Have you ever had Chinese Hot and Sour soup? This is my easy-to-make, vegetarian-friendly version of the same soup.

It utilizes Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce for a spicy flavor kick and is packed full of healthy veggies like baby spinach, carrots and green onion. Egg streamed in gently during the cooking process creates protein-packed noodle strips that cook gently and have a delicate texture.

Best of all, my Garlic Chili Soup can be made in under 15 minutes with ingredients that you will most likely already have in your pantry. If you don’t, nothing in this meal costs over $10. Budget-friendly, extremely-flavorful and sure to impress guests, this soup is one you don’t want to skip out on.

Let’s talk ingredients — this soup is an excellent example of a meal where tossing in your on-the-way-out vegetables wouldn’t be a mistake. If you’ve got a little bit of wilted kale and want to use that instead of spinach, go for it. If you have onions and want to toss them in, please do. The only additions I would truly stay away from are peppers of any kind. This recipe is quite spicy on its own, so adding any more spice might be too much.

I’ve called for vegetable broth here because I wanted to keep this meal vegetarian-friendly but using a low-sodium chicken broth would be equally tasty. I would not attempt to make the swap for beef broth as it is a little too rich in flavor for this dish.

Mushrooms and ginger are delicious additions here, with the mushrooms giving a lot of the meaty bite that meat-lovers might be missing.

Want to try making your own Chili Garlic Soup at home? Here’s what you need:

♦ 8 cups vegetable broth

♦ 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced

♦ 8 ounces baby spi♦ nach

♦ 3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

♦ 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or liquid aminos)

♦ 2 whole eggs, whisked

♦ 2 teaspoons ground ginger

♦ 4 green onions, thinly sliced

♦ 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

♦ 1 teaspoon sesame seed (optional)

♦ 1 teaspoon onion powder

♦ 1 ounce carrots, diced

♦ 1/4 cup corn starch

♦ Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Place the thinly sliced garlic and green onions into a large soup pot and sauté with one teaspoon of chili garlic sauce.
  2. Once the garlic has started to take on minimal color and smells fragrant, add the spinach, mushrooms, remaining chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, carrots, ground ginger, sesame seed and onion powder into the pot. Immediately cover with 7 1/2 cups of vegetable broth. Save the remaining half cup.
  3. As the soup heats, whisk together cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the saved vegetable broth in a small bowl. Once the mixture is completely smooth and the soup is simmering, stir the cornstarch mixture into the pot. Stir until the soup has thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir the soup in a circular motion, then slowly stream in the whisked eggs. Continue to stir the soup throughout this process to create thin egg ribbons. Season the soup with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm!

Kelcey Walker is a reporter for the Calhoun Times. She was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia. After spending the last three years in Los Angeles, she’s pretty stoked to be back in the South, where the food is good and the people are friendly. You can email her at KWalker@CalhounTimes.com.

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