Easy Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup

This vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup is a super flavorful and easy weeknight dinner that comes together quicker than it takes to order from your neighborhood takeout! It’s packed full of veggies, is so warm and comforting, and a healthier option because you control the ingredients that go in to it! This easy soup is gluten and dairy free, low carb and with options for paleo and whole30 friendly.

Close up shot of vegetarian hot and sour soupHot and Sour Soup Recipe

When Mike and I were in Toronto visiting family a few months back, our cousin Maggie (hi love!) made a hot and sour soup that was hearty and flavorful, and totally veggie-packed. I immediately came home and got to creating a recipe similar to hers because I knew you all would love it as much as I did. It’s such a comforting and hearty weeknight dinner, AND it’s makes great leftovers!

There are many different recipes and versions of Hot and Sour Soup, but today we are focusing on making a vegetarian version with a ton of veggies, and making it as easy as possible to prep for a quick (and flavorful) weeknight dinner.

Easy hot and sour soup in a pot

What is in hot and sour soup?

The “hot” in this soup traditionally comes from using fresh ground white pepper, and the “sour” comes from using vinegar. The soup is also made rich and flavorful from mushrooms. Traditionally this would be dried mushrooms (along with some other ingredients like dried lily buds) but we are trying to keep this really approachable using easy to find ingredients at the store, so we opted for fresh shiitake mushrooms. They’re cooked separately first to evaporate the water in them and concentrate their flavor.

Our Approach to Hot and Sour Soup

Veggies make up the the bulk in this recipe, with carrots, shredded brussels sprouts (a fun unique addition), napa cabbage, and zucchini that are poached in the soup, but you can substitute whatever you have on hand. The soup is slightly thickened using a bit of arrowroot and then some scrambled eggs are added in to make fine “ribbons”. Wait until the end to add white vinegar and ground white pepper so that those flavors really shine through!

Additional Options for this Easy Soup

  • Add tofu (I generally avoid soy, but occasionally will use non-go tofu if it fits a recipe, like this soup.)
  • Red pepper flakes to add a bit more heat to it
  • If you wanted to add more protein chicken or pork would work well here

Two portions of cooked Hot and sour soup recipe

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1” piece ginger
  • 2 large carrot
  • 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts (look for pre-shredded in the produce)
  • 1 small napa cabbage
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth or veggie stock
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, leave out for vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (this is what makes it “hot”)
  • 2 scallions, for garnish
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 cup firm tofu (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes and salt

If you like this easy soup recipe, try these others:

Hot and Sour Soup

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:30 Total Time 00:35 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon avocado oil, divided
  • 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1” ginger, grated
  • 2 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts (see note)
  • 1 cup napa cabbage, finely sliced 
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth or veggie stock
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, leave out for vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 3 eggs, beaten and whirled in
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin, for garnish
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 cup firm tofu, drained and diced (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste 

Directions

  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add oil.
  2. Cook mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onion, salt and 1 teaspoon avocado oil and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, cook 1 minute.
  5. Add carrot, brussels sprouts, cabbage and zucchini and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Add bone broth / stock and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl whisk together arrowroot and coconut aminos. Add to soup and bring to a boil.
  8. In a bowl scramble eggs and add to boiling pot and immediately stir until the eggs have cooked into ribbons.
  9. Remove from heat and add vinegar, white pepper, scallions, cilantro and tofu.
  10. Taste to season (we like to add a touch of red pepper flakes for a bit more heat) and serve immediately with garnish of choice.

Recipe Notes

  1. Looking to cut down on prep time? These days you can find prepped veggies in the grocery store and we were able to find shredded brussels, sliced cabbage and match stick carrots at our local grocery store.
  2. I generally avoid soy, but occasionally like a soup with tofu in it. If adding tofu, make sure you buy a non-gmo one if possible! AND, if tofu isn't your thing, you can totally leave it out or add a different protein of choice!
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