Hot and Sour Soup

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Hot and sour soup is one of those dishes that makes me firmly believe that food truly is medicine. Hot and sour soup has become my go-to comfort food whenever anyone in my house has a cold or is just feeling run down. The soup’s thick, silky texture feels great on a sore throat, and its heat and sour bite seem to cut through congestion and warm you from the inside.

Most recipes for hot and sour soup contain a hefty dose of soy sauce, which is usually made with wheat.  I am gluten free so  my homemade version relies on easy-to-find ingredients that you should be able to find in most  grocery stores, and comes together pretty quickly, because the last thing I want to do when nursing a bad cold is stand at the stove for hours on end!

Mr W. seems to caught the bug that is going around so I figured it was the perfect time to make a batch of our favorite belly warming soup and share the recipe with you.

Gluten Free, Soy Free Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients
8 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth  (I buy Aldi’s organic brand)                               3 Tbsp arrowroot starch
3-4 scallions, sliced (green and white parts)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I’ve used button and baby shitakes but use any variety you like)                                                                                                                                                          1 (8-oz.) can bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed(optional)
3 T coconut aminos

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 T Siracha or other hot sauce (I like my soup pretty spicy so you may want to start with 1 teaspoon and add more as desired)
1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
2 t toasted sesame oil (if you don’t already have this in your pantry it’s worth the investment. It really adds flavor!)
2 eggs, scrambled

Directions

  1. Set aside 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth for later use.
  2. Add the remaining 7 1/2 cups broth, mushrooms, bamboo shoots (if using), rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, ginger and chili garlic sauce to a stockpot and stir to combine.  Heat over medium-high heat until the soup reaches a simmer.
  3. While the soup is heating, whisk together the 1/2 cup of broth(that you had set aside) and arrowroot starch in a small bowl until completely smooth.  Once the soup has reached a simmer, stir in the  arrowroot starch mixture and stir for 1 minute or so until the soup has thickened.
  4. Continue stirring the soup in a circular motion, then drizzle in the eggs in a thin stream (while still stirring the soup) to create egg ribbons.  Stir in half of the green onions, and sesame oil.  Then season the soup with salt and black pepper (or white pepper) to taste.  If you’d like a more “sour” soup, feel free to add in another tablespoon or two of rice wine vinegar as well.  Or if you’d like a spicier soup, add in more hot sauce.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the extra green onions.

* I actually prefer using a pinch of white pepper in this soup instead of black pepper.  But in case you’ve never used it, be careful — it has a much stronger and different flavor than black pepper!  So start with less, and then you can always add more.  🙂

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a try I’d love to hear how you like it.

** If you’re not Gluten free you can use soy sauce in place of the coconut aminos.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a try I’d love to hear how you like it.

Burr Oak State Park

On Saturday my friend Anna and I met at one of the state parks for the annual winter hike hosted by the Buckeye Trail Association.100_0369

There were four choices of hikes, an 8 mile, 5 mile, 3 mile and a 1 mile. Anna and I chose the 5 mile. We hung out at the tail end of the group, took lots of pictures and chatted with one of the guides. He has land in the area and has some great plans for it. You could tell he is passionate about his plans for the future.

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Despite it being winter the scenery is still beautiful.

And we saw many beautiful and interesting things.100_0361100_0365100_0367

I really enjoyed our hike, even though the terrain was a bit rough and I stumbled a few times along the trail, but no worries I didn’t hurt my self. I did learn one thing though,

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these boots despite the fact that they are called hiking boots are definitely not meant for hiking and I am now on the hunt for a better pair of boots. All in all though  it was a good day and I look forward to another hiking adventure with Anna.

Icy world

Wow I hadn’t realized it’s been awhile since I’ve written but I’ve been busy creating and I tend to lose track of time when that happens.

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Anyway today we woke up to an icy wonderland and the kids once again had no school however none of them seem to want to venture out in the ice. As for me I braved it 100_0334[1]then managed to slide down the hill on my backside and inadvertently snapped a pic as I went for the ride. Nothing was hurt but my pride and I managed to get back up without any troubles.

I was then able to get a few pictures of the beautiful icy world outside.

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What’s it look like in your part of the world?