Miso Chicken Soup with Snow Peas and Tofu

1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds, trimmed of fat
12 cups of water
8 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
½ to 2/3 cup medium-colored miso paste (chu miso or shinsu ichi miso), or to taste
1 pound firm tofu, cut into thin slices about ¼ inch think and 1 ½ inches long
¾ pound snow or snap peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed
3 tablespoons minced scallion greens

1) Cut the chicken through the bones into 10 to 12 pieces. Put the chicken pieces, water, and ginger in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer and cook about 1 ½ hours, skimming the broth to remove any impurities. Remove the chicken pieces and let them cool. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Skim the broth to remove nay fat. Scoop out ½ cup broth and reserve it.
2) Using your hands or a knife, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut or shred the meat into thin julienne shreds. Add the chicken broth with the miso paste and stir until smooth.
3) Add the tofu slices and snow peas to the soup and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the miso mixture, and stir to blend. Heat the soup until near boiling; then ladle it into serving bowls. Sprinkle the top of each bowl with some minced scallion greens and serve.

Black Bone Chicken Soup

Black bone white feather chicken, feet and head removed and cut
into 10 sections (If not available, use a kosher chicken.)

Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis)  6 grams,
Huang Qi  (Astralagus)10 grams,
Dang Shen (“Red ginseng”) 6 grams,
Gou Ji Zi (Wolfberries)  6 grams,
Gao Liang Jiang (Chinese ginger)3 grams,
Chen Pi (Aged Tangerine peel) 3grams,
White peppercorns 3 grams,
Fresh ginger 6 grams, (about 10 slices fresh ginger, the size of a quarter, smashed with the flat side of a knife)
Fresh scallion  10 whole scallions, ends trimmed and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
Sea salt to taste

4 cups good quality, low salt chicken broth
2 cups water
1 ¾ cups good quality Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

1.Remoive any fat from around the cavity opening and around the neck of the chicken. Rinse lightly and drain. Using a heavy knife or cleaver, cut the chicken, through the bones, into 10 to 12 pieces. Heat 2 quarts of water until boiling and blanch the chicken pieces for 1 minute to clean them. Drain the chicken, discarding the water, then rinse in cold water and drain again.
2. Place the chicken pieces and the Soup Broth ingredients, except the salt, in a heat-proof pot or 2-quart souffle dish. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place on a steamer tray or small rack. Fill a wok with enough water to just
reach the bottom of the steamer tray or rack and heat until boiling.  Place the food on the steamer tray or rack over the boiling water, cover, and steam 2 hours over high heat, replacing the boiling water in the wok as necessary. Alternatively, you may steam the soup in the oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the ingredients in a Dutch oven or casserole with a lid and, before putting on the cover, wrap the top with heavy-duty aluminum foil; then cover. Place the pot in a lasagne pan or a casserole and fill with 1 1/2 inches of boiling water. Bake for 2 hours, replenishing the boiling water as needed.
3. Skim the top of the broth to remove any impurities and fat. Add the salt. Remove the ginger and scallions, ladle the soup and pieces of chicken into serving bowls, and serve. To reheat and retain a clear broth, steam or bake in a closed pot for
10-15 minutes, or until piping hot.

Great Aunt Sophie’s Chicken Soup

Six to Eight Servings

My Great Aunt Sophie was the matriarch of  my mother’s family. She and my grandmother promoted the health-giving properties of foods as early as the 1930’s when my mother was growing up. Here is one of her delicious, tried- and- tested panaceas. I’ve increased the garlic to suit my tastes.

1 whole chicken, preferably organic or free-range, weighing about 3 ½  to 4 pounds

1 ½ heads garlic, (about 21 cloves), smashed and peeled**

6 medium onions, peeled, halved, and each half cut into thirds

12 carrots, peeled, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise in half, and cut into 1 ½- inch sections

6 parsnips, peeled, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise in half and cut into 1 ½ -inch sections

1 bunch celery, weighing about 1 pound, rinsed, drained, ends trimmed, and stalks cut into 1 ½-inch lengths

14 cups water

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

1.Remove any fat from around the cavity opening and neck of the chicken. Rinse the chicken lightly and drain; then, using a heavy knife or cleaver, cut it through the bones into 10 to 12 pieces.

2.Put the chicken pieces and remaining ingredients except for the salt in a large, heavy stock or soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so that the liquid is still at a simmer and cook about 1 ¾ hours uncovered, skimming the broth to remove any impurities. Skim off any fat. (you may chill overnight and remove the fat which has solidified.). Add the salt, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Ladle chunks of chicken, vegetables, and soup into serving bowls and serve immediately.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2009

Homey Chicken Soup

Classic Chicken Broth

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 whole 3- to 3½ pound chicken, fat trimmed and cut into 10 or 12 pieces
1 cup rice wine or sake
6 slices fresh ginger, each the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
6 whole scallions, ends trimmed, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife

1 small head Chinese cabbage (preferably Napa) (about 1½ pounds)
1 teaspoon canola or corn oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, and cut into quarters
2 ounces bean threads (cellophane noodles), softened in hot water to cover (if unavailable, substitute 1/3 pound thin rice noodles or vermicelli, softened in warm water to cover)
2 teaspoons salt

  1. Prepare the Classic Chicken Broth by putting the water with the chicken, rice wine or sake, ginger slices, and scallions in a large pot and bringing to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1½ hours . Remove the chicken pieces and skim the broth to remove any impurities.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut away the stem of the cabbage and discard. Cut the cabbage in half and cut the leaves into 2-inch squares, separating the leafy sections from the tough ones. Place the cabbage sections in a bowl. Set by the stove with the shiitake mushrooms.
  3. Heat a Dutch oven or casserole, add the oil, and heat until very hot. Add the garlic cloves and the harder sections of the cabbage and stir-fry over high heat about 1 minute. Add the rice wine or sake, cover, and continue cooking about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the leafier sections, the shiitake mushrooms, and the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes uncovered.
  4. Drain the bean threads and cut them into 4-inch lengths. Add them to the soup and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the soup and stir in the salt. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

© 2008 Nina Simonds “A Spoonful of Ginger”

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

CHOOSE SECTION