Flavor-packed vegetarian soup provides warmth on winter nights. The heat from the black pepper, cilantro and chili oil is beautifully balanced with ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. You can serve this with your favorite crackers!
- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)
- 5 dried wood ear mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)
- 1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
- 2 1/4 cups water, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound reduced-fat firm or extrafirm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- Chili oil (optional)
- Place mushrooms in a medium bowl; cover with boiling water. Cover and let stand 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Thinly slice mushrooms; set aside.
- Combine broth, 2 cups water, ginger, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and tofu; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
- Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Stir cornstarch mixture into broth mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until soup thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Slowly pour egg whites into broth mixture in a steady stream, stirring constantly but gently with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat; stir in onions, cilantro, and sesame oil. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired.