Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chinese Chicken and Vegetable Soup

I'm posting this just for Debby.  I put a photo of it on the blog a while back and she immediately wanted the recipe.  I always struggle with recipes that I don't follow exactly... do I post the original recipe or do I post my changed recipe?  Such a hard decision!

Generally I follow a recipe exactly the first time I make it but in this instance, I just wanted to add some vegetables and I wasn't interested in the wonton crisps they put with it. I just wanted a veggie heavy soup for work.  Then I didn't like that it had regular old peas in it and I wanted to sub pea pods.  Can you believe I'm blaspheming a Sara Moulton recipe?

So my compromise is I'm giving you the link to the original - right here.  And this is how I made it:

Chinese Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Helen's Way
Serves 4

6 scallions
4" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
4 cups low sodium, low fat chicken stock
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
8 oz sliced mushrooms - any kind you want
8 oz. pea pods - also known as snow peas
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
2 cups sliced bok choy, savoy cabbage or red cabbage
3 T low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil

3 Tablespoons cornstarch whisked with 1/4 cup water

Put the scallions on a cutting board.  Using a meat mallet, rolling pin or large knife, lightly smash. Cut the ginger into thin rounds then into match sticks.

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the smashed scallions, ginger matchsticks, garlic 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.

Add the carrots and mushrooms and simmer gently, covered for 5 minutes,  Bring the liquid to a boil then slowly add as much of the the cornstarch and water mixture as you would like for thickness whisking the entire time.

Add the chicken, your choice of cabbage, snow peas, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

4 servings, 2 cups per serving

Nutrition: 242 calories, 2.9 g fat, 19.5g carbohydrates, 4.2 grams fiber, 34.9 grams protein

Oh, and a whopping 956.5 mg of potassium!


Personally, I did not like how thick the soup got with all that cornstarch so I will add very slowly next time and only make the broth as thick as I want!

I used shredded red cabbage because my store did not have either bok choy or napa cabbage and I had bought red for my fabulous Red Cabbage Salad with apples and walnuts.  It worked great but the soup turned pink after a day.


  1. When I looked at that soup, I thought it had beets in it. I've never tried red cabbage but I think I will. Thanks for the recipe. :)

  2. Wow! Thanks, Helen. I forgot I saw that on your post, but I'd actually been thinking about it for the last few days. And guess what's on tap for dinner tonight--chicken! I'm sure this is exactly the kind of soup I've been wanting to know how to make for years, but didn't know the combination of spices to use. Also, very interesting that you commented about the thickness, because when I was reading the recipe, I thought--I don't think I want the broth to be thick. Also, I love snow peas.

    Now you have to post your Red Cabbage salad recipe!

  3. YUM!!!! How soothing on these cold winter days. Take care Helen!

  4. Ah, the red cabbage caused the broth to turn - I was wondering about that! My store sells shredded cabbage and carrots together for .99 cents a bag - although I've been known to buy whole red cabbage.

    I can't remember if you like sauerkraut, but I do a stove top version with red cabbage - so good!