“A first rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting” (Abraham Maslow).
So, it snowed heavy today in London, which is a very rare happening because we haven’t had snow in the truest sense of the word since the February of 2009. I will be honest, it’s magical waking up to a white duvet with a cotton wooly sky spreading across the neighbourhood like a plain white canvas. This morning was extremely cold and my kids couldn’t wait to go outside and jump in the snow. People living in the South East express the most amazing reactions to snow as it comes only once a year for only a day and for the past few years we have barely had it and what we had we couldn’t even make snowmans let alone play snowball fights and so today when we had a blizzard of it, our going insane over it with excitement is understated.
I love how every year winter bids adieu to us in such a classy way. It always snows just as the season is coming to an end, it has to give has a big hug goodbye until next year and the snow really marks the end of the season harbinging spring. So when it is a day as beautifully cold as this, it demands one of two things or even both if you really want to get cosy and that is soups and hot chocolates and for today I opted for some steaming cup of hot and Sour Soup. It was such a warm blanketed wrap watching our “Narnia” from my patio doors. The best thing about the soup is that the minute it started to snow, I was on my stove preping it and within 15-20 minutes I was sipping this out of gorgeous coral cups.
The snow however this year seems like it wants to stay and we are literally snowed in with schools closed and everyone having a little snow vacations as this much snow for South East of England is very rare.
Coming to the soup,It is winter’s favorite soup, and it is here to warm not just your home but also soup for your soul. The spice and sour in the soup is perfectly balanced providing an exquisite piquant flavor. The soup is cooked by frying chicken chunks and vegetables in a little oil before adding stock and spices, giving the soup depth of flavor. This soup is wholesome and delicious for sure. The soup is loaded with veggie and meat goodness combined. Usually, the soup is made with shredded boiled chicken but I wanted a little more chunk in mine so I toast fried chicken cubes cut into small pieces before adding broth. There is honestly nothing to this soup, it’s so quick with tossing everything together, stirring, seasoning and you are done in 20 minutes. Now, if you want to use chicken broth, go ahead and use it but I used a chicken stock cube for my broth.
The cabbage and carrots add crunch and depth to the soup and the seasonings are pretty basic but create a hearty feel making you feel stuffed. The chicken chunks offer so much flavour in every bite and make the soup whole and like my Chicken Corn and Mushroom Soup the soup accompaniments are very similar i.e. chopped green chillies soaked in white vinegar, hot sauce and a little soya sauce and ofcourse soup crackers or fried croutons or if you really want to make it a complete meal cheesy fried croutons. These soup accompaniments are a staple in an Asian household where soup such as these are brewing away. This hot and Sour Soup is not only a must-have in a Pakistani home come winters, it is also one of the most favourite and the most popular soups as “almost every culture has its own variation on chicken soup and rightly so, it’s one of the most gratifying dishes on the face of the earth” and in an Pakistani Asian household, this is served as a starter before dinner and the winter dinner parties are made posh by adding this soup with various pairings as a starter. So, if you have made that part of dinner extravagant, people know what follows will surely be regal.
So, next time you are time pressed or want a home made soup that is quick and flavoursome altogether, this is the perfect go-to comfort soup.
1. Chicken cubes (small) — 760g
2. Cabbage shredded — 1 cup
3. Carrots — 1 cup
4. Green onions — 4 sprigs
5. Chicken stock cube — 2
6. Egg whites — 2
7. Salt — 1 tsp
8. White pepper — 2 tsp
9. Paprika powder — 1 tsp
10. Crushed black pepper — 1 tsp
11. Corn flour — 3 tbsp
12. Oil — 4 tbsp
13. Water — 4 cups
14. Vinegar — 4 tbsp
15. Soya sauce — 4 tbsp
16. Hot sauce — 2 tbsp
a. In a cooking pot, heat up the oil and add the chicken cubes cut into very small cubes.
b. Fry them until they change color and turn white.
c. Add the shredded cabbage, chopped green onions and carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
d. Add the water, chicken stock cube, salt, white pepper, paprika powder and crushed black pepper to the soup.
e. Add all the sauces i.e. vinegar, soya sauce and hot sauce.
f. Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
g. Beat the egg-whites and slowly pour it over the soup while constantly stirring it.
h. Now, add the dissolved corn flour and stir to thicken the soup.
i. Add more or less according to desired consistency.
j. Serve in bowls and sprinkle paprika on top.
k. Serve with soup crackers, cheesy croutons or any seeded bread.
~ Happy Foodieating ~