Cold weather, sniffles, chilly fingers: all great reasons to make soup, especially chicken soup. But I found myself wanting something more, a big bowl of soup with a ton of flavor and some zip in it. So I threw together a quick soup using some broth I made the other day in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker; to make the broth I put in the roasted chicken carcass and a bit of celery and carrot plus lots of water on for 30 minutes on high pressure and after straining I had a nice container full of rich chicken broth. I added lots and lots of veggies as well as some great aromatics: slivered fresh ginger and a big clove of garlic. To pull the flavors together I poured in half a can of light coconut milk and added a handful of broken up raw rice noodles (any brand of wide rice noodles will work). Added some cubed roasted chicken and in no time at all I was slurping down this excellently flavored chicken coconut stew. It was like I was eating at a beach soup shack in the islands feeling the warm sea breeze through my hair… Light zingy flavor and tender chicken with lots of fresh vegetables. Man, was it yummy and healthy! Totally guilt free and naturally gluten free if you are careful in choosing your broth.
Angie’s Zingy Chicken Soup
2 medium sized carrots cut on diagonal into thin coins
2 celery stalks, cut on thin diagonal slices
1 onion cut down the top to bottoms, peeled and cut into long strips
1 tbsp. mild olive oil
1 large garlic clove minced
½ cup chopped green cabbage
2 baby bok choy cut into one inch lengths, bases cut in quarters or eighths
1 quart chicken broth; preferably homemade
4 rounds of thinly sliced fresh ginger cut into narrow strips
½ a can of light coconut milk
1 cup pea pods, cut off ends
½ to 2/3 cup broken wide rice noodles
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (I use a bit less then 1/8 tsp unless you like it spicier; just add more)
1-2 cups cubed or torn in small pieces cooked chicken (I use leftover roasted chicken breast)
Directions: Sauté carrots, celery and onion in large soup pot in the hot oil on medium heat: about 4-5 minutes, do not brown, add garlic; cook 1 minute, add bok choy and then the broth. Heat to nearly boiling and add the ginger and cabbage, cook 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, rice noodles, red pepper flakes and cook on low heat for 5 minutes; add pea pods and cook 4 to 5 minutes until noodles are cooked through. Add the cubed or torn chicken meat in the last minute to warm it.
Notes: The amounts of veggies are as fluid as you want to be; leave out something you dislike or don’t have or use more/less of any veggie. The critical ingredient for the flavor is the fresh ginger; without it you have very bland soup. I have used frozen snow peas when I couldn’t find fresh in the store. My favorite coconut milk for this soup is organic light coconut: thin and wasn’t too strongly coconuty. Perfect for this stew although regular coconut soup does work. I used baby bok choy but a couple stalks of regular bok choy will work just as well; might need to cook slightly longer than the baby choy. If you use store broth: Kitchen Basics has really good gf chicken broth; one 32 ounce box container should do it. I also buy inexpensive gf chicken broth at Aldi’s. I used home roasted chicken breast but you could use a rotisserie bird, although I suggest you check for gluten free before choosing that route as some stores make their birds with ingredients that make it not gluten free so not safe for those with celiac disease.