Hot and Sour Soup for those Autumn Colds

The Boyfriend is coming down with a cold again; he was mildly sick for two weeks last time, then finally recovered for about a week, and now he’s sick again. My Boss’s brother calls small children “Petrie Dishes,” which is hilarious and pretty true, and The Boyfriend is surrounded by them for 12 hours every day.

Apparently food that helps with colds are: garlic, ginger, chicken.

I made this home remedy for cough and congestion that I’ve been taking all week since I’ve been having some congestion and difficulty breathing. It’s AMAZING. It immediately starts clearing stuff out. See, I’m an asthmatic, prone to getting things like bronchitis or walking pneumonia, and have been since I was a kid; my doctors and my mom have always stressed the importance of clearing the mucus and such out of the body. Blow your nose, don’t suck it in. Spit into the sink after you cough, don’t swallow it.  If you keep ingesting what your body is trying to get rid of, you’re not going to heal.

I treat my colds with Traditional Medicinals “teas,” hot water with lemon and honey, and spicy soups.

I think I’m going to make Hot and Sour Soup.

Hot and Sour Soup


  • 1 cake fresh tofu, firm
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 cup dried lily buds (also known as golden needles)
  • 4-6 shitake or other Asian mushrooms
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons white rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • White pepper to taste (no more than 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Hot chili oil (optional)


  1. To reconstitute the dried lily buds, soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut off the hard ends.
  2. Dice your brick of tofu into small cubes and set aside.
  3. Slice your bamboo shoots into thin strips like matchsticks. Dice your mushrooms into small pieces.
  4. Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and the lily buds. Stir. Add the tofu. Bring back to a boil.
  5. Stir in the salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil.
  6. Taste your broth and adjust as necessary.
  7. Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour it into the soup, stirring while you do so. Let the broth come back to a boil, then as soon as it is boiling, remove it from the stove.
  8. Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and the white pepper to taste. Drizzle with chili oil, serve hot.

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