This vegan hot and sour soup is the perfect winter warmer dish. It's a great soup to eat if you're feeling under the weather and need a meal that's rich in nutrients and easy to eat, with ingredients that you can conveniently purchase from your local store.
Adding tofu to this hot and sour soup makes it that little bit more filling so that it can be served as dinner all on its own. It is also excellent for vegetarians, vegans or omnivores, as tofu is a superb sour of protein and can act as a meat substitute. Hot and sour soup is quick to cook, so you can enjoy it for a midweek dinner - or, if you are hosting a dinner party, why not cook it up as something a little different for your guests?
If you love spicy, flavourful, aromatic dishes, this vegan hot and sour soup is perfect!
What is hot and sour soup?
A traditionally Chinese recipe, hot and sour soup has been adapted as it spread worldwide. It's quite simply a spicy soup, relatively salty, but with a sour kick. This soup can be made with all sorts of ingredients, but this vegan hot and sour soup recipe primarily includes tofu and vegetables.
It's got a broth made from stock, soy sauce, white pepper, and vinegar, as well as plenty of different vegetables to ensure that you get all of your vitamins. The white pepper and vinegar give the hot and sour flavour that you'd expect with such a name!
We're confident that you'll love this recipe just as it is, but if you want to modify it, you can include whatever ingredients you like in your soup! If you're a spice fanatic, add some fresh chilli, or if you have extra vegetables in the fridge, why not try to make this hot and sour soup with them as well?
This hot and sour soup uses simple ingredients that you'll find in any superstore and is quick and easy to make. The only issue you'll have with this recipe is trying not to make it every day!
How to make vegan hot and sour soup
It takes five minutes to prep this soup and fifteen minutes to cook it. It should serve six people - though, if you're hungry, we won't blame you for going back for seconds or thirds!
- 8 cups vegetable stock. Prepare the stock according to the instructions on the packet.
- 1 lb sliced mushrooms. We use brown mushrooms, but any other mushroom type will do.
- 14 oz bamboo shoots from a can. Make sure that you drain the can before mixing the ingredients.
- 14 oz baby corn from a can. Drain before mixing with the other ingredients!
- 8 oz water chestnuts from a can.
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 lb firm tofu
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 6 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- A handful of chopped cilantro
This recipe uses Western ingredients that are easy to find in stores across North America and Europe. However, if you can get to an Asian food store, you could look for some other more authentic ingredients to enhance the soup. These include Asian mushrooms, like the shiitake variety, and Zhenjiang vinegar instead of rice vinegar.
Press your tofu to get rid of excess moisture. You can do this by either using paper towels and a plate or chopping board or a tofu press. For more information about how to prep firm tofu for soup, see the section below!
- Put all of the vegetable stock into a pan, and bring to a boil.
- To your stock, add tofu, bamboo shoots, baby corn, mushrooms, ginger, water chestnuts, soy sauce, and salt.
- Reduce the boiling water to a simmer. Then, add the cabbage.
- Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 of a cup of water in a cup or glass. Stir this thoroughly with a whisk or glass, until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
- Add white pepper and vinegar together in a separate small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add the dissolved cornstarch into the pot of soup. Mix thoroughly.
- Remove the pot and add the mixture of white pepper and vinegar.
- Taste test your soup and add salt or vinegar as desired.
- Garnishing with sesame oil and cilantro, and serve.
Vegan hot and sour soup FAQs and tips
How to cook firm tofu for soup
Tofu soup can seem like a strange addition, but it's a great way to make your soup heartier and replace the meat that traditionally is found in this kind of soup. It's important to know how to cook tofu properly though - you need to press it and then cut it into chunks.
Tofu gives your meal a little extra protein for this hot and sour soup and ensures that it's a dish that will keep you feeling fuller for longer!
What tofu should I use?
We recommend firm tofu for this recipe. This type of tofu is less likely to dissolve in a hot soup and will absorb the flavours that are present in the broth. Stay away from silken or regular tofu, which are too smooth and silky for this kind of soup.
Do I need a tofu press?
Tofu can be a bit of an enigma to work with if you haven't used it before. Don't worry - it's much easier than it looks! If you're wondering how to prepare firm tofu for soup, we recommend purchasing a tofu press. Tofu is stored in water to keep it fresh, but when the water is drained from the tofu it tends to absorb flavours a lot better. Pressed tofu is also less likely to fall apart than non-pressed.
For this soup, you should press your tofu for around 30 minutes. You don't need to do much - just pop it in a tofu press and leave it there until the liquid drains out!
You can make a DIY tofu press with two paper towels and plates or a chopping board, but it's much easier to use a designated tofu press - and if you end up making this hot and sour soup with tofu a lot (or any tofu recipe, in fact), it will be worth the investment!
Is hot and sour soup healthy?
This hot and sour soup is very healthy. The ingredients are low-fat, and the meal, when served without rice or noodles, is low carb. There is a little sodium in the dish, mainly in the soy sauce, vegetable stock, and potentially in the canned vegetables. To avoid too much sodium, we recommend not adding any extra salt to your completed dish.
That being said, this is the perfect healthy dish if you are on a diet and a fantastic option if you have a cold or ailment!
Is hot and sour soup vegan?
This hot and sour soup recipe is entirely vegan. Traditionally, however, hot and sour soup is made with meat broth and often includes some meat. Chinese restaurants may offer some vegan or vegetarian hot and sour soup, but it is simple enough to make and enjoy at home!
What kind of soup is good for an upset stomach?
If you have an upset stomach, this hot and sour soup could certainly help. Ginger is a known natural cure for nausea and sickness, so if you are making hot and sour soup to soothe your stomach, we recommend adding extra ginger into your broth.
Go easy on the spice if you've got a bad stomach though, as this can trigger a bellyache. Instead, consider adding garlic or fennel, which both have healing properties for upset stomachs.
What can I eat with my hot and sour soup?
Feel free to add whatever vegetables you want to this hot and sour soup - it is traditionally eaten with Chinese vegetables including bamboo and bak choy. However, you can add whatever seasonal veg you have in your cupboards!
Hot and sour soup is generally enjoyed with steamed white rice, but of course, you can use another kind of rice instead - sticky rice is incredibly tasty and authentic - or with noodles. If you want to ensure this soup recipe stays vegan, check that your noodles are egg-free.
Can I store hot and sour soup in the fridge?
This hot & sour soup recipe with firm tofu is best enjoyed fresh, straight from the pan. We're pretty sure that you'll be going back for seconds, but if there is still some left, you can store it in your fridge for up to four days. When you reheat the soup, try to gradually warm the broth on a low temperature on the stovetop.
Take the soup off before it is boiling, this way, you don't lose any of the delicious flavours! It's best not to freeze this soup; the tofu doesn't keep well when frozen (the texture changes into a strange sponge-like feeling) and the vegetables will go mushy when reheated. It's best to make this soup for immediate eating or store it in the fridge and come back the next day!
This hot and sour soup is a deliciously hearty recipe to enjoy on a cold winter's day, or as a dinner any time of year. It's a warming dish that will leave you full without including lots of fatty, greasy, or carb-heavy ingredients.
It's also an ideal dish to eat if you're feeling under the weather - it fights against upset stomachs, gives you a dose of necessary nutrients against a cold, and soothes your throat if you have a cough!
But even if you're fit as a fiddle, we're sure that this hot and sour soup will hit the spot, time and time again.