Saturday, December 27, 2014

Asian Chicken Soup with Shiitake and Zucchini "Noodles"

A wonderful warming treat if you're feeling a little under the weather.  Or not!!

Often Asian soups have noodles, but in this soup, the noodles have been replaced with zucchini "noodles".  This keeps the soup gluten-free, of course, great for anyone watching inflammation or healing eczema.  But the zucchini "noodles" are also pretty, colorful and tasty.  To make them, I use a mandolin and a protective chainmail glove, but you can always slice them up with a kitchen knife or try the Veggetti which makes them by twisting the zucchini through a spiral device with blades.

Mandolin, protective chainmail glove and veggetti device.

Asian Chicken Soup with Shiitake and Zucchini "Noodles"

2 32 oz cartons organic chicken stock  (I am preferring Trader Joe's organic free range these days,  it has good flavor and at $1.99 per carton is a bargain, too.  Or even better, make your own, see here).
1/2 c sherry
3 T dark sesame oil
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 2" piece of fresh ginger minced
4 T butter (grass-fed organic)
2 T olive oil
3 oz shiitake mushrooms sliced, stems removed
10 oz crimini mushrooms sliced
10 oz white mushrooms sliced
Generous freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
4 organic boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
4 zucchini sliced on a mandolin into "noodles"
8 green onions sliced

Add the chicken stock to a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Add in the sherry, sesame, garlic and ginger and lower the stock to a simmer.  In a frying pan, over medium-high heat, bring the butter and olive oil to hot and add in the mushrooms in batches, frying until tender and adding to the soup.  Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Add in the chicken pieces.  When chicken is a few minutes from being done add in the zucchini and green onions.  Serve the soup as soon as the zucchini "noodles" are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

This soup is great on its own and doesn't need anything more.  However, if you're feeding hungry hoards, consider adding a pot of rice on the side, or perhaps a generous fresh salad.  Perhaps fresh spinach with tangerines, peanuts, bean sprouts and Asian salad dressing would be nice.  (I have always loved the Soy Vay Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing.)

By the way, I'm trying to get in the habit of pulling out the mandolin or Veggetti frequently.  So many vegetables can be cut and served into "noodles" and kids really like these.  If you don't want to take your family cold turkey, consider boiling up some quinoa spaghetti and tossing it half and half with zucchini "noodles" while your family gets used to them.

A 15 minute easy meal of zucchini noodles prepared on a Veggetti along with bottled organic red sauce and organic Italian sausages.  Just put the freshly cut zucchini noodles into a small pan with a little gently sizzling butter or olive oil and cook stirring occasionally for a minute or two until noodles are tender.  Fresh, quick and healthy!
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