Recipe copied from http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/01/crockpot-hot-and-sour-soup-recipe.html 

--1 cup cubed firm tofu (I used one-half of that Trader Joe's two-pack.)
--2 cups chicken broth
--2 cups water
--1 package of sliced mushrooms
--1 can bamboo shoots
--1 can sliced water chestnuts
--2 tablespoon soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free)
--1 teaspoon sesame oil
--2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (and some more later)
--1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (and some more later)
--green onion for garnish

The Directions:
Wash your hands.

Combine everything in your slow cooker. I used a 5 quart, and I think it was filled about 2/3 of the way full. 

If I did it again, I'd use a 3 or 4 quart. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or high 4-5. I was impatient and cooked it on high for 3 1/2. The mushrooms would have been better if I had waited.

Taste. If you need more of the sour flavor, add more rice wine vinegar. If you need more of the hot flavor, add more red pepper flakes. I like my soup very hot and sour, so I added another 1 tablespoob of the vinegar and another 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper flakes. Garnish with sliced green onion.

The Verdict:
I could probably eat this all day long. So I did. My kids really like it--they eat the broth and the tofu and leave the rest. You could easily slip in lots more veggies that you have on hand---carrots, celery, those cute little canned corncobs, etc. Many recipes call for cooked chicken or pork, which would be a great addition if you have some on hand or wanted to meat it up. 


Note: I'm not a fan of mushrooms in this soup. I honestly can say I have never had a hot and sour soup with mushrooms in it. That being said, hot and sour is more in reference to the soup base, you can put whatever noodles, protein, and veggies or fungus you might have on hand. That's one of the wonderful things about Asian soups is that the name is usually just referencing some of the basic ingredients and everything else is up to the discretion of the cook. The most common ingredients I have seen is egg, sea weed, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, green onions, bits of chicken, and tofu. Hot and Sour Soup is commonly used in Asian countries as a a remedy for colds, sinus infections, sore throats and allergies. The heat from the spices as well as the temperature help loosen phlegm and nasal congestion and the vinegar helps soothe sore throats as well as help cut through any gunk in your throat.
 


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