Hot and sour

The January theme for No Croutons Required was a soup or salad inspired by cuisine, and I read that suggestion just as I was overcome by a craving for tofu. I’m normally struck with the desire for tofu once a month, usually when I’m feeling particularly guilty about something. 19 days into the New Year and already I’ve done something that makes me want to punish myself with tofu. Those resolutions have not lasted well.

Taking Thai + tofu + soup (salad? In winter? I don’t think so) lead me to hot and sour soup filled with the chunky green veg that fights it’s way up out of the frozen soil at this time of year. Hot and sour is a moreish flavour and I can easily be fooled into eating cabbage when the leaves are soaked in tamarind, sugar and chilli. Add in some citrus and a few aromatics and you have the makings of a serious winter soup.

Hot and sour tofu soup
Serves 1

1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1-2 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped (depending on how hot you like it)
10g galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp coconut oil
100g tofu, drained and sliced into 21/5cm squares
500ml hot vegetable stock
Juice of 1 orange
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp dark brown soft sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
60g purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli
40g Savoy cabbage, sliced into strips
50g carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

1 Place all the paste ingredients in a small processor and blitz to make a reasonably smooth paste (or place in a small bowl and use a hand-held blender).

2 Melt the coconut oil in a medium pan and add the paste. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, then add the stock, orange juice, tamarind, sugar and soy sauce. Bring to the boil.

3 Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the broccoli. Simmer for 3 minutes, then add the cabbage and carrot. Simmer for a further 3–5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in a handful of fresh coriander leaves. Ladle into a deep bowl and serve immediately.

Tagged with: No Croutons RequiredSoupThaiTofuVegetarian

0 Responses to Hot and sour tofu soup

  1. Wendy says:

    Even as a committed carnivore, I love tofu. I am going to give this a whirl – this sounds just my sort of thing!

  2. Lizzie says:

    I really love tofu – I blogged a tofu tom yum soup aaaages ago. Yours looks really delicious.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Whenever I eat out with friends at Chinese restaurants I always ask if we can order tofu and people look at me like I mad. So much so, that it has become my dirty secret. It’s a weird guilty indulgence to have, but there you go.

  3. Lisa says:

    Wonderful soup! Thanks so much for sending along your entry.

  4. curlywurlyfi says:

    I love tofu. It goes very well with pork mince, for example. What?

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Ha! Yes, it is good with pork mince, isn’t it? And deep fried. Deep fried with pork mince and maybe some thinly sliced the meats arranged around the edge, perhaps?

  5. curlywurlyfi says:

    Aksh I quite often make a Virtuous Monday soup (veg box arrives Fri, weekend intervenes, detox begins again Monday) with miso broth with a bit of tom yum paste (or chili ginger garlic etc if I happen to have in the fridge). Stir in shredded greens/roasted butternut squash/thinly sliced mushrooms. Meanwhile separately fry the tofu cubes to crisp, add lots of sliced garlic towards the end so it softens but doesn’t burn, then stir into soup. Chopped coriander + spring onion to finish. And even if you, er, eat the whole lot yourself, well, think of your five a day + all that lean protein.

  6. The Grubworm says:

    The recipe looks just right for chilly January days. I really like the look of that paste in particular, both delicious and flexible. Does it freeze well?

    I read a blog on a similar soup here:, only they substituted some home made paneer for the tofu which I though sounded really interesting.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I’ve not tried freezing the paste, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t freeze or why you couldn’t store it in the fridge for a a few days. It’d be a nice base for a Thai-ish curry. The paneer soup looks nice. I love paneer; it’s got that moreish squeaky texture.

  7. […] of Gin and Crumpets contributes this winter Hot and Sour Tofu Soup that is packed full of veggie goodness. A paste of shallots, chilies, galangal, garlic, lime and […]

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