Asian Chicken and Chili Soup

Sorry, friends; JR took our camera to work, so instead of a picture of this soup, you get a picture of an Asian rice field.  I guess you get what you pay for.

What you DO get [totally free, I might add], if you can use your imagination and picture it in your mind, is a fresh-but-warming, colorful, healthy and easy soup!

I originally got this recipe from Martha Stewart several years ago. Here’s the trick, though: I’ve never actually made the recipe as it’s described in her website.  I just never seem to have watercress or red bell peppers on hand.  The beauty of this recipe is that it will accommodate a huge variety of vegetables.  I generally make the broth, add whatever chicken I happen to have on hand (the leftovers picked off of rotisserie chicken bones work great; it also works to saute up a couple of chicken breasts), and then I throw in whatever veggies I’m in the mood for.  In the past, I’ve used: green onions, carrots, slices of mini bell peppers, snow peas, green beans, cabbage and edamame.  You can also toss in some rice noodles if you want some carbs.

This recipe is also great because you can easily scale it up or down; when we had it tonight, I had two cups of chicken broth in the freezer, so I thawed that out, added one diced chicken breast, just under 1 T. soy sauce and around 3/4 t. chili sauce, and about 2 cups worth of carrots, mini bell peppers, snow peas, edamame and green onions.  Oh, and I almost always add a dash of toasted sesame oil at the end — it just gives it a great hint of sesame flavor!

So, here you go: go forth and make soup!

Asian Chicken and Chili Soup

Serves 4

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 red bell peppers, (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons Asian hot chili sauce [I often use sriracha or the garlic chili sauce made by the same company]
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) diced poached chicken
  • 1 bunch (6 ounces) watercress, large stems trimmed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring broth, bell peppers, soy sauce, and chili sauce to a simmer; cook until peppers are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and watercress; cook 1 minute. Ladle into bowls, and top with scallions.

I wanted a slightly more substantial meal tonight, so I tried out this recipe for fried rice (warning: video starts when you open the page).  It was pretty good!  I didn’t have enough peas, so I used 2 more green onions.  And I used brown rice instead of white (I cooked 1 c. brown rice) because I think white rice is like a great big plug for your digestive system.  In the future, I think I’d use less oil (I used half canola and half peanut — the peanut oil was a good call!) and less fish/oyster sauce; it was a little fishy for my taste.  Nonetheless, it was a very flavorful meal and we’ll look forward to having the leftover rice for lunch tomorrow!