Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

January 9, 2014

A healthy chicken soup with Chinese influences

When it’s cold outside, I love making soup for supper. Everything goes into a single pot, starting with an aromatic broth and a substantial array of vegetables, then a little bit of protein, and finally a crispy garnish. And when dinner’s over, there’s only that one pot to wash!

Swimming in this broth are four vegetables — carrots, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy and peas.

Chinese chicken and vegetable soup

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 4

For the wonton crisps:

12 square wonton wrappers

1/2 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil

Salt

For the soup:

6 medium scallions

4-by-1-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1/2 cup rice wine, sake or dry sherry

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

11/2 cups thinly sliced carrots

4 to 5 ounces sliced or cubed shiitake mushrooms

3 tablespoons cornstarch whisked with 1/4 cup water

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 cups sliced bok choy or napa cabbage

1 cup frozen peas (do not defrost)

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Heat the oven to 375 F.

Cut the wonton wrappers into 1/4-inch strips. In a bowl, toss the wonton strips with the oil and a pinch of salt. Arrange the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake on the oven’s middle shelf until golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Meanwhile, place the scallions on a cutting board, then use the side of a large knife or a rolling pin to lightly smash. Cut the ginger into thin rounds, then slice each round into thin matchsticks.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the smashed scallions, sliced ginger, garlic, rice wine and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the solids.

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