Tag: vegetables

Asian-style Chicken Soup

I love soup (I think I’ve said this before!). Here’s a recipe that is pretty flexible for asian-style chicken soup. The broth is a little clearer with less herby flavor and different sorts of veggies are used. My picture doesn’t really do it justice but it gives you an idea!

Chicken soup with asian veggies


  • Chicken legs and thighs (about 2-3 lbs.) – Breast meat isn’t as flavorful and gets dried out if you use it exclusively in this recipe; however, you can have some chicken breast to add later if you’d like.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water (about 2 qts., although you can adjust for as much liquid as you want!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt for every 2 qts of water you use
  • Vegetables: Some possibilities are daikon radish (for a “real” asian flavor!), cabbage (green or napa), carrots, mushrooms (white, cremini, oyster, straw… any kind you want!). You can vary the amount.
  • Green onions for garnishing (optional)
  • Cooked rice (optional)


  1. If you want, cut the chicken legs and thighs into two parts using a big cleaver. (This makes it seem like there’s more meat in the soup.)
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large soup/stock pot over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown on all sides. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. This helps release some yummy chicken juices so that the broth is very flavorful.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up two quarts of water. This can be boiling or just “hot;” it basically helps speed up the cooking process so that you don’t have to wait for the water to warm up in the soup pot.
  6. Add the water to the pot and turn the heat back up to medium.
  7. Add salt.
  8. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down again to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  9. Meanwhile, prep your veggies. If using diakon radish, wash well and then slice into thin 1/4″ rounds. If using cabbage, cut into chunks. If using carrots, peel and cut into two-inch pieces, then cut each piece into thin 1/4″ slices (they’ll look like rectangles). If using mushrooms, wash or wipe and cut the bigger mushrooms into slices or halves. The overall goal is to get the veggies into sizes that will allow them to cook through at about the same time. Note: If using green onions, chop but add them as garnish at the end.
  10. Add the veggies to the soup and simmer until they’re tender but not mushy.
  11. Taste the soup without burning yourself and adjust the salt as necessary.
  12. Serve over cooked rice, garnishing with green onions if you like that sort of thing.

If you really like chicken breast, you can add it during step 8 to cook it through, remove it, and shred it. Add the chicken meat after the veggies are cooked (step 10) before adjusting the flavor.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

We’ve had three rainy days (interspersed by warm sunny days) over the past month, so I’m taking that to mean that it’s officially fall and okay to make soup once or three times a week. I could eat soup every day, but that probably wouldn’t be fair to Steve.

So far I’ve made butternut squash soup (twice), miso soup, broccoli soup, and tortilla soup with chicken. On the menu later this week is quick beef soup — a tomato-y soup with ground beef and small bits of pasta.

I had butternut squash soup for the first time last year and it’s become one of my favorite soups. Once you get past the prep, it’s relatively easy to make, although you do have to clean up a blender afterwards. Here’s the recipe I use. I adjust the amounts a little bit depending on what size squash I end up with from the store.

Peel a 3-lb. butternut squash and trim off the ends. Start cutting 3/4″ slices off the narrower end until you hit the hollow where the seeds are. Then cut the squash in half to more easily de-seed the squash. Continue slicing the squash, then cut the slices into cubes.

Peel a medium onion and chop.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s softened (5 minutes or so) . Add the squash, 4-5 cups of chicken broth, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a small pinch of nutmeg. Heat the soup until it’s simmering, then cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the squash is soft.

Get a blender out. Remove the thyme stems. Scoop squash and broth into the blender until about halfway full, then puree the soup. From past experience, you might want to just pulse the soup and hold the top down with a towel so you don’t have a squashed kitchen. Pour the blended soup into a large bowl while you puree the rest of the soup.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and stir in. Heat the soup until it just starts to simmer, then turn off the heat. You can add more chicken broth if the soup seems too thick for you (I like it thick, personally).

Serve the soup. Try sprinkling some ground nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves over the soup and stirring it in. Some people also like it with sour cream, cheese, or even peanut butter! My personal favorite is ground cloves; Steve likes cinnamon.

I think I have some leftover in the fridge that I can have for my morning snack… Yum!