Chicken and Rice Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger and Scallions

I have shared my roast chicken, the beautiful stock and now, I give you the holy grail of chicken soup!! I kid you not. This bowl has a little bit of everything to provide comfort at anytime of the year and cold-fighting remedies which is perfect for this "sniffly-snuffy-I don't feel so good" time of year. So let's have a chat because I don't think you can see all the goodness in this photo.

There are onions (yellow and scallion), mushrooms, ginger, garlic, chicken stock, soy sauce (low-sodium), chicken, rice and cilantro.  Ok, so what? Well, that means there are plenty of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties going on that help with digestion and fight bad things in your body. There is also fiber and protein. And if you really have the tummy troubles, there is sodium from the stock (or broth) and soy sauce (just a little and it's low-sodium) which our bodies need to retain fluids if we are losing them.  Did you know that soy sauce is also anti-allergenic? Serve it warm and steamy and those vitamin and mineral enriched vapors will help clear those clogged airways.  If you really want to take home remedy to the next level (that is if your tummy is in good shape), be daring and add a bit of Sambal Oelek. That hot Thai chili garlic paste will clear up just about anything!

Let's move on to Make it for you, make it your own. (Maybe I should include that kind of paragraph in each post🤔). First, you'll see it quite frequently in my recipes that if vegetable or canola oil is called for, I usually substitute with Safflower oil because it is high in antioxidants and vitamin E. Next, the original recipe called for four ounces of Shiitake mushrooms, but I can find a five ounce container at my local store that is pre-sliced. Who wants to pay more for stems that you are not going to use? I added garlic because I love it and it's good for you. I also added the soy sauce because I wanted to enhance a bit more of that umami flavor that the mushrooms were providing. The rice was in the original recipe, but I think you could sub it for some broken noodles, like soba noodles, or you can just leave the healthy starch out all together, but it does provide some body. The Sambal Oelek was also my addition, but I kind of have an iron stomach and will put some sort  of heat in just about anything. Ok, not Cheerios😉. Lastly, If you are one of those individuals who thinks cilantro tastes like soap or you just don't care for it, just omit it.

I hope this recipe finds you all healthy and well with strength to get in the kitchen to make this soup! If you are under the weather, pass this recipe on to a neighbor, friend or loved one as a "get well soon" hint. Printable Recipe

Chicken and Rice Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms Ginger and Scallions
serves 4

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or neutral oil like Safflower
1 medium onion, chopped fine
5 ounces sliced Shiitake mushrooms 
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 medium clove garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock or broth, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup long grain white rice
3 cups shredded cooked chicken, home roasted or store bought
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced thinly on a diagonal 
1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sambal Oelek to taste (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, mushrooms, ginger, and garlic and cook until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add stock or broth and rice, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in chicken and scallions and continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer soup to serving bowls, sprinkle with cilantro, add Sambal Oelek if using and serve. Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Cook's Country, April/May 2018

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