Meghan's Magical Detoxifying Hot and Sour Soup
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.
NOM, NOM, NOM
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.