This is one of my favorite soups to order when I go out to eat for chinese food.  I love the contrast between the spicy and the sour.  Normally you have a wide range of vegetables in the soup including mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and green onion to name a few.  I added some baby corn and water chestnuts to mine just because I had them in my pantry and for a little crunch.  This recipe is great for the long winter days that seem to never end.  The recipe is straight forward and doesn't take all day to make.  

Hot and Sour Soup

4 oz of beech mushrooms

1 onion sliced

1 tbsp of ginger minced

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp of sambal

1/4 cup of black vinegar

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup of soy sauce

1 qt of chicken stock

1 qt of mushroom stock (Optional you could just use all chicken stock)

8 oz of baby corn sliced

4 oz of sliced water chestnuts

4 eggs

3 tbsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of sugar

3 tbsp of corn starch with 3 tbsp of water

1/2 cup of bamboo shoots julienned

Salt to taste

1/4 cup of chopped green onions

2 cup of fried wonton skins

Mushroom Stock

8 oz of dried shitake mushrooms

2 qt of water

3 garlic cloves

1 shallot

1 cup of mushroom stems and scraps from any other mushroom

For the mushroom stock

Add all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and reduce by half or until you have a strong mushroom flavored stock.  Strain off and set aside

For the soup

In a soup pot on medium high add sesame oil, ginger, and onion.  Saute for 2 minutes and then add garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for 2 more minutes and then add both of the vinegars.  Reduce them by half and then add your stock (chicken and mushroom) and soy sauce.  Take your eggs and whisk like your going to make scrambled eggs.  Bring the stock to a boil. Place a fine mesh strainer over the soup and pour your eggs into the the strainer over the soup.  Push the eggs through the strainer into the boiling soup.  This will give you the egg texture in the soup that is the same as egg drop.  Add your bamboo shoots, corn, water chestnuts, and sambal.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add your corn starch. Cook for 5 more minutes and Season the soup the with a little salt if and sugar if needed.    Finish the soup with green onions and fried wonton skins.  Serve and enjoy!