This soup I made for our lunch today came out so good! It reminds me so much of Hot and Sour soup served in Chinese restaurants, all but the tofu. I try to avoid soy as much as possible and used bean sprouts in place of tofu, but if you consume it, add about 1 c. small french-fry strips to the pot for a more authentic soup. This recipe is suitable for Atkins, ketogenic diets, Primal and Paleo as well.
5-6 oz. piece of pork loin, trimmed of all fat, slivered thin
1 T. olive oil
4 c. pork or chicken broth (I use homemade)
1½ c. bean sprouts, fresh (or canned, drained)
1 large green onion, chopped
1 bok choy leaf (green part only), or 1 leaf kale, chopped
4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced (not authentic, but very good)
¼ c. dried sliced shitake mushrooms (equivalent of 2 mushrooms)
½ c. dried clour ear fungi/mushrooms
sesame oil (my bottle says toasted)
¼ c. rice wine vinegar (no substitutions)
½ Tamari or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce (more if you like real spicy)
1 c. water (as needed)
½ tsp. xanthan gum to slightly thicken
Dash toasted sesame seeds
VARIATIONS: Add 1 c. chopped tofu (french-fry shape). You can also sub in slivered canned bamboo shoots for the bean sprouts for a different look but taste won’t be greatly changed with that sub.
DIRECTIONS: Brown slivered pork in the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a 4 qt. saucepan. Add all remaining ingredients but the last 3 (water, xanthan gum & toasted seeds). Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer just until red pepper is starting to soften (but is not mushy, limp), or about 5-6 minutes. Bok choy (or kale) will be done by then. Taste broth. If too salty for you add the water slowly until to your desired salty level.
I use a salt shaker for my xanthan gum. Lightly dust it over surface and stir in. Simmer a couple minutes to let it take action. Repeat until soup is thick enough (or until all used). This should be enough thickener even if you add the cup of extra water. Add sesame seeds and stir or you can serve them with the soup at table, letting diners sprinkle seeds on their own.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:
251 cals, 18g fat, 9.87g carbs, 4.85g fiber, 5.02g NET CARBS, 18.5g protein, 1207 mg sodium (Use low sodium soy sauce to reduce, but I was out of it.)