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
For the wonton crisps:
12 square wonton wrappers
1/2 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
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.