When it comes to food, we’re texture-people in my house. I’ve got no use for a hand blender ‘cuz my husband and kids will not touch those creamy-as-baby-food soups. I’m good with any soup, but if it’s a family affair, I have to scoop out half of the vegetables before I puree, and add them back to the pot. There has got to be a “bite” in there, otherwise it just doesn’t fly. Asian big bowl soup has become a family favorite. I like to call it “Bigger” bowl because I load the soup up on tons of extras for some serious crunch and flavor. We especially love the addition of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots strips. They stay amazingly crunchy, even after sitting or rewarming!
I love making this soup for Shabbos on these late Friday nights. We don’t end up making kiddush until sometime after nine (more like closer to ten), and my husband and I are half-asleep at the table. The soup covers both the 2nd and 3rd course, being chock full of chicken, pasta and vegetables in a yummy broth. I have one big bowl of the stuff and I am ready for bed!
I found the original recipe in Susie Fishbeins’s Kosher by Design Short on Time cookbook (the only one I really use from her collection). I’ve adapted it to include lots of different veggies. Usually, I just go through my vegetable bin to check what’s on its way out. Since the veggies are going into a soup anyway, it doesn’t really matter if they aren’t fresh. Go ahead and use whatever suits your taste. You can also experiment with pasta in this dish. I’ve used linguini, udon noodles, even rice! It’s a “big bowl soup” after all, so go ahead and fill it up!
NOTE: Since we are lightening up this week, I have to mention that you can definitely leave out the ramen noodles. They are fun, and my kids love them, but for DH and I, we skip the extra calories.
Asian Bigger Bowl
adapted from Kosher by Design, Short on Time
10 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tbsp mirin rice cooking wine
1 pkg chicken breast (about 4 pieces) cut into thin strips
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 can sliced bamboo shoots
1 can bean sprouts
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced
1/2 bag shredded carrots
1 package mushrooms, cut into thick slices
1 handful snow peas, ends trimmed
3 scallions, cut into 3″ pieces
ramen noodles, or pasta/grain of choice
NOTE: alternatively, you may use one can of mixed chinese vegetables (usually includes chestnuts, bamboo shoots, sprouts and baby corn) if you find that 3 cans is too much.
Pour chicken stock into a pot. Add soy sauce and mirin and bring to a boil. Add chicken, chestnuts, shoots and sprouts. Simmer for 5 minutes, mixing the chicken so that the pieces don’t stick together. Add the cabbage and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, and scallions. Leave the pot uncovered for a few minutes while the vegetables become crisp-tender. Serve immediately, or leave pot uncovered until it cool so that the vegetables remain tender.
I like to cook up the ramen noodles separately, so that they are not left as mush inside the pot (if they sit too long, they get kind of gross). To do this, boil the water and add noodles, discarding the flavoring packet. As soon as the noodles begin to soften and break apart (about 1.5 minutes), remove them from the water and reserve in a plastic container. They will finish cooking when you add them to the hot bowl of soup.