Asian soups of all types interest me. The flavor profiles, the variety of textures and colors, and the relative health benefit of these soups cannot be argued. This one was a fantastic concoction I made up while making chicken broth. This takes little time to prepare, can be modified to your specific taste profile, and they are so versatile the never get old. In many countries in Asia, these types of soups may be a breakfast consideration, or mid-day meal. The other intriguing thing about this soup, is that it is appealing in both hot and cold seasons of the year.
Serves 4 people
32 oz. good chicken broth (house made is better)
10 teeth of garlic (fine mince)
3-4" piece of fresh ginger (peeled and diced)
1 medium yellow onion (fine dice)
1/4 cup Nuoc Mam (fermented fish sauce)
2 6" pieces of lemongrass (Sliced lengthwise and bruised)
2 dried red chilies (I used Dundicut)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
(to be added to each bowl)
1/3 cup cooked Jasmine rice
1/4 cup diced tofu
1/4 cup diced chicken
4 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
2 Tbs. shredded carrot
1 Tbs. chopped scallions
1/2 jalapeno (minced) Optional
3 Tbs. sliced button mushrooms
1 Tbs. mint leaves
1 Tbs. cilantro
1 Tbs. fresh basil
Technique: Sauté the ginger garlic, onion, and lemongrass briefly in the vegetable oil. Add chicken broth, fish sauce, and dried peppers, cover and simmer over very low heat for two hours.
Chop and dice all additives and ready them for completion of the soup. When I went to finish this soup, I placed the rice, mushrooms, tofu, and chicken in the waiting bowls and microwaved them for 30 seconds as to not cool the broth. Once warmed, add carrots, tomatoes, scallions, and jalapeno. Add 1/4 of the broth to each bowl, and top with cilantro, mint, and basil. Serve immediately. If you want additional heat in your bowl like I did, add crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!