Sunday, January 23, 2011

Savory Chicken Soup

Who doesn't think of soup when it's 3 degrees outside?

In my world, traditional chicken soup means carrots, celery, noodles, and of course, chicken. But I didn't want Grandma's chicken soup. (Love ya, Grandma.. ;) I wanted something unique, pasta-free, and pleasantly piquant.

I stumbled upon this recipe and liked it, but it called for fresh ginger root, a touch of turmeric, and bean thread noodles. I had none of these in my kitchen, it was 3 degrees outside, and I wasn't leaving my house, so a little bit of improvisation was now on the menu.

I also noticed that the recipe failed to mention zucchini - clearly an oversight - zucchini goes in everything....duh-uh!

So, as my onions and garlic were bathing, blending, and softening, I peeked into my rack of tantalizing spices and chose some personal favorites.....garam masala, smoked paprika, and powdered ginger. I didn't measure anything....I just sprinkled each flavor until I stopped. How's that for precise?!

I added the zucchini and all the other good stuff and then mixed it in with the chicken and broth and let everyone get to know each other.

When I returned an hour later, I poured myself a bowl, dropped a little cloud of Greek yogurt on top, and indulged in the goodness.

Side Note: When I eat my minestrone soup that has a little kick to it, I like to add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. It gently diffuses some of the heat and adds another dimension of flavor.

When I had it for lunch the next day, the flavor was much more complex and the heat index had risen a twinkle or two. Even though I feel that I have already achieved perfection with this little medley, next time I'll probably sprinkle even more of the garam, paprika, and ginger and BAM...kick it up a notch!

Savory Chicken Soup

1/2 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Sprinkle or two of Ginger Powder
Sprinkle or two of Garam Masala
Sprinkle or two of Smoked Paprika
10-12 Twists of the Black Pepper grinder
One Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
One Quart of Chicken Broth
8-10 Ounces of Cooked Chicken Pieces
One Medium Zucchini, petitely chopped

Drizzle some olive oil in a hot skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute' until softened. Add chopped zucchini, soy sauce, ginger, garam masala, paprika, and black pepper. Saute' a few minutes more. In a separate pan pour in chicken broth and chicken. Add skillet ingredients to the broth and chicken and let simmer on stove for at least an hour.

As with most soups, this tastes best on the second day.


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