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Hot and Sour Soup

This makes alot of soup and can feed 4-6 people....just half the
ingredients if you would like a smaller version.

15 medium sized mushrooms, cut into slivers
10 oz. tofu, cut into small cubes (this is about 3/4 package of Azumaya
tofu which comes in tubs of 14 oz.)
1 small can bamboo shoots
1 small can water chestnuts, halved
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
5 scallions (green onions, chopped)
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more, depending on how hot you like it)
2 tablespoons white vinegar (you can add more or less if this is too
much or too little)
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Cook vegetable stock in a pot until it boils. Throw everything in except
for the scallions. You can add a handful of peanuts at this point which
makes it REALLY good, but adds fat. Let the soup get to a boil again,
and then immediately lower the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about
15-20 minutes. Add the scallions when your soup has about 5 minutes left
to cook. The key to personalizing this soup is in the vinegar and hot
sauce. This recipe is if you like a mild vinegar/hot sauce taste. I add
ALOT more hot sauce, definately. You can use tabasco sauce or any
run-of-the mill hot sauce. **Remember to taste the soup when you throw
the scallions in before it is done, so you can add hot sauce or vinegar,
or more soy sauce  if you want. This recipe works with low-fat tofu
also. This recipe is cheap and is great for those winter nights, or if
you have a cold it really cleans out your sinuses. : ) Another way to
make this soup is to use chicken stock instead, but if you are
vegetarian this is a no-no, lol.


Here's a trick to make your tofu hae a different texture than usual:

Take a tub of tofu and drain it. place the tofu square in between two
plates, and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Then wrap the
tofu up in paper towels to get out even more water. Finally, place the
tofu in dry paper towels again, place it between two plates, and place a
heavy can on top of the top plate. This weight will squeeze out the last
of the water. Then take the tofu, wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it in
the freezer. Freezing it takes out even more water, and this is the key
to making it have a diff. texture. Let it freeze over-night, or for a
few days. Then take it out and defrost it. Again drain any water that is
left after it had been defrosted. This makes the tofu have a spongey
chicken-like texture. the best thing to do with this is to cube it, and
wipe water on it lightly with a brush or paper towel, (or wipe honey on
the tofu squares with a brush.....this is the best tasting way and makes
the bread crumbs stick better) then roll it in bread crumbs.....italian
bread crumbs mixed with garlic powder if possible. then bake it on a
greased pan (use low fat cooking spray) at 350F for 8-15 minutes,
remembering to turn the tofu squares over every few minutes so that it
browns well. I know this seems like alot of steps,
but i always have a few squares of frozen drained tofu in my freezer
when i want to splurge and have a meat-less treat.