Hunan Hot & Sour Soup Serves 4
A popular appetizer in Chinese restaurants, Hot & Sour Soup also makes a great meal in itself with the addition of peas, corn, carrots, cabbage and meaty shiitake mushrooms.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 to 8 minutes

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon gingerroot, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tamari
4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
1/2 pound firm tofu, sliced into 1/4 x 1-inch strips
1 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin (Chinese cooking wine)
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water
1 egg, well-beaten (optional)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat in a 21/2- to 3-quart saucepan. Add garlic, ginger, black pepper and tamari. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.

2. Add mushrooms, tofu, cabbage, carrots, peas and corn. Stir and let simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in vinegar, mirin and cornstarch mixture. Continue cooking until soup is thickened, about 1 minute.

4. Remove soup from heat. Slowly pour in beaten egg and stir. Garnish with green onions or cilantro and serve immediately.