Slow cooking mushrooms in ginger and garlic broth gives this vegan hot and sour soup a deep and delicious flavor. Perfect crock pot meal!
My poor slow cooker has spent most of its life gathering dust on a shelf, but lately it is getting a workout thanks to Kathy Hester’s new book, The Vegan Slow Cooker. With easy recipes, a clean layout, and lovely photos, it’s enticed even a last-minute cook like me to think ahead a little and get my crock pot going in the morning so that when dinnertime comes the meal is already done. Fortunately, Kathy’s publisher sent me two copies of her book, so I have one to share with a lucky reader–maybe you! [Update: A winner has been drawn. Thank you to all who entered. See the end of the post for details.]
When you open The Vegan Slow Cooker, the first thing you’ll notice is the layout: each recipe has its own page (no turning back and forth between ingredients and instructions) with ingredients on the left and instructions on the right. Kathy breaks the instructions down into two parts, what to do the night before and what to do in the morning, so that the recipes come together quickly in the morning when you’re likely to have less time. And if you’re a visual person, you’ll be happy to know that there are large, professionally shot photos of about 40 of the 150 recipes. Most recipes are easy and call for ingredients that are not hard to find in supermarkets.
Many of the recipes do use seitan and soy, but Kathy offers substitutes and includes recipes for making your own seitan (“Chick’n” and “Beefy”) as well as a gluten-free apple sage sausage, homemade ketchup, and low-sodium “chickeny” bouillon. Soy-free and gluten-free recipes are marked with symbols, and asterisks indicate substitutes for soy and gluten.
Though many of the recipes contain a little olive oil or vegan margarine, there are several recipes that are fat-free as written, including Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto, Caribbean Mango Black Beans, and Chile-Chocolate Black Bean Brownies (includes walnuts). Most of the oil that is used is easily removed by sauteing with water or broth, though the recipes that include vegan cheese may be a little harder to adapt for low-fat dieters.
You can get a taste of Kathy’s recipes for yourself at her blog, Healthy Slow Cooking. She has also contributed several to the main Fatfree Vegan Recipes site, where they’ve become some of the most popular recipes. You can see them all on this page.
I had a hard time deciding which recipe to test from the book–both the Pumpkin Lasagna and the Caribbean Mango Black Beans had me intrigued–but the decision was taken out of my hands when my husband saw the Hot and Sour Soup recipe. It’s a soup he’s been craving ever since he became vegetarian, and I just haven’t found a recipe he really likes.
Kathy’s version, however, was a huge success. Though it wasn’t exactly what he remembered, it was so flavorful due to the long-cooking of the mushrooms in garlic and ginger-flavored broth–we both loved it.
Though the recipe says that it makes 4 servings, they are very big servings, and since we were eating it as part of a meal that included stir-fried vegetables and rice, we actually enjoyed leftovers for two more meals. I didn’t think the 1 teaspoon of chile sauce (I used Sambal Oelek) would be very spicy, but it turned out too hot for E, so spicy-haters beware and use a little less. With the chile sauce on the side, this soup will be a regular in our house.
Kathy's Slow-Cooker Hot and Sour Soup
- 1 10-ounce package sliced mushrooms (280g)
- 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms stems removed and caps sliced
- 1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained and jullienned (225g)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 15-ounce package firm or silken tofu, cubed (420g)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, divided (16g)
- 4 cups water (940ml)
- 2 tablespoons vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (16g)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari, for gluten-free) (30ml)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil plus extra for drizzling (Susan's note: I didn't need the extra)
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (30ml)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (225g)
- The Night Before: Store the cut-up mushrooms, bamboo shoots, garlic, and tofu in an airtight container in the fridge. Store the prepared ginger in another airtight container in the fridge.
- In the Morning: Combine the mushrooms, bamboo, shoots, garlic, tofu, 1 tablespoon (8g) of the ginger, water, bouillon, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, and vinegar in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- A few minutes before serving, add the peas and the remaining 1 tablespoon (8g) ginger and stir to combine. Taste the broth and add more vinegar or chili if needed. Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil on top of each serving. If you like it milder and your friends like it hot, serve the chili paste on the side.
- Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 6 to 8 hour(s)
- Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutritional info is approximate.
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JoanNovember 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm
While most of your receipes look yummy, they also seem to need many ingreidents someone with a lower income would not be able to have on hand or buy.
Much talk about the poor being obese is true yet if you were to look at their income vs foods needed to be healthy and eat so, they would never be able to do it, I know.
My sister works for minimum wages and even though she works 60 hrs a week, she still must resort to processed foods to just eat since many bills need paying.
I am retiired and on limited income now so the same for me.
