Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Asian Style Chicken Soup
This soup is really easy, really yummy and really healthy! In other words it's great and it only takes about 30 minutes to make so it's a good dish for a busy weeknight dinner! I usually make this in a large amount and then we just eat it over a couple of days (three at the most). I estimate that the amount of soup in the recipe below would end up being about 10 servings. There's only two of us so that's a lot of meals of eating this soup but that's okay because we love it. But I'm sure it would freeze well although I haven't tried it yet. You could also reduce the quantities to suit.
One of the ingredients in this soup is one that some of you may not have used before, and that's wakame. It's dried seaweed which doesn't sound very appetising I know, but it re-hydrates beautifully, and the end result is that it tastes like a luscious green vegetable but a little different. I would urge you to try it out. You can purchase it from any Chinese supermarket and for those of you who frequent the Queen Vic Market in Melbourne there's a few different sorts available at Minh Phat on Thierry Street.
One of the good things about this soup though is that you can add whatever you want really. Sometimes I add peas and soba noodles are a good addition as well.
1 1/2 litres of good quality chicken stock
700 mls of water
1 small red chilli
1 tbs of dark soy sauce
5 cm piece of ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 large organic chicken breast fillets
1 red capsicum, cut into thin strips about 3 cm in length
1 punnet or small bag of shitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
1 punnet or small bag of ennoki mushrooms, gently broken apart
2 bunches of bok choy, washed and torn or chopped into smallish pieces
a couple of handfuls of cut wakame*
3 small carrots, cut into thin strips about 3 cm in length
handful of baby corn, chopped into chunk sized pieces
1 small tin of water chestnuts, drained
half a bunch of spring onions, chopped
handful of coriander leaves
* Available from Asian grocery stores.
Pour stock and water into a large saucepan, add ginger, chilli and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Trim chicken of any fat or sinew and add to the pot and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the carrots to the saucepan, then the seaweed, then the capsicum, water chestnuts, mushrooms, bok choy, and half of the coriander leaves. Then tear or chop the chicken fillets into small pieces and add them back into the soup along with the spring onions. Serve immediately and add the remaining coriander leaves and some roasted cashews to garnish each bowl.