9.27.2012

Rainy Day Recipe: Ginger-Carrot Chicken Soup


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chicken soup

This is the perfect recipe for getting cozy on a rainy day. Plus, it boasts the flavor of fall and comfort for the sniffles and chills. Last time I made my Ginger-Carrot Chicken Soup, I posted a photo because I was inspired by the color palette of this dish but never got around to sharing the recipe (because I often cook without recipes, and I didn't write anything down as I went along). With a healthy dose of ginger and garlic, this soup is my go-to when the family has a cold--like we do now--and this time I was careful to note everything I did as I brewed up my healing concoction, so I could share it with you!

Please enjoy--hopefully without the misfortune of having a cold!  This is my first time writing a recipe for my blog, so please share any recipe-writing tips, cooking suggestions (especially about how to cook tender chicken???), or adjustment ideas you might have for this specific dish?!  Happy cooking!
Ginger-Carrot Chicken Soup

For the Broth:
3 heaping tablespoons gluten-free chicken bouillon 
salt and pepper to taste 
3 cloves garlic, pressed and minced (maybe less if you're not sick, or you don't like garlic!)
3-4 green onions, chopped (both bulb and stalk included)
2 liters water (about 8 1/2 cups) 
3 extra cups water
3-4 cups fresh spinach (optional)
lemon juice from one lemon

500 grams (about 1 pound) of chicken

For the "Noodles:"
1 tablespoon butter 
3 tablespoons water (or broth)
1 clove garlic, pressed and minced
2-3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4-5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into long, thin strips (I use the veggie peeler for this)

Add bouillon, salt and pepper, garlic and onions to the water and slowly bring to a boil. Leave the lemon set aside. Add the chicken and let simmer on low, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes (and here is where I'd love any advice you have on how to slow-cook boneless chicken breast so that it turns out tender--I don't really like to cook whole chickens). You can cut up the chicken beforehand, or add whole boneless chicken breasts and shred once they are cooked, then return to the pot. 

The carrots are what make this soup special. I eat gluten-free, so I often like to substitute thinly sliced veggies in any dish that calls for noodles. And especially when your immune system is weak, avoiding processed grains in general is a good idea, so I don't even like to use gluten-free noodles in this dish. In a sauté pan (I use an iron skillet) melt the butter and add the ginger and remaining garlic. Then add the carrot strips and about 3 tablespoons of water (or 3 tablespoons of your broth). Sauté the carrots for 10-15 minutes, until tender (carrots will cook fairly quickly cut into these thin strips). I like to let my carrots caramelize a bit and blacken around the edges to bring out even more flavor--the iron skillet is perfect for this. 

Add the carrots to the broth (and chicken). After it simmers a few more minutes, taste the broth and add water to adjust. After adding 3 additional cups of water, the broth tasted perfect to me--still with the flavors on the strong side. (If you like your soup a bit more hardy, you can add 3-4 cups of fresh spinach at this point, leaves whole, and let it steam for a few minutes--overcooking will deplete the nutrients! This is the perfect way to add some extra "oomph" of vitamin C for a cold.) Finally, just before serving, add the juice squeezed from one fresh lemon, for more wonderful vitamin C power and the perfect leveling out of flavors! 

Feeds approximately 6-8 people, and is also delicious served over wild rice for a less "soupy" meal

Note: I know some people love to chop up a bunch of good-for-you veggies (or even add a whole chicken and slow-cook) to make their own stock. I would love to do that too, but at this stage in life I'm usually more of a quick-and-easy kind of girl. Of course, homemade stock would work great for this recipe, so try it if you can! I would just say, be sure to add lots of garlic to your stock, and maybe not too much celery in order to preserve the almost-Asian flavor of this dish :).

Guten Appetit!  (I'd love to know how you like it!) 


2 comments:

  1. Looks wonderful and all of your pics are so pretty! :-)

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  2. Hi Sadee, popping over from flying colors (and are you currently enrolled in creative courage as well? I am enrolled in that one too!) :) your blog is beautiful and I love your artwork -- so creative! And I think I will definitely be making this soup, I recently started eating gluten free and it looks amazing.

    Cheers!
    Robin

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!