Sunday, December 8, 2013
Recipe of the Week: Lemongrass and Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup
We've had a weird couple of winter days this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it was warm enough we could have run around in our t-shirts and shorts, but on Thursday, there was a winter storm threat and the temperatures took a tumble. In fact, it is only a miserly 21°F today and flurrying.
We harvested the last of our lemongrass and decided to use it to make an Asian-inspired chicken noodle soup. It's perfect for cold and grey days like this. Zach is feeling a little under the weather, so I'm adding a handful of "odorless" Chinese herbs in the recipe (he hates the particularly herby-smelling ones!). The fox nuts and goji berries are entirely optional. If you can find them, use them. Otherwise, don't fret about leaving them out.
Fox nuts, also known as Euryale Ferox, are usually added to soups in Chinese cooking, and popped (like popcorn) for snacks in Indian cultures. Use them sparingly to strengthen the spleen, nourish the stomach and digestive system.
Goji berries, or wolfberries, are a rich antioxidant. They nourish the liver and kidneys, improve eyesight, and help with fatigue.
In addition to the herbs, I'm using the usual chicken soup ingredients: carrots, celery, and mushrooms.
1 lb boneless chicken meat (you can use dark or white meat)
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp grated ginger
a bunch of lemongrass stalks, keep only the bottom half, bruise or make little slits in the stalk
6 oz spaghetti, broken into little pieces
5 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
2 tbsp fox nuts (optional)
2 tbsp goji berries (optional)
pepper, to taste
(You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker by using chicken with bones and just water to make your own stock. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.)
Heat a little bit of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken and ginger for about 5 minutes.
In a separate pot, bring the chicken broth and water to a boil.
Add chicken, ginger, lemongrass, vegetables and herbs (optional). Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add cut spaghetti; cook for another10 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in lime juice and fresh parsley.
Discard lemongrass before serving.