If you could come up with a cookbook geared for people as us, yyou could sell!
We see cookbooks for meals we can afford where only 3 or 4 basic ingredients are needed and while the outcome of the meail is easy, cheap and filling….its talking a toll on ones health, causing weight gain for most are made with rice, pasta etc and calories are high a serving.
Just a thought!
BrendaFebruary 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm
Love this cookbook!!! 🙂
allen stinnettFebruary 26, 2012 at 9:11 am
I found your website through a search engine and started reading.i like it and I want to be considered for the free book.I cant afford to buy one,I had a triple bypass in 2009 and have convinced myself to go Vegan for the health benefits alone.
RachelMarch 14, 2012 at 12:24 am
This looks amazing! The only thing is that I REALLY dislike peas and mushrooms. Is there anything that I can substitute for those such as edamame?
Susan VoisinMarch 14, 2012 at 5:36 am
Edamame would be a good substitute for the peas. You could just leave out the mushrooms.
DeenaApril 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm
I was going to copy this recipe till I saw that it’s from the Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook. I have this cookbook! I love it! I have made several recipes from it and they all turned out excellent. Good choice!
kimMay 21, 2012 at 1:51 am
im a little wary of slow cookers as i hear the longer you have heat on food the more nutrients are diminished..would this work in a pressure cooker ?
RebeccaDecember 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm
Just wanted to let you know that I made this for my Mom’s Christmas Eve dinner. Both omnis and veggies LOVED it!! I doubled it and took leftovers to my Dad’s the next day. This is pretty much what my plant-strong brother ate, since he was feeling a little sluggish from some richer foods. He said it saved the day, and he wanted the recipe to make himself.
It smelled amazing cooking all day!! I left out the chili paste entirely, and let folks put in what they wanted–worked out well that way.
NadjaJanuary 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm
I used the recipe as an inspiration for my own hot and sour soup. As stock I used the soaking liquid for the shiitake mushrooms I added to the soup. Yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Nadja (from Austria)
Jane ValleyOctober 2, 2013 at 9:46 am
What a great book idea! Love my slow cooker and eating smarter is just what I need! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
AnneOctober 2, 2013 at 9:49 am
I feel a little silly asking this but really want to make this soup and have seen this ingredient listed other places as well. What do you mean by “chili paste”? If you buy it already made, what section of the store is it in? Thanks!
Susan VoisinOctober 2, 2013 at 11:08 am
Anne, chili paste is usually available where the Asian ingredients are. It’s a blend of chopped up hot red chilies, seeds and all. If you can’t find it, you could use red pepper flakes or some other hot sauce.
DaniOctober 2, 2013 at 11:45 am
Ooh, that looks fantastic! I’d love a copy of the book, as my slow cooker has been mostly neglected since I became vegan…I could use some fresh ideas to bust it out again!
LisaJanuary 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm
Silly question maybe… but how much water is added? I can’t seem to figure it out from these instructions. (Novice cook here!) Thanks. 🙂
Susan VoisinJanuary 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm
Lisa, it’s 4 cups of water. It’s a little hard to spot in the ingredients list, about half-way down.
cleaOctober 5, 2014 at 10:15 am
The slow cooker is not my favorite since I am gone for 11 hours a day and I don’t like the cooker on that long. I do love my pressure cooker. Any ideas of how long in the PC and if it would have the same effect on the broth?
HelenOctober 28, 2015 at 4:00 pm
I made this soup yesterday and it turned out great. I used sriracha instead of chili paste since that’s what I had on hand. I also added some cooked brown rice noodles after the soup was done to make it a bit more filling. Delicious, thank you!
cartsJuly 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm
me parece genial yo también soy un amante de la sopa, de hecho en mi país somos uno de los países mas soperos, donde la cazuela, la cabornada o los mariscos en cocimiento son nuestra dieta diaria… saludos desde Chile
deepika singhSeptember 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm
Just made this for dinner and it was fantastic. I’m not much of a soup eater, but with all of these clean and wholesome ingredients, I will definitely make this again. It is popping with flavor and I feel great about eating it
TaraOctober 11, 2017 at 12:08 am
I just wanted to share this recipe with you, the slow cooker hot and sour was great, but you said your husband misses hot and sour soup and this recipe http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/veg-hot-and-sour-soup-recipe/ is spot on what I remember getting from restaurants and it’s vegan!
When I make it myself I omit the oil and the optional coriander leaves. Sriracha seems to be the best heat in my opinion. It takes about 15 minutes start to finish now that I’ve made it a few times and it reheats great.
Susan VoisinOctober 11, 2017 at 10:24 am
Thanks for the suggestion! I will give it a look.