The 12 Days of Christmas Bake Along, Day 5:
Look, I get it. This is also a cheat because it is cooking, not baking. But you need this! It’s worth it. I justify it because it is good to have healthy foods to savor in the midst of the sugary goodness I keep promoting throughout this series. Oh, and this is a perfect use for the green tops of the scallions which I suggested you to save when you made your party cheeseballs.
Last month one of my sweeties had a relapse of strep throat. I’m constantly commuting with 5 kids in tow, errands and activities to and fro. My sweet husband took over dinner and enabled me to pick up my muffin’s Rx in peace, and he told me to buy myself a treat while I was out. (I had been dealing with a bad case of post partum depression for the first time in my life, and it was healthy for my well being to steal a moment away from the chaos. We will discuss more on the topic of PPD at a later time because it is an extremely incredibly important topic that needs to be acknowledged in our society more than it is.)
Well, next door to the pharmacy is my favorite grocery store. They are a (mostly) healthy minded grocer. One of my favorite things is that they have a hot soup station near the front of the store. I steal away to have lunch there often. This night one of the soups du jour was “Asian chicken soup.” I loved it!! When I got home I scoured the internet for a recipe. No luck.
This is when having basic cooking skills and an enjoyment for replicating or adapting recipes proves beneficial. So, on a cold night when you are feeling overwhelmed with your life and need a boost, here is a warm hug from the inside out.
3 large chicken breasts, shredded
6 cups chicken stock
8 cups water
3 bunches of scallions
16oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms (shitake are great too)
8oz sliced bamboo shoots
4 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons ginger paste (or freshly grated ginger)
Optional: 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginseng
Sesame oil for garnish
Shred chicken breasts by hand into tender bite sizes. Set to the side. Slice bamboo shoots into match sticks and sauté in olive oil. They are more enjoyable in this soup when they are slightly less dente than straight out of the can. Slice the green tops of the scallions at a diagonal. Spice the whites in paper-thin rounds. Add to the bamboo shoots and cook until nicely wilted. Add sliced mushrooms and cook mixture until mushrooms shrink to half their size. Give the mixture one light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add ginger and ginseng. Mix evenly. Pour chicken stock and water over the mixture. Add soy sauce and vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with a few small drops of sesame oil. Serve while hot.
Stay warm, my friends.