Recipe ideas come from many places – cookbooks, magazines, restaurant meals, a vacation – you name it, it probably has inspired someone to create a recipe. This Thai Hot and Sour Soup was inspired by a cookbook I was flipping through on a recent trip – although the soup that inspired it was a bit different – combining squash, coconut milk and thai spices (which I did end up making and it was delicious!) but this Thai Hot and Sour Soup is the version I kept coming back to as I doodled on the plane – a variation of Tom Yum soup.
As you probably know, I love soup almost as much as I love salads and appetizers – and soups are definitely my “fall back” plan when I can’t decide what to make for dinner- my version of “fast food” . Yes, I said fast food – and soup is definitely fast food if you have the right ingredients on hand – and by ingredients I am talking about stock. Although I love making homemade stock, my demand for it definitely outstrips my supply (and my freezer space!) – and so there are always jars of chicken, beef, vegetable and mushroom bases in my refrigerator for making quick pasta dishes, sauces, or for soups like this Thai Hot and Sour soup. A combination of chicken stock, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar made a fragrant and flavorful soup and with the addition of some cooked and shredded chicken, shitake mushrooms, pea pods, jalapeno and some slippery noodles it fit right into the category of not only fast food, but a one dish dinner. Since I’m trying to add more vegetables to our meals, I paired this Thai Hot and Sour Soup with a simple salad of napa cabbage, cucumbers and carrots dressed with a little rice wine vinegar… easy, nutritious and delicious…truly fast food at it’s best!!
Thai Hot and Sour Soup
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 lemongrass stalk tender green portion peeled and minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 large shallot minced
- 2 tsp. ginger peeled and minced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 2 cups cooked udon or spaghetti noodles
- 1 cup sliced and sauteed shitake mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups pea pods
- 1 sliced red jalapeno
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- In in large stockpot, heat the 2 tsp. of oil over medium heat. Add the lemongrass, garlic, shallots and ginger and cook until the vegetables are tender but not browned (if starting to brown, turn down the heat!). Add the stock and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Arrange chicken, noodles, pea pods and mushrooms in 4 shallow bowls. Ladle hot soup over and garnish with jalapeno and cilantro.