Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Soup's On!

Though I failed to take a picture of this, don't let the lack of visual interest keep you from trying this recipe if you're trying to get more veggies in your diet, lose weight, or are just a big soup fan. The older I get, the more I like soup. This is my very own concoction and I'd love your feedback if you try it out.

Chinese Greens Soup

2 T. olive oil
2-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts/thighs/whatever
1 bunch scallions, chopped and divided in half
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
cumin, ground or whole seeds
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 boxes chicken stock
1 bunch rapini (or escarole, greens, or other hearty green veggie)
4-6 baby bok choy (or 1 large)
2 c. fresh baby spinach
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (sub flat leaf parsley if you dislike cilantro)
1 T. Hoisin sauce (sub 1 t. BBQ sauce plus 1 t. soy if you don't have Hoisin)
juice of 1/2 lemon
toasted sesame oil

Roughly chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Lightly brown in olive oil in a very large pot, then add ginger, garlic, pepper flakes and the bottom half of the chopped green onions. As soon as this becomes very fragrant (but before the garlic can start to brown) pour in the chicken stock. Once stock is hot, remove the chicken. (I cut up 4 pieces and reserve half the poached chicken to make an Asian chicken salad in a day or two. If you add all the chicken back to the soup it'll be very meaty (and thus, more caloric) so you may want to use only 2 pieces.)

Coarsely chop rapini (or other greens) and stir into soup. Once stems are crisp-tender but still bright green, add coarsely chopped bok choy. Cook only until bok choy stems are crisp-tender; watch carefully as this does not take long and you don't want to overcook the vegetables. Remove from heat and stir in reserved chicken, spinach, cilantro, Hoisin sauce, and lemon juice. Check and correct seasoning, if needed. Top each serving with some of the reserved green onion tops and 1/4 t. toasted sesame oil.

Makes a big pot of hearty soup. If you find the greens become somewhat bitter on reheating, add a pinch of sugar and a smidge of vinegar or lemon juice. This seems to brighten the flavors back up.

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