Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup


40 dried lily buds
1/4 cup small tree ear dried mushroom
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup drained canned bamboo shoot, rinsed and julienned
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with
3 tablespoons water
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 1/2 tablespoons black soy sauce or 3 tablespoons light soy sauce, plus a pinch of sugar
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/3 inch dice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 spring onion, finely sliced


1.In separate bowls, cover the lily buds and tree ear mushrooms with hot water; let soak until softened, about 30 minutes; drain and thoroughly rinse the lily buds and mushrooms; trim the tough ends from the buds and halve them crosswise.
2.In a large pot, combine the broth, lily buds, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger and salt; cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes; stir in the vinegar and 1 tsp red pepper and boil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; beat the cornstarch mixture into the soup in a steady stream; in a bowl, combine the egg and egg white and beat into the soup; stir in the soy sauce, tofu and sesame oil and cook over medium heat until warmed through; season with red pepper and garnish with spring onion.

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