Shitake Soup

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If you like mushroom flavored food, you will love this. If you don’t–don’t use mushroom broth, and you can make a variation on this lovely soup.

This soup is very easy to make, and satisfying. A vegetarian can substitute the chicken for tofu.

The backstory on cornstarch, and why I left it out

I recently made my first orange chicken dish–a healthy version. What I realized (perhaps a little late in my culinary career) is how chefs make the thick sauce for Orange Chicken–>corn starch.

Corn starch is harmless in small amounts, however it has been used to make lotion. It’s not something you should consume large amounts of. That being said I’ve left it out of this recipe that I borrowed from Eating Well Magazine.

Substitutions

Due to a lack of lo-mein noodles sold at Trader Joe’s this Asian-inspired soup I made with whole wheat noodles.

Remember cooking rules are only a guideline, and they’re meant to be broken. This Shitake Soup came out thick despite the lack of cornstarch ingredient.

Makes 8 Servings, about 2 cups each

Active time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

24 dried shitake or black Chinese mushrooms (2-3 ounces)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-2 inch sticks
2 carts mushroom broth
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
4 1/4 cups water
2 chicken breasts (skinned) and cubed into bite-size pieces (or 2 14 ounce packages extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper if that’s all you have)
4 cups kale
1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cups cooked lo mein noodles (or whole wheat pasta broken up)
1 cup sliced scallions

Add all ingredients into the pot and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then bring the broth to a boil and add the noodles. Let them boil for ten minutes until soft, and until chicken is cooked all the way through. Chop scallions (or green onions if that is all you have) and put a teaspoon over the top of the soup.

Enjoy with a piece of homemade seven grain toast!

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