Story last updated at 1/8/2014 - 2:59 pm
When it's cold outside, I love making soup for supper. Everything goes into a single pot, starting with an aromatic broth and a substantial array of vegetables, then a little bit of protein, and finally a crispy garnish. And when dinner's over, there's only that one pot to wash!
Swimming in this broth are four vegetables - carrots, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy and peas. I chose them not only because they're the kind of vegetables you might find in a Chinese soup, but also because they are nutritious and provide a fresh array of colors. Make sure that the chicken goes in last. Cut into bite-sized chunks, it takes little time to cook, but it will become tough and leathery if cooked too long.
CHINESE CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SOUP
6 medium scallions
4-by-1-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup rice wine, sake or dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
4 to 5 ounces sliced or cubed shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons cornstarch whisked with 1/4 cup water
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups sliced bok choy or napa cabbage
1 cup frozen peas (do not defrost)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Place the scallions on a cutting board, then use the side of a large knife or a rolling pin to lightly smash. Cut the ginger into thin rounds, then slice each round into thin matchsticks.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the smashed scallions, sliced ginger, garlic, rice wine 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 add the cornstarch-water mixture in a stream while whisking. Return to a boil.
Add the chicken, bok choy, peas, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook gently until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 35 calories from fat (9 percent of total calories); 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 70 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 35 g protein; 1,050 mg sodium.