We’re having an actual winter in Los Angeles: kind that requires coats, boots and sweaters. The ground has frozen several times in the past month, I’ve had to defrost my windshield before leaving for work at 6:30am. We even had a hailstorm last week, evidenced by the Tupperware of hail stones in my freezer. (Thanks, kids…)
This week has been all about rain! Along with the rain and older weather comes the desire to stay in bed all day with a hot cup of tea and a good book. Alas…I have a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old, I’m a busy acupuncturist, and staying in bed is rarely a choice.
But oh, how LA drivers in the rain stress me out! All I want is to eat is soup.
At 4:45pm tonight, after I got home from work and realized the meal I had carefully planned (on paper) had somehow not made itself, I opened the fridge for inspiration. The brown paper bag of Shitake Mushrooms that I’d picked up at the Pasadena Saturday farmer’s market were calling to me. I had made chicken bone broth over the weekend and still hadn’t frozen all of it in jars yet. “SOUP CAN STILL HAPPEN!” I thought, rummaging in the fridge’s vegetable drawer.
This is a 1-pot meal, an Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Soup, using what I had on hand, very forgiving. I have rarely used baby bok choy and string beans (Blue Lake!) in a soup (typically I stir-fry or steam them) but I found that as long as you don’t overcook those greens, they blend nicely into this warming soup. (NOTE: Baby bok choy tends to be less bitter than bok choy, so use the former for this recipe if you can.)
The seasonal vegetables included are all in season right now here in in Southern California, and the bone broth boosts immunity by nourishing the kidney system. If you don’t have bone broth, it’s OK to use store-bought organic chicken broth. (I’ll share my bone broth recipe in another post soon!)
Follow my recipe here or adapt it and make it your own – then tell us what you did in the comments section.
Weeknight Winter Soup
with Chicken Bone Broth,
Shitake Mushrooms & Vegetables
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 30 minutes
3 Green Onions, finely diced (discard the outer layer)
5 cloves garlic, peeled & diced
1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
10-12 Shitake mushrooms, sliced (cremini or button mushrooms can be substituted, but really there’s nothing like fresh shitakes!)
3 heads of baby bok choy (white & green parts), chopped into ribbons
2 large handfuls (about 1/4 pound) of Blue Lake string beans, ends trimmed, chopped (sub regular green beans if Blue Lake beans aren’t available – the season is ending soon!)
2.5 cups chicken bone broth
2 c. water
1 sprig (about 3 inches long) of fresh rosemary
2 T pastured butter or Ghee or coconut oil
1 c. cooked organic basmati rice (cook separately according to package directions, or use leftover rice like I did)
1 c. cooked pastured chicken, chopped into small pieces (I had leftover on hand; you can skip this step if you prefer not to add chicken)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp of dried cumin, chili powder or organic chicken seasoning
1.) Melt 2 T. butter (or ghee or coconut oil) in a large pot or Dutch Oven.
2.) Add chopped green onions, garlic and ginger (if using), saute until fragrant (a few minutes)
3.) Stir in mushrooms, saute about 3-5 minutes
4.) Add baby bok choy, parsley, green beans along w/ a splash of olive oil; saute another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
5.) Add chicken bone broth & water, stir, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
6.) Add sprig of fresh rosemary; add cumin and/or chili powder/chicken seasoning along with another splash of olive oil.
7.) Simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
6.) Stir in cooked rice & chopped chicken.
7.) Add salt and pepper (to taste).
8.) Simmer another few minutes, taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Here’s what I started with (I ended up not using the carrots, but you could easily add those after sauteeing the green onions):
Here’s the soup with all veggies & herbs added, before adding broth & water:
Serve with fresh sourdough bread and some dill pickles!