Hot and Sour Soup

So I’m learning that in order to shrink my waistline, sometimes it means I have to expand my horizons.

That thought deep enough for you?

I am one of those people who likes variety. Sure, we all have our foods that we say we could eat every day (although I really do feel that way about popcorn) – but how practical is that? Variety truly is the spice of life. In order to have fun with cooking and losing weight, I love to come up with new things to try or finding new ways to cut caloric-corners…like using fiber cereal as breading in my delicious Buffa-faux Chicken Tenders. I am just not one of those people who can eat grilled chicken with a side of lettuce every day – I would be completely miserable – and this is cooking on the bright side people!

A few weeks ago, my husband happily  came with me on a post-holiday shopping adventure. We grabbed lunch  at a place neither of us had tried before – an Asian place called Stix. I settled on my sushi and he was going with some noodle-based dish, but he asked if I liked Hot and Sour Soup since it only came made for 2, so I agreed to try a little.

Y’all, it was straight up delicious! How has it taken me so long to try this? The husband said it was one of the best he’d had and I loved the flavor! I have always been a Won Ton Soup girl – but I may be a convert now.

So clearly, I needed to try my hand at making this new-found favorite! I looked online for some recipes but some of the ingredients just seemed like too much to deal with – until I stumbled upon this beauty from “The Bald Chef” – it seemed perfectly easy to tackle! I substituted and modified a few of the ingredients but it still has that balance of spice and sour with plenty of protein from the chicken…and okay, the tofu – which graced my kitchen’s presence for the first time ever! Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Hot and Sour Soup (4 servings / 6 WW points per serving)

Adapted from The Bald Chef’s recipe found here.

Ingredients - Hot and Sour Soup

8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. white pepper

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

3 oz. canned Bamboo shoots

3 Tbsp. Sambal Oelek (Chili paste – you can also substitute Chili Garlic Sauce)

5 oz. firm tofu (if you can find “light” – go for it, but it wasn’t offered at my store)

1 egg

4 oz. Rice Vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 green onion, chopped

Begin by cubing chicken breast. Add soy sauce and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. I used that time to prep the rest of my goodies!

Prepped and Ready

Heat the sesame oil in a medium saucepan and add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes before adding chicken breast. Stir chicken and cook 4-5 minutes over medium heat.

Sprinkle chicken with white pepper and pour in chicken broth. Stir in mushrooms, bamboo and chili paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and cook 10 minutes.

Cut tofu into cubes and add to the soup, along with the vinegar. Bring back to a low boil.

Step by Step - Hot and Sour Soup

Whisk your egg in a small bowl. Pour into the soup in a steady, circular stream. The point here is to cook the egg to thicken the soup, but not have it all in one lump. Once you have poured it, whisk it slightly to incorporate.

Mix 1/2 cup water with your cornstarch and pour into the soup. Whisk and cook another 3-5 minutes over medium heat.

Serve hot and top with green onions.

Hot and Sour Soup - Overhead

We each had one bowl and were satisfied – but this would be great paired with some vegetable fried rice, orange chicken, chili-mango shrimp or stir-fry shrimp. A little home-made take out for a quiet night in!

Hot and Sour Soup

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Cheeseburger Soup

I think Mother Nature needs to go shoe shopping. I mean, I know I can tend to be indecisive occasionally often rarely sometimes, but this is getting a little silly.

It’s been a pretty cold and drizzly week, which just always puts me in the mood for soup. I’m sure you’re aware by now that pizza soup is a staple in our household. But, we do have some alternates that we love!

With the big game coming up and all, you may already be planning a menu. It’s always nice to have a big pot of chili, chowder, etc. to feed a crowd. Heck, I think pizza soup would be great – as would buffalo chicken soup.

But I’d like to introduce you to another favorite – cheeseburger soup. Intrigued?

It sounds really weird, but I assure you, it is quite delicious – and, of course, good for you! The best part is you can set out condiments for people to customize their soup! Now I kind of want to throw a party…

Cheeseburger Soup (4 servings / 6 WW points per serving)


8 oz. ground turkey breast

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine (I use Blue Bonnet Light)

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/3 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. dried basil

2 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup fat-free milk

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced

1 1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Garnishes (mustard, ketchup, relish, diced onion, etc.)

First, cook the ground turkey. Drain any liquid and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt margarine and add chopped vegetables and garlic. Stir and saute 4-5 minutes before adding cooked turkey and basil. Add flour and stir to coat, cooking 1-2 minutes.


Over medium heat, pour in milk. Stir and cook 4-5 minutes. Then pour in chicken broth and stir. Add your diced potatoes and stir. Cover soup and when it starts to boil, reduce head to medium-low. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are softened.


Stir in the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.


Once cheese has melted, serve your soup. Top with whatever you like on a regular cheeseburger – I like a little ketchup, lots of mustard and some dill relish. It’s also fun to toast a burger bun (sprayed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt) to dip in the soup!

Close up

Dig in and enjoy…

Happy Friday everybody!

Cheeseburger Soup Done

Lemon Spinach Orzo Soup

Hey there friends – and Happy 2013 to you all!

Being that my last post was before Christmas (yikes!), here’s a little recap of what we’ve been up to:

Christmas was awesome – a full day of family time and good food. My family always picks a movie to see together – so the winner was Les Miserables. We laughed. And cried. I think the hubby was just happy my Biffer and I didn’t sing along the entire time. Then, we had to take down Christmas – the saddest thing ever. But, we were leaving town, so we didn’t want to come home to sad pile of needles hanging out under some barren branches.

We headed up north for my best friend’s new year’s eve wedding! The husband is a huge history buff and had never been to Philadelphia, so we went up a little early and spent some time downtown. We ate a cheese steak. We braved the snow to tour Independence Hall. And of course, we ran walked briskly up the art museum steps with the “Rocky” music playing from my phone. Such tourists, I know.

Cheese SteaksSnow at IHall

The wedding day was a full day of fun – and I have never seen a bride so full of joy! She was absolutely radiant and I was honored to be a part of such a special day. I made it through a reading and a speech without crying (I’m a crier) or throwing up (public speaking and I don’t get along). And I got to ring in 2013 with some of my best friends!

The husband got sick the day of the wedding, so he barely made it to the ceremony and skipped the reception all together. We got home, and then I woke up sick the next day. Miserable I tell you.

So between Christmas and today, it’s been a lot of fun, some sickness crud, and catching up from the fun and the crud. Sunday, I finally felt normal and was able to sit down and plan a menu. A menu that would maybe help me lose some all of those pounds I put on over the holiday season (you know, that time from like mid-November until January 1-ish).

I figured with the flu that’s floating around, what could be better to share with you than a delicious soup that’s also good for you?

Lemon Spinach Orzo Soup (Serves 6 / 6 WW Points per serving)


1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. minced garlic

3 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 medium lemon (zested and juiced)

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo

2-3 cups fresh spinach

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 Tbsp. cornstarch + 2 Tbsp. water

6 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large stockpot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium-low for 3-4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, thyme and lemon zest and stir. Cook another 3 minutes.

SauteLemon Zest


Turn heat to medium and add orzo and spinach. Stir to coat in seasonings.



Pour in broth and lemon juice and stir well. Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small dish and set aside.



Cover the soup, reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a low boil for 12-15 minutes, until orzo is tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture and reduce heat to low, allowing the soup to thicken slightly.

Pour soup into bowls and top with 1 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese.



We paired a bowl of soup with a small Panini for dinner the other night, and it was truly a delicious meal. Awesome comfort food if you’re a little under the weather or just need something to warm you up a little!

Lemon Spinach Orzo Soup

Hope you all have a great weekend!