An Aside: Asian Fusion Chicken Soup

I have to take a short break from working on my NaNoWriMo so that I can share this recipe with you.  Seriously, I made it up as I went along, but it was inspired by my recent experimentation with some ma la recipes.  It’s not spicy, although it could be made that way with a few alterations.  It’s mostly a savory flavor with an edge of sweetness, but the real key is to put it together in order.  Also, I promise, you cannot skimp on the salt – all of the tubers are salt-neutralizers, so you’ll need all the help you can get.

Time: Prep – 15 minutes, Cooking – 35-45 minutes.

Serves 8 – 12 (seriously, it makes a lot, which is good for leftovers)

Ingredients

For the first phase of the soup:

  • Olive oil (2 to 4 tablespoons, depending on the size of your pot)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic or 3 (or more) cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 6 medium carrots, sliced (1/4 inch thick or so)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • about 1/2 pound of fingerling potatoes (specialty mixed, often with white and purple baby potatoes), sliced
  • 2 quarts of clean water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Chicken marinade and second phase:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, diced thin
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup natural soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup or so of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint
  • 1 liberal teaspoon garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • 1 liberal teaspoon onion powder
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cups rice flour

Possible incidental ingredients for flavor adjustment:

  • salt
  • rice vinegar
  • Red Dot hot sauce

Directions:

In a Dutch oven or similarly roomy pot (I used my 8-quart stock pot), sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium, then add your carrots, potatoes, fingerlings and sweet potatoes.  Stir them into the onions and garlic, then add the water and turn the heat up to bring it to a boil.

While the tubers are coming to a boil, put the marinade ingredients together, add the chicken, mix very well, and let it sit in the refrigerator.

Depending on how big your pieces are, the tubers should be just about fork tender after a half an hour or so.  ONLY at this point do you add the chicken.  Stir well as it comes back to a boil, and let it boil for another five to ten minutes.  During this time, the rice flour will be thickening the broth.  Taste and adjust at this point.

As a testimonial, Daniel (the 2-year-old) ate about five bowls, including  the broth.

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