Chicken and Shitaake Mushroom Soup
This soup is yummy, soothing and nutritious. You don’t have to use a whole chicken (you can add sliced cooked chicken breast and use canned chicken or vegetable broth), but I think it’s worth the time and effort. Simmer a whole chicken in advance and the result is a really rich and tasty broth. Once that’s done, the soup is a snap.
How Nutritious is Chicken and Shitaake Mushroom Soup?
- Animal studies have shows that shitaakes have compounds with positive anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering and virus-inhibiting effects! Wow, and they taste delicious too.
- It’s full of anti-inflammatories and antihistamines (lemon grass, ginger, garlic and cilantro).
- Bok Choy is full of Vitamins A and C and fiber.
Ingredients for Chicken and Shitaake Mushroom Soup
- 1 small whole chicken
- fresh ginger root, rough chopped (total about the size of a walnut, no need to peel because it will be discarded when the broth is strained)
- dried or fresh lemon grass (also discarded when strained)
- 2-3 cups bok choy, washed and chopped
- 8-9 large fresh shitaakes, thinly sliced
- 2-3 carrots, shredded
- 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
- handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce – to taste
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, optional
- salt & pepper to taste
Cooking Method for Chicken and Shitaake Mushroom Soup
For the chicken and stock
- Place the whole chicken in a stock pot, add fresh ginger, lemon grass and enough cold water to barely cover the chicken. Turn heat to medium high and bring the water to a low simmer, reduce heat if necessary (you don’t want the chicken to boil rapidly). Season with salt and pepper (1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper) and low simmer for about one hour until the chicken is cooked throughout (if the legs wiggles easily at the joint where the thigh meets the body, it’s probably ready!)
- Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can handle the chicken. Remove the chicken from the stock, remove meat from the bones and tear into bite-size pieces, store in refrigerator for later use if not making the chicken immediately.
- Taste the stock, it is seems weak, put it back on heat and let it simmer additional 1/2 to 1 hour. Reducing the liquid will make it tastier! Strain into a container and remove grease. Stock and chicken are ready and the rest of the recipe is very fast.
For the Soup
- Prepare the vegetables and chop the cilantro
- Heat soup pot to medium high, add 1-2 tablespoons oil (I like sesame oil in this recipe but you can use olive oil), the bok choy and mushrooms. Sauté until they start to soften and add garlic and stir 1-2 minutes.
- Add that yummy stock (as much as you will need, any extra can be stored for use later, it freezes well and can be used for curries or other soups).
- Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add scallions, cilantro, soy sauce and sambal oelek. Adjust salt and pepper and serve.
- Cook noodles separately (soba, lo mien or any other) and ladle soup over hot noodles.
- Add miso paste to taste (don’t need to boil miso, just add to hot soup).
- Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the bowl for a nice fresh kick.
Cooking Option: In lieu of making stock, use canned stock, add chopped ginger with garlic and dried lemon grass if fresh is unavailable. Add cooked chopped chicken at end.