Hot and Sour Soup

An interesting soup of Chinese origin, this may be served as a first course or as a light lunch with plenty of crusty bread and butter.

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons flour

2 pints home-made chicken stock juice of

1 lemon

2 tablespoons soy sauce teaspoon monosodium glutamate (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

10 oz. canned bean sprouts, drained

2 Chinese mushrooms, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes, drained and chopped

4 oz. canned bamboo shoots, drained and finely chopped

4 oz. cooked chicken, finely diced

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot add the onions and cook, stirring occa- sionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Stir in the lemon juice, soy sauce, monosodium glutamate, if you are using it, salt, pepper, bean sprouts, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and chicken. Stir well to combine the mixture.

Return the pan to moderate heat and bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the pan from the heat, taste the soup for seasoning and add more salt if desired. Pour the soup into a warmed tureen or individual soup bowls. Serve immediately.

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