Non-starchy comfort food

Asian soup

Replacing creamy risottos as my favourite comfort food for this winter is an amazingly easy-to-cook, Asian-inspired soup.  It feels far more healthy than my usual winter go-to foods (where starch, and more starch, plays a starring role).

I’ve cooked this a few times before and really enjoyed it, but I made it last night using the turkey stock I made on Thanksgiving (the first time I’ve ever bothered to do that…and bother is definitely the right word).  It brought it to a whole new level of richness…yum!  I fear that reverting to stock cubes in the future will be a disappointment. I also use soba noodles…I’ve tried rice noodles in the past and I much prefer the texture of the wholewheat soba noodles.

Recipe from Sophie Wright via The Guardian.

You can substitute meat or seafood, or just use veggies.

1.5 litres chicken stock, made from a cube is fine

2.5cm knob of ginger, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 medium red chilli, finely sliced

2.5cm piece of lemongrass, smashed with the back of your knife

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

200g soba, buckwheat, or glass noodles

1 head pak choy, sliced in half through the root

4 shiitake or chestnut mushrooms

1 handful of beansprouts

Sprigs of coriander, to garnish

Start by making a fragrant poaching stock. Place the stock in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the ginger, garlic, half the chilli, lemongrass, soy sauce and fish sauce. Allow to infuse for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken breasts and slowly poach to keep them moist inside. They should take 8-10 minutes, depending on size. Halfway through cooking, add the noodles. With one minute to go, add the pak choy, followed by the mushrooms and the beansprouts. Don’t over-cook the mushrooms or they will go slimy and spongy.

To serve, remove the chicken from the stock and cut into slices to make it easier to eat. Place in big bowls, pour the broth on top, and sprinkle with the reserved chilli. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of coriander.

-Anna

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