Warm Spice Chicken Soup
1 leek, green tops removed, washed, quartered and cut into small pieces (about 1 cup)
2 cups celery, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
3 quarts low-sodium chicken stock, divided
1 quart water
3 cups carrots, sliced into rounds ¼-inch thick
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large sprig of fresh basil
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup white cabbage, shredded
¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
In lieu of chicken breast, you could add fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined) or scallops just a few minutes before ready to serve. Cook shrimp in the soup until pink in color and cook scallops until just opaque.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, fresh ginger and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until the celery softens, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the whole chicken breasts, 2 quarts of chicken stock, the quart of water, carrots, vinegar, crushed red pepper, basil, turmeric and salt; cook over medium-high heat until boiling.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken breasts are fully cooked. To check for doneness, remove one breast and slice open in the center – the color should be white and opaque.
Once cooked, use tongs to remove chicken breast from the liquid and transfer to a cutting board to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the basil sprig and add the remaining quart of chicken stock. Continue to let the soup simmer on the lowest heat sitting for 10 minutes.
Once the chicken has cooled, use two forks to shred the breasts into strips, then stir them back into the soup.
For best texture and color, add the chopped asparagus, cabbage and parsley two minutes before serving, stirring to incorporate. Taste the soup and add seasoning as desired. Serve hot.
To store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- This soup is versatile, and the asparagus and cabbage could be replaced with other vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.
- For a heartier version, whole grains (like farro, quinoa or barley) or a delicate pasta like egg noodles or acini di pepe may be added.