliion bases tend to be salty. Now you just start chopping the veg and dumping them into the pot, easy as that. I tend to do a chunkier chop as it's about the texture and colour. Start with your hardest veggies as they will take the longest to cook. So brocolli followed by the peppers. I use about 3/4 of each pepper so I can use the rest for an omelet the next day, but use the whole thing if you want.

See how pretty and colourful it looks already. Next throw in the zuchinni, mushrooms, tofu and water chestnuts. For those leary about tofu note that it just absorbs all the flavours in the soup. Add the chili paste next, spices and vineger. It make seem very spicey/sour but will mellow out a little. The water chesnuts are optional but I find they give the soup a really nice crunch. Now you sit and let it cook at a medium heat for about 20 or so minutes so that the vegetables are cooked but not mushy. Feel free to test after about 12-15 as different stove tops are different and I don't want to be responsible for your mushy veg.
Also during this time feel free to binge on cookies because the soup is SO HEALTHY it's going to kick those cookies asses anyways.

Now when the soup is almost done you get to throw in the prawn and the tomato. Not before or the prawns will get overcooked and rubbery and the tomatoes will get all mushy in the soup and gross. At that point let it cook on low for another 5 minutes, throw it into the biggest bowl you have and enjoy! You're going to have tons (enough for 2-4) but I doubt it will last long. It doesn't freeze that well but it'll be long gone before then and so will any cold or ailmet and you'll be right as rain and ready for another bender.


Quick tip! You know the bits of veggies that don't seem that nice, or the mushroom stems and veggie ends and bits that people tend to throw out? DON'T! I throw them all into a giant ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer til chock full and when it is, it can be boiled down and strained with some salt, pepper and garlic into a yummy homemade veggie broth for future soups.


Angela said...

Wow, Meagan. You get a million points from me for even wanting to cook when you're sick or hungover! Cooking a soup from scratchc is the last thing on my mind when I'm sick or had a big night of drinking.

Paula said...

It sounds nice but a list of ingredients that long??? Intimidating... :)

Leanne said...

Dammit I Now Is Wish I Could Have Picked Up My Portion Of The Soup Before Work This Evening :( Next Time... Because They're Will Always Be A Next Time For Our Hijinxs!!!!!

Mike said...

Hot and Sour soup?

But where's the pork?

LiLu said...

Oh, HELL yes... if the sore throat I woke up with this morning turns out to be actual illness, I am SO making this.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

That sounds sooooo good!
Low in calories too!

Meghan said...

Angela- usually I wait a day or so after the hangover, as hangover day=greasy food.

Paula- it sounds like a lot, but it's not that bad!

Leanne- I'll pack you a detox lunch for work next time.

Mike- you won't even miss it. Trust me.

LiLu- your cold will thank you. Your tastebuds too.

Candy-it's why you can eat giant bowls guilt free. And the cookies.

Slyde said...

im not sure i could get that down...

p.s. welcome back! awesome pics! You look like a hottie in that bikini pic! :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh I love soup. This one sounds like a winner. :)

Adly said...

That looks good :> I wish I could cook.

Bruce said...

I know I first started to feel like an adult when I got my first garlic press.

The soup sounds good, but when I get a head cold, I it lots of hot brandy.....and hamburger helper.....more medication, less work.

Meghan said...

Slyde- you always know how to make me blush and giggle.

Sleepyjane- It is. But I'm biased.

Bruce- a hot toddy is a surefire way to feel better.