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Mixed Vegetable Soup

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1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chilli sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
685 ml (24 fl oz/3 cups) vegetarian stock or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind water or 2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cake tofu, cut into small cubes
225 g (8 oz) bok choy (Chinese cabbage) or spinach, chopped
175 g (6 oz) bean sprouts
3-4 firm tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5-6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped


Serves: 5


Heat oil in a wok or pan and stir-fry garlic and onion for about 30 seconds. Add the chilli sauce and sugar and stir to make into a smooth paste. Add the stock or water, bring to boil, then add soy sauce and tamarind water or lime juice; simmer for 1 minute. (The soup can be made in advance up to this point.)

Bring the soup back to a rolling boil and add tofu, bok choy, bean sprouts and tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve the soup piping hot, garnished with chopped basil leaves.

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