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It started out cool this morning, then went to warm. Then it started to rain, the wind swirled around, and gradually I got cold. I wanted soup. Specifically hot and sour soup, but I am due to go grocery shopping and was out of just about everything required. What to do?

This was my fast alternative, which I am sipping as I write. It requires canned coconut milk.


I’ll tell you right now, this is not diet food. It looks like this in the can:


One-third cup has 10 mg saturated fat – that’s 49% of a daily allowance. An insane amount. There’s a “lite” version, but I really don’t like it, so here we are. Actually, I can’t think of much that is healthy about this soup except for the garlic, ginger, and cilantro; the sodium count is off the charts along with the saturated fat. But it’s fast and tasty and warming. Obviously if you had things like tofu, shrimp, baby corn, and so on, throw those in too, but this is the basic. This can easily be made vegan by skipping meat-based broth and the nam pla.


  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (shake can well before opening)
  • 3 cups broth (chicken, mushroom, vegetable, pork, or Tom Yom)
  • soy sauce
  • nam pla (fish sauce)
  • Sriracha or chile-garlic paste
  • black vinegar
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped green onions

Saute garlic and ginger together in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil for one minute. Pour in coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and season to taste with remaining ingredients.


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