Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp


This hot and sour soup makes a light and flavorful appetizer or a satisfying main course. Full of immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger, garlic, onion, chili pepper, shitaake mushrooms, and turmeric, it also makes a nutritious meal for anyone under the weather.

I used shrimp to make this soup but you could substitute cubed tofu for a vegetarian version. I also used lemongrass, fresh turmeric, and fresh shiitake mushrooms. If you don't have fresh shiitakes, substitute dried shiitakes (about a cup rehydrated and chopped) or another variety of fresh mushroom. I've made this soup without lemongrass or fresh turmeric and it was still a winner, so if you don't have any, don't worry. Just omit them. If you don't have bamboo shoots, substitute a cup of thinly sliced Napa cabbage.

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed coconut oil
  • ½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 cups bone broth
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, split in half and chopped into 3-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • ½ lime, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems (loosely packed, about ½ bunch)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 Thai bird chili pepper, thinly sliced

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes depending on how thinly you sliced them.
  3. Add the ginger, turmeric, and garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 more minute.
  4. Add the bone broth, lemongrass, tamari, fish sauce, vinegar, and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp, turn off the heat, and allow them to cook with residual heat so they stay moist and juicy, just a few minutes.
  6. Once the shrimp are just cooked through, stir in the cilantro, scallions, and chili pepper.
  7. Taste for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. Serve immediately.